Testimony from Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s Mother

This afternoon, hours after the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Reinaldo and I were able to approach the Department of Legal Medicine, where autopsies are performed, in Boyeros Street.

A cordon of men from State Security were watching the place, but we managed to approach Reina, the mother of the deceased, and ask her the questions in the recording posted here.

Pain, indignation in our case… sadness and fortitude in hers.  Here is the recording, amateur and in very low light, but the heartbreaking testimony of an anguished mother.

English transcript of Yoani Sanchez video interview of Reina Tamayo, mother of Orlando Zapata Tamayo

Yoani Sanchez: We are here to express our condolences. We would like to know at what time did he pass away, what do you know about his last minutes, what are your feelings right now, and what is going to happen after he is released by the coroner?

Reina Luisa Tamayo Dangier: I am Reina Luisa Tamayo Dangier, the mother of prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo who was interned in the hospital of the Habana del Este Prison. Last night he was moved to the Hermanos Ameijeiras Hospital where he passed away at 3:00 PM.

I can tell you I feel a horrible pain, but I am holding on, enduring through this pain. I was able to be at his side until he passed away and now hope to have the courage to dress my son Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

We will leave for Banes, Holguin Province, Embarcadero road, house number six, where we will hold the wake before our family altar, at my home, for as long as required.

I want to tell the world about my pain. I think my son’s death was a premeditated murder. My son was tortured throughout his incarceration. His plight has brought me great pain and has been excruciating for the entire family. Even, as he was transferred to this prison, he was first held in Camaguey without drinking water for 18 days. My son dies after an 86-day hunger strike. He is another Pedro Boitel for Cuba. [Pedro Luis Boitel died in 1972 during a hunger strike while serving a 10-year prison sentence in Cuba]

In the midst of deep pain, I call on the world to demand the freedom of the other prisoners and brothers unfairly sentenced so that what happened to my boy, my second child, who leaves behind no physical legacy, no child or wife, does not happen again. Thank you!

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143 thoughts on “Testimony from Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s Mother

  1. El Inédito

    Homenaje a Orlando Zapata Tamayo

    Dormidos bajo una nube galena
    aún ebrios siguen
    sobre un lecho plumado, en almohadas
    babeadas, bocas de lenguas violadas
    y mudas;
    pestañas en ojos sin niñas,
    lagañas verdes y engomadas,
    orejas sin tímpanos, rellenas de cera
    dorada; vacío rojo, globo negro
    y ahumado,
    fue así como los dormidos dormían
    y aún duermen
    al llegar esta alba con tu despertar infinito.

    Y ya con aguja e hilos de silencio y ceguera,
    puesta tan innata y tal así como el respirar,
    sancionada por ley Caballar duermen
    en espejismo insular,
    urdiendo otra quimera se halla el tejedor prócer
    y sus suplentes en la faena feudal
    de la colonia el cordón,
    de ahí viene
    para apagar tu brillo morado
    que deslumbra desnudo al dormido

  2. ***
    May God bless the soul of brave Cuban Orlando Zapata Tamayo. May He bless his family in the time of his abuse and murder by the Castro government.
    ***
    It is a disgrace that our U.S. Congressional Black Caucus went to Cuba and praised Castro. Orlando is also Black. President Obama should condemn Cuba for this brave man’s death.
    ***
    And the murderers should stand trial and be hung for their crimes when Cuba becomes free again.
    ***
    Que Dios bendiga la alma del valiente Cubano Orlando Zapata Tamayo. Que El bendiga su famila en el tiempo de su abuso y matanza por el gobierno Cubano de Castro.
    ***
    Es un disgracia que el Grupo Negro del Congreso de los Estados Unidos fueran a Cuba y dieran “hosannas” a Castro. Orlando fue Negro tambien. Presidente Obama debia condenar Cuba por la muerte de este hombre valiente.
    ***
    Y los matadores debian estar en el corte y debian ser colgado por sus crimines cuando Cuba es un pais libre en el futuro.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  3. 138
    juan
    Febrero 28th, 2010 at 01:28

    Well Fraud – clearly you are too stupid to distinguish between NUMBERS and PERCENTAGES
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Dirty agent your problem has a name…. the name is Dyslexia…… Dyslexia is the disease (Category mental retarded maybe suits better to you) that affect the people that can’t read…… where in the Reuters news I posted talks percentage??????…… I can’t find it….. if you are so kind and show me those percentages you talk about IN MY LINK……. but do not come with gibberish…. I am talking about MY link about castrofascism figures of tourism last year and this year.

