Cuban Activist Rosa Maria Paya Is Invited to Biden’s Annual State of the Union Speech to Congress

Rosa María Payá in her video thanking Congressman Giménez for the invitation / Screen Capture

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Washington, D.C., March 7, 2024 — Cuban activist Rosa María Payá has been invited by Congressman Carlos Giménez to witness the annual State of the Union speech that the President of the United States, Joe Biden, will deliver this Thursday at the Capitol, the Republican legislator reported on Wednesday.

The representative of an electoral district comprising Miami-Dade County and the Florida keys pointed out that with the presence of Payá, daughter of the late Cuban opposition leader Oswaldo Payá, he seeks to “continue denouncing the evils of the regime.”

In a video published on social network X, Giménez said that Rosa María Payá will join him during the speech “to denounce the current brutality of Cuba, demand freedom for all political prisoners and hold the regime responsible for its crimes against humanity.” continue reading

He warned that “Cuban communism poses a direct threat to the security of the United States and the stability of the western hemisphere,” and he criticized the recent trip to Havana of his colleagues, alluding to the visit that Democratic legislators Pramila Jayapal and Ilhan Omar made in February to the Cuban capital.

The congressman emphasized that Rosa María is a champion in the defense of human rights and “a tireless fighter for the liberation of Cuba from communism.”

He alluded to the lawsuit for death by negligence that the Payá family filed last week in Miami against former U.S. Ambassador Víctor Manuel Rocha, who is detained and is expected to plead guilty to conspiring to act as an agent of a foreign government.

In the lawsuit, Oswaldo Payá’s widow, Ofelia Acevedo, accuses Rocha of having been “an accomplice” in the “murder” of her husband.

“My family seeks what we have always sought, justice, the truth, and an end to the impunity of the Cuban regime and its accomplices.”

Payá “was assassinated by the Castro regime in 2012, a period during which Rocha was collaborating with Cuba while advising U.S. national security officials and had access to the most sensitive intelligence information,” stated the organization Cuba Decide, founded by Rosa María Payá.

“My family is looking for what we have always sought – justice, the truth, and ending the impunity of the Cuban regime and its accomplices, as we have done since the murder of my father in 2012,” Rosa María Payá said in her statement from the congressman’s office.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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Cuban Exiles and Opponents Ask Biden for Democratic Changes Without Concessions

Rosa María Payá, from Cuba Decides said that they are in favor of “direct” remittances without the intervention of the Cuban government. (EFE / Giorgio Viera)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Miami, 12 February 2021 — On Friday, Cuban exiles and opposition groups in Cuba urged United States president Joe Biden and the US Congress that the review of the policy towards Cuba should be based on democratic change without “unilateral concessions” to the government of President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

For several weeks, Cubans “committed to democracy” drew up a plan with 162 proposals that they sent this Friday to the White House, the State Department, and Congress, according to Rosa María Payá, from Cuba Decides, speaking to Efe.

The activist also rejected “aggressive” requests made by the Cuban government and other actors on the Island to the new US Administration of Democrat Biden. continue reading

Payá expressly rejected the removal of sanctions against the financial corporation Fincimex, linked to the Armed Forces

Among them the recent one by a group of Cubans and Americans, such as Alan Gross, who asked Biden to resume the rapprochement with Cuba promoted by President Barack Obama (2009-2017) and to withdraw the sanctions on Cuba toughened by his successor, Republican Donald Trump.

Gross was released in 2014 after five years in prison in Cuba for bringing telecommunications equipment into the country.

Payá expressly rejected the removal of sanctions against the financial corporation Fincimex, which is linked to Cuba’s Armed Forces and handles remittances received from the United States.

She added that they are in favor of “direct” remittances, without the intervention of the Cuban government.

Payá stressed that “it is only up to Cubans to define and decide the destiny of our nation.”

For Cubans who contributed ideas, among them the Ladies in White, the Cuban Republican Party and many other civil groups, the new policy towards Cuba “must be in support of democracy and free and plural elections, without making unilateral concessions, but conditional on irreversible steps towards the recognition of human rights.”

With Biden’s arrival at the White House, politicians and groups of Cuban exiles have asked him not to repeat the mistakes made by the last two administrations, including that of President Obama, which promoted rapprochement with Cuba and in whose administration Biden served as Vice-President.

With Biden’s arrival at the White House, politicians and groups of Cuban exiles have asked him not to repeat the mistakes made by the last two administrations

The proposals were published this Friday by the Pasos de Cambio [Steps of Change] platform, which include the impressions of Cuban opposition organizations and civil society, as well as citizens living on the Island and in the diaspora.

They all agree that “any eventual negotiation process involving the current Cuban regime must recognize the members of the opposition and civil society as interlocutors.”

They point out that, to this end, the regime must first comply with the unconditional release of all political prisoners in Cuba and end all violence and repression.

Similarly, organizations such as the National Human Rights Foundation and the Opposition Movement for a New Republic, urge respect for fundamental human rights, including freedom of expression, association and public demonstration.

To this end, they asked the Biden Administration to “publicly express the will to authorize and promote humanitarian aid from the American people to Cuban citizens and its civil society, preventing the intervention of or benefit to the regime.”

They asked the Biden Administration to “publicly express the will to authorize and promote humanitarian aid from the American people to Cuban citizens and its civil society

They also insisted on political, financial, diplomatic and judicial sanctions against collaborators and those responsible for repression and for policies of human rights violations.

They suggested considering the use of the Global Magnitsky Law on Human Rights Responsibility, aimed at imposing political and economic sanctions against agents involved in serious abuses.

The proposals include calling on the international community, including the countries in the Americas and multinational organizations (OAS, UN, European Union), to show their solidarity with the Cuban people and “their right to decide democratic change.”

On the other hand, State Department spokesman, Ned Price, said this Friday at a press conference that the US Government’s policy towards Cuba will be guided by respect for human rights and the empowerment of the Cuban people “so that they can determine their future.”

Price reiterated the Biden Administration position by emphasizing that “Americans, and especially Cuban-Americans are the best ambassadors of freedom and prosperity in Cuba.”

