We are happy to announce that, on the anniversary of the birth of Oswaldo Payá, a bipartisan group of U.S. Representatives reintroduced the bill that renames the street where the embassy of the Cuban dictatorship is located as “Oswaldo Payá Way”. Below we reproduce the official communication from the office of Congressman Mario Díaz-Balart, who heads the group of sponsors of the project together with Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Carlos A. Gimenez, Nicole Malliotakis and Maria Elvira Salazar.
March 1, 2023, WASHINGTON, D.C.– Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-26), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), Carlos A. Gimenez (FL-28), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), and Maria Elvira Salazar (FL-27), introduced H.R. 1239, a bill that would rename the street in front of the Cuban embassy in Washington, D.C., as “Oswaldo Payá Way,” in honor of Cuba’s late pro-democracy activist and leader of the Christian Liberation Movement. Payá died on July 22, 2012, following a car crash caused by the Castro regime alongside activist Harold Cepero, who also perished. Spanish activist Angel Carromero survived and has described the horrific ordeal in detail. Oswaldo Payá, whose birthday was February 29, would have been 71 years old today.
“Ten years ago, brave Cuban pro-democracy activist and leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, was murdered by Castro’s thugs, alongside young activist Harold Cepero,” said Diaz-Balart. “Oswaldo Payá was a target of the Cuban dictatorship because he was an effective, tireless advocate for religious liberty and representative government. Payá’s daughter, Rosa Maria Payá, has dedicated her life to supporting freedom for the Cuban people and ensuring that we never forget the sacrifice that her father and many others made in the struggle. Their sacrifice is another harsh reminder that the brutal Cuban regime has no reverence for human life, dignity, or human rights. Renaming the street in front of the Cuban embassy in D.C. for Payá will honor those lost and ensure that we keep their memory alive. It also will be a permanent reminder that, due to the work of courageous activists such as Oswaldo Payá, the regime’s days are numbered, and the Cuban people will be free.”
“In the face of violence and intimidation that spanned decades, Oswaldo Payá built a grassroots movement that demanded Cuba’s autocrats to allow for more freedom on the island,” said Wasserman Schultz. “I am proud to join my colleagues in honoring this human rights hero by making his presence permanent, right in front of the Cuban Embassy, standing as a constant reminder of his work to bring justice to the Cuban people.”
“Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas dedicated his life to fighting for democracy, religious freedom, and human rights, serving as an inspiration to the Cuban people and so many others around the world who shared his vision,” said Malliotakis. “His legacy continues to live on through the bravery of those who are fighting Cuba’s oppressive regime today and I’m proud to join my colleagues in supporting the cementing of his name outside the Cuban embassy in Washington, DC.”
“Oswaldo Payá exemplified the struggle for Cuba’s freedom from the murderous Castro regime that took his life and the lives of countless innocents,” said Gimenez. “This street will serve as a constant reminder of how the brutal, Communist Castro regime continues to indiscriminately jail, terrorize, and murder the freedom-loving people of Cuba.”
“Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas was a true Cuban patriot who confronted the regime face-to-face for years, leading the movement that brought together thousands of other compatriots yearning for freedom and democracy in Cuba,” said Salazar. “Payá paid for ‘Proyecto Varela’ with his own life. The Castros never forgave him for the pro-democracy uprising he caused on the island through the Movimiento Cristiano Liberación. On the 71st anniversary of Payá’s birth, there is no better way to honor his legacy than naming the street across from the Cuban Embassy after him. This will be a permanent reminder of the legacy of a man who fought on the right side of history.”
The Senate version of this bill was reintroduced by U.S. Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-FL.), and Dick Durbin (D-IL.), Ben Cardin (D- MD, and Rick Scott (R-FL).
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