  4. The following was a statement posted on the website of U.S.Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, on his official Senate website:

    http://menendez.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=A7D6DFCB-F16E-4474-88DC-D01605AB2DC3

    Home > Newsroom >
    MENENDEZ STATEMENT OF CUBAN PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE ZAPATA
    February 24, 2010

    WASHINGTON – Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a Cuban pro-democracy activist and political prisoner, who was first incarcerated during the 2003 crackdown on dissidence known as the “Black Spring” – has died following a hunger strike protesting the Castro regime’s brutal abuses. Amnesty International had recognized Tamayo as a “Prisoner of Conscience.”

    U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement:

    “The Castro regime has more blood on its clenched hands. The story of Orlando Zapata Tamayo is tragically symbolic of the regime’s disdain for democracy, free speech and basic human freedoms – it is so opposed to these liberties that it imprisoned and let die this peaceful and principled man. This is a vivid reminder that, though the names have changed, the oppression and suppression by which this regime rules has not. Everyone who believes in human rights is mourning the death of Zapata. He sacrificed his life for the sake Cuban freedom. His struggle and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

    ###

  5. Well Fraud – clearly you are too stupid to distinguish between NUMBERS and PERCENTAGES. Clearly you are too either too ignorant or an intentional liar (given the handle “FRAUD” I guess which is clear) regarding exit visas from Cuba . And lastly you clearly are ILLITERATE or STUPID viz:

    “Cuban American travel to Cuba on the rise
    Marc Frank
    HAVANA
    WED MAY 2009 3:28pm EDTHAVANA (Reuters) – The number of Cuban Americans visiting Cuba is up 20 percent …..”

  6. 135
    juan
    Febrero 27th, 2010 at 20:18

    Privatized, US-based Selection of Issues”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Using your bended way it is perfectly possible affirm that castro has no credibility at all because first he were economically supported by USA while faking a war in Cuba’s mountains ….. and also were filled with “dirty money” of Cuban oligarchy …… not enough with that he were supported by thousands of millions dollars sent by USSR during decades and now his main monetary source is …… Miami’s Mafia!!!!!!!!!
    Are you not ashamed of sucking the soxs of such a discredit political prostitute????

  7. juan
    Febrero 27th, 2010 at 20:11

    Fraud…#119 And the PERCENTAGE of Cubans who travel legally out of Cuba compared with the PECENTAGE of those citizens of the USA who travel legally to Cuba is???
    BTW your figures are a year old ..’last year’ is actually 2008.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Don’t be silly little agent….. no one travel out Cuba as tourist but few relatives of Miami’s Cubans….. you can’t account them as tourists because the most of them stay at USA and become “permanent emigrants” (a ridiculous category castrofascism found to denominate those that escapes the horror)…….. And don’t be silly again, dirty agent, those figures are not “mine” but your beloved, discredited and bloody tyranny……. the thugs in charge of “regimen figures” gave the ciphers (to Reuters) for last year and this year (January and February) … can’t you read neither?????……. what more do you pretend to know?????….. next year figures?????….. impossible socotroco!!!!!

  8. Privatized, US-based Selection of Issues”

    “Human Rights Watch, however, is not funded by the US government. Yet it gets most of its funds from a variety of US foundations, in turn funded by many of the biggest US corporations. These wealthy, private foundations often tie their contributions to particular projects. So for example HRW’s Middle East reports often rely on and acknowledge grants from pro-Israel foundations. Other groups ask for a focus on women’s rights or HIV/AIDS issues. More than 90% of HRW’s US$100 million budget in 2009 was “restricted” in this way. In other words, HRW offers a privatized, US-based selection of rights issues catering to the wealthy”

    http://mrzine.monthlyreview.org/2010/anderson160210.html

  9. Fraud…#119 And the PERCENTAGE of Cubans who travel legally out of Cuba compared with the PECENTAGE of those citizens of the USA who travel legally to Cuba is???
    BTW your figures are a year old ..’last year’ is actually 2008.

  10. So not just Humbug has the identity problem – alternating posts b/n humbug/enema. Now we have Fraud/Juan2 #130/#131. Or are all 4 just the one person? That would explain the identical echoes.

  11. UK PRESS ASSOCIATION: Cuba acknowledges dissident’s death

    State-owned media has reported the death of a jailed, dissident hunger striker, acknowledging four days after the fact a story most Cubans had already heard through word of mouth.

    Writing in the Communist Party daily Granma, a government essayist accused opposition groups and “forces of the counterrevolution” of making a martyr out of Orlando Zapata Tamayo when he was actually a common criminal.

    “Cuban mercenaries can be detained and tried according to applicable laws – in no country can you violate the law,” Enrique Ubieta Gomez wrote.

    Zapata Tamayo died on Tuesday after refusing solid food for weeks. Imprisoned in 2003 for disrespecting authority, he was eventually sentenced to 25 years for activism behind bars and was considered a “prisoner of conscience” internationally.