Translated by Norma Whiting


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"Solidaridad Entre Hermanos," an Initiative to Send Aid Directly Between Miami and Cuba

The distribution of donations will be handled by the Catholic Church and members of Cuban civil society.

14ymedio bigger14ymedio/EFE, Miami, 7 May 2020 — The Miami municipal government and the Foundation for Pan American Democracy urged Miamians on Wednesday to donate “basic necessity” products to help the Cuban people deal with the Covid-19 crisis through the “Solidaridad entre Hermanos” (Solidarity Among Brothers) initiative.

Donations will be collected at the Mana Convention Center in the Winwood neighborhood and the shipment will be sent to Cuba on May 16, according remarks at a press conference from Miami Mayor Francis Suárez, and the directors of the Foundation, Omar Vento and Rosa María Payá.

The distribution of the donations will be carried out by the Catholic Church and members of Cuban civil society, they stressed. continue reading

“Within the Island, we have contacted a network of churches that are willing to receive and deliver humanitarian aid,” said Payá, director of Cuba Decides. “It is a challenge to make this shipment to the Island, but [especially] in the exceptional conditions that our country is experiencing due to the insufficient response from the authorities,” she added.

Payá stressed the responsibility that exiles have, as Cubans, to help their compatriots: “A list of products will be collected that will then be sent to Cuba by sea. Among the products that we will send are detergent, soap, masks and gloves, disinfectant towels, acetaminophen, diapers, powdered milk, protein bars and canned food,” Payá said.

The foundation has requested that people donate only “products that comply with customs regulations.”

“Customs fees should be reduced or eliminated when it comes to aid. This initiative is one of solidarity between brothers. It has absolutely nothing to do with the political position of any person who wants to help. It is about helping Cubans on the island at a time of great crisis,” added Payá.

At the moment there is no restriction on the part of the Government of the United States that prevents the shipment of these materials to the Cuban population, but the Foundation for Pan American Democracy wants “to fulfill all the legal requirements that the Island demands” for this aid to go directly to the citizens.

Regarding possible obstacles that the Cuban Government can impose on the distribution of this humanitarian aid, Omar Vento was confident that “there is no reason to prevent it” although he said that “it would be very regrettable if they made that decision.”

“We have no control over the situation of the Cuban regime. This is going to be humanitarian aid without any kind of implicit message. What the regime does about it is not in our hands,” he said.

Mayor Francis Suárez, who was ill with Covid-19, said for him it is a matter of pride “to be able to carry out this event and demonstrate the solidarity of the community” from the main city of exile.

“If we are having a difficult time in the United States, the world’s largest economy, and in Miami, a city that was making tremendous progress; we can have no idea of how the pandemic is affecting people there,” added the mayor.

Suarez argued that, as in other communist countries like China, in Cuba “the severity of the coronavirus is unknown,” since the government is hiding information.


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The Cuban Government Lashes Out Against Bolivia for Receiving Rosa Maria Paya

Jeanine Añez and Rosa María Payá meet in the Palacio Quemado together with other Cuban activists. (Jeanine Añez)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, Havana, January 22, 2020 — (EFE). On Tuesday, the Cuban Government reproached the acting President of Bolivia, Jeanine Áñez, for receiving the Cuban dissident Rosa María Payá and described the provisional executive members of the Andean country as “rebels who massacred the people” and “militarized the country.”

“Employees of the U.S. Government are rushing to embrace and support the Bolivian coup plotters who massacred the people, militarized the country, violated the Constitution and are rapidly trying to reverse the social advances in order to favor the oligarchs,” the Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez, wrote on Twitter.

In responding to this same publication, the Director General for Latin America of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, Eugenio Rodríguez, noted that “the de facto President of Bolivia enters the miniscule club of authorities from Latin America that receives, under pressure from the U.S., those included on the payroll of U.S.A.I.D. to overthrow the popular Government of Cuba.” continue reading

Rodríguez also said that U.S. Government “employees” born in Cuba or of Cuban origin “only manage to be received by the coup plotters”.

Áñez received on Monday in the Palacio Quemado de La Paz, the daughter of the deceased dissident, Oswaldo Payá, and the promoter of the project Cuba Decides, a platform for Cubans to decide in a plebiscite on the political system they want for the Island.

Other members of the Latin American Network of Youth for Democracy also took part in the meeting, which was held according to the internal mandate to discuss “the situation of the Cuban people and the state of democracy in Latin America”.

“Thank you, Bolivia, for denouncing the criminal interference of Cuba in your country and for being the transition that inspires those of us who are still confronting dictatorships”, Payá wrote later on Twitter. She also met with Ex-President Jorge Quiroga.

Cuba and Bolivia were tightly allied when Evo Morales was President of Bolivia, but the foreign policy of the new President has been marked by distancing Bolivia from its former partner.

A short time after assuming power, when Morales resigned and left the country, the Interim Government broke off relations with Venezuela, and, although it presently maintains relations with Cuba, the ideological positions between La Paz and Havana are now antagonistic.

In November, Cuba withdrew for reasons of security more than 700 professionals who were providing services in Bolivia, mainly in the health sector.

The decision was the culmination of a discussion days earlier about the detention of several Cuban doctors by the Bolivian police. Initially they were accused of promoting protests in favor of Evo Morales, something that the Cuban Government vehemently denied.

Translated by Regina Anavy


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Rosa Maria Paya Meets With Jair Bolsonaro in Santiago de Chile

Opposition leader Rosa María Payá (right), with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (2nd from right). (Twitter)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 24 March 2019 — Cuban opposition leader Rosa Maria Payá met Friday with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro in Santiago de Chile. The promoter of the initiative Cuba Decides asked the president for “support for the Cuban community in Brazil,” which is facing a difficult time after the end of the Mais Médicos (More Doctors) mission.

Also attending the meeting were the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Ernesto Fraga Araújo, who participated with Bolsonaro in the official launch of the Forum for the Progress of South America (Prosur), a regional body that seeks to replace the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), currently in crisis after the departure of several governments.

