• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Cuban Dissident’s Death Should Renew Front Against Castro

    Cuban President Fidel Castro (L) and his brother Raul, chat on December 23, 2003 in Havana, during a meeting of the Cuban Parliament. Raul Castro succeeded his brother Fidel Castro as the president of Cuba on February 24, 2008, in a historic power shift expected to keep Havana firmly on its communist path, officials said.

    As noted before at the Foundry, the free expression that we take for granted in the United States is unknown to those living under the Castro regime. In a chilling reminder of the cold authoritarian repression that still exists only 90 miles from the American mainland, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a Cuban political prisoner, died Tuesday. His death came after he had initiated an 80-day hunger strike aimed at improving his conditions.

    Raul Castro made a rare motion of “lamenting” over the death of Zapata. In a depressingly predictable move, however, Castro managed to somehow lay the death of Zapata at the feet of the United States, inferring that tortures and executions only occur in Cuba at the Guantanamo Bay military base, which is of course controlled by the U.S.

    Zapata’s mother, Raina Luisa Tamayo Dangier, has not minced words in her response to her son’s death, stating in a testimony, “I think my son’s death was a premeditated murder. My son was tortured throughout his incarceration.” She also compared her son’s death to the death of Pedro Boitel, a Cuban poet opposed to the Castro regime who died during a hunger strike in 1972, before calling on “the world to demand the freedom of the other prisoners and brothers unfairly.”
    Spanish Prime Minister Jose Zapatero was surprisingly forthcoming on the issue. Speaking before the Spanish parliament, Zapatero declared that “we must demand that the Cuban regime restore the freedom of prisoners of conscience and respect human rights.”

    If Prime Minister Zapatero, a socialist who has worked to have the European Union remove sanctions toward Cuba, is willing to issue a clear condemnation of Cuba’s state repression of dissidents, there may be room for optimism.

    Michael Orion Powell is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. His views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Cuban Dissident’s Death Should Renew Front Against Castro

    1. Spiritof76, NH says:

      Why can't we send all the Hollywood anti-Americans to Cuba with a one-way tickets. How about the anti-capitalist capitalist Michael Moore? May be he will like the Cuban jail better.

    2. Tricia, Arizona says:

      I wonder why Michael Moore hasn't moved to Cuba… It's his utopia. He could relinquish his evil capitalist gains to his hero dictator, Castro. Surely there's a place for him in their government propaganda department. He'd have everything he needs. His idea of perfect health care provided by the state. All he would need to do to stay out of jail is to continue the propaganda against the country that gave him the opportunity to have so much, the United States of America.

    3. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      Isn't it amazing how Calif. with all it's high paid actors and actresses, is in finacial trouble. Why is this? well they don't pay taxes, probably don't pay federal either ot at least not fairly. I find it repulsive to see the likes of Ophra and others have BIG mansions in Calif. but they maintain another state as residence, states that don't have personal property tax or state income tax. Florida has homestead exemption BUT you must live in this house more than 6 mos of the year to claim this, there is also no state income tax or personal property tax, the fees for car tags are high but fair as based on size of car. Virginia has state Income tax, personal property on autos over 2,000 in value, all recreational vehicles and counties have taxes as well, asales tax of .05% as well. Calif. needs to shore up it's leak, Michael Moore probably owes a bundle.

    4. Boris Latinsky? Hayw says:

      I think there is really nothing people outside Cuba could do… Maybe similar tragedies have to happen 1,000 times before the Cuban people win back their freedom.

    5. Pingback: Raul Castro’s Orwellian Rhetoric | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.