Former U.S. Diplomat who Collaborated with Cuban Regime Faces Lawsuit by Widow of Slain Dissident.

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12 September, 2023
Exdiplomático de EE. UU. que colaboró con el régimen cubano enfrenta demanda por la viuda de disidente asesinado.
29 February, 2024

Former U.S. Diplomat who Collaborated with Cuban Regime Faces Lawsuit by Widow of Slain Dissident.

Miami, Florida – February 29, 2024

Today, Ofelia Acevedo, the widow of the late Cuban human rights defender Oswaldo Payá, filed a lawsuit in Dade County, Florida, against Victor Manuel Rocha, a former U.S. diplomat, whose four-decade-long collaboration with the Cuban regime was recently exposed by the U.S. Attorney General as one of the most profound penetrations of the U.S. government by a foreign agent. Payá was assassinated by the Castro regime in 2012, a period during which Rocha was collaborating with Cuba while advising U.S. national security officials and accessing America’s most sensitive intelligence.

“I seek what I have sought all along: for the truth, for justice, and for the regime and its accomplices of to stop acting with impunity,” said Acevedo.

Oswaldo Payá, a renowned advocate for the Cuban people’s right to hold free elections and a peaceful government transition, was murdered in 2012. Despite the regime’s persistent denials, in a historic verdict in 2023, the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights found that the Cuban government was responsible for Payá’s murder.

His daughter, Rosa María Payá, founder of Cuba Decide, a citizen initiative created to continue Oswaldo’s work on behalf of democracy in Cuba, emphasized the broader implications of Rocha’s collaboration: “Rocha was instrumental in perpetuating a terrorist regime that undermines America’s national security interests, oppresses the Cuban people, and threatens peace in the region.”

Oswaldo Payá legacy is underscored by his international recognition, including the prestigious Sakharov Prize for Human Rights awarded by the European Parliament. 

“My father would have celebrated his 72nd birthday tomorrow, on February 29,” his daughter remarked. “We remain steadfast in carrying on the work he initiated until the Cuban people achieve the freedom unjustly withheld from them by the regime and its accomplices.”

The lawsuit, filed in Miami Dade County, where Rocha had retired, marks a pivotal moment in the pursuit of accountability for those complicit in human rights abuses in Cuba. The Payá family is represented by Continental, a law firm based in Florida.

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  • Katharine Wiles
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