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Guillermo Fariñas Hernández

Guillermo “El Coco” Fariñas Hernández is a Cuban psychologist, journalist, and political dissident. He has spent more than 11 years in prison and conducted 23 hunger strikes to protest the Cuban regime, censorship, and attacks on freedom of speech. After serving in the military for more than a decade, Fariñas left to establish a mental health ward and adolescent clinic in Sancti Spíritus. He became the General Secretary of the Healthcare Workers’ Union and was sent to jail for the first time in 1995 after denouncing corruption within the hospital where he was employed. In 2003, he founded Cubanacan Press, an independent news agency aimed at raising awareness of the fate of political prisoners in Cuba. In 2006, Fariñas held a seven-month hunger strike to protest internet censorship in Cuba, which he ended later that year due to severe health problems. In 2015, Fariñas resumed his role as coordinator of the Foro Antitotalitario Unido. Fariñas has received numerous awards for his work, including Reporters Without Borders’ Cyber-Freedom Prize in 2006 and the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2010.

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