Death of hunger-striking dissident angers Cuban opposition
Jan 20, 2012, 9:16 GMT
Madrid - Cuban dissident Wilman Villar Mendoza has died in hospital after a 50-day hunger strike, Spanish media reported Friday.
The 31-year old died at a hospital in Santiago de Cuba, in the east of the island. He had been taken to hospital from prison, where he was serving a four-year sentence for disobeying the authorities.
Members of the Cuban opposition accused the regime of carrying out a 'political killing.'
Mendoza's death followed that of Orlando Zapata, another dissident who died in February 2010 after a long hunger strike.
Mendoza, a father of two daughters, belonged to a group called the Cuban Patriotic Union, according to Elizardo Sanchez, spokesman for the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN).
He was detained in November during a peaceful demonstration in the eastern locality of Contramaestre, where he lived, according to Berta Soler, a spokeswoman for the opposition group Ladies in White.
Mendoza's wife was not allowed to see his body, though his mother was, according to Spanish National Radio and the daily El Mundo.
Mendoza had been 'assassinated' for 'protesting and defending human rights,' Soler was quoted as saying.
The hospital was surrounded by soldiers, and several people were detained, Spanish media quoted Cuban reports as saying.