Much has been said in the Cuban regime’s official media about my son Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a young black man. Many lies have been told, and it has been said that my son was a criminal, and that he was not simply allowed to die. The truth is that my son was murdered. The truth is that my son was allowed to die on a hunger strike he held to demand respect for his rights, and to demand freedom for his people. Today, I would like to tell you just who Orlando Zapata Tamayo was: a defender of human rights, and my beloved son.
The Castro brothers try to intimidate us, but what they don’t know is that this family has never been afraid. This family has never knelt to anyone. Now, with even greater courage, dignity, and principles, we will follow the ideas and words of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who was murdered, who was tortured, and who was denied water for 18 days in order to do away with him. But nobody was ever able to subjugate my son. He never knelt before the dictatorship. He never gave in, and he preferred to die rather than to live on his knees.