Cuban Prisoner Dies on Hunger Strike

HAVANA TIMES, Jan 20 — The Cuban political prisoner Wilman Villar Mendoza died on Thursday evening in Santiago de Cuba as a result of a prolonged hunger strike, according to Internet broadcasts yesterday from official spokespeople, as well as relatives and dissidents.

Villar Mendoza, 31, a member of the Union Patriotica de Cuba opposition group, died of multiple organ failures due to generalized sepsis while in a hospital in Santiago de Cuba. The facility remains surrounded by military forces, which have only permitted the entry of the mother of the deceased prisoner, reported the Café Fuerte wbsite.

The wife of the activist, with two young daughters, criticized Cuban State Security for her being prevented from seeing the body of her companion.

This past November, Villar was sentenced to four years in jail on charges of “assault, disrespect and resistance,” following a closed trial.

The case follows that of dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who on May 23, 2010 also died as a result of a hunger strike.