Pedazos de la Isla

"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation

Category Archives: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

“Rosa Maria Paya lives”: Must-read article by Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Photo by: Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo

Cuban blogger, writer and photographer Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo in “Marti Noticias”. An article about Rosa Maria Paya and her return to Cuba after two months searching for support for an investigation to find the truth about her father’s death. (My translation):

Rosa Maria Paya lives

Tomorrow, at dawn, Rosa Maria Paya returns to Cuba, just as she promised at the Havana airport two months ago. Her word, contrary to what is common in Cuba, is honest.

Rosa Maria will return without bodyguards and without a media scandal, vulnerable and smiling, caressing her tireless cross, back to her already classic humble home on Penon street, near ManilaPark, where her father Oswaldo Paya Sardinas (1952-2012) will never return, nor her good friend Harold Cepero Escalante (1980-2012). Both were leaders of the Christian Liberation Movement, both died on a tragic Sunday of last July, passed onto the hands of strangers and in a place in Cuba that is still uncertain, given that the official version has become unsustainable after all the evidence and testimonies exposed to the world by Rosa Maria Paya, without even having to raise her voice. Before the grotesque screaming of all forms of State Totalitarianism, the voice of a Cuban, an orphan of friendship and love.

Rosa Maria Paya will return to the land where the mortal remains of the martyred leaders of the Christian Liberation Movement rot. She will return alive and with a wish to resuscitate the sacred desires of living in truth in a socialist society, so panic-stricken and full of hypocrisy. Rosa returns and will sprout in Cuba without any accomplice disease of our octogenarian regime. She will return without any pretensions of violating travel laws or declaring herself on hunger strike. She returns inflamed with life and freedom. She returns, with an L (for ‘Liberty’), just like she left on a Friday this past February.

Cuban State Security did not care, at all, about her 24 years of resistance, to horrify the Paya-Acevedo family. A family that still receives anonymous threats of “before the Revolution ends, we are going to kill you”. And, in effect, there is lots of that in the rheumatic rhetoric of the Revolution: anonymity, fear of having a face beyond Fidel and Raul (our Nuremburg trial will be in a minimal format).

The Paya-Acevedo family is a family that still receives anonymous threats of “before the Revolution ends, we are going to kill you”. And, in effect, there is lots of that in the rheumatic rhetoric of the Revolution: anonymity, fear of having a face beyond Fidel and Raul (our Nuremburg trial will be in a minimal format).

Tomorrow morning Rosa Maria Paya will step out of media’s hands, out of the hands of f Human Rights organizations and parliaments, NGOs and democratic governments that have joined in solidarity. Because in Cuba, only bodies count, and the new face of the Christian Liberation Movement, without vocations of sacrifice, will return to a perverted nation which possibly may not let her travel again. It’s possible that we may never see her paused gesticulation, without the improbable arrogance of our caudillos. We may never again hear the vehement tenderness of her valor. In this sense, we should bid a soulful farewell to Rosa Maria Paya.

The main thing here lies, of course, not in her virtuoso image, but in the legacy of a work that is still powerful and possible in the citizen initiatives of the Varela Project, the Heredia Project, and the Path of the People, and many other concrete propositions which reduce the impunity of the Cuban government, as it forces it to comply with its own legality to transform itself according to popular will. An effort of dozens of thousands of citizens which continues to be ignored by our inoperative National Parliament, governmental organ which apparently prefers to opt for its own suicide instead of facing a future transition.

It is precisely this intimidating silence, that insulting impunity on the margin of morality, it is the malicious muteness of lies and death, that’s the welcome with which the authorities of Havana will now spy on Rosa Maria Paya. The CubanState continues to be deaf, up to the point of insolence. Their operational logic is in no means institutional. Instead, it is like a secret sect.

Consequently, any abuse of power is expected against her and her family, both in and out of the island, now or in the survival of a decade in which they tortured her own father in her childhood eyes. Nothing is insignificant in that criminal boiler where the most ‘problematic’ activists of the Cuban opposition have been, are, and will be converted from bodies to corpse.

World, take a better look.

Rosa Maria Paya is alive today.

Solidarity with #AntonioRodiles. ‘Estado de Sats’ will go on.

Despite the fact that Antonio Rodiles is still behind bars in a Cuban prison, the show he help create- “Estado de Sats”- will go on, thanks to his friends and brothers in struggle- independent journalists, bloggers, activists, etc. In the most recent episode of the program, launched this past 16th of November, Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo (photographer and blogger) moderates the show, highlighting the presence of an empty chair which was “symbolically placed in his (Rodiles) memory and also a promise that, sooner or later, he will be with us again to continue this project“.

Rodiles remains detained in the Acosta Police Unit of Havana since this past 8th of November when he set off there to peacefully protest the arrest of various fellow dissidents. The wave of arrests started with the detention of independent blogger and lawyer Yaremis Flores. Afterward, other detainees included Yoani Sanchez, Laritza Diversent, Angel Santiesteban, Claudio Fuentes, Jose Diaz Silva, Veizant Boloy and others. All were released (some with pending accusations), except for Rodiles. His girlfriend, Ailer Gonzalez Mena, has been able to see him briefly and under the constant presence of State Security agents. She has described that he is physically bruised- due to various beatings- but that his spirit remains firm and convinced that he is doing what is right to defend freedom of expression.

Yoani Sanchez managed to publish an article on Huffington Post about Antonio Rodiles’ situation. The article was translated into English by Mary Jo Porter. Read it here.

Use the following hashtags on Twitter to demand the release of Antonio Rodiles: #AntonioRodiles, #Rodiles, #FreeRodiles, #LibertadRodiles.

Why Do You Fight?

“Why Do You Fight”? That is the question which blogger, writer, photographer and activist Luis Felipe Rojas Rosabal asked various of dissidents in Cuba in his latest documentary, produced from within the island.

The reasons which the interviewees give are diverse, but they all coincide in that the Cuban dictatorship destroys freedom for all citizens and that they (dissidents) not only fight for their individual rights, but also for the rights of the entire nation.

Rojas Rosabal interviewed José Daniel Ferrer García (former political prisoner), Marta Díaz Rondon (Lady in White), Caridad Caballero Batista (Lady in White) , Tania Montoya (Lady in White) , Raumel Vinajera (former political prisoner) , Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina (former political prisoner)  and Reina Luisa Tamayo (mother of assassinated political prisoner, Orlando Zapata Tamayo).  In addition, the film includes some everyday images of Cuba taken by Rojas himself.

“Why do you Fight?” was published through the YouTube account of Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, also an independent blogger and photographer and includes English subtitles.

Tweet of the Day

Today’s “Tweet” comes from photographer, writer and blogger Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo and is in reference to the meeting between Cardinal Jaime Ortega and some of the Ladies in White, which took place this thursday 7th of June in Havana:

[TRANSLATION] @OLPL: I’d Wish that the Cardinal would invite the Ladies in White, but to the State Council, to end with so much official intolerance which has been accumulated for decades!

Follow Orlando on Twitter: @OLPL

In the vast majority of cases, Twitter is used freely and frequently throughout the world by all sorts of users.  It is a message which is instantaneously published on the internet (which is limited to 140 characters) and deals with any subject which the user wishes to discuss, whether it be social, entertainment, humor, science, politics, commentary, etc.  In Cuba, Twitter messages cost users 1 CUC (national currency) each and are only possible through phone text messages, unless the user has access to the internet (a rare Case in Cuba, considering the tight state censorship practiced over the web).  In many cases, friends who have joined in solidarity in the exterior of the island help these Twitter users to publish their messages.

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