The left stamps on the Cuban heels 1

In our post Torture and death in Cuba (February 27, 2010), we said we would watch hopefully to see if the death of the political prisoner Orlanda Zapata Tamayo, who went on hunger-strike in a Cuban prison and was ultimately tortured to death, would “galvanize the pro-democracy movement”, and if it did, to what result.

Now Investor’s Business Daily brings us this report:

The death of a dissident on a hunger strike last month is still sending shock waves to Cuba’s regime. Cuba’s global support is falling away

It may be the end of the Cuban regime, but something changed when Orlando Tamayo Zapata, a political prisoner, died in a hunger strike last month. Tamayo, a construction worker, was arrested in the 2003 “Black Spring” wave of arrests against 75 democracy activists, drawing a sentence of 25 years. His hunger strike called attention to the plight of Cuba’s political prisoners.

When the Castro regime let him die, they assumed that his demise was the end of it and he’d be forgotten, same as all the others.

But it didn’t happen that way. Inside Cuba, other dissidents began hunger strikes. The Castroites also beat up dissident wives known as Ladies in White, who marched to protest the arrests of the 75.

There are signs that the regime is running scared since the death, but the biggest impact seems to be coming from abroad.

Outgoing President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica unexpectedly lashed out first against Tamayo’s death. Brazil’s center-right opposition, in the heat of a coming election, blasted Brazil’s outgoing president, Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, for backslapping with the Castro brothers in Havana the day the dissident died. Opposition politicians in Spain and Argentina also criticized their own governments for aiding the regime. And in Spain, a poll by Elcano Royal Institute released Thursday showed that 72% of Spaniards believe there’s not enough international human rights pressure on Cuba.

Another blow came Monday, when Chilean President Sebastian Pinera declared: “My government will do whatever it can to re-establish democracy in Cuba.”

Even more striking, Chile’s opposition socialist parties condemned for the first time Cuba’s treatment of its political prisoners. In the past, the socialists had always looked the other way.

Now the cultural establishment is stepping up: Prominent entertainers like actor Andy Garcia, singer Gloria Estefan, actress Maria Conchita Alonso and others are leading rallies and showing films that are critical of the Castro regime.

Chilean novelist Isabel Allende appealed for the release of the political prisoners. [That really surprises us – JB]

In Spain, film director Pedro Almodovar and novelist Mario Vargas Llosa wrote an open letter to Castro called “I accuse the Cuban government.”

With so many stars of the International Left leading the way, even the American Dictator found it politic to follow:

In light of this, President Obama’s added voice to growing global calls for human rights in Cuba is powerful, even if it’s just following the crowd. It means that the international apologists on the left who’ve justified Castro over the years are growing scarce, leaving Castro’s regime isolated — and perhaps answerable for its crimes.

Torture and death in Cuba 3

What weak or absurd comment might someone like Michael Moore, maker of the movie Sicko which is full of admiration for the way he imagines the Cuban despots take care of their people, offer on hearing this story?

That it is untrue?

That the victim deserved such treatment because he was a rebel?

Or, hater of his own country as he seems to be, would Michael Moore evade the issue by claiming that America “tortures prisoners too”?

From Heritage Online:

Dissidents in Cuba are predicting that the death of Orlanda Zapata Tamayo will galvanize the pro-democracy movement on the Communist-governed island. Tamayo, 42, had been imprisoned since 2003 because of his membership in groups calling for democracy in Cuba. He died Thursday while on a hunger strike protesting his treatment by prison authorities. Cuba Archive reports:

“In early December, Zapata went on hunger strike to demand proper treatment. Prison authorities refused him water for 18 days, leading to kidney failure. He was then held naked over a powerful air conditioner and developed pneumonia. Earlier today [Thursday] and already in critical condition, he was admitted to Hermanos Ameijeiras hospital in Havana and began receiving fluids intravenously. He died hours later. The Cuban government never responded to his demands.”

We watch hopefully to see if Tamayo’s death really will “galvanize the pro-democracy movement”, and if it does, to what result.

Posted under communism, Latin America, News, Socialism, Totalitarianism by Jillian Becker on Saturday, February 27, 2010

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