Pedazos de la Isla

"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation

Category Archives: Rosa Maria Paya

Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero to be honored in Cuba and Miami on 1st anniversary of their death

The Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) has announced that there will be various activities to honor Oswaldo Paya Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante this upcoming 22nd of July of 2013 in Cuba and in Miami, on the first anniversary of the death of these pro-freedom activists.

On their website, the MCL explains that there will be a Mass at 3 PM on the 22nd in the Chapel of the Colon Cemetery, in Havana.  The organizers of this event ask all participants to take flowers to later march silently to the place where Oswaldo Paya reposes.

At 8 PM on the same day, there will also be a Mass the Ermita de la Caridad in Miami, Florida, which will be presided by Juan Rumin, current rector of this historic and symbolic sanctuary.

Also, on Friday July 19th there will be a colloquium “about the legacy of Oswaldo Paya” at 8 PM in the Sacred Family Salon of La Inmaculada Church in Hialeah, Florida, located on 4497 West 1st Avenue, just minutes from the heart of Miami.

Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of the deceased opposition leader, wrote on her Twitter account (@RosaMariaPaya) that there will also be a tribute to Harold Cepero on Wednesday, July 17th, in Washington DC.

For further details check out MCL’s website.

Book written by Oswaldo Paya to be published

Reflections about the reality of Cuba in the words of deceased dissident leader Oswaldo Paya Sardiñas will be published in a book, according to an announcement made by relatives during an exclusive interview with journalist Juan Manuel Cao in the city of Miami.  

Paya’s widow, Ofelia Acevedo, and his daughter Rosa Maria Paya, offered an interview in the news program “El Espejo” on the night of June 28th, where they chatted about different topics and revealed the news.

According to Acevedo, the leader of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) finished writing his book just 2 weeks before his death.

The book “was written by an everyday Cuban who has suffered, has lived and has dreamed inside of Cuba and who has had the experience which all Cubans have had under 53 years of totalitarianism, and in addition who has had the experience of always having rebelled against that domination”, explained Ofelia.

She also classifies the book as “a reflection of Cuba’s reality in this very important moment in Cuban history, where he speaks of dangers and hopes” and it’s objective is to help all Cubans understand that “change is possible”.

On her part, the young Rosa Maria Paya, who has distinguished herself as one of the leaders of MCL, explained that she has already read the book and believes that “it will be important for Cubans to have access, in mass, to this series of ideas which are not just simply descriptions but are also a project to turn that possibility, which is to live in freedom in our country, into a reality”.

This 22nd of July will mark exactly one year since Oswaldo Paya died in strange circumstances, alongside the young activist Harold Cepero, in a car ‘accident’ in the city of Bayamo.  It has also been a year since the Cuban dictatorship has prohibited an independent investigation of the events.

However, relatives of Paya and fellow dissidents have not stopped demanding the investigation and assure that, whether it be from exile or from within Cuba, they will continue demanding that the process be carried out in order to find the truth.

To watch the interview with Rosa Maria and Ofelia (in Spanish) click here.

Young MCL activist threatened with death by State Security

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.

Photo published by @RosaMariaPaya in May of a police agent watching her family as they visit her father’s grave in Havana

“We are fighting for real changes in Cuba”: Interview with Rosa Maria Paya in English

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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:

“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.

Rosa Maria Paya in Miami: “The future of Cuba is in all Cubans”

Some of the phrases by Rosa Maria Paya during the press conference she held in the University of Miami on Friday, April 12th 2013:

“We are witnessing the awakening of the opposition, the exile and the Cuban people in general”

“The future of Cuba is in all Cubans”

“The problems we Cubans face must be solved by us Cubans”

“What we are asking for does not have a political color…we want the truth” 

“The regime has increased repression in Cuba” 

“State Security were the only ones who threatened my father with death during his lifetime”

“I will return to Cuba to keep working with the Christian Liberation Movement… what we are asking for is not a threat, it is hope” 

- Rosa Maria Paya, April 12th, 2013. Miami, FL

Rosa Maria Paya to offer public event in Miami this Friday

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.

Lights of Freedom light up New York in honor of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero

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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:

“I ask everyone to look closely into the Cuban reality”, says Rosa Maria Paya on Spanish TV (Video)

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:

Other relatives of Oswaldo Paya receive death threats

Josefina Paya, photo taken from “oswaldopaya.org”

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):

Screen shot 2013-02-23 at 5.15.56 PM

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 

 

 

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