Julián Antonio Monet Borrero
UPDATED, Sept. 3, 2010 — Monet is being released, albeit with conditions. He tells Radio Marti he can travel only between his home and his work. His hunger strike is over.
UPDATED, Sept. 1, 2010 — Monet tells a Cuban independent journalist that officials have told him he will be released Sept. 3 but adds he will continue his hunger strike until he is home with his family.
Orlando Zapata Tamayo started his hunger strike, and subsequently died earlier this year so that other Cuban political prisoners, like Julián Antonio Monet Borrero, wouldn't have to, so that his sacrifice would change how political prisoners — and for that, all Cubans — are treated by the Castro dictatorship.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the regime that has enslaved and murdered Cubans for more than 51 years, is not persuaded by actions of courage and selflessness like Zapata's.
The attention and scrutiny brought on Havana by Zapata's death has forced some action by the dictatorship, like the actual or promised release of 52 prisoners of conscience.
But it has not changed the dictatorship nor how it treats the Cuban people — especially those with the courage of Orlando Zapata Tamayo and Julián Antonio Monet Borrero.
So that is why Monet, who has been on his own hunger strike since July 2 to demand his release from prison, may be near death.
It has been written on this blog and elsewhere that Zapata's death awakened an unprecedented awareness of the human rights situation, especially in the Castro gulag.
Well, now is the time for the world to show that awareness and step up on behalf of Julian Antonio Money Borrero in order to save his life.
Zapata is dead because of his protest, and the malignant neglect and indifference shown by his captors.
But he also was a victim of a world where most are asleep when it comes to the horrors of Castro's Cuba. Not enough people knew Zapata's name until it was too late to save his life.
That cannot happen again.
Julián Antonio Monet Borrero, and the cause of Cuban freedom, are depending on it.
This is the second time Monet has been named the Prisoner of the Week. Read the earlier profile, which includes information about his background as an anti-Castro activist, here.