On Twitter, Payá described the meeting with Bolsonaro and his foreign minister as an “intense meeting,” especially in relation to “the specific actions that Brazil and PROSUR can take in support of the Cuban people in their struggle for democracy.” continue reading

Intense meeting with President @jairbolsonaro and chancellor @ernestofaraujo on the specific actions that #Brasil and #ProSur can take in support of the Cuban people in their struggle for democracy. 

Thanks for the solidarity. #CubaDecide #Ni1Más (Not 1 More) 

– Rosa María Payá A. (@RosaMariaPaya) March 23, 2019

“We talked about the conditions of semi-slavery of health professionals sent abroad by the regime, I appreciated his actions to end the abuse of Cuban doctors and requested support for the Cuban community in Brazil,” Payá added.

Last November, Bolsonaro, then president-elect, said that the Cuban physicians who worked for Mais Médicos were “slaves” of a “dictatorship,” words that triggered a rapid response from the Government of Cuba which began to withdraw the more than 8,000 health professionals it had working in the South American country. Some 2,500 doctors decided not to return to the island and accepted an asylum proposal from Bolsonaro.

I held a conversation with the Cuban Rosa Payá @RosaMariaPaya. She tells truths that I have never seen anywhere about the new Cuban constitution and the lifestyle of the people living in the Castro dictatorship. Socialism kills! [Video here of RMP speaking with Eduardo Bolsonaro, Federal Deputy and son of Jair Bolsonaro]

– Eduardo Bolsonaro (@BolsonaroSP) March 23, 2019

Since then, these health professionals have been in limbo with regards to employment and have repeatedly demanded that they be allowed to revalidate their credentials and have access to jobs.

Last February these doctors sent a letter to Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez asking for support to restore the Cuban Medical Professional Parole program, repealed by former President Barack Obama in 2017, which grants US visas to health professionals who leave Cuba’s international missions.


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Cuban Regime Opponent Rosa Maria Paya Nominated for Vaclav Havel Prize

Payá gave continuity to the work of her late father Oswaldo Payá in the promotion of democracy and human rights in Cuba. (14ymedio)

14ymedio biggerEFE via 14ymedio, Paris, 28 August 2018 — Cuban dissident Rosa María Payá was nominated this Tuesday as a candidate for the Council of Europe’s Václav Havel Human Rights Prize for her work for a democratic transition in Cuba.

Payá gave continuity to the work of her late father Oswaldo Payá (1952-2012) in the promotion of democracy and human rights as president of the Latin American network Youth for Democracy and launching the citizen initiative Cuba Decide.

The young activist, 29, has been nominated along with two other candidates, the Bahraini Nabeel Rajab and the Russian Oyub Titiev. continue reading

The winner will be announced on October 8 in Strasbourg, where the award will be presented, granted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Václav Havel Library and the Charter 77 Foundation.

Since 2013, the award has rewarded the “exceptional actions of civil society in the defense of human rights inside and outside Europe.”

In 2016 the award went to the young Iraqi woman, Nadia Murad, who with other women from her Yazidi community, was kidnapped and enslaved for three months by the Islamic State in northern Iraq.

The president of the jury, Liliane Maury Pasquier, stressed that in this edition of 2018 the inheritance of Václav Havel “resonates in a particular way.” Havel was president of the Czech Republic after having been one of the leaders of the dissidence during the Prague Spring in 1968, when his country was invaded by the Soviet Union.

The prize consists of a diploma, a trophy and a cash prize of 60,000 euros, a figure higher than that of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize, which was awarded 16 years ago to Oswaldo Payá.


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Paya Denouces the ‘Theater’ of Constitutional Reform on Sixth Anniversary of Her Father’s Death

A Mass for Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero was celebrated this Sunday at the Copper Hermitage in Miami. (RosaMariaPaya)

14ymedio biggerEFE via 14ymedio, Miami, 23 July 2018 — Cuban Dissident Rosa María Payá stressed to EFE that the legacy of her father, Oswaldo Payá, is still alive six years since his death and the constitutional reform under way in Cuba is, in her opinion, both “theater” and a “trap.”

“My father’s words are especially relevant today, as they denounce the attempt of the Castro family and the group of the dictatorship’s generals to perpetuate their power through what my father calls ’fraud change,’ which is exactly what they are seeking with this theater of constitutional reform,” said Payá.

Payá, who leads the Cuba Decides movement, spoke some hours before the celebration of a thanksgiving mass in Miami, held in honor of the sixth anniversary of the “double state crime” whose victims were Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Payá (1952-2012) and Harold Cepero (1980-2012). continue reading

The Payá-Acevedo family and the Foundation for Pan American Democracy invited the community to attend this Mass that took place in the chapel of La Caridad in Miami, a place of devotion and gatherings for Cuban exiles.

Payá and Cepero died on July 22, 2012 in Bayamo (Cuba), when the car in which they were traveling left the highway. The car was being driven by a Spanish politician, Angel Carromero, who survived and was convicted in Cuba of reckless homicide.

Rosa María and her mother, Ofelia Acevedo, affirm that it was not an accident, but that Cuban State Security agents hit the car with another vehicle from behind, causing the car to crash.

The daughter of the opposition politician said that the goal of the mass was to “honor” the lives of her father and Cepero and to “thank them for their legacy.”

The family, she added, is encouraged by the recent publication of the first book by the creator of the Christian Liberation Movement, La noche no será eterna (The Night Will Not Be Eternal)(Editorial Hypermedia, 2018), and by the fact that the United States Senate has taken up an initiative “to change the name of the street in front of the Cuban embassy in Washington to Oswaldo Payá Way.”

This initiative dates back to 2015 and is supported by senators such as Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson, she said.

With regards to the constitutional reform announced by the Cuban government, she affirmed that “the dictatorship desperately needs to legitimize itself before the great discontent of the people” and the “imminent physical disappearance of the so-called ’historical leaders’.”

It has also influenced, she says, “the support won by the citizen demand for a plebiscite to change the system,” which the Cuban movement she leads proposes.

The government’s constitutional reform will be submitted to a referendum but, according to Payá, the whole process is a “fraud” and “lacks guarantees.”

