Home > Miguel Iturria Savón > Signs of Death

Signs of Death

February 26, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

In Cuba, the media of mass communication omitted the death of the prisoner of conscience, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, one of the 75 defenders of human rights who were jailed during the Black Spring of 2003.  The news, without a doubt, has been circulating the entire world as of Tuesday, February 23rd, thanks to the independent communicators and the pages run by exiles who followed his state of health.

Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a native of Banes, in the province of Holguin, was 41-years-old.  He was on the 80th day of his hunger strike, protesting the beatings given to him by his jailers, who caused a blood clot in his brain last year.  In this grave state he was taken from Camaguey to the prison Combinado East Havana, from where then they sent him to die in Amejeiras Hospital.

Days before, half a hundred Cuban political prisoners solicited Luis Ignacio Lula, president of Brazil, to please intercede in the situation of Zapata Tamayo with the island’s leadership with whom he met with during the Rio Summit, which took place in Mexico.  Parallel to this, Ileana Ros-Lehtienen, US legislator of Cuban origin, asked for the intervention of Pope Benedict XVI.  Even the Spanish government, colloquist for the Castro brothers in Europe, expressed their concern during the meeting with officials of the island that took place in Madrid.

Zapata Tamayo’s sacrifice is another message of death under the Castro regime, a regime whose politics defeats the purpose of the efforts of President Obama of normalizing relations between Washington and Havana and discredits the Spanish government, bent on retiring the Common Position, adopted in 1996 by the European Union as a response to the peak of repression of the communist dictatorship.

The signs of violence against the peaceful protestors characterizes the government of Cuba, where there are 200 jails and almost 100,000 prisoners, of which hundreds are defenders of human rights.  The systematic repression runs parallel to the discourse of “external dangerousness” and the trading of revolutionary dispatches, which conceal the national erosion on behalf of the adventurers who hold power.

Although in January there were four political prisoners released from jail, three of them for completing sentences, the repressive actions confirm the violence of a government that denies the ratification of the bill of Human Rights, sponsored by the United Nations.  The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation documented 93 cases of detentions in December of 2009 and 113 in January 2010.

This intransigence is a message of death and desperation.  Orlando Zapata Tamayo is the latest victim.  The government opts for imposing fear within the island and defies the international community, for it is accustomed to surviving from isolation and the absence of communication with the world. Some allies and the control of the mass media is enough for them.

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