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Ruben Mundaca
03-19-2010, 04:20 AM
Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a political prisoner, was left to starve by Cuba.

The tyrant islander rulers say that no matter, that he was just only another "criminal".

There are hundreds of those "criminals" letting die in Cuban dungeons for their unconditional love to freedom, to democracy, to Cuba.

While there are heroes like Orlando Zapata, there is hope for the nation of sad men called Cuba....!!!!

If these crimes hurt you as much as me, show your support by braverly signing HERE : http://orlandozapatatamayo.blogspot.com/

We are more than 22.000 allready, including movie director Almodovar, and singers Ana Belén and Víctor Manuel.

If you are members of other forums or groups, spread the link so that other people have the opportunity to show their support.

Thank you

Ruben Mundaca
03-19-2010, 04:39 AM
Another heroe, still alive....

http://www.elnuevoherald.com/2010/03/16/676375/farinas-acusa-a-espana-de-complicidad.html

Magda Hassan
03-19-2010, 06:03 AM
Except he wasn't a political prisoner. And he certainly isn't a hero. He was a criminal in jail where he belonged. There are few if any martyrs in the counter-revolution as they have no principles they are prepared to die for. Most happy to go to the highest bidder and usually cheaply at that.

His name does not appear on the list of so called political prisoners drawn up by the US in 2003. He had been a habitual criminal since 1988. He was tried for the crimes of "unlawful entry" (1993), "assault" (2000), "fraud" (2000), "assault and the possession of a sharp weapon" (2000: wounds and a fractured skull inflicted on the Cuban citizen Leonardo Simon with a machete), "public disorder" (2002), and other charges bearing no relation to politics. He was released from jail in March 2003 on parole and then promptly committed another crime on the 20th of March. He was jailed again for breaching his parole for the crime he committed and was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment. Because of his aggressive behaviour in prison his sentence has had to be increased. He received medical attention at all times and it was his 'supporters' who encouraged him to go on and continue the hunger strikes for their own perverse purposes. Thereby weakening his body when he next went on hunger strike. His demands, which they knew would be turned down, included having a television, stove and telephone in his cell. That's what he was prepared to die for? How pathetic. .

More media than at the Oscars have arrived in Cuba and the people on the street are telling them to go home because everyone knows the guy is a criminal. If the media and their handlers want to do something for Cuba they should press the US to lift the illegal blockade. Sound more like they want to divert attention away from the real human rights abuses being committed by the US and aided and abetted by their European lackeys in the secret prisons and rendition venues of the world. On the other hand Cuba has a well known and respected human rights record starting with low infant and mother mortality and finishing with extending the life of Cubans to live longer than those in the US. In between birth and death people have free education, free health, employment and guaranteed basic foods.

Go find a real hero Ruben. Why aren't you posting about the real Cuban heroes? The 5 political prisoners in the US jails. They were fighting the well documented extensive US terrorism against their small and militarily defenseless country. Trumped up charges in a fixed system that passes for justice in the US. Even their families unable to visit them because the US deny them this basic human right. And Zapata is certainly no Bobby Sands. Bobby Sands and his fellow prisoners of war did not die for a tv in their cell. Nor were they common criminals. But I remember the US being rather silent on that one. Like they are on so many things.

Cuba has offered to give the US any and all of the counter-revolutionary mercenaries which are on the US 'political prisoner' list (and their families) as long as the political prisoners in the US are returned to Cuba to their families. Strangely the US is silent on that too.

Carsten Wiethoff
03-19-2010, 08:04 AM
Hmmm, don't want to take sides here, but a small lookup reveals that Orlando Zapata Tamayo was classified to be a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International in June 2003.

