Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Orlando Zapata Tamayo

Yesterday Cuba lost one of its sons in a hunger strike claiming for what he was: a political prisoner in his country. Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience after his arrest in March 2003 in a crackdown on opposition groups.

His death marks the first time in nearly 40 years a Cuban activist starved himself to death to protest against government abuses and violations

His mother, Reina Luisa Tamayo, has been telling for too long that her son is being murdered by Cuba’s authorities, but no western media “heard” her voice.

"They managed to do what they wanted," she said. "They ended the life of a fighter for human rights.''

Orlando set a new precedent in the long history of violations in Cuba: another political prisoner who died on hunger strike in Cuba was Pedro Luis Boitel, a poet and student leader, who died in 1972.

What it could be a stunning revelation is Boitel was buried in an unmarked grave in the Colon Cemetery in Havana, a practice very popular in Castro’s regime to all of those who are executed under firing squad.

Today, we are missing one of Cuba’s guardian angels as human right activists. Today, Cuba is mourning.

Rest in Peace, Brother Orlando, your death won’t be in vain. We will claim Justice