Last week Journalism.co.uk reported that journalist and Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas had been awarded the European Parliament’s Sakharov human rights prize for 2010. In his battle against violations of free speech Fariñas has carried out more than 20 hunger strikes, according to the European Parliament, including a four month strike which ended in July this year.
Today Reporters Without Borders published an interview with Fariñas, with his responses translated into English, where he discusses his feelings on being awarded the prize, the current situation in Cuba and the challenges for independent journalists in the country.
We have no Internet. We have no Internet connection. Most of the Cuban population does not have an Internet connection either. But, for example, I have ten memory cards and everything we write, I give it to a university academic. And this academic circulates the memory cards throughout the university and people fill them up, they fill them up. As a result, people are beginning to think, and that is important. But thanks to universities that have Internet access, such as Havana University, when you travel by train or car or bus, suddenly people tell you, “I know you,” or “I liked that article by you” or “I have it here.” It is incredible. Because technology undermines dictatorships.