From http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/002/2004/en/308bf23e-d648-11dd-ab95-a13b602c0642/amr250022004en.html




In June 2003 Amnesty International declared 75 new prisoners of conscience after they were detained in a massive government crackdown on dissent which began on 18 March 2003. Most of the detainees were subjected to hasty and unfair trials, and, just weeks after their arrest, were given long prison terms of up to 28 years. Having reviewed the trial verdicts and other documents of most of the 75 dissidents sentenced, Amnesty International declared that they were prisoners of conscience, imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of fundamental freedoms. Amensty International’s detailed report on the crackdown also mentioned eight other possible prisoners of conscience, Rafael Ernesto Avila Pérez, Javier García Pérez, Félix Jaime González Martínez, Rolando Jimenez Posada, Rafael Millet Leyva, Miguel Sigler Amaya, Pablo Solís Cubilla and Orlando Zapata Tamayo1 (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/002/2004/en/308bf23e-d648-11dd-ab95-a13b602c0642/amr250022004en.html#sdfootnote1sym). The organization has been following these cases closely and has now declared four of them to be prisoners of conscience (Rolando Jimenez Posada, Rafael Millet Leyva, Miguel Sigler Amaya andOrlando Zapata Tamayo). The other four were reportedly released (Rafael Ernesto Avila Pérez, Javier García Pérez, Félix Jaime González Martínez and Pablo Solís Cubilla).




Orlando Zapata Tamayo

Date of arrest: 20 March 2003

Sentence: No trial yet, but charged with “desacato”, “desordenes publicos”, “public disorder”, and “desobediencia”.




Orlando Zapata Tamayo is a member of the Movimiento Alternativa Republicana, Alternative Republican Movement, and a member of the Consejo Nacional de Resistencia Cívica, National Civic Resistance Committee.




He has been arrested several times in the past. For example he was temporarily detained on 3 July 2002 and 28 October 2002. In November 2002 after taking part in a workshop on human rights in the central Havana park, José Martí, he and eight other government opponents were reportedly arrested and later released. He was also arrested on 6 December 2002 along with Oscar Elías Biscet3 (http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/AMR25/002/2004/en/308bf23e-d648-11dd-ab95-a13b602c0642/amr250022004en.html#sdfootnote3sym), but was released on 8 March 2003.




Most recently, he was arrested on the morning of 20 March 2003 whilst taking part in a hunger strike at the Fundación Jesús Yánez Pelletier, Jesús Yánez Pelletier Foundation, in Havana, to demand the release of Oscar Biscet and other political prisoners. He was reportedly taken to the Villa Marista State Security Headquarters. He has not been tried yet, but the prosecutor is reportedly asking for three years’ imprisonment for “desacato”, “desordenes publicos”, “public disorder”, and “desobediencia”.




He has reportedly been moved around several prisons, including Quivicán Prison, Guanajay Prison, and most recently, Combinado del Este Prison in Havana. According to reports, on 20 October 2003 he was dragged along the floor of Combinado del Este Prison by prison officials after requesting medical attention, leaving his back full of lacerations.

I am aware that this is not the same as a "political prisoner", but it is also not a "common criminal".

Magda Hassan
03-19-2010, 09:26 AM
I'm sure that Leonardo Simon would beg to differ with you as to whether Tamayo was a common criminal or not. He had his skull cut open with a machete by Tamayo.

The Suicide of Orlando Zapata Tamayo
by Salim Lamrani* (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#auteur121290)
The Western media and diplomatic circles deplored the suicide in prison of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who was portrayed as a victim of the "Cuban dictatorship". However, this human tragedy was grossly misrepresented: Zapata was never involved in politics. Once again, observes Salim Lamrani, Western propaganda distorts the facts and manipulates them to justify, post factum, Washington’s animosity towards Cuba.

http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/transpix.gif

http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/transpix.gif http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/jpg/1-1122-3-2.jpgOrlando Zapata Tamayo On February 23, 2010, Cuban inmate Orlando Zapata Tamayo died after 83 days on hunger strike. He was 42. This is the first such incident since inmate Pedro Luis Boitel died in 1972 under similar conditions. The corporate media put the tragic incident on the front page and emphasized the plight of Cuban prisoners. [1 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb1)]
Zapata’s dramatic exit sparked a global uproar. The Cuban prisoner’s case undeniably fosters sympathy and a sense of solidarity with this person who expressed his despair and malaise in prison carrying out his hunger strike to the ultimate consequence. The heartfelt emotion aroused by his case deserves respect. In contrast, the manipulation of Tamayo’s death and of the grief of his family and friends by the corporate media for political purposes violates the basic principles of journalistic ethics.
Zapata, Political Prisoner or Common Convict?

