Cuba rebuked by European Parliament over Zapata Tamayo's death

The European Parliament voted Thursday to condemn Cuba by a crushing margin over a hunger striker's death, and Spain's ruling Socialists later hinted they might trim back their bid to improve European ties with Havana.

The 509-30 vote drew an angry retort from Havana, saying it was the result of a "dirty debate" and "profound cynicism" by rich nations that opt for "consumerism" while Cuba helps poor nations like Haiti.

"A condemnation so discriminatory and selective can be explained only by the failure of a policy incapable of bringing a heroic people to its knees," declared Cuba's legislature, the National Assembly.

Meanwhile, Cuban dissident Guillermo Fariñas was rushed to a hospital Thursday, his 16th day of refusing food and liquids to demand the release of political prisoners. Fariñas fainted around 2 p.m. while friends and journalists were visiting him, and was taken by private car to the Arnaldo Milian Castro hospital in his hometown of Santa Clara, said his wife, Clara Pérez.

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