Felix Navarro Remains on a Hunger Strike in Prison, Bishop of Matanzas Confirms

Félix Navarro, former prisoner of the Black Spring, before his latest arrest. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 12 September 2021 —  Félix Navarro, a member of the Cuban opposition, “is very thin” and weighs about 60 kilograms (132 pounds) after going on a hunger strike in jail for almost three weeks, said the Bishop of Matanzas, Monsignor Manuel Hilario de Céspedes.

The Bishop visited the former prisoner of the Black Spring in the Combinado del Sur de Matanzas prison, according to Dagoberto Valdes, director of the Center for Coexistence Studies, reported on his social networks.

“Félix told him that he would stay like this [on hunger strike] until the charges were dropped,” Valdés said.

Navarro, who is the president of the Pedro Luis Boitel Abraham Democracy Party and a member of the Executive Secretariat of the Democratic Action Unity Table (Muad), was arrested along with other opponents in the heat of the demonstrations on July 11.

Accused of the alleged crimes of “attack and public disorder,” two weeks after his arrest, his family denounced that the opponent had been admitted to and held incommunicado at the Matanzas Military Hospital after being diagnosed with covid-19.

Activist Saily Navarro Álvarez, daughter of the opponent, clarified last week in an audio broadcast by Ángel Moya — also a member of the Black Spring Group of 75 — that on August 17 her father informed the family that if he was not released before 23 August, then from that day on “he would be on a hunger strike.”

Since that day, the relatives have not been able to communicate with him further, but the daughter denounced “the uncertainty and anguish of not knowing for sure how he is” with regards to his health and asked for help to make visible the situation of danger that her father is experiencing.

Dozens of opponents, activists and members of civil society have expressed their support for the opponent and demanded his freedom, including the leader of the Ladies in White, Berta Soler, who joined a fast of other dissidents on Thursday to protest against the situation of Navarro, as well as that of José Daniel Ferrer and other detainees from the massive protests in July.

“We want them free and healthy. Freedom now,” said the Lady in White, who also detailed that the first to show solidarity with a fast, in concrete support of Félix Navarro, was Caridad Burunate. “The day after her initiative we are in solidarity with her,” said Soler.

In a statement, Muad noted that other members of the Pedro Luis Boitel Abraham Democracy Party were arbitrarily arrested, including: Francisco Rangel, Armando Abascal, Lázaro Díaz Sánchez (released on July 15) and Leylandis Puentes Vargas, who did not participate in the demonstrations. of July 11 but that he was arrested two days later.

The organization also denounced that Navarro “is a 68-year-old man, with a delicate state of health, among other reasons, due to the difficult conditions of the political prison that he had to face in the past and the constant abuses of the Cuban authorities against him.”

According to the Cubalex legal advice center, the list of detainees in the protests reached 949 people from July 11 to date, of whom 437 protesters are still in jail.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.