Famed Cuban Hunger Striker Visits CHC

Guillermo Fariñas Hernández is latest Cuban dissident to visit the noted collection.

(August 14, 2013) — With Cuba’s dissident movement growing, Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, a Cuban doctor of psychology and independent journalist who has conducted more than 20 hunger strikes over the years to protest various elements of the Castro regime, visited the University of Miami Libraries’ Cuban Heritage Collection on August 6, viewing a small exhibition of some of its rare books and documents and touring the collection’s stacks.

Fariñas said he was impressed with the CHC and urged librarians to continue collecting and preserving materials. “With work like this, one day the true history of [Cuba] can be restored for Cubans living on the island—not like it is now when historical facts are distorted and one-sided,” Fariñas said in Spanish.

He was the latest of a group of Cuban dissidents to visit UM. Earlier this year, Yoani Sánchez, a Cuban blogger known for her critical portrayal of life in Cuba under its current government; Berta Soler, co-founder of the Ladies in White; and Rosa María Payá, daughter of the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, visited the University.

Fariñas, who has been on a tour that includes several U.S. stops before going to Europe, visited the CHC at the invitation of Carlos P. Quintela, a member and former chair of the Amigos Board of Directors, the support and fundraising arm of the Cuban Heritage Collection.

Last month Fariñas visited UM’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies.

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María R. Estorino, Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair and head of the Cuban Heritage Collection, shows Fariñas some of the CHC’s rare holdings.

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