Cuban dissidents end hunger strike over colleague

AP News
Posted: Sep 18, 2012 8:47 PM

HAVANA (AP) — Supporters say a longtime Cuban dissident and her followers have abandoned a hunger strike on its eighth day after receiving word the government will meet their main demand.

Martha Beatriz Roque called off the strike when told the government would free little known dissident Jorge Vasquez, as she has demanded since Sept. 10.

Roque supporter Rosa Maria Naranjo read a communique to The Associated Press on Tuesday saying the protest had not been in vain.

The 67-year-old Roque is one of the best known figures in Cuba's small dissident community. Opposition members say more than two dozen others participated in the hunger strike.

Cuba's government considers all opposition members to be common criminals and stooges in the pay of Washington. It has had no public comment throughout the protest.