    Cuba tolerates no official opposition to its single-party communist system and dismisses dissidents and political activists as paid agents of Washington, out to topple the government.

    Zapata Tamayo was originally held in his native eastern Cuba before being transferred to Havana and later admitted to hospital just before his death.

    The case sparked an international outcry, and President Raul Castro took the unprecedented step of expressing public regret – but denied that Zapata Tamayo was mistreated.

    In the article, Ubieta Gomez wrote that foreign governments and international media were exploiting the death to criticise Cuba.

    He voiced similar complaints on a government web site on Thursday. However the Granma story was the first word of Zapata Tamayo’s death in the mainstream Cuban press, which is entirely state-run.

    Most Cubans had already heard the news through word on the street, US television broadcasts received via illegal satellite links or contact with family and friends overseas.

    http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5i6y69ZbYeojNigg8l2WSLmWSe02g

  12. John Two
    Febrero 27th, 2010 at 12:31

    juan #122, Monthly Review has ZERO credibility when it comes to human rights anywhere in the world.

    Over its history, Monthly Review has on its pages defended some of the biggest mass murderers in human history (Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Milosevic as well as Fidel Castro). And you cite them as a source for your point of view?

    Rest in peace Orlando Zapata Tamayo.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Castrofascism agent would gladly take as source of information the very Hell if needed….. jajajajajaja

  13. juan #122, Monthly Review has ZERO credibility when it comes to human rights anywhere in the world.

    Over its history, Monthly Review has on its pages defended some of the biggest mass murderers in human history (Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Milosevic as well as Fidel Castro). And you cite them as a source for your point of view?

    Rest in peace Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

  14. HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
    Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo, Toronto, and Washington D.C.[2]

    Human Rights Watch was founded under the name Helsinki Watch in 1978 to monitor the former Soviet Union’s compliance with the Helsinki Accords. Helsinki Watch adopted a methodology of publicly “naming and shaming” abusive governments through media coverage and through direct exchanges with policymakers. By shining the international spotlight on human rights violations in the Soviet Union and its vassal states in Eastern Europe, Helsinki Watch contributed to the democratic transformations of the region in the late 1980s.[citation needed] Americas Watch was founded in 1981 while bloody civil wars engulfed Central America. Relying on extensive on-the-ground fact-finding, Americas Watch not only addressed perceived abuses by government forces, but applied international humanitarian law to investigate and expose war crimes by rebel groups. In addition to raising its concerns in the affected countries, Americas Watch also examined the role played by foreign governments, particularly the United States government, in providing military and political support to abusive regimes. Asia Watch (1985), Africa Watch (1988), and Middle East Watch (1989) were added to what was then known as “The Watch Committees.” In 1988, all of the committees were united under one umbrella to form Human Rights Watch.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Rights_Watch

  15. CUBA IS TAKING ITS TOYS AND NOT COMING TO PLAY IN THE SANDBOX!! GOOD! GET OUT OF HERE! TRYING TO DIVERT THE ATTENTION FROM THE ORLANDO ZAPATA MURDER! NOT WORKING!

    NY TIMES: Cuba Withdraws From Caribbean Games

    By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Published: February 26, 2010
    Cuba will not attend the Central American and Caribbean Games in Puerto Rico this summer because it is unhappy with visa restrictions and other regulations.

    The Cuban Olympic Committee said it was forced into the decision by the “failure to meet demands” presented by organizers of the games, which begin July 17 in Mayaguez.

    Those demands included extending visas to all officials Cuba wanted to bring, providing adequate security and not subjecting the Cuban delegation to extra screening after the United States imposed stricter airline security measures on Cubans and citizens from 13 other nations.

    Puerto Rican authorities said the communist Cuban government was simply making a political statement.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/sports/global/27sportsbriefs-cuba.html

  16. MIAMI HERALD: Castros equal-opportunity oppressors

    “The Cuban revolution was supposed to have fought for people like Zapata, a poor, black Cuban from the countryside for whom Fidel Castro pledged his sensibilities and his struggle.

    The irony, of course, is that Cuba’s black population has borne the brunt of the Castro brothers’ iron-fisted, intransigent rule. Tragically, this has occurred mostly under the complicit silence and with the tacit support of many African-American political leaders.

    Along with Zapata, many of Cuba’s most prominent opposition leaders are black. This fact challenges the long-held Castro propaganda that presents dissenters as disgruntled rich, white, landowning Batistianos (supporters of previous dictator Fulgencio Batista — interestingly enough, of mixed race himself).

    Upon quickly reflecting on this propaganda one has to immediately question how old (if they are still living) must former land-owning Bastistianos be?

    I’m appalled that 51 years into this disastrous mess someone would still buy into the ludicrous premise that the opposition within Cuba is nothing but a disenfranchised, geriatric band of Batista acolytes. That silly notion is defied by Afro-Cuban opposition leaders like Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez (Antunez) and the now deceased Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

    In fact, the Cuban opposition is now a rainbow coalition of sorts, as women such as former political prisoner Martha Beatriz Roque and blogger Yoani Sánchez have become prominent figures in the movement”

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/02/27/1503052/castros-equal-opportunity-oppressors.html

  17. 121
    juan
    Febrero 27th, 2010 at 02:41

    #119 And the percentage of Cubans who travel legally out of Cuba compared with the percentage of those from the USA who travel legally to Cuba is???
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    People from USA traveling to Cuba??? 85,000 last year and so far this year arrivals have been about 40,000…. according to the tyranny.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5456O820090506

    Tourist leaving Cuba….. scattered, few, too little, just the few rafters that dare risk their life to escape tyranny.

  18. Orlando Mendoza Tamayo eres un heroe tremendo valor hay que tener para escapar de cuba como tu lo has hecho .pasaras a la historia como uno de los grande. Tus enemigo tiembla quin lo iba a decir que el presidente de Brazil el que llego sobre los hombros de los pobres no te defendio cuando pudo darte una mano

  19. •el domingo a las 2.00pm en la calle 8 y la 13

    NO PODEMOS FALTAR A ESA CITA PARA HONRAR LA ACCION DE UNO DE LOS CUBANOS MAS VALEROSO DE LA HISTORIA CUBANA, ORLANDO MENDOZA TAMAYO, VAMOS A REBENTAR LA CALLE 8 CON NUESTRA PRESENCIA. QUE INTERNACIONALMENTE SUENE, QUE SEA LA CONCENTRACION MAS GRANDE DE LA SEGUNDA CIUDAD DE CUBA, MIAMI, INVITAMOS TAMBIEN A TODOS LOS LATINOS, HONDURENOS, COLOMBIANOS, BORICUAS, DOMINICANOS, HAITIANOS, NICAS, TODOS SIN EXCEPCION Y AL GOBIERNO DE LOS EU, EXILIADOS Y EMIGRANTES EN ESTE MOMENTO TODOS UNIDOS, QUE LA DICTADURA CASTRISTA SIENTA QUE ES EXTEMPORANEA Y QUE DEBE PASAR AL BASURERO, QUE SIENTA LA FUERZA OPOSITORA, QUE EL TEMOR LE PENETRE EN LOS HUESOS. ABAJO LOS CASTROS Y SUS CRIMENES

  20. #119 And the percentage of Cubans who travel legally out of Cuba compared with the percentage of those from the USA who travel legally to Cuba is???

  21. THIS IS THE TRUTH OF THE CUBAN PEOPLE! MY PEOPLE! AND THIS AVALANCHE WILL BURRY THE LIES AND DISTORTIONS WITH “THE TRUTH” NOT A “BROKEN RECORD”!

    THE WASHINGTON POST: Imprisoned for ‘dangerousness’ in Cuba
    By Nik SteinbergSaturday, February 27, 2010

    “Click. And then silence.

    It was the sound I dreaded in my calls to Cuba. As I gathered testimony from relatives of political prisoners, I never knew what an abrupt end to the call meant.

    Had the Cuban intelligence services cut the line, or was it just the shoddy phone system? I would call back immediately, often getting a busy signal or a recorded message that the number was not in service. If I found out what had happened, it was usually days or weeks later.

    “A neighbor dropped by to check on me, someone sospechoso.”

    “I don’t know, my phone just stopped working.”

    For months I made — and lost — these calls. Because Cuba does not allow visits from human rights groups, we are forced to gather information from phone interviews, reports from local groups and the rare copies of prison sentences smuggled out by visiting relatives.

    For nearly five decades, Fidel Castro silenced virtually all forms of dissent in Cuba, locking up anyone who dared to criticize his government. After ailing health forced him to hand control to his younger brother in 2006, many hoped that repression would ease. But Raúl Castro has allowed scores of political prisoners arrested under Fidel to languish. One of those, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, died last week after an 85-day hunger strike, which he had undertaken to protest the conditions in which he was held.

    “Under Cuba’s “dangerousness” law, authorities can imprison people who have not committed a crime on the suspicion that they might commit one in the future. “Dangerous” activities include handing out copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, writing articles critical of the government and trying to start an independent union.”

    “My organization repeatedly sought permission to visit Cuba but never received a response. Eventually, we decided to go anyway. To minimize risks, we told no one we were coming. Last summer a colleague and I rented a car in Havana and drove east, conducting interviews along the way. We stayed nowhere for longer than a day.

