Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Orlando Zapata Tamayo, 1967-2010. R.I.P.

Cuban political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo has died as a result of a hunger strike he began back in December 2009. He was only 42.

Zapata was one of the 75 Cuban dissidents jailed by Fidel back in March 2003 shortly after the War in Iraq begun. He was sentenced to 36 years in prison. Initially his sentence was only three years for "disobedience" but increased twelvefold after "acts of defiance" while in prison.

Zapata took these measures not to bring attention to his own plight but that of other Cuban political prisoners. Unfortunately, Zapata is not a cause célèbre amongst limosuine liberals. The only "political prisoners" in Cuba they care about are at Guantanamo Bay.

I cannot imagine being put in the kind of situation where I would be compelled to deny myself sustenance especially in an environment where I would require all of my physical and mental strength. But when one has nothing left to lose men will go to lengths even they had not imagined.

Yet it also illustrates the difference between noble martyrdom and ignoble martyrdom. Zapata sacrificed himself for what he believed to be a greater good. But he didn't take anyone else with him. The burden was his alone. Islamic terrorists by contrast not only sacrifice themselves but take as many people as they possibly can with them including women and children. Most of the people they take with them are those simply going about their business.

But has Zapata died in vain? Will his sacrifice spur other Cuban dissidents into action generating the international support necessary to bring pressure to bear against Raul Castro? Based on precedent, it is more likely that this will not come to pass. Yet often raw nerves are struck when you least expect it.


Unknown said...

Orlando Zapata Tamayo is a hero. He sacrificed his life for the freedom of Cuba. I hope someday the history condemns the communist regime and the dictators that have killed so many Cubans. Where are the people that believe in liberties? Why the ones, that guaranty the rights of the Islamic extremist to be judge in a civil court, do not condemn the Castro’s regime? Why the international community does not sanction the Cuban dictatorship as they did with the South Africa apartheid? Why Obama’s government is so concern about the Guantanamo prison and not about the Cuban prisons?

Gladys said...

Orlando Zapata Tamayo is another victim in the hands of the Cuban government. How long is it going to take the world to condemn the human rights violations in Cuba? How many people have to die? The death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo was a pre-meditated assasination of a man whose only crime was to demand the basic rights of any human being. The international community has sanctioned other countries for human rights violations but choose to look the other way when it comes to Cuba.

IT Support Orlando said...

Ornaldo Zapata Tamayo Is Great Person In This Decade. He's the Real Hero Like Cha Gu.... in Cuba.

"Política sem medo" said...


Lula, washes the hands before coming back to Brazil, our country does not deserve to have in its territory somebody with the impregnated hands of the blood of Zapata Tamayo!
Orlando Zapata defended the human rights in Cuba, his death served to that Lula one more time placed the dignity of the Brazilians of knees.
Lula said he never know about the letter of the opponents, as always.
As always Raul Castro blamed U.S.A. for the death of Zapata, and Lula folloied with docile and alcoholic smile.
“If these people had spoken with me before, would have asked for to stop and I, who knows, would have prevented that he died, Any way I moan that a person who leaves to die for a hunger strike”.
Lula, others will go to die, what you will make pra to prevent it?
A suggestion: It leans Fidel and Raul in the wall! Then you show that in our country we respect the Human Rights.
Thread the PNDH3 in the snout of the genocide dogs!
Lula be a man!
And I comment: Lula be a true man at least one time in your life!

Translated for Tereza from article: Cuba e Brasil - Fraternos Assassinos-
http://caranovanocongresso.blogspot.com/ do amigo Lord