Since 2004, Amnesty International (AI) has considered him among Cuba’s 55 "prisoner of conscience." In addition, it has noted that Zapata’s hunger strike was launched not only to protest his conditions of detention, but also to demand the impossible: a television, a personal kitchen, and a cell phone to call his family. [2 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb2)] Zapata was not exactly a model prisoner. According to Cuban authorities, he was guilty of several acts of violence during his incarceration, especially against the guards, leading to his conviction being increased to 25 years. [3 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb3)]
Curiously AI has never mentioned the alleged political activities that landed Zapata in prison. The reason is relatively simple: Zapata never carried out any anti-government activities prior to incarceration. Instead, the organization recognizes that he was convicted in May 2004 and sentenced to three years of imprisonment for "disrespect," "public disorder," and "résistance." [4 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb4)] This sentence is relatively minor compared to the sentences, ranging up to 28 years, that were handed down to the 75 opposition figures convicted in March 2003 of "having received funds or materials from the U.S. government to carry out activities that the authorities consider subversive and damaging to Cuba," as recognized by AI, which is a serious crime in Cuba and any country in the world. [5 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb5)] Here AI cannot escape an obvious contradiction: on the one hand AI characterizes them as "prisoners of conscience" and on the other it admits they committed the serious crime of accepting "money or materials from the U.S. government."
Unlike the 75, the Cuban government has never accused Zapata of accepting funds from a foreign power and has always considered him a common convict. Zapata had a serious criminal record. Since June 1990, he had been arrested and convicted several times for "disturbing the peace, two counts of fraud, public exhibitionism, injury and possession of non-firearm weapons." In 2000, he fractured the skull of Leonardo Simon using a machete. His criminal record does not involve any political actions. It was only after his imprisonment that his mother, Reyna Luisa Tamayo, approached government opposition groups, and she has never been bothered by the authorities. [6 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb6)]
Double Standards?

