Cuban dissident Wilmar Villar has been buried in his hometown in eastern Cuba, rights activists told AFP, as Havana denied the inmate was a political prisoner who died after a 50-day hunger strike.
Mr. Villar (31) is the second dissident to die here after a hunger strike in less than two years, and his passing drew condemnation from national and international human rights groups, as well as foreign governments.
Cuba's rulers “bear complete moral, political and legal responsibility for the death of Wilmar [Villar], because he was in the custody of the authorities,” said dissident leader Elizardo Sanchez, calling it an “avoidable death”.
A wake was held on Friday for Mr. Villar at a funeral home in his town of Contramaestre, 900 km southeast of Havana, with some saying the authorities prevented dissiMore than 30 dissidents in several towns “have already been arrested so they can be prevented from going to the funeral,” said Jose Daniel Ferrer, who was released in 2010. Mr. Sanchez, who leads the banned but tolerated Cuban Committee for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, said Mr. Villar had spent several days in “critical condition” at a hospital in the southeast of the Caribbean island.
The Raul Castro government denies it is holding any political prisoners, and considers jailed opposition activists to be U.S.-backed mercenaries.”