    When we arrived at the Velásquez home on the outskirts of Las Tunas, only René was there. Bárbara was on her way back from visiting Ramón in prison, he said.

    We sat in a small kitchen with a dirt floor. Inside were two small chairs, a worn wooden table and a single-burner gas stove. A door opened on a room just big enough to fit a mattress and a dresser.

    René told us he had not been on the march and did not consider himself political. But shortly after his father’s arrest, he came home to find “Death to the worms of house 58,” his family’s address, spray-painted on the nearby bus stop. A week later, he was fired from his longtime hospital job. Members of the local “revolutionary defense committee” — the neighborhood association connected with the Communist Party — insulted him in the street and tried to pick fights. A man was assigned to watch him and his mother; he stood on their corner and followed them as they came and went.

    René’s girlfriend stopped talking to him on her parents’ orders. So did most of his friends, who were warned by police that they would find themselves in trouble if they kept hanging around a “counterrevolutionary.”

    “It’s like having someone plant a boot right in the middle of my chest and applying so much pressure I can hardly breathe,” René told us. “Some days I wake up and I think: I have nothing. I am nobody. I have no dreams left for my future.” We encountered this profound sense of isolation time and again in visits with the families of political prisoners.

    Soon Bárbara arrived from her five-hour journey. Exhausted, she talked for a few minutes and then went to lie down.

    “For weeks after they arrested my father, she didn’t leave that bed,” René whispered. The upside, he said, laughing, was that he’d been forced to teach himself to cook.

    When we left, René insisted on walking us to our car. We headed down the dirt road outside their home, past neighbors who stopped their conversations and stared, and past the man on the corner, who trailed a few yards behind us. When we reached the car, René hugged us and asked us to pass a message to his sister, to whom he hadn’t spoken in months: “Tell her we’re fine — not to worry.”

    As we drove away, I looked in the rearview mirror. René turned around and walked home, past the watchful gaze of his neighbors.”

    The writer is a researcher with the Americas division of Human Rights Watch.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/02/26/AR2010022604901.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

  22. once again Mr. Broken Record, get Raul to lift the travel ban imposed on Cubans. Let the Cubans go taste the freedom and capitalism.

  23. EVEN LULA DA SILVA IS GETTING HEAT AT HOME FOR HIS CALLOUS HANDLING OF THE ORLANDO TAMAYO DEATH AND HIS SILENCE ON HUMAN RIGHTS. EXCELLENT ARTICLE!

    BRAZZIL MAGAZINE:Brazil’s Lula in Havana, on the Side of the Perpetrators
    Written by O Estado de S. Paulo
    Friday, 26 February 2010 14:30

    “They are of a shameful cynicism the comments by president Lula on the death of Cuban activist Orlando Zapata Tamayo, which occurred hours before his fourth visit to the island since taking office. Tamayo, a 42-year-old mason, was one of 75 dissidents sentenced in 2003 to up to 28 years in prison.”

    “Lula managed to surpass dictator Raúl Castro on cynicism and mockery. Castro said that Tamayo “was taken to our best hospitals.” In fact, only last week, already semi-conscious, they transferred him from the maximum security prison in Camaguey to Havana. And only on Monday he was taken to a hospital.

    The outcome was anything but a surprise to their tormentors. Days earlier, the Spanish authorities had expressed their concern about the situation of Tamayo, during a human rights meeting with envoys from Cuba.

    He died because they left him die. They could, but they didn’t want to feed him intravenously. “It was a murder with judicial airs,” summarized Elizardo Sanchez, leader of the illegal but tolerated Cuban Commission for Human Rights.

    Lula on the other hand practically blamed Tamayo for his own death. When he finally agreed to talk about the matter, without disguising his irritation, the self-named driver of the Brazilian “hyperdemocracy” and recent enactor of the National Human Rights Program said to be deeply sorry “that a person let himself die by a hunger strike,” noting that he is opposed to this kind of protest, which he had used (when, as a trade unionist, was arrested by the military regime).”

    “Lula has denied having received the correspondence. “People need to stop the habit of writing letters, keeping them and then saying that they sent them to other people,” he complained. And with a touch of refinement in his own cynicism, concluded: “If these people had spoken to me before, I would have asked him to stop the strike and perhaps this would have prevented his death.”

    Apart from the lack of elementary human solidarity that his words show in the open – he said he could be accused of anything but that – the coincidence of Lula’s visit with the tragedy of Tamayo left him exposed to the eyes of the world – and not exactly the way that makes him so flattered.

    The death of a “prisoner of conscience,” his mother’s statement that he was tortured and the outbreak of repression that followed – the arrest of dozens of Cubans to prevent them from attending the funeral of the dissident in his native village – transform an episode already sordid in an international scandal.”

