Twelve years ago today on February 23rd, 2010, Orlando Zapata Tamayo took his last breath. His body had already absorbed an infinite number of blows inflicted upon him by Cuban State Security thugs during the countless beatings he suffered in prison. Orlando held on for as long as he could and his body would allow.
But although they had managed to break his body, they were never able to break his mind. Orlando remained clear and strong even as his tormentors taunted him, calling him a “worthless ni….” He refused to surrender his dignity and the dignity of his country. He stood strong against the tyranny, the oppression, and the racism of a socialist dictatorship. Not once did he ever waver, and that only served to further infuriate his tormentors.
On that fateful day twelve years ago, Orlando Zapata Tamayo showed the communist Castro dictatorship that they can take away a man’s rights, his freedom, and destroy his body, but they can never take away his dignity.
Today on the anniversary of his death we also honor the life of Orlando Zapata Tamayo. A life of dignity and without compromise. A life that any man who values liberty and freedom would be proud of.
Rest in peace, Orlando. Your sacrifice, your courage, and your dignity will never be forgotten.
Learn more about Orlando Zapata Tamayo at Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter.