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MCl Leader for the Freedom of a Cuba without Castros

MCl Leader for the Freedom of a Cuba without Castros / Orlando Luis
Pardo Lazo
Posted on July 4, 2015

Interview with Rosa Maria Paya

Leader of the Christian Liberation Movement and Cuba Decides

From El Pais

“The United States is negotiating with the Cuban caste.”

Cuban regime opponent, daughter of Oswaldo Para, speaks of the
shortcomings of the thaw.

Alba Casas

Madrid, 3 July 2015, 23:03 CEST

To Rosa Maria Paya (b. January 1989, Havana), daughter of the late Cuban
dissident Oswaldo Paya and a member of the Christian Liberation Movement
— founded by her father — is not afraid to say the thaw will not end
“the embargo on freedoms” that the Cuban Executive imposes on its
inhabitants. “The United States is talking with the Government and those
surrounding it. But civil society is left outside. It is a privilege
reserved for the Cuban caste. For the rest, it is a situation of
exclusion,” she says.

Although she looks favorably on the advance in relations between both
countries — in her own words: “And attempt to include Cuba as part of
the international community is good, provided the inclusion is of all of
Cuba, not just the government.” Paya believes that the reestablishment
of the talks offers a “halo of legitimacy to a Government that every day
violates the rights of its citizens.”

And she defends, over and over again, the need for this process to come
with a change for society. “The confrontation with the United States is
the excise the government has used to justify some of its repressive
measures. Now the excuse has fallen but the situation continues the
same, which shows that it was not the United States that was oppressing
Cubans, but rather the government itself.”

Among the North American giant’s motives, according to Paya, should be
to defend “the opening of Cuba to Cubans themselves,” to offer legal
security to entrepreneurs who want to embark on new commercial
activities on the island.

“Totalitarianism is a tacit threat to them, like negotiating with the
mafia. I don’t expect an altruism from foreign investors, but to
negotiate without the guarantees of democracy is to accept the rules of
the Cuban government,” says this young woman of 26, with some political
ideas of her own who spend this same time leading rallies in front of
the cameras.

In drawing a parallel between this “game that follows the rules of the
Cuban government,” with the current situation of the thaw in which the
United States, despite its initial demand to ensure the rights of
Cubans, has finalized the embargo and removed Cuba from the list of
countries sponsoring terrorism, without a real advance in freedoms for

Paya says, “It is terrible when talking becomes more important than the
objectives of the talks. When this happens, the impunity is total and
the government feels free to assassinate a Sakharov Prize winner and
nothing happens.” She is referring to her father, Oswaldo Paya, who died
in 2012 in strange circumstances in a traffic accident. “To call it an
accident is to use the government’s words,” she says.

Paya’s criticism against the executives who prefer “to ignore the
violations of human rights” is not directed solely at the North American
giant. The young woman even links to “the 15 years of recession
experienced by the democracies in the region,” with the Cuban dictatorship.

“I’m not saying it’s the only reason, but it is a common denominator.
And you can observe the complicit silence of the senior Latin American
politicians with all the crimes of the region, not only those of Cuba,”
she says.

The instrument that the Cuban Christian Liberation Movement proposed to
achieve that advance in rights and initiate a process of the democratic
transition is to hold a plebiscite to ask the citizens of the island if
they want to participate in free elections, in which any citizen can
stand as a candidate of the opposition, with full media coverage and,
above all, “with guarantees for the voters that there will be no
consequences from the powers-that-be.”

Looking at this utopian scenario cannot, however, ensure that Cubans
taking to the polls is going to translate into the end of the Castro
mandate. “I believe that if Cubans could vote, they would vote for
freedom. But if they do not do it, all we can do is to give them the
tool. Cubans will be free when they want to be so.”

Source: MCl Leader for the Freedom of a Cuba without Castros / Orlando
Luis Pardo Lazo | Translating Cuba –

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