    Lula is part of it for fraternizing with the perpetrators of a continuous crime that has lasted 51 years.

    http://www.brazzil.com/component/content/article/215-february-2010/10361-brazils-lula-in-havana-on-the-side-of-the-perpetrators.html

  24. “Travel and credit ban on tyranny is today more strongly consider as necessary and ethically justified than ever..” that might be your hope reasonable or otherwise Fraud but is not the view of e.g. Congressman James P. McGovern, the Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission; Amnesty International, Centre for Democracy in Americas and The Washington Post seems at best ambivalent but I guess they are all ‘castro agents”.

    Don’t let a few facts get in the way of rheteric. Feeling good in hate is much more productive than actually doing anything.

  25. One thing castrofascism supporters can be sure after Tamayo dead and the following chain reaction it started in the world and in Cuba:
    Travel and credit ban on tyranny is today more strongly consider as necessary and ethically justified than ever…… even those that before doubted about this are now firmly convinced about the necessity of maintain the sanctions and even try to add to them other countries.
    The few tyranny workers in US congress and senate (Rangel, McGovern, etc) are today more isolated and theirs positions are weaker than ever.
    It is notorious the case of an active castrofascism supporter with name McCauliff, president of an businessman organization that worked for sanctions lifting in several sites in the web and now is vanished.
    The only people that continues working as hard as ever are castro’s agents in the web.

  26. THE NEW YORK TIMES: Dissident’s Death Ignites Protest Actions in Cuba
    By MARC LACEY-Published: February 26, 2010

    MEXICO CITY — “The death of a jailed Cuban dissident this week after a long hunger strike has led to a surge of criticism of the Cuban government and prompted several other dissidents to announce that they will begin forgoing food to press for political change in a nation that allows little public dissent.

    At least four prisoners who were arrested as part of a mass roundup of dissidents in 2003 along with the dead dissident, Orlando Zapata Tamayo — who stopped eating solid foods on Dec. 3 to protest his detention and died on Feb. 23 — have begun their own hunger strikes, according to human rights activists.

    A fifth hunger striker, an outspoken psychologist and independent journalist, has joined them, according to activists on the island.

    Freedom House, an organization that ranks countries on their level of freedom and considers Cuba “not free,” called Mr. Zapata the first prisoner in Cuba to die by starving himself since Pedro Luis Boitel, a student leader and poet, did so in 1972.

    The death of Mr. Zapata, who was not widely known in Cuba but was labeled a “prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International, has forced Cuban authorities to engage in damage control.

    Cuba’s critics place responsibility for Mr. Zapata’s death on the Castro government, with his mother, Reina Luisa Tamayo, accusing government officials of murder. Mr. Zapata, 42, had been denied water during his hunger strike for an extended period while being held at a maximum security prison in the eastern province of Camagüey, causing kidney failure, Cuban human rights officials have said. He later developed pneumonia at a Camagüey hospital before being sent to a prison hospital in Havana, where he died, activists say.”

    “Granma, the state newspaper, did not mention Mr. Zapata’s death, but it featured an article on Friday that deplored prison conditions in the United States.

    Mr. Zapata’s declining health was widely known as his hunger strike extended into its 11th week, and American officials said they raised the issue with their Cuban counterparts at previously scheduled talks over immigration held in Havana on Feb. 19, just four days before he died.

    Hunger strikes, which are not uncommon in Cuban prisons, typically prompt reprisals by the authorities, said Human Rights Watch, citing the case of Yordis García Fournier, who stopped eating for more than a month in 2008 and was placed in solitary confinement and prevented from receiving family visits.

    “Left with no other remedy for abuses, political prisoners routinely undertake hunger strikes and other drastic measures to call attention to their treatment,” the organization said in a report released late last year that criticized Raúl Castro as being as aggressive toward political prisoners as his predecessor and brother, Fidel Castro.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/world/americas/27cuba.html

  27. Well Self Paradody to reproduce the very same article as was referred to in #106 does seem a tad illogical. But at least you are consistent in that so thanks for adding to the “broken record”.”Always the same (tell that to the Washington Post) quotes” and then you re-post them!

    Note McGovern’s comment that “We need to travel freely to the island to meet and learn from them, and they from us” was made AFTER Zapata’s death.

    So yes YOUR policies are the real “broken record” – 48 years of Embargo – been very sucessful in achieving change hasn’t it? OOPS but you argue NOTHING has changed! But surely that is no reason to come up with anything new is it?

  28. Juan,

    I am giving you a nickname for you to use! “DISCO RAYAO” for those who dont speak spanish is “broken record”. Always the same quotes over and over! I hate to tell you buddy but any more movement on the embargo issue will have to be made by Cuba and it will need to involve Human Rights.

