Countless Cubans and non-Cubans have changed their profile pictures on social networks in honor of them, there have been Masses and chats, independent libraries have been founded with their names, and their have been marches in their memory.
The Cuban dictatorship continues to not understand that with the disappearance (ordered by them) of Cuban dissidents, they cannot destroy their ideas.
It’s what has happened with Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero, who were both added to a long list of martyrs of democracy last July 22nd, 2012.
One year after their death, the Christian Liberation Movement (pro-freedom group which they headed) has only gotten stronger. The young faces of the organization have risen with much more energy, their members have been promoting The Path of the People throughout the island, international organisms have shown solidarity with them and they have also made a project which Paya and Cepero worked for into a reality- the publication of the independent newspaper “Somos Liberacion” (‘We are Liberation’).
I refer to the dictatorship having to do with the death of the activists with certainty because, if they have nothing to hide then why do they flat-out refuse to carry out an independent investigation of the events which occurred that Sunday in the Eastern city Bayamo? They have completely ignored the demands of the Paya family, and they have repeated the same exact threats against Oswaldo towards them. The system has put itself up against the wall.
The response of the family has been to not stop. They have not given up in demanding an investigation, not for a moment, not in the international scene and certainly not in Cuba.
Oswaldo Paya lived under persecution, but he lived free, just like Harold did. Expulsions from work or educational centers, acts of repudiation, constant vigilance, threats, defamation and censorship were just a few of the tactics utilized by a desperate regime, which managed to disappear them physically. But that was the only “achievement” of the State.
Now, the message of Oswaldo and Harold is heard with much more strength in all of the island, standing up against fraudulent changes and demanding real freedom. On this first anniversary, in Cuba and in other parts of the world there have been, and will be, activities in honor of these brave men.
The truth is that the dictatorship fears the truth. And part of this truth is that they were not successful in extinguishing the legacy of Oswaldo Paya Sardinas and Harold Cepero Escalante. They live.