Following the death of the Cuban dissident Orlando Zapata after a hunger strike, this paragon of virtue and clear thinking declared that Zapata was just a common criminal, that the so-called political prisoners in that paradise island were nothing more than terrorists and traitors and that Cuba is a model to be followed by other countries (perhaps if N Korea were to follow the Cuban model the sum of human happiness might be increased slightly, but I would advise other countries to leave it well alone).
The press reported these ramblings (he's a celebrity, after all, so what he says is important) and he was, not surprisingly, criticised. Rather than reflect on the rightness of his words, or even defend them properly, he started whining about the press ganging up on him and denying him the right to free speech. Yes, indeed, a man who has the national media hanging on his every word complains that his right to free speech is being compromised because some people (including me) have dared to disagree with him and this in the context of a discussion about a country which uses brutal force against those try to speak freely, and a man who starved himself to death rather than recognise that Fidel could tell him what to think. Toledo also thinks that comparable human rights abuses take place in Spain every day, which I take to mean that not taking people like him seriously is broadly similar to murdering thousands, imprisoning many more for daring to stand up to you, and condemning your entire country to 50 years of poverty, misery and effective slavery. Given the egos these people have that is probably what he does mean.
The official press in Cuba quickly started planting articles like this one, which creates a criminal past for Zapata, and a touching tale of how he was given the best medical care in an attempt to save him from himself. That's probably what Toledo was quoting, but it's quite obviously made up, in the same way that the figures for longevity and literacy, which place Cuba among the top half-dozen countries in the world, are simply invented by Fidel. Who's going to question them?
For better reflections on Cuba, including comments on the life and death of Orlando Zapata, see this and this.
The Spanish Communist Party has defended Toledo, of course, and complained that he is quiet right and its very beastly and repressive of us to tell him he's wrong. Amazing how liberal these tyrants can become when it's their freedom that's in question (not that anyone is trying to stop him speaking, they are just pointing out that he talks cobblers).
The English Wikipedia page on Willy Toledo consists at the moment of a very brief biography, a filmography and this rather splendid paragraph, which I reproduce in full because I'm sure it'll soon be removed (rightly, as it's not encyclopaedic). I didn't write it, but I have said similar things before about people like him:
"Mr. Toledo is a supporter of the communist regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba, which he considers "a model to follow". Surprisingly he never considered moving to the politically oppressed and economically ruined island. Instead he enjoys the luxuries of capitalism and democracy in Spain, where he has become a wealthy actor and is free to express his opinions without fear of being imprisoned, tortured or killed.
According to some of his critics[,] he is just a vulgar example of a hypocritical scum, which would never accept living under the oppression of the communist Cuban regime he so outspokenly defends.
In March 2010, in a round table in support of Sahara independence groups, celebrated in Madrid Spain, Mr. Toledo declared that Orlando Zapata Tamayo was merely a common criminal and not a dissident. He added that "all political prisoners in Cuba were not dissidents but people who had committed terrorist acts against the Cuban Government, acts that constitute treason against the Homeland and a bunch of crimes". He also declared in the same meeting that "the Cuban Government is a victim of a sort of paranoid persecution" by the Western democracies and the international community. He then opined about the Castro regime by saying that «with its defects and virtues, it is a model to be followed in many aspects"."Sorry most of the links are in Spanish, but those of you who can read them will find it very rewarding.