The Death of Oswaldo Payá / Lilianne Ruíz

In the Savior of the World Church in the Cerro neighborhood

Absurd and suspicious. No matter what the News says. He was a man threatened with death. The News emphasized the years of experience of the experts who established the responsibility for the accident, and I think they belong to the same Ministry where the order came from to threaten Oswaldo Payá and his family.

Not to mention other, earlier “accidents.” Assaults, road crashes, pure Department of State Security (DSE) style. Didn’t we see it in the movie I Am The Other Cuba? I think it was Voltaire who said: “Slander boldly, something always sticks.” If this time it was a political assassination ordered from some obscure department, executed by some soulless assassin in the service of power and ideology, we’ll never know, as the most impartial investigation is out of the hands of the mourners.

Nor is this our right as Cubans. For decades everything has been occupied by the Communist Party, they wash away and they spread filth. Paraphrasing Oedipus one could say: “Let us never be a toy in the hands of the Party.”

Monday they held a wake for him in the Church in Cerro and my daughter and I went. Too many omissions in my life to also miss this evening… wake. Nor could I greet Oswaldo Payá in life. In the years when the Varela Project surged, I was in my twenties, I did not want to be responsible for anything, nor take part, even though secretly I sympathized with the idea and wanted to revoke all the power that was running the government of the country.

And how brilliantly did Oswaldo Payá resolve the constitutional character with the Varela Project. And how many beatings did they suffer in those years, the Cubans who were verbally explaining to the people, as they had no other way, what the Varela Project was all about.

The signers knew what they were risking. At the least, social exclusion which is bad enough, but there are other levels of retaliation languishing in Cuba: prison and death. And indeed they collected 20,000 signatures and more as stipulated in the Constitution to legitimate the opposition to the leader of the Communist Party.

The tall man in the center is Guillermo Fariñas who was arrested shortly after this photo was taken.

But the Baal Fidel Castro, once again on the Platform, comparing the way things are resolved in Cuba made people sign without explaining much of the why of such a flippant request where the Constitution of Cuba would be changed to make Socialism and himself irrevocable, and then he undertook the manhunt that would reach its zenith in the Cuban Black Spring of 2003.

In the church many friends were waiting for the body. It’s hard for me to talk about it because I showed up yesterday so to speak. I felt such great respect for them that I doubt any description I can offer of the hours I spent there. In fact at half past four I still had not reached the coffin and had to return home with my daughter and only had news of the events when Agustín came; he had carefully documented the hours that followed, where important events occurred — like the arrests of Fariñas and Roldiles — in his blog Dekaisone, which I particularly recommend your reading.

July 30 2012