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Fariñas – Cuba will change only when power is in the hands of the people

Fariñas: Cuba will change only when power is in the hands of the people
Human rights ? 03-07-2013 – 16:01

Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas has finally been able to pick up his
2010 Sakharov Prize in person in the European Parliament in Strasbourg
after waiting for almost three years to be allowed to travel to Europe.
“You are not alone in this long journey to freedom and democracy,”
Parliament vice-president Gianni Pittella, an Italian Social Democrat,
told Fariñas during the award ceremony. We asked Mr Fariñas about his
struggle, the prize and the current situation in Cuba.

How has the prize helped your fight for freedom of thought?

Personally, I can say that violent acts against me by members of the
state security forces or paramilitary groups have diminished, but at the
same time, many people are still being imprisoned. The importance of the
prize resides in that every time a Cuban citizen receives an award for
the defence of human rights, the Cuban regime is set in a delicate
situation vis-à-vis the rest of the world and democratic institutions.

Is your visit to Strasbourg a sign of things improving in Cuba?

Not at all: dissidents that have left our country are well known and,
for this reason, we are shielded by international public opinion. The
same does not apply to those who are less well known.

At this moment, there are 101 political prisoners in Cuba when in 2010
there were only 38. Indeed, the Cuban regime carries on with violent
acts against dissidents and the legal framework remains intact.

What would it take to see real improvement in relation to human rights
in Cuba?

Only when the Cuban regime recognises that the power has to be in the
hands of the people and political dissent will not be a crime, we will
be able to say that something has changed in Cuba.

Source: “Fariñas: Cuba will change only when power is in the hands of
the people” –
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/content/20130701STO14749/html/Fari%C3%B1as-Cuba-will-change-only-when-power-is-in-the-hands-of-the-people

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