International News

Cuba Remains Protest Free on Anniversary of Hunger Striker Orlando Zapata Tamayo's Death

As expected, the Cuban government has been doing a bang-up job keeping protests from flaring into major demonstrations on the first anniversary Wednesday of the death of hunger striker Orlando Zapata Tamayo. The anniversary coincides with major upheavals in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

But the Castro regime should have little to worry about.

They have so far been successful by harassing Zapata's family and warning his mother to stay away from her son's grave in the cemetery in Banes. Reina Luis Tamayo told Amnesty International that she and her husband were held in custody for 12 hours last week, according to news reports.

The government has also done an admirable job of blocking any protests by rounding up potential trouble makers before they can protest. In the hours leading up to the anniversary, the island's impressive security detail reportedly arrested some 40 dissidents and placed another 50 under house detention, according to the Miami Herald.

Guards have been stationed around the cemetery where the bricklayer was buried after an 82-day hunger strike sparked worldwide condemnation and led to the release of 52 political prisoners.

The Castro regime should have little problem with massive protests, since they have managed - like the Chinese - to control access to the internet and other social networking tools.

A video aired by a pro-government blogger mocks the dissidents by showing the plaza where they called a protest bereft of demonstrators. Instead, foreign journalists wait as kids play soccer and the elderly stroll by.

Everything is right with the world.

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Jorge Casuso
Contact: Jorge Casuso