Remembering Cuban human rights activist and martyr Oswaldo Paya on his birthday

Today, Cuban democracy and human rights activist Oswaldo Paya would’ve turned 72 years old. Unfortunately, we can only honor his memory today since he was assassinated by the Castro dictatorship in 2012. Nevertheless, his memory and legacy live on in the hearts of Cubans longing to be free and freedom-loving people all over the world.

Via Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas born 72 years ago: Honoring Cuba’s Consistent Human Rights Defender

“In Cuba we are being prohibited from preparing that future, working now at night for the following morning, because someone has said that the night will not end. But the night will not be eternal, it is ending.” – Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas

Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas was born 72 years ago on February 29, 1952 and was extrajudicially executed in Cuba by Castro’s secret police on July 22, 2012 along with Harold Cepero.

Ten years ago Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights petitioned the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to examine the evidence around the deaths of Oswaldo and Harold on July 22, 2012.

On June 12, 2023 the IACHR published their report on the merits that found Cuban government agents responsible for the deaths of the two pro-democracy leaders and Christian Liberation Movement leaders.

Twenty two years earlier, Oswaldo Payá along with other members of the Christian Liberation Movement in May 2002 turned in thousands of signatures from the Varela Project, a petition that called for human rights to be respected in Cuba, and that the matter be debated before the National Assembly.

In December of 2002, thanks to lobbying and pressure from Spain, Oswaldo Payá was able to travel to Strasbourg, France to receive the European Union’s Sakharov Prize and address the chamber.

In 2011, seven Norwegian members of parliament nominated Oswaldo Payá for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Václav Havel had also twice nominated Oswaldo Payá ).

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