Cuba dissident's remains exhumed, family to leave

June 7, 2011 - 2:27 PM
Cuba Dissidents

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2010 file photo, an image of the late Cuban dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo hangs on a door under a black ribbon in Havana, Cuba. The remains of Tamayo, who died on February 23, 2010 following an 83-day hunger strike, have been exhumed for cremation. Tamayo's mother intends to take the ashes with her on Thursday June 9, 2011 to the United States, which granted her political refuge. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes, File)

HAVANA (AP) — The remains of a Cuban dissident who died following an 83-day hunger strike have been exhumed for cremation.

Orlando Zapata Tamayo's mother intends to take the ashes with her this week to the United States, which granted her political refuge.

Reina Luisa Tamayo says relatives and some dissidents were at a cemetery in the eastern city of Banes when her son's remains were dug up. She is accompanying them to Havana for cremation.

She told The Associated Press on Tuesday that "this is all very hard."

Tamayo and 12 other relatives plan to fly to Florida on Thursday.

Orlando Zapata Tamayo died February 23, 2010.

Cuba considers its small community of dissidents to be U.S.-backed mercenaries out to destabilize the country.