Orlando Zapata Tamayo, 42, a plumber and bricklayer declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, died on 23 February 2010 in Havana’s Hermanos Ameijeras hospital after an 82-day hunger strike to protest frequent beatings by Cuban guards at the Kilo 7 prison in the eastern province of Camagüey.
Zapato Tamayo stopped eating solid food voluntarily. But, de facto, his death is a premeditated homicide whose chief intellectual authors are Fidel and Raul Castro.
How did the Cuban regime respond? Cuban tyrant Raúl Castro issued a statement saying that he “laments the death of Cuban prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who died after conducting a hunger strike.”
Meanwhile, the Cuban regime’s security forces arrested at least 30 pro-democracy activists to prevent them from attending Zapata Tamayo’s funeral service.
How did the allegedly democratic leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean respond?
Brazil’s President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, who co-founded the Sao Paulo Forum in 1990 with Fidel Castro, expressed pro-forma “lament” for Zapata Tamayo’s murder during an official visit to Havana this week.
But da Silva was just mouthing meaningless platitudes which demonstrate, once again, that at heart he remains a radical communist without an iota of respect for human rights and democracy.
Da Silva then gave the Castro regime more money, and spent the rest of his visit enjoying the hospitality, friendship and, yes, hearty meals served up by the Castros.
But that’s it. Not a single democratically elected leader of Latin America and the Caribbean said anything.
None of the region’s “leaders” who feted Raul Castro last weekend at the Latin American and Caribbean Unity Summit in Cancun, Mexico voiced any outrage.
No one protested or condemned the Cuban regime’s murder by starvation of a poor black plumber and bricklayer whose “crime” was his legitimate desire to live in freedom and respect for his human and democratic rights.
Caracas Gringo, like all Venezuelans, is long accustomed to the fact that President Hugo Chavez is a foul-mouthed tyrant and criminal who hobnobs with narco-terrorists, professional gangsters and the planet’s worst regimes.
It’s also to be expected that no protests would be heard from gangsters like Bolivia’s coca junkie Evo Morales, Nicaragua’s alcoholic child rapist Daniel Ortega, Argentina’s corrupt Cristina “Botox Queen” Kirchner, and Ecuador’s FARC collaborator Rafael Correa.
Sad to say, but it’s clear the current crop of Latin American and Caribbean “democratic leaders” are a cowardly self-serving herd of pigs. No offense is intended to the four-legged species.