Raul Castro travels little and when he does he prefers politically like-minded countries. His absence in Cadiz was expected, as he has never gone to any Ibero-American summits. Perhaps he prefers to avoid possible critiques of the state of human rights on the island.
The Cuban opposition won this round, one to zero.
Although the neighborhood was calm, cars parked on both sides of the street sheltered men who closely inspected everyone who approached. Inside the house the feeling was one of relief, of victory.
As of Wednesday afternoon a total of 21 men and four women were among those refusing to ingest food. Nine of them are in prison.
On Saint Sylvester night few homes displayed parties or music, at least in Havana. But I felt relief that the year was ending. Of 2011, with its advances overstated by propaganda and its setbacks silenced, once was enough.
An acquaintance of my mother, who lives very near to a Lady in White, told her that they are under orders not to assault these women in light clothing with gladioli in their hands.
Minutes before taking his first drink of water, Farinas wrote out a statement announcing the suspension of his strike, a suspension that will become final if the government fulfills its promise of freeing the prisoners.