The government of the one-party police state of Cuba stands rebuked before the world for the death in custody of dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo. The highest levels of the Communist Party of Cuba bear direct responsibility for his death. Friends of freedom around the world should take this unwelcome news as a call to renew support for the movement for democracy and freedom of information and expression in Cuba.
It is sad that President Lula da Silva of Brazil, who struggled against the military dictatorship in his own country, dishonors the memory of the dead activist by blaming him for his own fate. Rather than making even a pro forma protest against the Cuban government’s repressive campaign against the democracy movement, Da Silva is quoted in The New York Times as saying, “I am against hunger strikes.”