Laura Pollan

Death of Cuban Hunger Striker Part of Larger Wave of Repression in Cuba

January 23, 2012

by Frank Calzon

Another Cuban, Wilmar Villar, died in a hunger strike on the island last week protesting the abuses of the Castro regime.  His wife was not permitted to see his body.  Yoani Sanchez, the Cuban blogger who has received several international awards and who is not permitted to travel abroad, reported his death on the Internet.

For weeks Cuban exiles had been calling on governments and  human rights organizations for help. We do not know if Cardinal Ortega Alamino, who has access to General Raúl Castro, interceded privately with him on behalf of Wilmar who is the father of two children;  or if the Cuban Cardinal, who participated in the arrangement where Cuba released political prisoners and forced many of them and their families, including children, into banishment in Spain, alerted the Holy See about the impending death.

The Cuban regime can no longer murder in secrecy; it fears the Internet and the Cubans who are willing to die demanding respect for human rights. But the regime continues to enjoy international impunity for its unspeakable deeds. The opening to Havana sponsored by the Obama Administration has emboldened the Castro brothers who are engaged in a widespread human rights crackdown.  Right now Senator Richard Durbin is in Havana, presumably discussing ways of further lessening of U.S. sanctions with Cuban authorities.

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Tags: Human Rights, Cuba, Raul Castro, Laura Pollan