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realclearworld

The Washington Post not certain Orlando Zapata Tamayo was a political prisoner

The Washington Post published a photograph of Reina Luisa Tamayo holding the ashes of her martyred son, prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo, and in the caption they express their incertitude that he was a political prisoner.

Capitol Hill Cubans rightfully demands an apology from the Washington Post:

The Washington Post Should Apologize
The Washington Post owes the family of late political prisoner and hunger striker, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, an apology.

In its print edition (page A3), the Post ran a photograph (see below) of Zapata's Tamayo's mother, Reina Luisa, arriving in Miami.

Here's the written caption underneath the photo:

"Reina Luisa Tamayo of Cuba carries a flag-draped urn containing the ashes of her son, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, after her arrival at Miami International Airport. Tamayo's son, a Cuban who was considered by some to be a political prisoner, died while on a hunger strike. She and other family members are immigrating to the United States."

"Considered by some to be a political prisoner"?

Every major international human rights group from Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch recognized Orlando Zapata Tamayo as a prisoner of conscience since his arrest during the infamous Black Spring crackdown of 2003.

The question for the Post is -- who didn't consider Zapata Tamayo to be a political prisoner (in order to merit such an insult)?

The Castro brothers?

The prison officials that beat and tortured Zapata Tamayo, which led him to undertake an 85-day hunger strike and to his death?

The Cuban state security thugs that constantly harassed and assaulted his mother?

The soldiers that would physically impede Reina Luisa from visiting her son's grave?

This family has sacrificed way too much -- and suffered more than most could imagine -- for the Washington Post to be giving the Castro brothers (which have executed, imprisoned and exiled more people than any dictatorship in the history of the Western Hemisphere) the benefit of the doubt.

H/T Jose Cardenas

5 comments to The Washington Post not certain Orlando Zapata Tamayo was a political prisoner

  • Rayarena

    I don't know what's worst, for a newspaper like the Washington Post to odiously put into question Zapata's status as a political prisoner or to completely ignore the story as the paper that publishes "ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT" the "The Old Grey [Hussy], aka New York Times did.

    Then again, it's gotten to the point that nothing fazes me out anymore. After listen for the last 50 years to fidel castro being called PRESIDENT, nothing surprises me.

    THE TYPE OF REPORTING ILLUSTRATES WHY THE CUBAN EXILE COMMUNITY SO DESPERATELY NEEDS AN ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE.

  • drillanwr

    That's OK because, while some 'consider' the WaPo to be a newspaper, I'm not certain the WaPo is a legitimate (actual) "news" paper/source in the truest definition of the word.

  • asombra

    Just another Oliphant moment, only more sly and underhanded. I wonder why they even bothered with the story, except as a chance to be perverse assholes, again. Gee, I wonder if WaPo would ever have referred to Mandela as "a prisoner considered by some to be a terrorist," which, strictly speaking, he certainly was. You get the idea. And this is supposed to be a very major news source, as opposed to an advocate for a particular agenda. Same shit, different day.

  • asombra

    Of course, the president of one of our "brother" nations, one Lula of Brazil, who was in Havana around the time of Zapata's death, made a public statement implying that Zapata was just a delinquent or common criminal, and thus there was no real problem. It would appear the WaPo finds Lula more credible, or at least more congenial, than the actual truth.

  • Gigi

    One more reason nobody reads these rags anymore -- not anyone who cares to get the truth. Newspapers are so.....yesterday.