Cuban Dissident Guillermo Fariñas Is Released “with Restrictions”

Cuban opponent Guillermo Fariñas was released without charges Thursday night after being detained for three days, although he is subject to “restrictions,” the dissident himself told Efe on Friday. Fariñas, Sakharov Prize of the European Parliament (PE), was arrested last Tuesday in the city of Santa Clara (center of Cuba), where he lives, when he was about to move to Havana to withdraw a visa to travel to Madrid this month and Brussels. The “restriction” is that you will not be able to leave your municipality until after the 20th, which will prevent you from making the planned trip, since your agenda in Brussels, where you were to meet with MEPs of several parties, would have concluded on the 21st According to Fariñas, the authorities alleged several reasons to stop him: “that he was preparing a national uprising by coordinating actions with opposition groups and that they would not allow him to continue sabotaging the economic relations between Cuba and the European Union.” The third reason, he added, is that “they are doing an experiment to see the cost-benefit in terms of prolonged detention” of the opponent. Several European authorities, including the president of the Eurocamara, David Sassoli, had asked in recent days for the release of Fariñas. The 57-year-old opponent leads the illegal United Anti-Totalitarian Front (Fantu) and in 2010 received the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament for the defense of human rights. It is famous for the numerous hunger strikes it has held in protest against the Cuban system, the last of which, number 25, took place in 2016 and lasted 54 days to ask the Government of the island to cease the repression against the dissidents Another well-known dissident, José Daniel Ferrer, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu), has been imprisoned since last October in Santiago de Cuba for an alleged assault on another man, a charge that his relatives deny. The Government of Cuba, for its part, considers the dissidents “counterrevolutionaries” and “mercenaries” at the service of the interests of the United States and denies that they have political prisoners in their prisons.