14ymedio, Havana, 2 June 2023 — Political prisoner Yosvany Rosell García Caso suspended his hunger strike on Thursday after three weeks of fasting. Sentenced to 15 years for his participation in the protests of 11 July 2021, the 34-year-old ingested a broth that his wife took him to the Lucía Iñiguez Landín Surgical Clinical Hospital, in the city of Holguín.
“Thank God my husband is restoring himself with liquid,” Mailín Rodríguez Sánchez posted on her Facebook account. “He drank broth and is in therapy,” she added, while thanking “the support and concern” that her family received during her husband’s hunger strike, when he barely weighed 122 pounds.
By profession a welder and blacksmith, García Caso was transferred on May 29 from El Yayal prison, Cuba Sí, to the prisoners’ room of the hospital. Initially he refused to receive hydration serums and was determined to “continue the strike because he is tired of his rights and those of the other prisoners continuing to be violated,” after the ’11J’ protests, Rodríguez explained to 14ymedio at the time.
His wife hoped that their eldest daughter, 14-years-old, would be able to convince her father to eat food again. “My girl is telling me that she wants to see her dad, and we are making arrangements so that she can visit him in the hospital.” Family pressures paid off, something that Rodríguez celebrated: “I hope he recovers very soon; his life is worth gold for his children and for me.”
García Caso began the strike on May 11, after an incident in which the prison authorities denied him a visit from his wife and three children, and as the days went by he extended his demands to that of being released as soon as possible.
Upon learning of the strike, his wife went to the prison four times but was not allowed to see him, and she could only meet her husband the day after he was taken to the hospital. The prisoner was also denied the religious assistance that Rodríguez requested repeatedly.
This was the third time that García Caso carried out a hunger strike. In February 2022, he spent 17 days without taking food to demand that he not be transferred from Holguín to a prison in Cienfuegos, and for improvements in prison conditions. At that time, he had been the victim of several suspensions of his right to make the regulatory phone calls, and they kept him in isolation.
A few months later, in July of last year, he went on a hunger strike again, after being beaten for dressing in white as a reminder of the popular demonstrations of 11J.
The political prisoner claims not to regret having taken to the streets on that day of popular protests, an act that cost him prosecution for the crime of sedition. “How could I regret wanting to see my country free from a communist dictatorship? A country that has been submerged for more than 60 years in extreme poverty, and with all our human rights violated?” he said in a letter that his wife disseminated on social networks. “That blessed July 11 not only marked a before and after of the beginning of the end of communism in Cuba, it also showed us the worst face of the dictatorship.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
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