Cuba: Three years of troubling trends
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and unfortunately the dictatorship in Cuba has been successful over the course of decades in covering up most of its misdeeds and seizing almost all evidence of its crimes, but over the past three years activists inside the island have been able to circumvent controls and provide evidence.
Below is a partial sampling of the regime’s crimes and the visual evidence over the past three years.
Extrajudicial deathswith regime involvement
Orlando Zapata Tamayo
The February 23, 2010 death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo attracted international attention after his previous seven years in prison as an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and a prolonged hunger strike failed to generate sufficient outrage to save his life. Denied water, in an effort to break his hunger strike, his kidneys failed and he died.
At the time of Orlando’s death Oswaldo Payá spoke out: “Orlando Zapata Tamayo, dear brother, we will continue the fight, without hatred, but determined that until Cuba is free and Cubans are no longer suffering this shameful humiliation that is to live subdued by fear to a lie.”
Laura Inés Pollán Toledo
A high profile death that occurred on October 14, 2011 just days after the Ladies in White declared themselves a human rights organization dedicated to the freedom of all political prisoners, not just their loved ones was extremely suspicious. Laura Inés Pollán Toledo, one of the founders of the Ladies in White in March of 2003 and its chief spokeswoman was widely admired inside of Cuba and internationally. She fell suddenly ill and died within a week in a manner that a Cuban medical doctor described as “painful, tragic and unnecessary.”
Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas
On July 22, 2012 Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero died in a suspicious car accident while traveling through Bayamo, Cuba. Further evidence that the “car accident” was a premeditated act arranged to get rid of Oswaldo was that this was not the first attempt; another vehicle had targeted him and his wife 20 days earlier while he was in Havana.Oswaldo Payá was the author of the Varela Project, a citizen initiative that in 2002 had forced the dictatorship to change the Cuban Constitution to make it untouchable. In the months prior to his death he had denounced an ongoing campaign by the regime to engage in a fraudulent change and he was naming names.
Over half a century later the body count of the Cuban dictatorship continues to rise.
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