The United States and the European Union declared their consternation and demanded the "release of political prisoners." "We are deeply distressed by his death," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who denounced the oppression of political prisoners in Cuba. Brussels followed suit and demanded the "unconditional release of all political prisoners." France’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero announced that "following his situation closely, we called for his release along with the other detainees whose health seemed particularly worrying." [7 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb7)]
Cuban President Raúl Castro "regretted" the death and responded to the uproar from Washington and Brussels by stating that "in half a century, we have not murdered anyone here, no one has been tortured, and there have been no extrajudicial executions. Well, here in Cuba there have been people tortured, but at the Guantanamo Naval Base," in reference to the torture center under U.S. administration. "They say they want to hold talks with us and we are ready to discuss with the U.S. government all issues they want. I repeated it three times in Parliament, all, all, all. We will not accept discussions unless both parties enjoy absolute equality. They can investigate or ask any questions in Cuba, but we have the right to ask about all the problems of the United States." [8 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb8)]
During a visit to Cuba, Brazilian President Lula da Silva also declared his sympathy, but wished to highlight the double standards of the corporate media of Washington and Brussels recalling a sad reality: "I know about virtually all the hunger strikes that have taken place over the past 25 years in the world and many people have died on hunger strikes in many countries." [9 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb9)] The media ignored the vast majority of those tragic cases and absolutely none received the media coverage that has been afforded this Cuban inmate.
By comparison, in France between January 1, 2010 and February24, 2010, there were 22 suicides in prison, including a 16-year-old boy. In 2009 there were 122 suicides in French prisons and 115 in 2008. State Secretary of Justice Jean-Marie Bockel declared his impotence in these situations: "When someone decides to commit suicide and is determined to do, whether they are free or in prison, [. . .] there is nothing you can do about it." The families of those victims were not entitled to the same media treatment as Zapata, nor even an official public statement from the French government. [10 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb10)]
We must put the Zapata’s case into perspective by looking at two much more serious situations deliberately ignored by the corporate media that clearly illustrate the politicization and manipulation of this ordinary incident that would pass unnoticed in most countries, except Cuba.
Since the coup in Honduras took place and the military dictatorship was established on June 27, 2009, led first by Roberto Micheletti and then since January 28, 2010 by Porfirio Lobo, there have been more than a hundred murders and countless cases of disappearances, torture, and violence. The abuses occur daily, but are carefully omitted by the corporate media. Thus, when Claudia Larissa Brizuela, a member of a group opposed to the coup, the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP), was murdered on February 24, 2010, just one day after the death of Zapata, there was not a single word about it in the corporate press. [11 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb11)]
A similar case further illustrates the duplicity of the corporate media. In December 2009 in La Macarena, Colombia the largest mass grave in the history of Latin America was discovered with no fewer than 2,000 bodies. According to testimonies collected by British MEPs on the ground in La Macarena, these were the bodies of union and peasant leaders killed by the paramilitaries and the Colombian army’s Special Forces. Jairo Ramirez, lawyer and secretary of the Standing Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Colombia, described the grisly scene: "What we saw was frightening. Countless corpses and hundreds of white wooden plaques inscribed with NN and with dates ranging from 2005 to the present. The army commander told us they were the bodies of guerrillas killed in combat, but the people of the region told us of the many community leaders, farmers, and community advocates who have disappeared without a trace." Despite the many testimonies and the presence of the MEPs, despite a visit by a Spanish parliamentary delegation to investigate, no corporate media has given even a little attention to this news. [12 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb12)]
The suicide of Orlando Zapata Tamayo is a tragedy and his mother’s pain must be respected. But there are unscrupulous people. The corporate media, Washington, and the European Union cares little about his death, just as they care little for the Hondurans and Colombians killed every day. Zapata is useful to them only in the media war against the Cuban government. When ideology is placed above objective information, truth and ethics are the first victims.

http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/transpix.gif Salim Lamrani (http://www.voltairenet.org/auteur121290.html?lang=en)
Salim Lamrani is a university lecturer at the University Paris-Sorbonne-Paris IV and the University Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée and a French journalist, specialist on the relationship between Cuba and the United States. Lamrani has just published Cuba. Ce que les médias ne vous diront jamais (http://www.amazon.fr/Cuba-Medias-Vous-Diront-Jamais/dp/2953128417/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252319058&sr=1-4) (Paris: éditions Estrella, 2009).

Carsten Wiethoff
03-19-2010, 09:53 AM
This is obviously not a black-and-white case. The "Machete-split-head" incident was in 2000 and was not the reason for his imprisonment since 2003.
I also think that this case is used to put pressure on Cuba for human rights violation, and it is too easy to put the blame solely on Cuba, ignoring the specifics of the case.
But essentially putting the responsibility for his death solely on the prisoner, ignoring the role of the Cuban justice system also does not seem to fit, at least from my perspective.
Every prisoner dying from a hunger strike in prison is one too many.

Magda Hassan
03-19-2010, 10:02 AM
Actually it is black and white. He is being used as a tool in a good old fashioned commie boogieman scare campaign and to bash those bloody independent minded Cubans who just will not do as the US would like them to do. People die everyday from suicides in prisons all over the world. What makes him so special when they are all equally tragic? Any prison is a terrible place to find yourself in even if guilty.

Because he was on parole and broke his parole for the machete attack (and other non political crimes) he was returned to prison. He was also charged in 2003 with "disrespect," "public disorder," and "résistance." and received 3 years imprisonment in 2004 for that. He had since also accumulated more years on his sentence due to his violent behaviour in prison. He was a violent man. Simple as that.