She emphasizes, in this regard that, the “drafters of the preliminary draft,” members of the National Assembly, “have not been elected by Cuba’s citizens,” and that “(political) campaigning is not possible (because it is outlawed), nor are independent observers (allowed to be) present), nor is parallel counting (i.e. citizen oversight of the vote count),” nor is there  freedom to not vote without being coerced” in the  announced popular consultation.

But in addition, she added, “Whether YES wins or NO wins, the result is the same: the Communist Party in perpetuity,” because “the dictatorship” has already made clear the irrevocability of socialism and the continuation of the communist party as “governing force of society and the state.”

Oswaldo Payá, winner of the 2002 European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, will also be remembered this week at a ceremony in Miami with the the official presentation of his book La noche no será eterna, which has been available on Amazon since July 5.

The book is subtitled Peligros y esperanzas para Cuba (Dangers and Hope for Cuba), with a prologue written by Payá’s widow, Ofelia Acevedo, and its purpose is none other than, as the author explains, “to help discover that we can live the process of liberation and reconciliation and walk to the future in peace.”


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"The Night Will Not Be Eternal" by Oswaldo Paya is Published

Cover page of the book “The Night Will Not Be Eternal”, by Oswaldo Paya.  (@rosamariapaya)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, Miami, 3 July 2018 — With the title “The Night Will Not Be Eternal,” an unpublished book by the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, with proposals for Cubans to emerge from their situation, will go on sale on Amazon this July 5 before its presentation in Miami.

Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of the dissident who died in 2012, said that on July 25 the book will be presented in the Varela room of Ermita de la Caridad, where the Cuban exile received her father in 2002, after he received the Sakharov prize.

The book, subtitled “Dangers and Hopes for Cuba,” has a preface by Paya’s widow, Ofelia Acevedo, and its purpose, as explained by its author, is none other than “to help to discover that we can, indeed, live through the process of liberation and reconciliation and move into the future in peace.” continue reading

“In this book my father reflects on how and why we Cubans have come to this point in history and how we can emerge from it,” says Rosa Maria Paya, director of the Cuba Decides movement which promotes holding a plebiscite so that the Cuban people can decide what political system they want for their country.  “A process of liberation is possible,” says the dissident about what her father left in writing before being “assasinated,” in her words.

The family of Paya, founder of the Christian Liberation Movement in 1988, asserts that the car crash in which he and dissident Harold Cepero also died on July 22, 2012, was caused by agents of the Castro regime.

Rosa Maria Paya says that that same year her father asked her mother and her to remind him that he had to make time for the book that now is going on the market at 282 pages. After the epilogue, the book includes the most important political documents of his organization Proyecto Varela (The Varela Project).

The message of “The Night Will Not Be Eternal” is now even more current than when when it was written, says the author’s daugther, for whom reading this book is like listening to her father speak.

Paya begins by explaining his “intention” in writing this book, in which he reflects on, among other things, “de-Christianization,” “the culture of fear” and the “assault on the family,” but also on education, economics, corruptions, social classes and the “hour of change” in Cuba.

The last part is dedicated to reconciliation.  The epilogue significantly is entitled “We Must Dream.”

In the prologue, Ofelia Acevedo says that Oswaldo Paya enjoyed his work as an electrical engineer, but his “true vocation” was the “unending search for peaceful paths that will permit Cubans to win the fundamental rights that have been denied us by the Castro dictatorship.”

“Hence, the strength of his leadership, which conveyed confidence, security and optimism to those who listened to him, giving us a new hope,” says his widow.

Acevedo emphasizes that in this book Oswaldo Paya invites us to “look to the future with confidence, to keep hope alive, to realize that by ourselves we can leave the apathy where the Cuban dictatorship wants to see us sunk.”

Translated by Mary Lou Keel


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Cuban Government Tells UN Those Fighting For Regime Change Are Not Defending Defend Human Rights

Presentation on Cuba at the Universal Periodic Review on Human Rights before the UN. (@RosaMariaPaya)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, 16 May 2018 — Cuba declared on Wednesday at the United Nations Human Rights Council that those who act internally in favor of regime change cannot be considered as defenders of human rights, since in reality they are “agents of a foreign power.”

The Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, attended the forum to present his government’s report on the human rights situation on the island, as part of a Universal Periodic Review process carried out for all UN member states.

“In Cuba, the law cannot be violated (…) in the service of an external agenda of regime change, of the constitutional order and of the political system that Cubans have freely chosen,” said the minister, who said that those who act that way “do not deserve the noble qualification of defenders of human rights.” continue reading

On the other hand, Rodríguez affirmed that civil society is gaining increasing importance at the national level and that there are currently 2,200 such organizations of this type in the country.

He insisted that civil organizations participate extensively in the design, execution and evaluation of programs with social impact.

During his presentation before the UN Council, Minister Rodríguez defended Cuba’s “democracy model,” which he considered “participatory and popular” and which, according to him, is not limited to electoral processes, but includes effective citizen participation in public matters.

“Our electoral processes are not media contests between elitist political parties, in which candidates make promises that fail, and promote division, hatred, lies and corruption.”

“There is no single model of democracy, nor a pre-established or agreed formula for this concept,” stressed the Foreign Minister.

In another area, Rodriguez denounced that the “worsening” of the United States ‘blockade’ in the economic, financial and commercial realms is the “main obstacle” to the economic and social development of the island.

After the minister’s presentation, the delegations of the Human Rights Council member countries commented on Cuba’s report and made recommendations to the Government; one of the most repeated of these was that there be guarantees for freedom of expression, association, the press and peaceful gatherings.

Several countries asked Rodriguez to extend a permanent and unrestricted invitation to come to Cuba to the United Nations rapporteurs who monitor the progress and setbacks in specific human rights, and to allow them to visit the places they wish, including prisons.

Another suggestion that was mentioned by different delegations was related to the relevance of creating an independent national institution for human rights.

On the other hand, many countries congratulated the Cuban Government on the rights to health, education and culture that are guaranteed to its population.

Hours earlier, Cuban activist Rosa María Payá said that the Cuban government “mocks” the Human Rights Council and that the report presented to this body in the name of an NGO is “fictitious.”

