Ask the People / Rosa Maria Paya

A butcher shop in Havana. (Source)

A butcher shop in Havana with a photo of Fidel. (Source  Enrique de la Osa, Reuters)

El Mundo, Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo, 12 April 2015 – Although the current Summit of the Americas in Panama has been a blackboard where the peoples of the Americas have been forced – once again – to choke on the barbarian mouthful of that old subject that is Cuban totalitarianism, hope is renewed by the attitude of consistency and solidarity assumed by the diverse civil society of the Americas.

Today in Cuba a self-transition from Power to Power is being cooked up, which tries to ignore the will of the Cuban people and its exile, while enthroning the military elite after a masquerade of reforms which decriminalize certain economic concessions but continue to hijack all the rights of the citizenry.

Since landing in the sister nation of Panama, I have re-experienced firsthand repression in the style of the Cuban regime. The sincere apologies of the Panamanian Foreign Ministry lose force in the face of all the abuses it allowed to take place against the independent civil society of Cuba and all of the Americas. Continue reading

Cuba Decides: Continuing Oswaldo Paya’s Work for a Plebiscite

"The plebiscite is the path by which the people of Cuba move to the truth and rights in solidarity and realize their hopes." Plebiscite for your rights: Freedom of expression, free elections, freedom of association

Click on image to open Cuba Decides site

For over half a century Cubans have been excluded from the political, economic and social decisions made in our nation. The group in power in Cuba has never been legitimized by democratic elections. The government is responsible for the repression and violence against those with opinions and alternative initiatives.

The absence of an environment of law and self-determination, has plunged the people into poverty and has led our country to economic and social failure, accompanied by constant mass exodus of its citizens.

We are aware that only Cubans corresponds us to define and decide on the changes needed in our society and so do our national project. But for citizens to design, approve and build their future, must be guaranteed by law rights and an atmosphere of trust and respect for all achieved. Continue reading

Rosa Maria Paya of Cuba and for Cuba

Statement from Rosa María Payá at the Summit of the Americas
Panama, 10 April 2015

Good day.

I would like to thank everyone for their willingness to dialog. We came willing to dialog. We wanted to listen to our Cuban brothers and sisters, who we know are in the same condition as ourselves.

I want to ask forgiveness from everyone in the name of the Cuban people for what just happened in the conference hall. Despite what you saw, we Cubans are a generous and caring people. Even those people who were there were also deprived of their rights. They also cannot decide. And probably did not decide to be there. These are the aberrations that occur when you live in a dictatorship.

My father, who was killed in an attack from the Cuban government just over two years ago, said that rights have no political color. Nor do dictatorships have a political color. And we are here today wanting to promote solutions to a problem that is no longer only Cuban, nor only Venezuelan. It is a regional problem, like that we just had here. Because we have all been affected by an intolerance that we do not share. Continue reading

Young Latin Americans call to fight against political apathy / 14ymedio

Young Cubans at the 2nd Forum of Youth and Democracy in Panama. (14ymedio)

Young Cubans at the 2nd Forum of Youth and Democracy in Panama. Eliecer Avila with the microphone. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Panama, 8 April 2015 — Young Latin American leaders gathered Tuesday on the second day of the 2nd Youth and Democracy Regional Forum in Panama and addressed issues such as the rise of populist regimes in the region, and agreed on the need to organize civil society at the hemispheric level to fight against political apathy.

The protagonists of the morning session were Micaela Hierro Dori, president of the Argentine civil association CICES, who acted as moderator; Ricardo Antonio Álvarez Arias, vice president of Honduras; Eduardo Stein, former vice president of Guatemala; Guillermo Cochez, former Ambassador of Panama to the Organization of American States (OAS); Martha Lucía Ramírez, former Minister of Defense of Colombia; Gustavo Amaya, executive director of the Center for Training and Promotion of Democracy (CECADE) in San Salvador; and Carolina Quinonez, a journalist from Guatamala’s Antigua Channel.

