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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Category Archives: Oswaldo Paya
June 3, 2013Posted by on
Manuel Robles, young member of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) in Havana recently wrote on his Twitter account (@manue_rv) that he had received a call from inside of Cuba which he could not respond to at that moment. When he called back, an unknown voice asked if his number belonged “to the dead person”.
Robles said the number which called him was +72-053-912.
This Monday, June 3rd, Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of the fallen leader of MCL, Oswaldo Paya, denounced on her Twitter account (@RosaMariaPaya) the situation confronting Robles, explaining that they are calling “his cell phone with death threats”. Paya added that “State Security continues with their threats”.
These threats are common against members of the Movement. Ofelia Acevedo, widow of Oswaldo Paya, has received similar calls, while Rosa Maria and an aunt have also received them. Other dissidents from different pro-freedom groups face similar situations. Oswaldo would frequently receive them as well.
The Paya family has not stopped denouncing this reality, as they have also not stopped demanding an independent investigation of the events which led to the death of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero.
This July will mark one year since their mysterious deaths in the Eastern Cuban city of Bayamo.
May 8, 2013Posted by on
“ABC.es” reports that Angel Carromero, Spanish politician who was in the vehicle where Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero died under strange circumstances in July of last year in Cuba, has reaffirmed Paya’s version of the events, which state that the death of the dissident leader was no accident. Carromero also says that an international investigation of the incidents will take place. My translation:
Carromero reaffirms the version of Paya’s family in regards to the dissident’s death
The Vice-Secretary of Madrid’s “Nuevas Generaciones”, Angel Carromero, has reaffirmed the information which Oswaldo Paya’s family has in reference to the incident where the Cuban dissident lost his life and where he was involved. The reaffirmation came after he was asked for his version of the events.
The declarations were made during Carromero’s first interview with the Spanish media after returning to the country after he was sentenced in Cuba for Paya’s death and have also coincided with a tribute to Paya carried out by the Popular Party of Rivas Vaciamadrid in the Council of the mentioned city, with the presence of various relatives of the dissident as well as the president of Madrid’s PP, Esperanza Aguirre.
When asked how he was doing, the Spaniard said “very well”, and in regards to his thoughts while seeing images of Oswaldo Paya during the event he pointed out that he felt “much emotion” because “he was a significant figure for Cuba and all the Cuban people”.
“He was hope…and what I want is that the Cuban people may have many people like Oswaldo Paya who only wanted freedom for all those people and for all those families”, he signaled.
In regards to his opinion on what happened on the day of the accident where Paya lost his life, he limited himself to say that he “reaffirms” the information which the dissident’s family has. They have precisely been denouncing this for months, saying that since the very beginning they are sure that the incident was no casual accident. “I continue supporting what the family has said”, he explains. As for if he believes there will be justice, he replies “an international investigation will go underway”.
The original report, in Spanish, here.
May 8, 2013Posted by on
This Wednesday, May 8th 2013, marks 2 years since human rights activist Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia died after a beating at the hands of the political police in the city of Santa Clara, Villa Clara province, in Cuba.
Soto was beat by agents on May 5th 2011 in the mentioned city for the simple fact that he was out on the street carrying out a completely peaceful demonstration against the regime. He was urgently rushed to a hospital where he died three days later, on Mother’s Day.
He was 46 years old and was a proud father.
Members of Cuba’s internal opposition have considered Soto Garcia to be one of the many martyrs in the fight for freedom in the country, and have even used his name to create new pro-democracy groups.
“My friend Juan Wilfredo Soto (#JWS) was assassinated 2 years ago in Cuba for thinking differently”, wrote blogger and Baptist Pastor Mario Felix Lleonart on his Twitter account (@maritovoz), “God will do justice very soon for the assasination of Juan Wilfredo Soto, Oswaldo Paya, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Laura Pollan and many others”, signaled another message.
Meanwhile, dissident GuillermoFariñas wrote on his Twitter account (@chirusa32) that on the second anniversary of Soto’s death, 16 activists were impeded by political police forces to enter the cemetery where the remains of Soto Garcia lay in Santa Clara. Another 4 were arrested.
Friends of the dissident lovingly referred to Juan Wilfredo Soto as “The Student“.
His death has not been in vain.
April 25, 2013Posted by on
In a recent video-interview published by The Washington Post, journalist Brook Silva-Braga chats with Rosa Maria Paya, in English, about her mission to find the truth about her father’s death and about the struggle for a free Cuba.
After Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero, founders and members of the Christian Liberation Movement, died in July of 2012, the Paya family has not accepted the government’s version of a simple car accident, considering that Oswaldo would constantly receive calls from State Security saying that they would kill him. In addition, relatives and friends in Cuba and abroad had received text messages minutes before the incident, where the passengers alerted that they were being followed by a State Security vehicle.
Rosa Maria Paya recently returned to Cuba after a two month long trip to different countries in search of international support for an independent investigation to find the truth about her father’s death. She has said that the struggle for the truth continues from inside of Cuba and has been denouncing the continuation of death threats against her family by State Security.
In this interview, Paya expands on the importance of having an independent investigation about her father’s death and dismisses the supposed reforms that the Cuban regime has undertaken, affirming that allowing some Cubans to travel does not provide the necessary human rights for all citizens.
“We are fighting for real changes in Cuba”, says the young activist, “we are calling for a real transition, not these reforms which do not bring rights to my people”.
This video is a must-see:
April 15, 2013Posted by on
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.