“We are here to denounce the efforts of the Cuban regime to mock us, the Cuban citizens and the Universal Periodic Review process,” said the activist in a meeting with the press hours before that scrutiny.

“The report that the alleged entities of Cuban civil society have sent is totally fictitious, and not only that, they have invented 400 NGOs.”

Payá said that among these NGOs are “the Cuban Federation of Canine Sports, and the Cuban Association of Otolaryngology, which have nothing to do with human rights” and added that, normally, states present a report referencing some 30 NGOs.

The activist denounced that in neither the government report nor in that of the NGOs did they denounce “the reality of what is happening in the country.”

“There is no talk of cases of torture, disappearances, arbitrary detentions, which are still common, or express kidnappings*, which is a pattern that continues, and that the Ladies in White suffer every week,” Payá said, and she added “330 express kidnappings have been documented in the last month.”

In addition, Payá said that the number of political prisoners “currently equals 120 people with sentences handed down.”

The daughter of Oswaldo Payá stressed that, in recent weeks, five sentences have been handed down against human rights defenders, “and even defenders of environmental rights. Ariel Ruiz Urquiola, an environmental activist has been sentenced to one year in prison, for denouncing threats to biodiversity.”

She also pointed out that there are “absurd cases like that of three activists who were sentenced to two and a half years in prison for demonstrating silently in the Plaza Cespedes who were accused and convicted of the crime of pre-criminal dangerousness, a ‘crime’ that exists only in Cuba and that ensures that you do not have to commit a crime to be arrested.”

With respect to Miguel Díaz-Canel’s assumption of the presidency on April 19, Payá said that the Cuban regime “is selling a process of political change when the appointee was hand-picked. In the last elections there were 605 candidates for 605 seats. The ability of Cubans to choose was zero.”

In addition, the activist denounced that the authorities have not allowed “hundreds of activists” to leave the island in the last months, and specifically related to the Universal Periodic Review “at least five” were blocked from leaving Cuba to prevent them from speaking out.

“We have no freedom to enter and leave as citizens, my own mother was not allowed to enter Cuba to visit the grave of my father,” she said.

*Translator’s note: Elsewhere in Latin America “express kidnappings” are abductions where an immediate ransom is demanded, for example the victim is forced to withdraw money from an ATM. In Cuba, the police and State Security frequently detain people for hours or days to prevent their participating in some political or artistic protest or activity, or to cause them to miss a flight to activities abroad.


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Cuban Government Says Rosa Maria Paya is in Lima Due to "Secret Machinations"

Rosa María Payá with a painting of her father, Oswaldo Payá. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mario Penton, Miami, 11 April 2018 — Rosa María Payá is one of the few Cuban activists who have managed to reach the Summit of the Americas being held in Lima this week. While the majority of the opponents who reside on the island have been stopped by the police from leaving their homes, or picked up by State Security on the way to the airport or stopped by immigration authorities at the exit gates to prevent them from reaching Peru, Paya, who divides her time between Havana and Miami, was able to circumvent the siege.

At 28, Rosa María Payá has become one of the most visible faces of the Cuban opposition. Her international presence has raised the tone of the attacks on her launched by Plaza of the Revolution in the official media, particularly in recent weeks.

Her ancestry (she is the daughter of the late dissident Oswaldo Payá) and her good relations with US Senator Marco Rubio and the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, have been enough for officialdom to attack her. continue reading

The most recent attacks occurred on Tuesday, coinciding with her arrival in Peru to participate in the civil society forums that are being held at the same time as the Summit between the hemisphere’s leaders.

The official newspaper Cubadebate has published an attack titled Secret machinations against Venezuela and Cuba at the Lima Summit, which is based on a supposed letter claimed to be from the opposition to Luis Almagro that was originally published in the blog Discovering Truths. Payá flatly denied being the author of the letter and charged that the ruling party had used a photograph of her signature in a faked montage.

Propagandists of the Castro dictatorship asked to interview me.  Interview with  #CubaDecide by government media: @ACN_Cuba y @VideosCubaHoy en #VIIICumbredelasAmericas

– Rosa María Payá A. (@RosaMariaPaya) April 11, 2018

In June of 2017, Cuban television presented a report trying to discredit Payá because of her links with some exile groups in Miami, “the international right” and a presumed relationship with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Payá requested five minutes on national television to defend herself against such accusations but never received a response from the authorities.

This Tuesday, however, she was interviewed by Cuba’s official media. The Cuban News Agency (ACN) spoke with the activist about the alleged letter published in Cubadebate, and Payá took the opportunity to ask the journalist to ask State Security “who is it who defames and lies about the defenders of human rights in Cuba.”

“[In Cuba we have lived] for 60 years without rights, without the ability to prosper on the wages of our own work and the only party responsible for that is a totalitarian regime,” she answered when asked about her knowledge of the country, due to the short periods of time she has spent on the island since her father’s death in 2012.

In addition, she took advantage of the moment to talk about her initiative, Cuba Decides, intended to achieve democracy on the island through a binding referendum, in a model similar to the consultation that ended the Pinochet regime in Chile. “What I want is for Cubans to be able to represent themselves, that nobody else speaks for all Cubans, we are going to ask them in a plebiscite,” she told the official agency yesterday.

“We are at a point where the regime, the group of generals in power, is in an increasingly vulnerable position. Even though they seem immovable, they are not. There is no other general who has come down from the Sierra to take power in April. Cubans are increasingly unhappy,” the opposition leader told 14ymedio in a recent conversation.

“We do not have to convince Cubans of what is wrong in Cuba, everyone knows, we can not live better for an intrinsically political reason. We live in a system of terror, in a culture of fear,” Payá told 14ymedio.

“Cuba Decide does not want to influence the regime, but rather the Cuban citizenry. We know that we want to force the group that is in power to do what they do not want to do, so we seek to generate the conditions of external and internal pressure so that the changes occur in an orderly, peaceful way, but definitively,” she argues.

Payá believes that the situation in Cuba is not supportive of large groups of people marching in the streets, so she is committed to getting the minimum agreements with other opposition groups to allow them to join forces with her movement. “We are trying to simplify the message to reach more people. We look for points we agree on: Cuba needs a change and with that as a starting point we invite people to join the forces of the nation,” she says.