Political apathy, according to attendees at the meeting, threatens equally countries ruled by totalitarian regimes and those in which the society assumes that “all is well” or at least “better than in other countries,” because in the latter it can leave the door open to the possibility that populism and other deformations will silence thoughtful proposals to take advantage of what the traditional parties have not resolved. Continue reading

Rosa María Payá announces the creation of the initiative “Cuba Decides” / 14ymedio

The site of Youth Movements Forum, held Monday in Panama. (14ymedio)

The site of Youth Movements Forum, held Monday in Panama. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, April 6 2015 – Rosa María Payá, daughter of the late Cuban activist Oswaldo Payá, has announced this Monday the creation of the citizen initiative Cuba Decide, or “Cuba Decides.” The goal of the project, presented during the Forum of Youth Movements in Panama, is for Cubans to pronounce themselves through a plebiscite regarding the changes they would like to implement on the Island.

“We are conscious that only Cubans should define and decide on the changes that our society needs,” states the group’s website. “In order for citizens to be able to design, decide and construct their future, their rights should be guaranteed by the law and an atmosphere of trust and respect for all should also be achieved. That is what we proclaim and we work for a plebiscite that will consult the people in that matter. There will be no transition to democracy in Cuba if Cubans are excluded once again.” Continue reading

Rosa Maria Paya Detained at Airport in Panama

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 12.07.51 PM

 

Translations, from top to bottom:

They searched everything I had in my bag, even my underwear. At one point they took my personal agenda with all my notes.

Now they have put me in detention, saying they are checking my documents I am someplace in the Tocumen airport.

“You will be deported to Cuba if you cause any disturbance, carry a placard… Go to your own country to cause disturbances,” the agent threatened me.

I am being detained by Panama National Security at the door of the airplane.

 

Roberta Jacobson Queries the Castros’ Crime / Rosa Maria Paya

Screen shot from the Twitter account of one of the regime’s aliases

A subject we always include

Rosa María Payá

I have only been in Washington DC 12 hours. Time enough to take up Senator Marco Rubio’s kind invitation to go to President Obama’s State of the Union Address.

It’s winter in DC, but as it gets late, the monumental silhouettes are turned on, giving the capital a warm appearance. In the Capitol I was able to talk to various Democrat and Republican senators, all of them wanting to hear about Cuba. The points in question continue to be fundamental ones:

1) The United States is having high level conversations with a government which has never been chosen by its citizens. And therefore we hope they will put on the table some support for the constitutional petition put up by thousands of Cubans in favour of a referendum for free and multi-party elections. Continue reading

Rosa Maria Paya For the Future of All Cubans Without Castro

In recent years my country has been engaged in a deception. The Cuban government is changing the Law, but ignoring the rights of the people, which were sequestered over half a century ago.

More people are allowed to enter and leave the country, but the regime decides who can enjoy this “privilege”. The migratory reform was established as a control mechanism. For example, the government has invalidated the passport of the artist Tania Bruguera for attempting a performance in Havana. Sonia Garro, a member of the Ladies in White, and one of the political prisoners released during the Washington-Havana secret deal, cannot travel abroad and thus she is still Continue reading

Rosa Maria Paya meets at the White House with negotiator on Cuba / 14ymedio

Rosa Maria Paya

Rosa Maria Paya

14ymedio bigger24 January 2015 (EFE) –Rosa MariaPayá, daughter of the late Cuban activist OswaldoPayá, in a meeting today with the senior advisor for Latin America at the White House, defended the need to “stop the impunity” of the Cuban government against dissidents on the island, and the right to decide for Cubans.

Payá, who left the island a year ago, participated in a forum on human rights, before meeting with Ricardo Zúñiga, who is part of the White House delegation that, since June 2013, secretly negotiated with Cuba the rapprochement between the two countries.

Speaking with EFE after the meeting, the activist explained that she sent the US official some “very specific” points that, in her judgment, Continue reading