Canada Mourns Death of Political Prisoner in Cuba

(No. 80 - February 25, 2010 - 4:20 p.m. ET) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement regarding the February 23 death in Cuba of political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who was on a hunger strike to protest his jail conditions:

“I was deeply saddened to learn of Mr. Zapata Tamayo’s death. On behalf of all Canadians, I offer heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

“Canada remains concerned that Cuba continues to curtail civil and political rights, including freedom of expression and association. We call on the Cuban government to release all political prisoners and to show greater tolerance for Cubans who express opposing views.”

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Catherine Loubier
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874