So far the Patriotic Union of Cuba, the Pedro Luis Boitel party, the independent trade unions, Opponents for a New Republic and several movements of independent churches have accepted the call of Cuba Decides, according to its promoter.

Rosa María Payá thanked the journalist for giving her the opportunity to speak to Cuban media yesterday. “I hope the Cuban government press accomplishes its mission of transmitting the truth instead of serving the oppressors in power and that it publishes our proposals to the countries attending the secretariat of the Summit of the Americas.”

A short distance away, representatives of Cuban officialdom lamented their alleged exclusion, which they described as “malicious,” from the Youth Forum that brings together representatives of civil society with high-level representatives of the governments.

“When we went to the San Isidro Business Center, where the accreditation process for the event took place, we got involved in the dialogue with the representatives of the States and they told us that we had not been selected. The meeting is expected to involve 50 young people, of the 150 that the organizers accepted for the 5th Youth Forum, and ‘coincidentally’ they did not choose any Cubans,” said Ronald Hidalgo Rivera.

In addition, the group publicly denounced the “intrusion of three elements [individuals] of the Cuban counterrevolution” as representatives of the island’s youth at the meeting. And they announced that they will not allow “the forum to be held with these three little people in the room, because we are not willing to dialogue with elements financed by counterrevolutionary and terrorist organizations.” The war is on.


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.

Paya Prize Awarded Without Honorees, In An Event Cuban Government Calls a "Provocation"

About twelve people were able to attend the Payá Award, among whom were diplomats from the US Embassy in Havana and also from the Czech Republic. (Facebook)

14ymedio biggerEFE/14ymedio, Havana, 8 March 2017 — The Oswaldo Payá prize was presented this Thursday, in a symbolic way, to the IDEA initiative, after Cuba refused entrance on Wednesday to the presidents of Colombia, Andres Pastrana, and of Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga, who came to receive the award in an act seen by the Government of the Island as a “provocation.”

Pastrana and Quiroga were to receive, on behalf of the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA) — an organization made up of 37 former heads of State and Government — the prize that bears the name of the late dissident Oswaldo Payá (1952-2012), which was first  awarded last year by the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy, directed by Rosa María Payá, daughter of the late opponent. continue reading

In the absence of a reaction from the government, the official press, which frequently serves as a state platform to publicize its position, emphasized on Thursday that the presidents knew in advance that they were not welcome in Cuba, and they were intending to participate in what the press called a “failed anti-Cuban provocation forged from Washington.”

“Only a dictatorship feels provoked by the fact that two democratically elected ex-presidents would come to receive an award for their work in favor of democracy, invited by free citizens of that country,” said Rosa María Payá in the symbolic award ceremony at his family home, where none of the international invited guests were able to be present.

According to Payá, at least six guests — among them IDEA legislators and former presidents, as well as the secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro — tried to travel to Cuba, but were not able to enter the country, or to board their planes or even to obtain a visa.

Within the Island there were also people who were not able to attend the event. The artist Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto, told 14ymedio that he woke up this Thursday with police surrounding his house to prevent him from attending the award ceremony. A text message from his mobile phone had previously been sent inviting several people to the ceremony.

About twelve people were able to attend the event, among whom were diplomats from the US Embassy in Havana and also from the Czech Republic. The activist Iliana Hernández, the opposition Librado Linares, former prisoner of the so-called Black Spring, the blogger Lía Villares and Sayli Navarro, an activist of the CubaDecides initiative, also attended despite the measures taken by State Security.

Agents were also stationed outside the home of Iliana Hernandez but the activist was able to deceive them to get to the event by car.

Rosa María Payá (right), promoter of the dissident group Cuba Decides, explained that the award to IDEA award is for their “direct action” for the rights of the Venezuelan people. (Facebook)

Payá, promoter of the dissident group CubaDecides — which is part of the Latin American Network — explained that the award to IDEA is for its to its “direct action” for the rights of the Venezuelan people and to spread democracy in Latin America, which has seen a “setback” in recent years due to the “interference of the Cuban regime, especially in Venezuela.”

“Ending the threat that the Cuban intelligence system and Castroism represents for democracy throughout the continent is an urgent task that begins with supporting democracy in Cuba,” said Payá, speaking about CubaDecides, which demands a binding plebiscite on the Island to change the political system and achieve “free, fair and plural elections.”

Despite not being able to attend the award ceremony in Havana, Pastrana sent a message of thanks in which he expressed the commitment of the former presidents who are members of IDEA to join with the Latin American youth of the Network to “continue fighting to defend and promote the democracy.”

In this second edition of the “Oswaldo Payá: Freedom and Life Award,” the Venezuelan opposition leader Antonio Ledezma — exiled in Madrid for months — received a special mention and also sent a message of gratitude that was read this Thursday at the event.

The former mayor of Caracas explained the reasons for his absence in Havana: “In my case, the guardians of the Venezuelan regime would have turned me over to their cronies to submit me again to the torture of a rigged judicial process.”

Luis Almagro, who was recognized with the Payá Prize last year in his first edition, was also unable to attend that year’s event, when the Cuban authorities denied him permission to enter the Island.

This year he again asked for a visa, but as of Wednesday he had not received a response, so he chose not to travel to Cuba, although he also sent a message to the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy, in which he praised its work for freedom and human rights.

“The worst form of interventionism that exists in the international community is to give impunity to a dictatorship, to silence the voice of the people, to prevent them from deciding their future, and  revolutionaries or leftists do not do this,” said Almagro.

In his opinion, “the left that is a reference is the one that faced dictatorships demanding the rights of the people,” while accusing the Government of having “stripped its citizens” of the fundamental principles of freedom and independence that their independence heroes defended.


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.

Interview with Rosa Maria, Oswaldo Paya’s Daughter / Iván García

Photo: EFE, taken from Diario de Cuba

Ivan Garcia and Leonardo Santos, 15 March 2018 — It is difficult, for the macho mentality that prevails among Cubans, to relate to a woman with bold attitudes that require determination and bravery. Regarding Rosa María Payá Acevedo, freelance journalist José Hugo Fernández said that “she has a graceful, elegant appearance, a candid look.”

