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Thursday, January 19, 2012

We failed Wilmar Villar Mendoza

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented." - Elie Wiesel

We failed Wilmar Villar Mendoza. We didn't speak out in time and now we can only join the chorus denouncing his death. Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel once observed:  "The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference." 

Wilmar Villar Mendoza was unjustly imprisoned and then allowed to die by the Castro regime on January 19, 2012 because he was not known internationally. Like Orlando Zapata Tamayo who died after beatings, torture and unjust imprisonment drove him to a hunger strike and further mistreatment that led to his death on February 23, 2010 international media and diplomatic channels ignored his plight.

Dissidents march peacefully and protest in public spaces in Cuba and are beaten down and detained by State Security often times only social media (bloggers and twitterers) cover their plight. As part of a new generation of activists we have to do better and remain engaged with the men and women risking everything in Cuba for the Cuban people.

Our prayers and condolences for Wilmar Villar Mendoza, his wife Maritza and their two daughters ages 5 and 6. Furthermore out deepest apologies for not having denounced this when he was still alive.

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