My Encounter with Paya in Voices 16 / Mario Lleonart

Careful with those whom you all kill, they can spur a craving for liberty in the people (Oswaldo Paya in an interview by the Hispano Cubana Magazine, No. 16, 2003, p. 122).

Friday, September 7 the launch of the 16th edition of the magazine Voices took place in Havana in the home of Yoani Sanchez and Reinaldo Escobar.  Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo was in charge of the introductory words, and not one more person could have fit in the living room and on the terrace of our friends.  Thanks to God I was able to be there and also I have the honor of being included in the so heartfelt pages of this singular issue whose special edition is dedicated to the tragic death of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero which occurred July 22 in the vicinity of Bayamo.

I thank greatly the editors of this very daring magazine who, for a second time, have included one of my writings.  The first time was in the still recent Voices 14 presented and dedicated to the then imminent papal visit where was inserted my prediction, regrettably correct, “Another Pope, another Cuba and another church.”  This time Voices 16 took from my soul “My encounter with Paya” and I feel maybe they are the simplest of the included pages, surrounded as I am there by multiple voices of high quality.

I recommend the reading of the 16 editions of Voices in general ( and this issue 16 in particular, as singular as the rest, but so special for its being dedicated to two such special souls as Harold and Oswaldo.  Regardless of my invitation to read the magazine directly, I will provide in my next post fragments of the writing that I dragged from my heart for Oswaldo Paya in Voices 16.

Translated by mlk.

October 30 2012