This is the leader of the CubaDecides campaign and president of the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy, who received us at her family home in the Havana neighborhood of El Cerro to talk about the second annual Freedom and Life Oswaldo Payá Prize, on 8 March. continue reading

Ivan García/Leonardo Santos: Why is the ceremony for this award being held in Havana, knowing that the Cuban regime would deploy a campaign to discredit the event and prevent the participation of influential international political figures?

Rosa María Payá: We will never shape our actions based on the decisions and actions of the regime of Raúl Castro, but rather on what all Cubans can do for ourselves. The decision to deliver, for the second time, this award in Cuba is not only consistent with honoring the legacy of my father and honoring the winners of each year’s award, but also demonstrates to Cubans the support of the international community.

We must be able to generate actions, both inside and outside the Island, in favor of a peaceful change in our country, in favor of a change towards democracy, and as I expressed during the first prize ceremony, for this we must move the scene of our actions to Cuba.

What happened this week, where the Cuban regime for the second time has considered the participation of the international community in the delivery of theFreedom and Life Oswaldo Payá Prize as a political provocation, we can consider as a victory, because it made clear the tolerances that still exist, in the international community, with respect to the Castro dictatorship.

García/Santos: In the first installment of the award, in February 2017, the regime denied entry to Cuba to Luis Almagro, secretary general of the OAS, former Chilean minister Mariana Aylwin and former Mexican President Felipe Calderón. On this occasion, the regime denied entry to presidents Jorge Quiroga and Andrés Pastrana and Chilean deputy Jaime Bellolio, among others. How do these actions hurt the Cuban regime ahead of the VIII Summit of the Americas to be held on April 13 and 14, in Lima, Peru?

Rosa María Payá: It is incoherent that there is a dignified position in the face of the Venezuelan dictatorship perpetuated in the figure of the dictator Nicolás Maduro and that the same treatment should not be assumed before the Cuban dictatorship perpetuated in Raúl Castro. The position of the Peruvian government and the Lima Group, declaring Nicolás Maduro not welcome for the next Summit of the Americas, is truly worthy.

The Cuban regime, which describes its electoral farce as transparent, nevertheless refuses to allow entry into the country of two presidents who were democratically elected.

On the other hand, it is impossible to conceive the collapse of democracy in Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua without the concrete and active interference of the Cuban regime. I think all these considerations should be addressed seriously during this summit. The Secretary General of the OAS said clearly that dictatorships are not welcome.

García/Santos: Sectors of the opposition on the island have described CubaDecides, and its call for a binding plebiscite, as a “fanciful, ineffective and electioneering” endeavor.

Rosa María Payá: CubaDecides is a campaign for all Cubans and for all non-Cubans who support the right of Cubans to decide. The right to decide about how a nation operates, and the citizens that compose it, to determine its present and its destiny. To be against this basic principle is to be against democracy itself. And that basic principle is what CubaDecides defends.

CubaDecides is a citizen mobilization campaign to change the system and begin a process of transition towards democracy. The conditions for this transition to occur are based on the fact that there must be freedom of expression, freedom of association, access to information, and a combating of repression. These things are demanded by CubaDecides, and if that is not what the Cuban opposition wants, then what does it want?

However, all are welcome to join a decisive struggle for freedom. A fight that will end the day there are free elections in Cuba. The change in Cuba will not come from whomever will be the next candidate, because the change has to be radical and for this all Cubans should have the opportunity to participate in that change.

The CubaDecides campaign does not propose to speak for the Cuban people because nobody else should speak for all Cubans. Let’s ask the people, in a plebiscite, what they want.

García/Santos: The doctor Eduardo Cardet, leader of the Christian Liberation Movement among whose founders was your father Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, has been imprisoned since November 30, 2016. His family has recently stated that his case “has not had all the desired repercussions.”

Both since the CubaDecides campaign and the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy, we have been carrying out actions for the release of all political prisoners and specifically for the release of Eduardo Cardet, whom the regime has targeted so particularly.

We are not only worried about his freedom, but also about his physical integrity and that of his family. It is a priority for the Network to take the case of Eduardo Cardet to the Summit of the Americas.

Cuba Denies Entry to Two Former Presidents Arriving to Attend the Paya Prize Ceremony

The former presidents of Colombia, Andres Pastrana, and of Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga, during their detention at Havana’s international airport. (@AndresPastrana_)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio (with information from agencies), Havana/Miami, 7 March 2018 — The Cuban government blocked the entry to the island of the former presidents of Colombia, Andrés Pastrana, and of Bolivia, Jorge Quiroga, who were sent back to Bogata on Wednesday, after they traveled to Havana to accept the prize that bears the name of the late dissident Oswaldo Payá (1952-2012).

“It shows arbitrariness and a great lack of respect,” said Rosa María Payá, daughter of Oswaldo Payá and the director of the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy that awards the prize. Payá confirmed to EFE that Cuba would send the former leaders back on the next Aviance flight, scheduled for 3:50 PM local time. continue reading

Payá said that they are still awaiting the arrival of “other legislators and former presidents,” who are expected to attend tomorrow’s award ceremony in Havana. This year to prize has been awarded to the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA), a group of 37 ex-presidents and former heads of government.

It was Quiroga and Pastrana themselves who denounced in their Twitter accounts that they were being held in the immigration offices of the José Martí International Airport in Havana, where the dissident leader Rosa Maria Payá was waiting to receive them. Payá coordinates the Cuba Decides projects, which promotes “free” elections on the island.

On March 5, President Raúl Castro asked that the “Summit of the Americas not exclude” his Venezuelan colleague, Nicolás Maduro, “and today, March 7, his regime detains us at the airport and deports us along with Andrés Pastrana, preventing our participating in the name of IDEA in the Cuba Decides event with Rosa María Payá. We demand guarantees for her [safety],” tweeted the former president of Bolivia.

Along with a photograph in which they are both seen on board the plane that will take them to Bogotá, Quiroga later published: “Held for two hours in a small immigration office with two cameras filming everything. Honored to be deported by the Cuban dictatorship as inadmissible.”

