Death in Cuba: A solemn anniversary that set the stage for a violent and repressive 2012
Wilman Villar Mendoza

Yesterday marked the one-year solemn anniversary of the Cuban dictatorship’s murder of human rights activist and dissident Wilman Villar Mendoza. The murder took place in the first weeks of 2012 and Wilman’s death sadly turned out to be an omen for the death and violence the new year held in store for Cuba. Soon after the dispensing of Villar Mendoza, the Castro regime embarked on a record-breaking spree of repression that saw more than 6,000 politically motivated arrests in 2012 and the assassination of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, a prominent Cuban dissident and winner of the 2002 Sakharov Prize.

The anniversary of Wilman’s murder was not lost on the Castro dictatorship. They commemorated the day by brutally beating dissidents who gathered to pay homage to their fallen companion.

Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter has more on the anniversary of Wilman Villar Mendoza’s murder and the beatings administered by the Castro regime one year later:

Remembering dissident’s death one year ago leads to brutal beatings today

“The responsibility for Wilman Villar Mendoza’s death in custody lies squarely with the Cuban authorities, who summarily judged and jailed him for exercising his right to freedom of expression.” –  Amnesty International,  January 20, 2012

Cuban prisoner of conscience Wilman Villar Mendoza died in custody of the Castro regime one year ago today. He was just 31 years old. He should never have been in prison in the first place. He is survived by two little girls; a wife; and his mother.

On the Thursday, January 19, 2012 at approximately 6:30pm Cuban prisoner of conscience and opposition activist Wilmar Villar Mendoza died after his kidneys and other organs failed. He died the result of a prolonged hunger strike provoked by outrage over his unjust imprisonment and four year prison sentence issued in a closed-door sham trial on November 24, 2011 by agents of the Castro regime. He died defending both human rights and dignity. Amnesty International recognized him as a prisoner of conscience and Human Rights Watch documented that Wilmar was a Cuban opposition activist.

Today, when members of his movement, the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), tried to remember their dead friend they were beaten up by Cuban state security agents. At 2:18pm Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia was able to post over twitter video footage of three of the victims of the attack. In a later tweet at 5:32pm, Jose Daniel states: “We can describe as very severe the attacks against UNPACU activists in Santiago de Cuba province, on first anniversary of the death of Wilman Villar.”

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