    BAD TIMING

    With unfortunate timing, new legislation was proposed on the day of Zapata’s death that would do just that by ending a general ban on U.S. travel to Cuba and making it easier for Cuba to buy food from the United States.

    “I have always felt — and continue to believe — that if we are truly going to do a better job of standing with the Cuban people, then we need to be closer to them,” Democratic Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts said in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    “We need to travel freely to the island to meet and learn from them, and them from us,” he said.

    A similar problem is facing Spain, which is currently presiding over the European Union and has pushed to remove a clause from the EU’s common position on Cuba urging democracy and greater respect for human rights on the island.

    Havana has said the clause is an obstacle to full normal relations with the 27-nation bloc.

    Under pressure from Spanish media, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a socialist and long-time advocate of close ties with Havana, lamented Zapata’s death and demanded that Cuba free political prisoners and respect human rights.

    “That is a fundamental demand of the entire international community,” he said in the Spanish parliament.

    NAIL IN COFFIN

    Perez-Stable said Zapata’s death would likely put the nail in the coffin of Spain’s efforts to improve EU-Cuba ties.

    “Havana should forget about the EU lifting the common position,” she said.

    Cuba watchers said the dissident’s death was a setback for the Cuban government’s diplomatic efforts to bring pressure to bear on the United States to drop the embargo.

  29. post the pictures juan. prove us where you live and work. there is no way that someone who escaped the regime could post the propaganda that your are posting. putting a nice ribbon a piece of crap won’t transform it into a nice present. that’s what you are trying to do here on this website. I lived under tyrant and every single day I daydreamed about the freedom, about the day when it will come and about the death of tyrant and his peers. I believe there are 10 millions in cuba dreaming the same. there is also maybe 1 mil. more ore less that have nightmares about that day because they are like you the defenders of a defunct system. Yeah I agree that Batista was a crook and he was just there for himself. 50 years later you cubans are back to square one. ANIMAL FARM story with human characters. Which animal are you juan ??

  30. Yep The Washington Post sure is a “communist piece of shit”!

    Ah the continuing intellectual rigour is quite astounding….again thanks for this summary from #45

    “For many, including myself, this “you’re either with us or against us” way of viewing Cuba is what makes it so difficult to have any kind of appreciation for the hardliner positions or beliefs. For many Cuban hardliners, there is no room for disagreement on anything and for those who do disagree, only ostracism and smear.”

  31. At this time of crisis, juan, cubano et comp. are holding numerous meetings with their bosses in Havana trying to come up with a strategy of attacking the information that is surrounding the death of a true hero. Clearly the anti-embargo message is not appropriate so juan needs to load his guns with a different propaganda.

    juan, you communist piece of sh/t, who don’t you grow some balls and post some pictures with your workplace…..we want to see how you and your comrades are torturing the crowd that was arrested since the death of Zapata.

  32. “In that spirit, and in this very same week, a forward-looking and bipartisan group of Congress Members introduced legislation to promote U.S. food sales to Cuba and to permit free travel for all Americans to Cuba.

    Rather than standing just symbolically with Cubans at a distance, as those who embrace the Cuba embargo and all of its facets continue to ask us to do, these legislators believe – and we agree – that the better, more courageous, and ultimately more effective course is to stand with them literally, in person, in their country, and to put food produced here in America on their kitchen tables across Cuba. Actions like these would reflect the best of our values and provide precisely the kind of sustenance and support that the Cuban people deserve.”

    http://cubacentral.wordpress.com/

  33. “But then, we part company with those who will reach for reasons to justify their abiding faith in what has failed before. The Washington Post did that this morning in an editorial on Orlando Zapata’s death. In keeping with the quality and tone of their general thinking on Latin America, they referred to U.S. policy makers and foreign leaders as “Castro lovers” for urging a new approach to the policy on Cuba, while eliding the fact that he died with nearly all of the old policy in place and unchanged.

    Congressman James P. McGovern, the Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, said these words on the House Floor which strike us as much closer to the mark:

    Zapata Tamayo paid the ultimate sacrifice for his commitment to changing Cuba’s system. He commands our respect. No one has starved himself to death in a Cuban prison in over forty years. Surely the Cuban government could have and should have intervened earlier to prevent this tragedy. His death is on their conscience.

    I have always felt – and continue to believe – that if we are truly going to do a better job of standing with the Cuban people, then we need to be closer to them and in greater numbers. We need to travel freely to the island to meet and learn from them, and they from us. I hope that day comes soon so we can tell all the Cuban people that we remember the sacrifice of Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

    We could not agree more.”
    http://cubacentral.wordpress.com/

  34. Julio, you just nailed it !!!
    Yubano, I totally forgot about Mao, although he had more time on hand compared to pol pot.

