Editorial: Rosa María Payá and Castroism’s fear
DDC | Madrid | 23 de Febrero de 2017 – 12:37 CET.
In Havana, Rosa María Payá, President of the Latin American Youth
Network for Democracy, was going to bestow the Oswaldo Payá Freedom and
Life Award on Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS, and to honor
late Chilean President Patricio Aylwin, represented by his daughter,
former minister and ex-representative Mariana Aylwin.
In 2002 Oswaldo Payá submitted 11,020 signatures to the Cuban National
Assembly and, in 2004, 14,000 additional ones demanding the freedom of
association, the freedom of speech and press, free elections, and
amnesty for political prisoners. Securing the support of such a large
number of people under circumstances like Cuba’s entailed a complex
mobilization effort headed up by the leader of the Varela Project, the
largest undertaken by the democratic opposition in Cuba.
The response of the National Assembly to this request resulted in a
modification of the Constitution, with socialism being described as
“irreversible” in Cuba.
Oswaldo Payá perished on July 22, 2012 on a road near Bayamo. His family
reported that the car he was traveling in was hit by a State Security
vehicle. The circumstances of his death remain unclear. The regime has
never allowed an investigation by international experts, and sought to
close the case with a farcical trial.
Thereafter, while upholding her father and his legacy, Rosa María Payá
has continued her struggle for the democratization of Cuba, framing it
in a continental context. This has helped to overturn the tendency to
approach Cuba separately, as unique exception, in the region. Payá has
shown solidarity with the causes and challenges facing youth and
activists from other countries, obtaining the same in return.
The result of this has been a wave of condemnations and expressions of
solidarity from figures such as former Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright, and former presidents Sebastián Piñera (Chile) and Felipe
Calderón (Mexico), to the obstacles placed by the regime against the
awards ceremony, to be held in Havana. Once again Castroism has shown
that it is, irreversibly, a dictatorship. Denying entry to the Secretary
General of the OAS and other international invitees merely evidences its
desperation and fear.
Source: Editorial: Rosa María Payá and Castroism’s fear | Diario de Cuba