Carsten Wiethoff
03-19-2010, 10:27 AM
Actually it is black and white.
I disagree with that sentence, while actually agreeing with the rest of your post. This case is minor when compared to U.S. human rights abuses in Guantanamo and elsewhere. I will leave it at that.

Magda Hassan
03-19-2010, 10:57 AM
Actually it is black and white.
I disagree with that sentence, while actually agreeing with the rest of your post. This case is minor when compared to U.S. human rights abuses in Guantanamo and elsewhere. I will leave it at that.
That's it! While the media are in Cuba trying to beat up a story on this poor deluded man why aren't they at the gates of Guantanamo demanding to cover what goes on in there. All the suicides and tortures and murders. But they are not going to.

If it's not black and white it is certainly in very strong contrasting colours.

Ruben Mundaca
03-19-2010, 03:13 PM
I'm sure that Leonardo Simon would beg to differ with you as to whether Tamayo was a common criminal or not. He had his skull cut open with a machete by Tamayo.

The Suicide of Orlando Zapata Tamayo
by Salim Lamrani* (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#auteur121290)
The Western media and diplomatic circles deplored the suicide in prison of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who was portrayed as a victim of the "Cuban dictatorship". However, this human tragedy was grossly misrepresented: Zapata was never involved in politics. Once again, observes Salim Lamrani, Western propaganda distorts the facts and manipulates them to justify, post factum, Washington’s animosity towards Cuba.

http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/transpix.gif

http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/transpix.gif http://www.voltairenet.org/IMG/jpg/1-1122-3-2.jpgOrlando Zapata Tamayo On February 23, 2010, Cuban inmate Orlando Zapata Tamayo died after 83 days on hunger strike. He was 42. This is the first such incident since inmate Pedro Luis Boitel died in 1972 under similar conditions. The corporate media put the tragic incident on the front page and emphasized the plight of Cuban prisoners. [1 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb1)]
Zapata’s dramatic exit sparked a global uproar. The Cuban prisoner’s case undeniably fosters sympathy and a sense of solidarity with this person who expressed his despair and malaise in prison carrying out his hunger strike to the ultimate consequence. The heartfelt emotion aroused by his case deserves respect. In contrast, the manipulation of Tamayo’s death and of the grief of his family and friends by the corporate media for political purposes violates the basic principles of journalistic ethics.
Zapata, Political Prisoner or Common Convict?

Since 2004, Amnesty International (AI) has considered him among Cuba’s 55 "prisoner of conscience." In addition, it has noted that Zapata’s hunger strike was launched not only to protest his conditions of detention, but also to demand the impossible: a television, a personal kitchen, and a cell phone to call his family. [2 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb2)] Zapata was not exactly a model prisoner. According to Cuban authorities, he was guilty of several acts of violence during his incarceration, especially against the guards, leading to his conviction being increased to 25 years. [3 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb3)]
Curiously AI has never mentioned the alleged political activities that landed Zapata in prison. The reason is relatively simple: Zapata never carried out any anti-government activities prior to incarceration. Instead, the organization recognizes that he was convicted in May 2004 and sentenced to three years of imprisonment for "disrespect," "public disorder," and "résistance." [4 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb4)] This sentence is relatively minor compared to the sentences, ranging up to 28 years, that were handed down to the 75 opposition figures convicted in March 2003 of "having received funds or materials from the U.S. government to carry out activities that the authorities consider subversive and damaging to Cuba," as recognized by AI, which is a serious crime in Cuba and any country in the world. [5 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb5)] Here AI cannot escape an obvious contradiction: on the one hand AI characterizes them as "prisoners of conscience" and on the other it admits they committed the serious crime of accepting "money or materials from the U.S. government."
Unlike the 75, the Cuban government has never accused Zapata of accepting funds from a foreign power and has always considered him a common convict. Zapata had a serious criminal record. Since June 1990, he had been arrested and convicted several times for "disturbing the peace, two counts of fraud, public exhibitionism, injury and possession of non-firearm weapons." In 2000, he fractured the skull of Leonardo Simon using a machete. His criminal record does not involve any political actions. It was only after his imprisonment that his mother, Reyna Luisa Tamayo, approached government opposition groups, and she has never been bothered by the authorities. [6 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb6)]
Double Standards?