  35. Humberto Capiro the statement on 102 about ” Prisoner death a setback in Cuba-U.S. relations”
    indicates that maybe just maybe this death was something the Cuban regime wanted to happen so that they will not have to negotiate with Americans and that they can still claim US as enemy. They always find a way to stop negotiations!

    What a horrible and brutal tyranny

    Shame on those that still support them in any way.

    Shame on those that try to make money out of the Cuban people misery.

  36. I was moved to write on this topic in today’s (Saturday) Spanish El País, and the IHT translation may be found at (lower left, page 2)
    http://www.elpais.com/misc/herald/herald.pdf
    For the record, this is the note, slightly edited:
    The frugal and belated crocodile tears from what passes for a government in Spain over the plight of political prisoners in Cuba impresses nobody, given the determination of Zapatero dismantle even token support within the EU for the Castros’ 2003 victims. And da Silva’s nauseating sycophancy towards the “exceptionally well” Fidel, together with Brazil’s bankrolling of the tyranny, shows similar moral bankruptcy over there. Raul “the Terrible’s” predictable response to platitudinous pleas to “respect human rights” has been to round-up even more innocents and to persecute Orlando Zapata’s family even to his graveside. To float to the top in Cuba, the Stalinist scum has to divest itself of every shred of humanity and it has no “better nature” to which to appeal. As for commerce and financial support: the $60 billion that the Soviets pumped into the island served only to keep the people in tyranny and destitution, and further resources will merely prolong their suffering.

  37. REUTERS: Prisoner death a setback in Cuba-U.S. relations
    HAVANA (Reuters) – When Cuban political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo died this week on an 85-day hunger strike, hopes for near-term improvement in U.S.-Cuba relations may have died with him, political experts said on Friday.

    His death in a protest against prison conditions added to tensions caused by the arrest of an American contractor in Cuba and made the political climate tougher for diplomatic and legislative moves to improve ties with the island, they said.
    “For the time being all bets are off regarding further progress in U.S.-Cuba relations,” said Marifeli Perez-Stable, a Cuba analyst at Florida International University in Miami.

    Zapata’s death prompted indignant statements in Washington, where long-time opponents of communist Cuba said it showed the United States must not appease the government of President Raul Castro by easing the 48-year trade embargo against the island, the cornerstone of U.S.-Cuba policy.

    “Let us take his sad and untimely death and renew our commitment to assure that the Cuba of the future is rid of the failed ideology which killed this brave man,” said Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.

    For supporters of a thaw in relations with Cuba, Zapata’s death makes it harder for them to make their central argument — that the best way to encourage change in Cuba is to get closer to the island.

    BAD TIMING

    With unfortunate timing, new legislation was proposed on the day of Zapata’s death that would do just that by ending a general ban on U.S. travel to Cuba and making it easier for Cuba to buy food from the United States.

    “I have always felt — and continue to believe — that if we are truly going to do a better job of standing with the Cuban people, then we need to be closer to them,” Democratic Representative Jim McGovern of Massachusetts said in the U.S. House of Representatives.

    “We need to travel freely to the island to meet and learn from them, and them from us,” he said.

    A similar problem is facing Spain, which is currently presiding over the European Union and has pushed to remove a clause from the EU’s common position on Cuba urging democracy and greater respect for human rights on the island.

    Havana has said the clause is an obstacle to full normal relations with the 27-nation bloc.

    Under pressure from Spanish media, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a socialist and long-time advocate of close ties with Havana, lamented Zapata’s death and demanded that Cuba free political prisoners and respect human rights.

    “That is a fundamental demand of the entire international community,” he said in the Spanish parliament.

    NAIL IN COFFIN

    Perez-Stable said Zapata’s death would likely put the nail in the coffin of Spain’s efforts to improve EU-Cuba ties.

    “Havana should forget about the EU lifting the common position,” she said.

    Cuba watchers said the dissident’s death was a setback for the Cuban government’s diplomatic efforts to bring pressure to bear on the United States to drop the embargo.

    Cuba’s small dissident community, meanwhile, vowed to step up demands for democratic change on the island, so that Zapata will not have died in vain.

    On Friday, five dissidents — four of them currently in prison — announced they had begun hunger strikes aimed at forcing the government to free political prisoners.

    “This death weighs on the heart of all of us,” said leading dissident Oswaldo Paya.

    “This is a before and after. We’re not going to use violence, but the government is sending a dangerous message to the Cuban people,” Paya said.

    (Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell in Washington; editing by Jeff Franks and Tom Brown)

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61P53420100226

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