Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Cuban Dying for Internet Freedom

Tuesday, June 27, 2006 12:07 a.m. EDT

Cuban Dying for Internet Freedom

A Cuban journalist and champion of freedom of information is on the
verge of death as he protests the Castro government's refusal to allow
him and his fellow Cubans to access the Internet.

According to reader Mario A. Carballo, Dr. Guillermo
Farinas, a 43-year-old psychologist who heads the independent media
outlet Cubanacan Press, is dying in a Havana hospital as a result of his
more than a month-long hunger strike. Farinas is refusing to eat as
protest during his demand to have the right for access to the Internet.
He is presently in intensive care and is being fed intravenously.

"In the United States access to the Internet is as simple as drinking a
glass of water," wrote Carballo in an e-mail to "In Cuba
even something so simple is denied to the population. Freedom of
information is forbidden."

Farinas says he went on a hunger strike to press for Internet access
that he and his colleagues need for their work, according to a BBC
report, which adds that high profile dissident Oswaldo Paya has called
on the authorities in Havana, the Cuban and international community to
help save Farinas' life.

Carballo called on President Bush to mention Farinas' name and to try to
help the man he describes as "a champion of the freedom of the press,
and the freedom of information.

"Dr. Farinas is dying, please help him," Carballo implored.

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