European Parliament’s “Fariñas Amendment” Never Existed / 14ymedio

Fake news on the website talking about the "Fariñas Amendment"
Fake news on the website talking about the “Fariñas Amendment”

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 13 September 2016 – The so-called “Fariñas Amendment,” which led the Cuban regime opponent Guillermo Fariñas to abandon his hunger and thirst strike after 54 days never existed. The initiation, which was supposedly presented this Monday to the European Parliament, sought to prioritize human rights in any agreement established between the European Union (EU) bloc and the Cuban government However, the amendment proved to be fake, according to sources at the EU spoke with this newspaper.

In one of the most notorious examples of “fake news” in Cuba, this Monday several websites reported the news that the European Parliament had approved “by a narrow margin, the so-called G. Fariñas Amendment, presented by Euro-Deputy Alexander Graf Lambsdorf” in support of the opponent’s demands. Information that was disproved to this newspaper by Alain Bothorel, a European Union diplomat at that organization’s headquarters in Havana.

The alleged Fariñas Amendment “is false” said Bothorel to 14ymedio, adding that “the only thing that happened is that the president of the European Parliament sent a letter to Fariñas asking him to end his hunger strike, but that was not conditioned on any other thing.

Jorge Luis Artiles Montiel, a member of the United Anti-Totalitarian Forum and spokesman for Fariñas during his strike, told 14ymedio that on Tuesday Fariñas had spoken by phone with representatives of the European parliament and learned that “the Amendment with his name was now apprived.” However, the dissident did not resume fasting and has continued the recuperation process.

The website that gave the news about the alleged "Fariñas Amendment" was the dissident ended his hunger strike. (CC)
The website that gave the news about the alleged “Fariñas Amendment” was the dissident ended his hunger strike. (CC)

Artiles Montiel speculates that “it was the Cuban government that hacked the web site of the European Parliament” in order to spread the apocryphal information. This newspaper was able to confirm that the source of the news was a blog created on the WordPress platform that any internet user has access to. This Tuesday the blog, which had been posing as coming from the Information Office of the European Parliament, was deleted.

FANTU initially announced the Fariñas had been appointed as adviser to the European Parliament for issues of civil society in Cuba, information that also turned out to be falst.