Speaking on Wednesday, the coordinator of Cuba’s Christian Liberation Movement (CLM), Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, remarked that anyone who denies the existence of Cuba's dictatorship is complicit in this week’s death of political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo.
"We denounce those people both inside and outside of Cuba who, out of cowardice, selfishness, or other weaknesses, do not have the decency to support those who suffer and die in the defense of the rights and dignity of the people," said Paya.
“These people contributed to Zapata’s death.”
Zapata Tamayo died after an 85-day hunger strike in protest of the inhumane treatment he and other prisoners received from the Cuban government. Paya noted that Zapata, a member of the CLM, was incarcerated for denouncing human rights violations and for openly speaking in support of the Varela Project in Havana’s Central Park. He also stated that, though Zapata never used violence in his protests, his first sentence of three years in prison was later increased to more than 30.
Paya recounted that Zapata was subjected to many abuses, beatings, and other indignities over the period of his imprisonment, for which he blamed the Cuban government.
He also criticized governments, states and institutions that “prefer a harmonious relationship with the lies and oppression (of the government) to the open solidarity with the Cuban people. All of them are complicit in what has happened and what is happening right now.”
“Orlando Zapata Tamayo, dear brother, we will continue the fight, and will do so without hatred, until Cuba is free and Cubans no longer have to suffer this painful humiliation of living under lies and fear,” Paya said as he concluded his statement.