Sunday, May 05, 2013

New Evidence in Oswaldo Payá’s Death

The National Catholic Register has introduced me to the story of Oswaldo Paya, a Cuban Catholic who died in a car crash after being harrassed and threatened by the government for years.

New Evidence in Oswaldo Paya's Death

"WASHINGTON — When Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, 60, one of Cuba’s most famous — and intensely devout — Catholic activists was killed on July 22, 2012, his family, friends and human-rights advocates around the world considered the tragic death suspicious.

Now the U.S. State Department has called for an independent, international investigation into the circumstances of the accident.

Payá founded the Christian Liberation Movement (CLM) in 1988 to advocate for free speech, freedom of association, more private property rights and the right to have a voice in government decisions through elections in Cuba. The Register profiled Payá in a lengthy interview in 2010.

Calling for a national referendum on these freedoms, in an effort known as the Varela Project, in honor of a 19th-century Cuban-born priest, Father Felix Varela, the CLM gathered more than 25,000 signatures and presented them to the Cuban National Assembly in 2002 and 2003. As a result, most of the movement’s leaders were jailed in the "Black Spring" of 2003.

Many were released into exile in 2010 as a result of a deal worked out between the Church in Cuba, the Castro regime and the Spanish government."

Read more here

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