Dissident ‘Antunez’ suspends hunger strike

Cuban dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez on Thursday suspended an 11-day hunger strike, saying he wants to join planned street demonstrations in support of the pro-democracy struggle in Venezuela.

“This step I am taking today corresponds to the historic circumstances that Cuba and Venezuela are living today,” García Pérez, known as Antúnez, said in a telephone call with the Cuban Democratic Directorate in Miami.

He said the dissident group he leads, the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, plans to carry out a string of street protests from Thursday to Monday in support of Venezuelan students protesting against their government.

“During these days, Venezuelans and Cubans are united under one motto, ‘the streets belong to the people,”’ Garcia Perez said.

Students and other opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, a close Havana ally, have been staging street protests for several days that have left six dead.

García Pérez launched his hunger strike on Feb. 10 to demand the return of computers, USB flash drives, phone books and several other items that police seized during three searches this month of his home in Placetas, a town in the central province of Villa Clara.

His wife, Yris Perez, has said that police have been surrounding the home since late January, and that she’s afraid of going to her doctor’s office to check for a possible pregnancy because she fears that police will not allow her to return home.

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