A Cuban dissident, Villar Mendoza, died January 19 after a 50-day hunger strike, according to Human Rights Watch. Mendoza was detained in November for participating in a peaceful protest that called for greater political freedom and human rights. He was sentenced to four years in prison after a speedy trial that lasted less than an hour. He went on a hunger strike to protest the unjust trial and imprisonment.
When he went on his hunger strike, he was placed in solitary confinement and stripped naked, according to his wife, Maritza Pelegrino Cabrales, who is associated with the Damas de Blanco, “a human rights group consisting of wives, mothers, and daughters of political prisoners,” according to HRW.
Cabrales, who has been threatened, has not been able to see his body.
The Cuban government needs to be held accountable for its actions. Unjustly imprisoning a citizen who speaks out against its government is not right. Neither is threatening his wife and children. These people are trying to create a better Cuban society- one that enjoys more political freedoms and human rights. Falsely imprisoning dissidents will not further the current regimes agenda; it will only hinder its objectives in the long run.
The people will rise up. It does not end with Mendoza.