Only after his death after more than 80 days on hunger strike, did Orlando Zapata Tamayo become a widely known name. His blood is on the hands of the Castro dictatorship, but maybe his life would have been spared if more of the world had aware of his struggle, and acted on his behalf, before he succumbed Feb. 23 to his protest and the malignant neglect of his captors.

Let us make sure that Zapata's fellow prisoner Egberto Escobedo Morales gets the attention he needs and deserves as he carries out his own hunger strike -- now more than 50 days long -- demanding that the dictatorship respect his human rights and that of all Cubans.

According to Radio Marti, Escobedo is currently in very poor health in the infirmary at the Cerámica Roja prison in Camagüey. The vitamins and other nutrients he is receiving via IV are not making a difference, and fellow political prisoner Jorge Alberto Liriano Linares said Escobedo is at risk of dying if he is not transferred to a hospital.

Despite his poor condition, former political prisoner Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez" told Radio Marti that Escobedo is maintaining his position against the dictatorship. He is refusing to wear the uniform of a common prisoner and to participate in any of the prison's efforts to "re-educate" him.

After more than 50 days on hunger strike, Escobedo still is not one of Cuba's better-known prisoners. He already had been jail for some eight years at the time of the "black spring" crackdown of 2003; he is not part of the "Group of 75."

That is why it is vital that word of his protest be proclaimed over and over again, so that Escobedo -- and his captors -- know that he is not forgotten. In doing so, we hopefully can save his life.

For the five reasons Escobedo has been on hunger strike since April 16, read this previous post; and for more on his current condition, visit the Cuban Democratic Directorate.

Source: Uncommon sense.

for the freedom of all cuban political prisoners
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