Orlando Zapata’s Inconvenient Corpse / Reinaldo Escobar

Not content with deporting the recently released political prisoners, the Cuban government is now expelling from his land the exhumed remains of Orlando Zapata Tamayo. The procedure has been the same: make life impossible for the family and offer them the tantalizing solution of exile. They repeat, in this way, the well-known recipe of launching the pack against defenseless people in order to appear themselves, at the perfect moment, to save them from the irate claws of their front line troops disguised as “angry people.”

The foreign press accredited in Cuba, eager for their reports to lead the news, will enjoy the privilege of interviewing the martyr’s mother at the airport to confirm the falsehood that, ultimately, all the fuss was just for this. With the intention of organizing this scene, unauthorized people have assured Reina Tamayo that everything is already arranged for her to travel to the United States, when in fact the Interest Section of this country hasn’t even received a formal request for the visa.

Representatives of the Cuban Catholic Church collaborated in the task of persuading Orlando’s mother that everything was ready to end the ordeal that the political police had condemned her to: facing the organized pickets — Sunday after Sunday — who prevent her from going to the cemetery and the temple of Banes. They absolved her of continuing her sacrifice, pardoned her sins, and showed her that the path to her cross led in the opposite direction. The day of the exhumation will be the one year anniversary of the beatification of Padre Olallo, and also one year since, in a punishment cell in Kilo 7 Prison in Camaguey, Zapata Tamayo chose immolation over submission.

Time will pass, and one day we will receive, as if we earned it, what remains by then of the inconvenient corpse of this man, who left not a single memorable phrase in writing, nor was he the leader of anyone, but he made us ashamed of our daily cowardice.

November 29, 2010