The assassination of Cuban dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo committed by the criminal Cuban dictatorship could not have come at a more inopportune time for Spain’s Socialist government. Just weeks into their campaign to convince the European Union that it should improve its relations with the despotic Cuban government, their argument was dealt a crippling blow when the same tyranny Spain has been coddling for years assassinated a Cuban dissident and prisoner of conscience in cold blood. The tragic murder of Orlando Zapata Tamayo on February 23, 2010, exposed the reality that Spain’s policy of engagement with the Cuban tyranny is an utter and complete failure. The brutal killing of an innocent man at the hands of a murderous and lawless regime so damned and disproved Spain’s assertion that dialogue and engagement with Cuba’s oppressors are the key to democratic reforms, that Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero was left speechless after the brutal killing.
After mounting criticism by the Spanish media for Zapatero’s failure to mention the assassination the day after it took place in–of all places–a speech before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, he broached the subject one day later before Spain’s parliament. In that speech he called on the Cuban regime to release all political prisoners and respect human rights. Zapatero’s statement, however, was too little, too late for Orlando Zapata Tamayo.
In spite of the impassioned plea by Zapatero two days after the murder, it only took one week for his government to return to business as usual. In a statement by Miguel Angel Moratinos yesterday, Spain’s foreign minister announced the return to the failed policy of dialogue and engagement with Cuba’s dictatorship.
Spain’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that Madrid will maintain its “dialogue strategy” with Cuba as a way of achieving freedom for its political prisoners and respect for human rights in the Caribbean country.
Miguel Angel Moratinos said that the most effective and constructive way to “make progress and get results” is through dialogue, and added that the proof is that many of those prisoners of conscience who were in jail are now free “thanks to that Spanish policy.”
It is important to note that the Cuban prisoners of conscience who Moratinos claimed had been released thanks to “Spanish policy” were actually expelled from Cuba by the dictatorship and sent to Spain. Following Zapatero’s and Moratino’s logic, one can rewrite history and proclaim that Ferdinand and Isabella actually “freed” the Spanish Jews in 1492 when they ordered their expulsion from Spain.
As Proverbs 26:11 says: As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. It took Spain only a week to return to its vomit and lap it up with vigor. But I would stop short of calling Zapatero and his government fools; in their case, it has nothing to do with fools and everything to do with immoral opportunists.