14ymedio, Havana, 4 January 2016 – Government opponent Vladimir Bacallao Morera has ended his hunger strike, having begun to eat on 30 December, according to information received by 14ymedio from Librado Linares. The prisoner spent more than 80 days without eating to demand his release, after being condemned to four years imprisonment for the alleged crime of “injuries.”
“Last Wednesday they began to give him a serum, and this altered his consciousness and made him lose his will, and they began supplying food,” said Linares. Linares, the leader of the Cuban Reflection Movement (MCR), has not been able to visit the patient in the intermediate care unit at the Arnaldo Milian Provincial Hospital in Santa Clara, where he continues to be confined, be he spoke on repeated occasions with his family.
Morera Bacallao weighed less than 95 pounds as a result of the hunger strike demanding the annulment of his sentence. At present, according to reports from his family is in a state of physical recovery, and is “digesting well what he eats,” said Linares.
The opponent has put a sign on the facade of his house during the April 1915 People’s Power elections where he proclaimed, “I vote for my freedom and not in some elections where I cannot elect my president.”
The text unleashed the fury among the government rulers of the town of Manicaragua. In the midst of an act of repudiation against him the second secretary of the Communist Party in the municipality, Ivis Herrera, he fell after slipping on melted asphalt that had been thrown at the Bacallao Morera’s home. In the fall Herrera suffered a blow to the head that is the center of the allegations against Bacallao Morera.
This was the second time that the dissident declared a hunger strike after entering prison. During the first 40 days he remained without food, until officials promised to review his case. On 9 October he resumed fasting, and continued until the end of the year. To date, it is not known whether the decision to stops the hunger strike has been accompanied by a new commitment on the part of prison authorities to ease or overturn his conviction.
On Tuesday, the United States asked Havana to release the dissident given the deterioration of his health. US State Department spokesman Mark Toner told journalists that Washington was “deeply concerned” about Morera Bacallao deteriorating health, and called “urgently” for him to be freed from prison.