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Hunger Strikes

Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO - Last week came news was that Orlando Zapata, a Cuban dissident, committed the undiplomatic gaffe of dying of hunger on the very day when Brazil’s President Lula was hobnobbing with the local great (Fidel) and the near-great (Raul). Mr. Zapata had been on a three month hunger strike protesting conditions in the Cuban jail where he and a number of other political prisoners were held.

One surprising thing happened in the midst of several unsurprising things: to everyone’s astonishment, Raul said he regretted Mr. Zapata’s death, and appeared sincere . . .

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