The remains of the Cuban martyr Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who was assassinated by the Castro regime, were exhumed today, Tuesday, in the early morning in the Eastern town of Banes.
Reina Luisa Tamayo made some declarations to various news sources about what she and her family have been going through. Here is an excerpt of an article published in El Nuevo Herald (my translation):
Reina Luisa Tamayo, mother of Zapata, told El Nuevo Herald that she was able to assist and verify the exhumation together with relatives and about three other dissidents from Banes.
“We are now on our way to Havana and will be there at around 8 pm. Everything began this morning at 7 and I was able to see it all”, the 62 year old woman declared early this Tuesday morning. “It was very brief. We have never participated in anything like this before and I really thought it was going to take much longer. The cemetery was completely surrounded by soldiers and State Security agents,” added Tamayo with a tired voice.
Tamayo declared that the exhumation process was “calm”, lasted about 15 minutes, and those present shouted various slogans demanding Cuba’s freedom and commemorating her son, such as “Zapata Lives!”
She also declared that for the remainder of the process she will only drink water until she is finally in the United States as a tribute to her son who spent 85 days on hunger strike.
“I will do this together with my daughter Reina Maria and with Ernesto Medero”, Tamayo manifested. “This is the decision of a mother who, with her strength and spirit of struggle, has always maintained herself firm”.
Tamayo and 12 other relatives will be exiled to Miami on Thursday afternoon. The family would only accept exile if the ashes of Orlando Zapata would be given to them. At this moment, Tamayo and her family are traveling from Banes to Havana.
Reina Luisa explained that she could see numerous neighbors and locals of Banes waving her and her family goodbye. The remains are being taken on a funeral car and being followed by at least 6 State Security vehicles.
“All along the road there were people, and many cried,” Zapata said.
And that is how the Cuban regime functions. Not only do they oppress and even assassinate peaceful dissidents but they also unleash a strong wave of repression against their relatives which in many cases, as occurred with the Zapata family, culminate in exile. But while in Cuba political police agents and other representatives of the dictatorship oppress the Zapata Tamayo family through constant mob attacks, beatings, and other forms of harassment, when Reina Luisa and her relatives arrive to Miami they will be received with much solidarity and under chants of “Zapata Lives!” And one day, not too far from now, we will all be able to travel together to a free Cuba where government led mob attacks will no longer exist and where we could all pay the fitting tribute which Orlando Zapata Tamayo deserves.