On the morning of February 23rd, 2010, we posted a note entitled, "Who Cares About Orlando Zapata Tamayo?"
It was a desperate plea for the world to focus on the plight of a young Cuban political prisoner, who had spent over 80-days on a hunger strike protesting the torture and abuses of the Castro regime, and whose health had quickly deteriorated.
The Obama Administration and the international media remained silent.
That afternoon, Orlando Zapata Tamayo tragically died.
We'll never forget the eerie premonition of that post.
On January 19th, 2012, we similarly posted a note entitled, "Who Cares About Wilman Villar Mendoza?"
Villar Mendoza, 31-years old at the time, had been arrested for staging a peaceful demonstration on November 14, 2011, and sentenced to four years in prison.
Similarly, the Obama Administration and the international media remained silent.
He died the next day, pursuant to a 50-day hunger strike.
Here is a tragic fact: From Orlando Zapata Tamayo and Wilman Villar Mendoza, to Oswaldo Paya and Laura Pollan, more Cuban political prisoners and dissident leaders have been killed (or died in mysterious circumstances) under Obama's watch than under any U.S. administration in decades.
We'd also stress that this has been under the orders of General Raul Castro, who Obama this month professed to be "more of a pragmatist" -- perhaps in the mold of Bashar al-Assad.
It's a striking reminder about Raul Castro's brutality and the impunity he has felt in dealing with the Obama Administration.
Today, not based on premonition, but on the hope that a valuable lesson has been learned, we pray that the world's attention turns to Vladimir Morera Bacallao.
Morera Bacallo, an independent labor activist, was one of the 53 political prisoners released as part of the Obama-Castro deal on December 17th, 2014.
He was re-arrested in April 2015, pursuant to the Castro regime's sham municipal "elections."
His "crime"? Placing a sign outside his home that read, "I vote for my freedom and not in an election where I cannot choose my president."
Last month, the Castro regime informed Morera Bacallao that he had been handed a new four-year prison sentence.
In other words, Raul Castro reneged on his deal with Obama.
Morera Bacallao has been on hunger strike since October 9th, 2015.
Last week, in the exact same pattern that led to Orlando Zapata Tamayo's death, he was transferred from his prison cell to an intensive care unit in the Santa Clara Hospital.
He is near death.
Morera Bacallao is a man of extraordinary character and conviction.
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