Saturday, February 23, 2013

Three years ago today, Orlando Zapata Tamayo died

"Orlando Zapata Tamayo, dear brother, we will continue the fight, without hatred, but determined that until Cuba is free and Cubans are no longer suffering this shameful humiliation that is to live subdued by fear to a lie." -  Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, February 23, 2010

Two years and just one day shy of seven months after Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, expressed his sorrow and solidarity with the martyred Orlando Zapata Tamayo, he too along with Harold Cepero Escalante became a martyr in the struggle for Cuban freedom. 

The struggle for justice requires memory and the pursuit of the truth wherever the facts lead. At the same time days such as this must be remembered, the victims honored, and those responsible held accountable.

Within the parameters of nonviolent struggle there are a number of actions that one can take to honor a nonviolent martyr.  In the case of Orlando Zapata Tamayo who defended human rights and spoke out for his fellow humans despite the consequences; his courageous example needs to be honored. The fact that he died while on hunger strike protesting the torture and ill treatment he was being subjected to provides one avenue in which to honor him. 

Fasting for 24 hours is a limited way to step, albeit briefly and incompletely, into Orlando Zapata Tamayo's shoes. Beginning the fast at 3:00pm on February 23 and completing it on February 24 at 3:00pm just in time to honor and remember the four members of Brothers to the Rescue seems an appropriate way to pay homage.

What do you think? Will you also be fasting today? Where were you the day Orlando Zapata Tamayo died?


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