Santa Clara, February 26, 2010
Army General Raúl Castro Ruz.
President of the Councils of State and Minister of the Republic of Cuba.
Copy to: Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba. Army Corps General Abelardo Colome Ibarra, Interior Minister of Cuba.
As you lamented to the foreign press on February 23 of this year, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, political prisoner of conscience recognized by Amnesty International, died after an 83-day Hunger Strike.
From the conversations I’ve had with respect to this death with officials of State Security, they attempted to justify the death saying they tried to do everything from the medical point of view and it was the body’s own vital organs of the now deceased which could not withstand the prolonged fast.
If this is true, you have the opportunity to show your countrymen, and foreign observers of the reality of our country, that your government is not the cruel entity, inhumane and bloody, as it is so much publicized to be. A country where constant beatings, tortures and humiliations take place within the more than 200 prisons here.
Attached to this document is a list of Cuban political prisoners of conscience who are currently in a serious state of health, which could be lethal, if these inmates are not released quickly, given the difficult conditions with regards to food, hygiene and access to medicines which predominate in the penitentiary settings.
If the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo was not planned political vengeance, as we your detractors allege and as your apologists deny, then order the immediate release of these very sick inmates, because to do the contrary would run the risk of death in prison of other human beings who never engaged in violence to criticize your government.
We both have a characteristic that unites us, we were born in Cuba and through our opposing political world views we both consider ourselves to be patriots, you from communism and I from anti-communism, and that the Country should be above everything. Our patriotic duty is to avoid painful and unnecessary deaths, such as happened to Orlando Zapata Tamayo,
Your political spokesmen justify your regime’s repression against us, with the pejorative nickname claiming we are “mercenaries.” I point out to you, Mr. President, that no authentic mercenary sacrifices himself for his country as Orlando Zapata Tamayo has done.
And to make it clear that what Orland Zapata Tamayo did does not constitute a rarity among us, your public opponents, and that his death has not been in vain, I declare a Hunger and Thirst Strike until my comrades in the fight of ideas who are mortally ill are brought in freedom to their homes.
Guillermo Fariñas Hernandez, bachelor of psychology, ex-political prisoner on three occasions, independent journalist and librarian.