Blockade of the soup kitchen lifted – Hunger strike ended

ISHR sees success of international solidarity with the hunger strikers

Santiago de Cuba / Frankfurt am Main, April 12th, 2021 – On April 9, officials of the Ministry of the Interior ended the 26-day blockade of the soup kitchen of the civil rights movement UNPACU in Santiago de Cuba. As a result, 30 civil rights activists ended their hunger strike, which had been going on for 21 days, according to the International Society for Human Rights (ISHR).

The Archbishop of Havana, Dionisio Garcia, visited the dissidents on April 8, 2021, the 20th day of the civil rights activists’ hunger strike, to inquire about their health. Immediately after Archbishop Garcia’s visit was announced, police cordons around the UNPACU building had already been reduced, according to ISHR, which is represented by a section in Cuba.

“The dissolution of the arbitrary police blockade follows international attention, solidarity and pressure from politics and civil society,” explains Martin Lessenthin, spokesman of the board of the ISHR. Among others, the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Dita Charanzová, and four other members of the European Parliament stood up for the activists in a letter to the Cuban Embassy in Brussels.

The former political prisoner José Daniel Ferrer, president of UNPACU, speaks of “a victory of reason, justice and humanism, against the perversity of the regime that hates its people.”