Cuba Rejects Condemnation of Euro Parliament Over Hunger-Striker’s Death

Posted on March 11, 2010

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Orlando Zapata Tamayo died in a Cuban prison after a hunger strike he refused to cease in spite of requests to do so by Cuban authorities.  Counterrevolutionaries, both inside and outside Cuba, portrayed him as a prisoner of conscience and claimed he was being held unjustly.  But Zapata was no prisoner of conscience — he had a rap sheet and even committed crimes while in prison.  The European Parliament has passed a resolution condeming Cuba over the man’s death.

Directly below is the excerpt of the European Parliament’s resolution that pertains to Zapata.  Following that is the declaration from Cuba’s National Assembly of People’s Power rejecting the criticism and pointing out the hypocrisy of the allegations.

 

RESOLUTION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT (excerpt), March 10, 2010

E. whereas the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo – the first time in nearly 40 years that a Cuban
activist has died on hunger strike in protest against government abuses – is considered a
serious step backwards for human rights in Cuba and has resulted in a wave of protest at
international level and in more Cuban political and dissident prisoners going on hunger
strike,

1. Strongly condemns the avoidable and cruel death of the dissident political prisoner Orlando

Zapata Tamayo after a hunger strike of 85 days, and expresses its solidarity and sympathy

with his family;

2. Condemns the pre-emptive detention of activists and the government’s attempt to prevent the

family of Orlando Zapata Tamayo from holding his funeral and paying their last respects;

3. Deplores the absence of any significant signs of response by the Cuban authorities to the

calls by the EU and the international community for all political prisoners to be released and

for fundamental freedoms, especially freedom of expression and political association, to be

fully respected;

4. Calls on the Cuban Government for the immediate and unconditional release of all political

prisoners and prisoners of conscience;

5. Voices its concern at the situation of the political prisoners and dissidents who went on

hunger strike following Zapata’s death; welcomes the fact that most of them are now taking

food again, but draws attention to the alarming state of the journalist and psychologist

Guillermo Fariñas, whose continuation of the hunger strike could have fatal consequences;

6. Deplores the failure to respond to the repeated calls by the Council and Parliament for the

immediate release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and stresses that

imprisoning Cuban dissidents for their ideals and their peaceful political activity is contrary

to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

7. Urges the Council and Commission to step up action to demand the release of political

prisoners and promote and provide guarantees for the work of human rights defenders, along

the lines agreed by the Foreign Affairs Council in its conclusions of 8 December 2009;

8. Urges the EU institutions to give their unconditional support and full encouragement to the

launching of a peaceful process of political transition to multi-party democracy in Cuba;

9. Voices its profound solidarity with the entire Cuban people and its support for them in their

progress towards democracy and respect and promotion of fundamental freedoms

10. Calls on the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and

the Commissioner responsible for cooperation immediately to begin a structured dialogue

with Cuban civil society and with those who support a peaceful transition in Cuba, in
keeping with the conclusions successively adopted by the Council of the EU, using the
Community’s development cooperation mechanisms, in particular under the European
Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights;
11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the EU

rotating Presidency, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union

for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly

and the Cuban Government and National Assembly of People’s Power.

 

 

March 10, 2010

13:40 hs

DECLARATION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF PEOPLE’S POWER

 

In the aftermath of a campaign orchestrated essentially by powerful European media companies, which have viciously attacked Cuba, and following a sullied debate, the European Parliament has just passed a condemnation resolution against our country manipulating sentiments, distorting facts, deceiving people and obscuring reality.

 

The pretext has been the death of an inmate first punished for common crimes and then manipulated by US interests and the mercenaries at its service. This man refused to eat despite all warnings and the intervention of Cuban medical specialists.

 

This unfortunate event cannot be used to condemn Cuba under the allegation that his death could have prevented. If there is an area in which our country does not need to defend itself with words, because reality is undisputable, that is in its struggle for human life and not only for those born in Cuba but elsewhere, too. The presence of Cuban doctors in Haiti for eleven years prior to the earthquake of last January, practically ignored by the mainstream press, is but an example of this.

 

A great cynicism stands behind that condemnation, for countless lives, especially of children, have been lost in the poor nations due to the decision of the rich countries represented at the European Parliament to avoid honoring their commitments to development aid. Everyone knew that such a decision was a massive death sentence, yet they chose to preserve the level of wastage and ostentation of an eventually suicidal consumerism.

 

Cubans find it offensive this attempt at teaching us lessons as in Europe immigrants and the unemployed are the victims of repression while here, in neighbors’ meetings –freely and without intermediaries– our people put up their candidates to the municipal elections.

 

Those who were involved in and/or allowed the air smuggling of detainees, the establishment of illegal prisons and the tortures lack the morality to pass judgment on a brutally blockaded and harassed people.

 

Such a discriminatory and selective condemnation can only result from the failure of a policy that has unsuccessfully tried to submit a heroic people. Neither the Helms-Burton Act nor the European Common Position, –both approved the same year, under similar circumstances and with equal purpose, and both harmful to our sovereignty and national dignity—have any future, since the Cubans reject impositions, intolerance and pressure in the development of international relations.

 

National Assembly of People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba

March 11, 2010   

Posted in: CIA, Cuba, Imperialism, US