April 11, 2013Posted by on
Rosa Maria Paya will take part in a “Chat about Democratic Thought“, organized by the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), in Miami this Friday, April 12th. The event will be open to the public and will take place at 9:00 PM in the Parish Salon of the Immaculate Conception Church, located at 4497 West 1st Avenue, Hialeah, FL 33012.
According to MCL’s page (oswaldopaya.org), “it will be an encounter between Rosa Maria Paya with exiled organizations and all those who are interested to hear the testimony of real changes and a reaffirmation to say NO to fraudulent change which the Cuban regime is trying to depict”.
In addition, the young Cuban will let the public know about all she’s done in her trip abroad to obtain an international and independent investigation to find the truth about the death of her father, Oswaldo Paya and fellow youth activist Harold Cepero.
Welcome to Miami, Rosa Maria! Here in Miami we also support the independent investigation.
April 8, 2013Posted by on
The image of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero lit up the New York night on Saturday April 6th, thanks to the creativity of exiled Cuban artist Geandy Pavon, as part of a heartfelt tribute to the deceased dissidents, members of the Christian Liberation Movement left dead last July after a mysterious ‘car accident’ which fellow dissidents and relatives denounce as an assassination organized by the regime’s State Security apparatus.
In the presence of Rosa Maria Paya, her brother Oswaldo Paya Acevedo (children of the dissident leader) and former political prisoner Regis Iglesias (representative of the Movement in exile), Pavon projected a photo of Oswaldo and Harold on the Cuban UN Missions building, located on Lexington Avenue.
The exposition is part of Project Nemesis which in the past has paid tribute to other activists disappeared by the Cuban regime, like Orlando Zapata Tamayo (projected in Washington DC, New York and Madrid) and Laura Pollan (projected in Ottawa, Canada).
“It was a gesture of solidarity and also a gesture which is completely in tune with what we are demanding”, said Rosa Maria Paya about the tribute, “we are asking for the truth so that, just like this light is lighting up the walls of the Cuban consulate, the truth illuminates the hearts of Cubans and so that we can all- together- go down the path of reconciliation to achieve the peace, happiness and democracy we are seeking”.
The reflection of an “L” for Liberty was also projected over the image of Paya and Ceper. This hand gesture was popularized by the Christian Liberation Movement to demand freedom for Cuba within the opposition.
See the video below:
March 19, 2013Posted by on
Vía Guillermo Milán from ‘Cuba Democracia y Vida’: This video, in my opinion, captures one of the best interviews with Rosa Maria Paya since she’s been outside of Cuba. As she has bravely done on each opportunity presented, the young Cuban took advantage of her air time on the Spanish show “Los Desayunos” to demand an independent and transparent investigation of the events which led to the death of her father Oswaldo Paya and the youth activist Harold Cepero on July of 2012. She also highlighted that her family lives under constant death threats made by Cuban State Security (her father also lived like that),the repression faced by the opposition movement, and other subjects such as Venezuela and the apathy of many Spanish politicians towards the case of her father and of Cuba in general.
Rosa Maria finalizes the interview asking the international community to ignore the “marketing” of the Cuban government and to look inside, to that ‘deep’ and real Cuba, where countless people are “struggling to live like any one else in a country where rights are guaranteed and respected”.
Check out the video here:
Berta Soler in Spain: “I’m here so that everyone knows, firsthand, that in Cuba there is no respect for Human Rights” [VIDEOS]
March 12, 2013Posted by on
“I am here in the name of Laura Pollan“, exclaimed Berta Soler in an emotional video filmed the moment she landed in Spain this Monday 11th of March, “But I am not only here in representation of Laura Pollan, not only of the Ladies in White, but in representation of the Cuban people. I have come here to denounce the Cuban government!”
Those were how some of the first declarations made by the leader of the Ladies in White sounded like upon traveling outside of Cuba for the first time. She also affirmed that there is no freedom or respect for human rights in Cuba, and that peaceful dissent is met with the State’s oppressive tactics, including imprisonment, beatings, and assassinations. Soler added that she was there to demand the release of all political prisoners on the island.
A moving moment for those who have been following the struggle for freedom in Cuba. Here are some of the videos which capture these moments, published on YouTube:
“Marti Noticias” published an interview (in Spanish) with Soler, in which she affirms that the Cuban dictatorship was behind the deaths of Laura Pollan, Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero. Check it out here.
February 23, 2013Posted by on
Exactly 7 months after the death of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero this 22nd of February 2013, Josefina Paya, aunt of Oswaldo, received a death threat via telephone, according to a publication made by members of the Christian Liberation Movement on their website.
After managing to travel outside of Cuba, Rosa Maria Paya, who has done an excellent job denouncing the repressive situation against the Cuban opposition in Geneva and in Spain this week, denounced on her Twitter account (@RosaMariaPaya):
Text: “Bitch, we’ll kill you”, threatening phone call from State Security. They called my house, my mother was at the airport saying goodbye to my brother”
Rosa Maria later detailed in her account that these same death threats were the same ones here father would frequently receive and assures that is the work of Cuban State Security. The young activist directly held the Cuban regime responsible for the physical integrity of all her family.
The Paya family has not stopped, for one moment, in demanding an independent and international investigation of the events which lead to the death of Oswaldo and Harold, denying the version of the dictatorship, which alleges that it was simply “an automobile accident”.
In addition, Rosa Maria asked for more solidarity for the investigation in Geneva during a Human Rights conference.
This blog also support the petition launched by the Paya family for an indpendent investigation. ¡Sign here!
For the original source of this news visit the web page: Oswaldopaya.org
And more info from Rosa Maria Paya on Twitter: @RosaMariaPaya