Mother of Cuban dissident thanks Church for stepping in to end government harassment


Last Sunday, Reina Luisa Tamayo, the mother of deceased political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo, thanked the Church in Cuba for its efforts in ending the harassment she had been suffering at the hands of the country's government.

Tamayo's son died in February after an 85 day-long hunger strike.

Speaking with the AFP,  Tamayo said, “I thank the world and the Cuban Church who raised their voices to reject the harassment of this mother.”

She said she was able to march through the town of Banes on Sunday and place flowers on her son’s grave without any problems. “Lord willing this will be the end of the harassment,” she added.

On various occasions, Tamayo charged that Cuban officials would not let her attend Mass or go to the cemetery with other dissidents. She also said that government supporters harassed her during the marches she would regularly organize in memory of her son.

The harassment was denounced by various activists, including Oswaldo Paya, the leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, and by other international groups. Cardinal Jaime Ortega of Havana met with family members of political prisoners last Friday and assured them he would do everything possible to end the harassment.

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