The United States and the European Union declared their consternation and demanded the "release of political prisoners." "We are deeply distressed by his death," said Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who denounced the oppression of political prisoners in Cuba. Brussels followed suit and demanded the "unconditional release of all political prisoners." France’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero announced that "following his situation closely, we called for his release along with the other detainees whose health seemed particularly worrying." [7 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb7)]
Cuban President Raúl Castro "regretted" the death and responded to the uproar from Washington and Brussels by stating that "in half a century, we have not murdered anyone here, no one has been tortured, and there have been no extrajudicial executions. Well, here in Cuba there have been people tortured, but at the Guantanamo Naval Base," in reference to the torture center under U.S. administration. "They say they want to hold talks with us and we are ready to discuss with the U.S. government all issues they want. I repeated it three times in Parliament, all, all, all. We will not accept discussions unless both parties enjoy absolute equality. They can investigate or ask any questions in Cuba, but we have the right to ask about all the problems of the United States." [8 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb8)]
During a visit to Cuba, Brazilian President Lula da Silva also declared his sympathy, but wished to highlight the double standards of the corporate media of Washington and Brussels recalling a sad reality: "I know about virtually all the hunger strikes that have taken place over the past 25 years in the world and many people have died on hunger strikes in many countries." [9 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb9)] The media ignored the vast majority of those tragic cases and absolutely none received the media coverage that has been afforded this Cuban inmate.
By comparison, in France between January 1, 2010 and February24, 2010, there were 22 suicides in prison, including a 16-year-old boy. In 2009 there were 122 suicides in French prisons and 115 in 2008. State Secretary of Justice Jean-Marie Bockel declared his impotence in these situations: "When someone decides to commit suicide and is determined to do, whether they are free or in prison, [. . .] there is nothing you can do about it." The families of those victims were not entitled to the same media treatment as Zapata, nor even an official public statement from the French government. [10 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb10)]
We must put the Zapata’s case into perspective by looking at two much more serious situations deliberately ignored by the corporate media that clearly illustrate the politicization and manipulation of this ordinary incident that would pass unnoticed in most countries, except Cuba.
Since the coup in Honduras took place and the military dictatorship was established on June 27, 2009, led first by Roberto Micheletti and then since January 28, 2010 by Porfirio Lobo, there have been more than a hundred murders and countless cases of disappearances, torture, and violence. The abuses occur daily, but are carefully omitted by the corporate media. Thus, when Claudia Larissa Brizuela, a member of a group opposed to the coup, the National Popular Resistance Front (FNRP), was murdered on February 24, 2010, just one day after the death of Zapata, there was not a single word about it in the corporate press. [11 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb11)]
A similar case further illustrates the duplicity of the corporate media. In December 2009 in La Macarena, Colombia the largest mass grave in the history of Latin America was discovered with no fewer than 2,000 bodies. According to testimonies collected by British MEPs on the ground in La Macarena, these were the bodies of union and peasant leaders killed by the paramilitaries and the Colombian army’s Special Forces. Jairo Ramirez, lawyer and secretary of the Standing Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Colombia, described the grisly scene: "What we saw was frightening. Countless corpses and hundreds of white wooden plaques inscribed with NN and with dates ranging from 2005 to the present. The army commander told us they were the bodies of guerrillas killed in combat, but the people of the region told us of the many community leaders, farmers, and community advocates who have disappeared without a trace." Despite the many testimonies and the presence of the MEPs, despite a visit by a Spanish parliamentary delegation to investigate, no corporate media has given even a little attention to this news. [12 (http://www.voltairenet.org/article164489.html#nb12)]
The suicide of Orlando Zapata Tamayo is a tragedy and his mother’s pain must be respected. But there are unscrupulous people. The corporate media, Washington, and the European Union cares little about his death, just as they care little for the Hondurans and Colombians killed every day. Zapata is useful to them only in the media war against the Cuban government. When ideology is placed above objective information, truth and ethics are the first victims.