Payá said in statements to the press from the airport that the government has banned the entry of “two legitimately elected former presidents” within three days of what “according to them are the most democratic elections in the Americas,” to be held this coming Sunday, 11 March.

“It is another example of the despotic nature of this regime and of this government,” emphasized Payá, who as a promoter of the citizen platform Cuba Decides is calling for a binding plebiscite on the island to choose the Island’s system of government.

The president of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, demanded that the Cuban authorities respect the rights of Bolivian presidents Jorge Quiroga and Colombian Andrés Pastrana

“We demand that the rights of former Presidents @AndresPastrana  and @tutoquiroga be respected and that they be allowed to travel to and enter #Cuba, and collect the #PremioPaya,” Almagro wrote in his account on the social network Twitter.

Almagro also intends to attend the award ceremony and has applied for a visa to travel to Cuba, although he is “still waiting for an answer” in Washington, according to an adviser to the high official.

Cuba’s official newspaper Granma published an article which made clear that Almagro is not welcome in Cuba, and denounced his visit as a “provocation” that seeks to “generate instability and damage the country’s international image.”

Last year, in the first edition of the Payá prize which had been awarded to him), Almagro also intended to travel to Havana to collect the award in person, but the Cuban authorities denied him entry.

On that occasion, entry was also denied to former Mexican President Felipe Calderón and former Chilean Minister Mariana Aylwin, who had been invited to the award ceremony.

Cuba’s decision to prevent Calderón and Aylwin from traveling to the country motivated official protest notes from the foreign ministries of Mexico and Chile.


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.

Paya Award Winners: Former Presidents in Support of Democracy

Rosa María Payá took advantage of the ceremony in memory of her father to promote the public mobilization campaign ‘Cuba Decides’. (@RosaMariaPaya)

14ymedio biggerEFE, via 14ymedio, Miami, 1 March 2018 — The Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA), a forum in defense of democracy made up of former presidents and heads of state created in 2015 by two Venezuelans, won the Oswaldo Payá Freedom and Life Prize this Friday.

The second annual award of this prize, instituted by the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy in memory of the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá, was proclaimed at a ceremony in Miami to mark the 66th anniversary of his birth on 29 February 1952. continue reading

In addition to the IDEA award, the Latin American Network awarded an honorable mention to former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma in recognition of his career; in 2017 Ledezma escaped from the home confinement he’d been sentenced to in the Venezuelan capital and is now in exile.

Aurora Espina, a Mexican member of the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy, was engaged to announce the honorable mention to Ledezma and the Payá Award to IDEA.

The formal delivery date of both awards, in Cuba, will be announced shortly, said Rosa Maria Payá, daughter of Oswaldo Payá and current president of the Latin American Youth Network for Democracy.

In its first edition, the Oswaldo Payá Prize was awarded to Luis Almagro, secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), who was not able to receive it in Havana as planned because Raúl Castro’s government prohibited him from entering Cuba.

Rosa María Payá attended the ceremony in memory of her father to promote the public mobilization campaign Cuba Decides, in support of a binding plebiscite for Cubans to decide “their destiny” and the political system they want to live under.

The young activist urged Cubans to annul their votes in the March 11 election by writing “Cuba decides” or “plebiscite” on their ballots and asked the international community not to recognize whoever is elected as Raul Castro’s successor in those “fraudulent” and undemocratic elections that will consecrate “a dynastic succession,” she said.

Payá, who was accompanied by her mother Ofelia Acevedo and other relatives, said her father’s struggle is alive even though his life was “snatched away” by a “toxic” and “dictatorial” regime, and stressed that Castroism is a danger for the stability of the entire continent. If people do not believe this, she invited them to “ask the Venezuelans.”

IDEA identified the six award finalists as: Ledezma and three other Venezuelan opponents, Lester Javier Toledo Soto, Wilmer José Azuaje Cordero and José Vicente García, as well as the Humanist Network for Latin America, along with Camilo Ernesto Romero Galeano, governor of the department of Nariño, Colombia.

The winner is an international non-governmental forum composed of more than thirty former heads of state and government, “democrats respectful of the principle of alternation” in power, according to its website.

IDEA was started in 2015 by the creators of the IDEA-Democratic Foundation, Nelson J. Mezerhane Gosen, its president and owner of Diario Las Americas in Miami, and Asdrúbal Aguiar, its director and former minister of internal relations in Venezuela

In addition to designing programs and activities that support or strengthen democracy, the former presidents issue statements on important and topical issues.

Venezuela and Cuba are two of the countries of greatest concern to the IDEA forum participants.

This was demonstrated in a February 2 statement where they stressed that they remain “vigilant” in the face of the “agonizing struggle” carried out by Venezuelans and Cubans “in their legitimate demand for clean, free and competitive electoral systems and processes, subject to international observation, that will permit their early return to the family of democracies.”

More than thirty former governors have subscribed to or supported these statements, including José María Aznar and Felipe González, former heads of the Government of Spain, and the presidents Nicolás Ardito Barletta and Mireya Moscoso (Panama), Belisario Betancur, Andrés Pastrana, César Gaviria and Álvaro Uribe (Colombia), and Felipe Calderón and Vicente Fox (Mexico).

Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Rafael Ángel Calderón and Laura Chinchilla (Costa Rica), Alfredo Cristiani (El Salvador), Fernando de la Rúa (Argentina), Osvaldo Hurtado (Ecuador), Luis Alberto Lacalle and Julio María Sanguinetti (Uruguay) and Jorge Quiroga ( Bolivia) are also among the winners.

At the same ceremony, a mini-documentary on Oswaldo Payá, made by Adam Hawk Jensen, was premiered as part of The Witness Project, an initiative of the Memorial Foundation of the Victims of Communism.

The mayor of Miami, Francis Suarez, and city commissioner Joe Carollo delivered a proclamation of Oswaldo Payá Day in Miami at the ceremony.


The 14ymedio team is committed to serious journalism that reflects the reality of deep Cuba. Thank you for joining us on this long road. We invite you to continue supporting us, but this time by becoming a member of 14ymedio. Together we can continue to transform journalism in Cuba.