Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

Sept. 6, 1999.

MARTA'S LAWYER NOT SURE THAT HUNGER STRIKE IS ENDING By Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - Attorney Amelia Rodríguez, defense lawyer for Marta Beatriz Roque and Vladimiro Roca Antúnez, says she is not sure that Marta has interrupted her hunger strike. Roque and Roca are members of the Work Group of Four in-Cuba Dissidents along with René Gómez Manzano and Félix Bonne. The four have been in jail since July 16, 1997.

Attorney Rodríguez was found at home on the afternoon of Sept. 5. According to the foreign press, Marta Beatriz had agreed to end the hunger strike she started Sept. 2, if Lt. Col. Juan Soroa of the Office of State Security (OSS) promised Roque Cabello that after a week the OSS would agree to her demand and respond not only to her appeal of April 1999 - a month after the trial - but also to the appeals of the other dissidents.

Marta Beatriz stopped speaking and eating solids July 16 on the second year anniversary of the jailing of "The Four." After 48 days of such fasting and a vow of silence, in view of the fact that her appeal was unanswered, she went on a hunger strike.

None of the four drafters of the document "The Homeland Belongs to All Of Us" is able to benefit from any penal rights because the sentence has not been confirmed. This also prevents the defense from requesting changes and conditional liberty, to which according to prevailing Cuban law they now have a right.

Today, Sept. 6, at 8:30 a.m. attorney Rodríguez had planned to go to the Supreme Popular Tribunal and ask for a hearing with the president of the highest National Legislative Organ. Likewise the counselor has asked for an appointment with Officer Soroa. In both instances the lawyer wants to convey her fears as to the outcome of Marta's determination not to drink water or eat.

A few days ago, during her last visit, attorney Rodríguez found her client weak. "We communicated all the time in writing," she said. Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello, a woman with a strong character and personality, has asked her jail guards to allow a notary to write her last wishes in a testament. Up to today, this had been denied.

Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press.


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