http://www.voltairenet.org/elements/transpix.gif Salim Lamrani (http://www.voltairenet.org/auteur121290.html?lang=en)
Salim Lamrani is a university lecturer at the University Paris-Sorbonne-Paris IV and the University Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée and a French journalist, specialist on the relationship between Cuba and the United States. Lamrani has just published Cuba. Ce que les médias ne vous diront jamais (http://www.amazon.fr/Cuba-Medias-Vous-Diront-Jamais/dp/2953128417/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1252319058&sr=1-4) (Paris: éditions Estrella, 2009).




What is really funny about is that nobody knew about. Zapata's criminal common charges where known AFTER his death, and not even Amnesty International knew them despite they previously declare Zapata prisioner of conscience in 2003. I know that Amnesty International previously study the case of ANY accused before declaring the status of them.

Is very well known that Cuba "has not" political prisioners since many decades ago. They act the same way than any leftist tyranny: They put in jail (or execute) their oppositors by charging them of common felonies. So Amnesty International and Human Rights have hard work to pronounce about who is a political prisioner and who is not, making them very cautious about. Actually, is NOT BLACK AND WHITE for Human Rights to work in Cuba.

Now cuban tyranny is trying to split opinion and minimize the incident, by telling the world that "spanish" justice is worst, that "USA Justice" is worst, that anywhere justice is worst than in Cuba. What a consolation for the concience of their leftist supporters, been "less" worst. It provide a psicological excuse to keep supporting them, no matter if is an hipocritical support.

Of course, the death of a brave man become dilute and finally, ends like a "minor incident". As Zapata's death, in a strike because "he wanted to have a cell phone, a kitchen and a TV ". They allready don't made leftist as yesterday. At least, yesterday they dont' give so stupid explanations as today's.

Here is another "minor incident" stathistics, performed by another "common criminal". After all, "inmates commit suicide all the time": (attachment)

http://albertomuller.net/noticias/guillermo-farinas-y-cuatro-presos-en-huelga-de-hambre/

http://www.elpais.com/articulo/internacional/Hay/momentos/historia/tiene/haber/martires/elpepuint/20100302elpepuint_10/Tes

And here is a partial list of "common criminals" in cuban dungeons: http://pdc-cuba.org/prepol-99.htm

http://www.asambleasociedadcivilcuba.info/PresosPoliticos/Presos-Principal.htm

Keith Millea
03-24-2010, 04:45 PM
http://www.counterpunch.org/landau03242010.html

Human Rights Rides Again?
Taunting Havana

By SAUL LANDAU
The State Department echoed by the EU has once again raised the human rights issue to beat up Cuba. In 1959, Fidel Castro declared his independence from the United States – possibly without realizing that punishment could last 51+ years. Even when US national interests are involved, Washington acts petulantly if not downright childishly.

Following last month’s session with Cuba’s diplomats re Cuban immigration quotas, narco-trafficking and other mutual interests -- Bush canceled all talks in 2002 – the US Interest Section sent its vehicles to fetch “dissidents” to a party. The Cuban government responded with barely concealed anger. US diplomats behaved as progress toward dealing with joint concerns merits a US poke in Cuba’s eye: celebrating with people who announced unending opposition to Cuba’s government and received US perks and privileges as a result.

For example, the Interest Section supplies dissidents with a variety of “needs,” such as cell phones and lap tops which, “dissidents” claim, get confiscated by Cuban State Security. “We have photographs of them selling these items,” a Cuban official told me. “When the “dissident” reports the loss, the Interest Section, meaning US taxpayers – although few know it – supply them with new ones.”

