On the 3rd anniversary of the assassinations of Cuban human rights activists Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero

Three years ago today, two peaceful Cuban human rights activists, Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero, were mercilessly assassinated by the Castro regime. Their crime was the same as the thousands of other martyrs who lost their lives in Cuba at the hands of the regime: Challenging and confronting the tyranny of the apartheid Castro dictatorship. The same dictatorship, it should be noted, that President Obama now fully supports and defends, providing them with a never ending slew of unilateral concessions, favors, and assistance.

Nevertheless, today we remember the ultimate sacrifice made by Payá and Cepero for their fellow Cubans and the tireless struggle for freedom and liberty on the island they carried out before being murdered. While the White House whitewashes these crimes and the myriad of crimes against humanity carried out by the Castro regime, we nonetheless celebrate the struggle and sacrifice made by these brave and courageous men. Not only will they be forever remembered for their bravery, so will the perpetrators of the cowardly acts that took their lives be remembered and eventually judged as well: “Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”

John Suarez has a tribute at Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Oswaldo Payá, Harold Cepero and their enduring legacy

Those who steal the rights of others steal from themselves. Those who remove and crush freedom are the true slaves. – Harold Cepero Escalante, November 13, 2002

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Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero
 Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero are no longer physically with us. Martyred on July 22, 2012 and their presence denied not only to their family and friends but also to a nation that needs their leadership. Nevertheless their words and deeds endure and remain relevant today and should be reflected on by democrats everywhere.

For example on October 29, 2009 Oswaldo Payá responded to the official narrative of the dictatorship’s foreign minister in clear and bold terms that resonate after today’s event at the Cuban embassy in Washington, DC:

Mr. Bruno Rodríguez, you have spoken in the United Nation’s General Assembly, using the language of the agents of the repressive forces, to offend those in Cuba who defend the dignity and rights of Cubans and those who are imprisoned for this cause. As a representative of a tyranny, you spoke unabashedly, with insulting and cynical phrases, against the Cuban people.

The first and most insulting statement: “Cuba is a democracy. First it should be clarified that Cuba is all Cubans, and the government representatives that oppress it are by no means the voice of our people. In Cuba there is no democracy, there is a totalitarian regime where one group with power, that is not popularly supported or representative, denies the citizens and people at large their sovereign rights to choose and to decide, and their right to self determination.

Mr. Rodríguez also said: “Cuba respects the freedom to travel.” It is only because the Cuban people have no voice that you are able to so greatly offend them with such cynicism. In Cuba , freedom to travel is not a right and the government that Rodríguez represents denies this right to the Cubans who live inside and outside the country, a policy that cruelly separates many families.

In the midst of the Cuban opposition leader’s plain speaking on the nature of the government, the arbitrariness of foreign minister’s appointed position but Oswaldo also offered to defend his rights as a human being:

Bruno Rodríguez, you are a mercenary to a government that pays you to justify to the world the oppression under which our people live! But as I did with Felipe Pérez Roque, I remind you that those who order you can place and remove you with one finger; but we are not ordered by anyone. And as we said to those that are now in disgrace, we say to you: We are ready to defend your rights as a human being when they throw you to the trash; if it is not before the Cuban people win their freedom and their rights, as will surely happen.

Continue reading HERE.