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Mother of Murdered Cuban Prisoner of Conscience Brings His Remains to Eastern Cuba Home Despite Secret Police Deployment
By Cuban Democratic Directorate

Reina Luisa Tamayo Danger, mother of murdered prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

Reina Luisa Tamayo Danger, mother of murdered prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

Holguin. February 24, 2010. Cuban Democratic Directorate. Reina Luisa Tamayo Danger arrived at her home in Banes, Holguin with the remains of her son Orlando Zapata Tamayo despite pressure from the Castro regime insisting he be buried quickly in Havana. Amid a strong deployment of State Security forces, activists and other Cubans are heading to Reina’s home to join her for Zapata’s funeral.

“The Ladies in White are with me, as well as many brothers. But they [the regime] will know, if they do not allow Antúnez and many more brothers arrive, what this mother is made of!” stated Reina Luisa Tamayo Danger, referring to former political prisoner Jorge Luis García Pérez, usually known as “Antúnez," who is one of the leaders of the National Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience Front.

According to statements made by activist Martha Díaz Rondón, vice president of the Rosa Parks Feminist Movement for Civil Rights, members of the Communist regime’s repressive apparatus were detaining opposition activists as they approached Banes. Díaz Rondón added that the homes of many opposition activists throughout Cuba were sealed off by State Security perimeters, including those of Antúnez and his wife Iris Pérez Aguilera in Placetas, Villa Clara, and of Caridad Caballero Batista in Holguín. Pérez Aguilera is the president of the Rosa Parks Movement, of which Caballero Batista is also a member.

Other activists were detained yesterday, February 23, and remain in custody at political police units: Nestor Rodriguez Lobaina, Maiky Martorell Mayans, Cristian Toranzo Fundichely, and Isael Poveda Silva all remain under arrest.

Zapata Tamayo died on Tuesday afternoon, February 23, 2010, murdered by the Castro regime after an 80 day hunger strike demanding respect for his basic rights be guaranteed. “The abuses committed against Orlando Zapata Tamayo prove that torture and terror are inflicted upon the Cuban people are official policy under the Castro regime. His death is evidence of the practice of state terrorism,” stated Janisset Rivero, Adjunct National Secretary of the Cuban Democratic Directorate.

In October, 2009, Zapata Tamayo was brutally beaten by military personnel at Holguin provincial prison, causing an internal hematoma in his head so severe that Zapata Tamayo had to undergo surgery. He began his hunger strike on December 3, 2009, at Kilo 8 prison in Camagüey, classified in Cuba as employing a “maximum severity” prison regime. For 18 days, Major Filiberto Hernández Luis, the prison’s director, denied Zapata Tamayo drinking water, the only thing he was ingesting during the strike. The effect of this act of torture was to induce kidney failure. In mid-January, he was transferred to Amalia Simoni Hospital in the city of Camagüey, where he was left to languish nearly completely nude under intense air conditioning, causing him to contract pneumonia. Despite his critical health condition, the regime transferred him to the hospital at Combinado del Este prison, which did not have the equipment and conditions necessary to treat him.

The Cuban Democratic Directorate also underlines the fact that this crime joins a long list of atrocities committed by the Castro brothers which include thousands of executions by firing squad and countless cases of unjust imprisonment of Cuban citizens.

Zapata Tamayo’s death will not be in vain. It will illuminate the path of Cuba’s civic resistance until the Cuban people achieve their freedom.


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Directorio Democrático Cubano Cuban Democratic Directorate


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