Photo taken from http://www.cubaencuentro.com
I have tried, time and time again, writing about a great Cuban, but I just can’t accept the fact that Orlando Zapata Tamayo is no longer with us. Last week, I wrote an article in which I was trying to bring to light the fear I was feeling of this patriot suffering a fatal outcome. Later, I spoke with Yarai Reyes, the wife of prisoner of conscience Normando Hernandez Gonzalez. Like always, she thoroughly explained the details to me and everything that she heard through Radio Marti about the funeral. When I heard the statements that Reina Tamayo told the press, I felt a very strange emotion that is difficult for me to explain. Another Cuban mother who loses her son in the jails of this country, made more difficult by his condition as a prisoner of conscience, a title given to him by Amnesty International.
They also informed me about the declarations made by Cuba’s president, General Raul Castro Ruz. I do not trust him, the same way I do not trust the sincerity of his words in lamenting the loss of one human life. The brother of the revolution’s leader has not even moved a finger in favor of those of us who love Cuba from a perspective different than that of communism. Additionally, while being denied our freedom, some of us suffer from chronic diseases that were contracted in prison. There exist some of us who are in danger of death also. I am a loyal researcher of my countrie’s history and I do not remember an instance under the cruel dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in which a similar case to that of Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s occurred. It is possible that those who are responsible for the physical disappearance of the dissident will not find tranquility when it is their time to rest. I can’t imagine how they can now stare at the faces of their children and grandchildren. It is a responsibility far too strong for the human conscience.
Today, I must acknowledge the gesture of the Catholic Church to accompany, in his last moments, this brother in struggle. The maximum authority of the country had no compassion towards this man. I want to ask those responsible: What have they won; perhaps it is sufficient for you all to hold on to power by paying an extremely unecessary price? Today, the country of Jose Marti is in mourning- hate and intolerance have amputated the life of a person who was only 42 years of age. Forgive them, God, they have lost their notion of responsibility. The international community has criticized the act, I assure you that its not enough. It is unpredictable how far those who hold on to absolute power will go.
We know what has happened to Orlando Zapata Tamayo, and we honor him in each one of our hearts, with the conviction that Tamayo lives on. His legacy is an inspiration for the new generations and a grand shame for those who could have done something for him but chose not to. We have reached the moment where we must scream, for silence is the accomplice of injustice. Enough of the hate, enough of the resentment, and enough of intolerance and harm! Let us love, and that way we will honor Orlando Zapata Tamayo, an undisputable symbol of a democratic, independent, and free Cuba.
Pablo Pacheco Avila.