Did the State Department think of possible consequences of the Interest Section’s little joke? Suppose Raul Castro acted in as mean-spirited a way as State’s tough-guy image of him. He would announce to Cuba’s considerable unemployed population that those who wanted to seek work elsewhere could do so without repercussion. Now, imagine waves of rafters landing in south Florida with its high unemployment rate!
Cuban security agents could arrest and try a group of the Interest Section’s favorite “dissidents” In the ensuing trial, witnesses against them would come from State Security. The Interest Section had known them as other favored “dissidents.” (“They’re giving our taxpayers’ money to Cuban State Security Agents? An angry Senator might ask.) In 2003, Cuba arrested 75 “dissidents,” twelve witnesses testified the accused took money, goods and services from US diplomats all undercover moles disguised as “dissidents.

Memory seems absent when the issue is punishing Cuba. In 2006, a former Interest Section official waxed eloquent about Cuba’s human rights violations, as if the US record was immaculate. Under Eisenhower and Kennedy, when Washington first bellowed its “democratic” principles, millions of black Americans could not vote, chain gangs flourished at state prisons, and lynchings periodically took place.

Fidel Castro, the Kennedy crowd righteously sneered, refused to hold elections. Some cynics thought Kennedy and his bootlegger father had padded Illinois’ ballot boxes where JFK narrowly defeated Nixon. Cuba’s electoral system may have flaws, but its Supreme Court didn’t declare counting votes unessential to democracy. (See Gore v. Bush.)
As Washington hurled its “principled” criticisms at Havana consistently over decades, it simultaneously financed thousands of terrorist attacks and assassinations against Cuba and its leaders. Killing people did not violate human rights?

In 2010, Washington continues to taunt Havana – currently for failing to rescue a “political prisoner,” Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who died during a hunger strike. Zapata, arrested on assault charges, decided in prison to convert to dissidence. Videos show Cuban authorities hospitalized. No one asked for his insurance policy. The video shows him receiving top-level medical attention. A current “dissident” Guillermo Farinas then launched his hunger strike at his home until Cuba released all its political prisoners. When he fainted, Cuban authorities rushed him to the hospital.

Prisoner abuse should become a US human rights scandal. A Chinese account on US Human Rights cites “a report presented to the 10th meeting of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations in 2009 by its Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering Terrorism.” The report showed “the United States has pursued a comprehensive set of practices including special deportation, long-term and secret detentions and acts violating the United Nations Convention against Torture. (China Daily, Marc 17, 2010)

The Chinese report, using a Department of Agriculture study, states that currently 16.7 million US “children, or one fourth of the U.S. total, had not enough food in 2008.” (USA Today, November 17, 2009). A Feeding America report added that “more than 3.5 million children under the age of five face hunger or malnutrition.” (www.feedingamerica.org (http://www.feedingamerica.org), May 7, 2009).
Washington’s real issue relates to Cuban disobedience of its policies; not human rights. In fact, Cubans enjoy substantive rights American citizens don’t: food, housing, medical care, and education. Cuba falls short on procedural rights regarding press and political parties.
But when the religious police in Saudi Arabia our oily partner cane women who show skin, the State Department says “Ho Hum.” Nor does Cuba’s Communist rule matter – witness Vietnam and China, major commercial partners of the US.

Ronald Reagan privatized Cuba policy, leaving it with a right wing minority sector in Miami that doesn’t want improvement. Each step forward such as immigration talks in February begets a step backwards, thanks to the anti-Cuba lobby’s power: one hunger striker dies; another emerges to steal headlines.
Maybe things will change when Cuba’s off shore oil starts spouting!

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow who received Chile’s Bernardo O’Higgins award for human rights. CounterPunch published his A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD (http://www.easycartsecure.com/CounterPunch/CounterPunch_Books.html)