In Cuba, even the dead are being forced into exile

Spain’s ABC newspaper is reporting that the Cuban dictatorship has agreed to turnover the remains of the martyred prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo to his mother Reina Luisa Tamayo on the condition that she and her family immediately leave the island. Facing harassment, beatings, and oppression from government led mobs camped outside her house on a daily basis, the 62-year-old Reina Luisa Tamayo has been left with no other choice but to leave the island or risk her own murder or the murder of another one of her children. “I don’t want to leave Cuba,” she said, “but I have to go where my children go because I do not want to suffer another loss.”

After the assassination of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, the Cuban dictatorship has found itself with a public relations nightmare. It has tried to relieve the pressure by deporting prisoners of conscience into forced exile, a ruse developed by the regime with the help of the Spanish government and the Catholic Church. But the memory of Zapata Tamayo and his message of liberty and freedom has become stronger since his murder, and now the regime is forced to exile his remains. “They are doing this because the Cuban government is in a hurry to get us out of the country because of everything my son symbolizes,” Reina Luisa said in an interview.

So it has come to this in Cuba, where even the dead must be banished and exiled in order for the regime to remain in power. The fear the Castro dictatorship has of the memory of Orlando Zapata Tamayo speaks not only to the power of the martyred hero’s message, but also to the weakness of their murderous and corrupt regime.

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