Fariñas: Ball is on Castro's Court

Sunday, May 23, 2010
According to AFP:

Cuban dissident to end hunger strike if others freed

A Cuban opposition journalist said Saturday he was ready to end his nearly three-month hunger strike if the Cuban regime releases 10 political prisoners and agrees to a timeline to free others.

"When the number of those released reaches 10 and the Church tells me there is a timeline for others to be freed, I will end my strike," Guillermo Farinas told AFP via telephone from Santa Clara hospital in central Cuba, where he has been treated with an IV drip since March 11.

He said he had spoken to Catholic Church officials who agreed that "the government must take the first step, which must be the release of prisoners."

In his first ever meeting with Cuba's top two Church officials -- Cardinal Jaime Ortega and Episcopal Conference leader Archbishop Dionisio Garcia -- President Raul Castro said he was ready to consider resolving the thorny issue.

But Garcia said any talk about releasing them was off the table for now.