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realclearworld

Daughter carries out father’s bold work in Cuba

Fabiola Santiago in The Miami Herald:

Daughter carries out father’s bold work in Cuba

Fabiola SantiagoA gray Miami morning framed the conversation with Rosa María Payá, blinding rain pouring into Biscayne Bay, long, tear-like droplets streaking the conference room windows.

“What we’re asking for has nothing to do with ideology or party,” the 24-year-old physicist said to the journalists gathered to meet her in the same Miami Herald room where her internationally recognized father presented his ground-breaking — and daring — Varela Project 10 years ago.

“We want to know the truth about what happened to my father and to Harold Cepero.”

Rosa María is the daughter of Oswaldo Payá, the late leader of the island’s peaceful Christian Liberation Movement. And he was the founder of the Varela Project, a human-rights based platform for change that included a signature-gathering drive throughout the island calling for a referendum on Cuba’s leadership.

Payá, 60, died under increasingly questionable circumstances last July along with Harold Cepero, one of the group’s most charismatic young activists.

Rosa María, who had been active in the movement for only two years before her father’s death, has been on a tireless European and U.S. tour — Madrid, Geneva, Sweden, Washington D.C., New York — to get the international community to call for an independent investigation of the car wreck the Cuban government has blamed for the deaths.

Petite but exuding tremendous strength, Rosa María has been methodically collecting evidence, stringing facts together and speaking with witnesses — most importantly, the Spaniard driving the car, Angel Carromero, and the Swede activist Jens Aron Modig, who rode with Carromero up front.

Continue reading HERE.

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