Letter to Willy Toledo

Havana, May 14, 2010

Mr. Willy Toledo:

Your name made headlines for reasons apart from your profession; it was because of your statements following the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo. I think at that point you were ignorant of the fact that the Cuban Policy Publishers published a book in 2002 called The Dissidents in which Zapata appears in two photographs, and in one of them he is identified by his full name, an ignorance that explains your claim that he was just a common criminal.

I don’t criticize you for giving an opinion. For that I envy you! But when you give controversial opinions, it is natural that detractors will appear. Especially when you are a well-known figure.

An interview with you appeared in today’s news in which you stated that you had been demonized by some biased statements in the press on the occasion of the death of Zapata. The media often spin the news in order to sell papers. But I would think that things are going very badly for your country if you were ostracized because of your way of thinking, if your neighbors organized an act of repudiation because of your solidarity with the government of Cuba, if you were denied work because of your political affiliation. I hope and pray that this never happens, and I also hope that the government of Spain doesn’t deny you an exit permit for travel.

Respectfully,

Regina Coyula

Translated by: Tomás A.

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