Monday, March 4, 2013

Cuban dissident's widow speaks out for truth and nonviolence

Ofelia Acevedo at funeral service for her husband Oswaldo Payá

Fellowship in Truth.

By Ofelia Acevedo

For the day of your birthday

Yesterday February 28 my husband Oswaldo Payá would've turned 61 years old. We used to celebrate with family and our steadfast friends. On this occasion, and for the first time, his family celebrated with steadfast friends, in an intimate and beautiful Mass, with his remains as a witness and his spiritual presence among us. All who were there knew that this was so.

Yesterday I also knew that our daughter Rosa Maria Madrid had finally managed to meet Ángel Carromero, the young Spanish politician who was driving the car where my husband and Harold Escalante were traveling. How important was to my family that interview I started to demand from the first contact I had with that officer of Criminology, who said he was Major Sanchez (on the premises of the Institute of Legal Medicine), I will never forget that afternoon of July 23 2012, who they sent from Bayamo with the body of my husband. I had clearly expressed to him that I wanted to meet with the survivors, that I had that right. He himself can confirm this, and all who have seen the film, while the short interview progressed, we had an officer with a video camera, almost on top of us. I also requested to allow me to interview the survivors to the ambassadors of Spain and Sweden on several occasions, although they let me know that was not in their hands. The kidnappers of Angel and Aron never allowed me to meet the survivors.

Now was that our daughter, being in Madrid, she could see the brave young Spaniard personally, who was a victim for four months of the mechanism of terror of Cuban State Security, and once in Spain, continues to be a victim of vicious hate filled mobs, fed God only knows with what lies, that threaten and frighten him. He is also a victim of arbitrary attitudes and shameless sectors responding to sinister interests, apparently not knowing that they are mistreating him and try to distort him. They do not understand that those who have a clear conscience and free cannot be silenced or bought, because that conscience is the voice of God.

Carromero confirmed to our daughter what we knew from the first moment by text messages that they had been sent to Stockholm and Madrid: a car rammed them off the road, he and the young Swede were taken out and rapidly introduced into another car, and my husband Oswaldo Payá and our dear Harold Cepero were alive at that time. They never crashed into any tree, there was no car accident, for now we do not know where in our country my husband and Harold were torn from this life. What happened onwards only the agents of State Security that caused the event and gave an account of their lives, and someone very important, the Lord of history, always present, He will judge us all one day.

Oswaldo and Harold are no longer physically with us, and I remember now those words Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero prophetically uttered one day, knowing he was threatened with death: I will resurrect in the people. The same will happen here sooner rather than later. They and others who generously have lost their lives in this struggle for rights and democracy for Cuba, will resurrected in her people. But his message of love is alive. His proposed authentic changes, his generous pursuit of truth and justice for all, was captured in the document The Peoples Path, thousands of Cubans inside and outside of Cuba have supported and continue to support us with their name, and now MCL members along with other opponents are committed to disseminating amid repression, surveillance, harassment and threats.

This road is an alternative policy conceived for only Cubans does it truly correspond to design, decide and build their future, but it requires generosity, humility and love for our neighbors, like Harold and Oswaldo felt: Our neighbor is the Cuban of today, here and now. This is the only way to disarm the compendium of hate, lies and wickedness that has so long prevailed in our country.

We know how they manipulate, create false opposition activists, or organizations, control the media, slander, lie, insult, try to discredit, divide and exacerbate the worst feelings that people can feel, but nothing can stop us if we remain faithful and united in these intentions: be all protagonists of change toward freedom and peace here and now. Today we are calling for truth, justice and brotherhood so that beyond our own miseries we all march along this road.

We are now in a clear moment to observe these events of which we talked. The heartbreaking words of my daughter, after her meeting with Ángel Carromero.

Until now these same media are mostly silent, as if waiting for orders to see how to face the fact, because it is a fact. Other people are not aware of or by what is happening, buying time to measure their intervention. Others have already started their barrage of insults, lies, spewing hatred and evil, they are found in Madrid, Miami, Havana and other parts of the world. It is easy to recognize them by the foul language in expressing their infamies. One of the ephemeral successes of the maneuvers of State Security is to kill solidarity, avoid at all costs the fraternity, especially among Cubans.

Today I commented to a reporter from a radio station in Miami who called my home, what I think is most important, giving full meaning to the sacrifice of our martyrs and my husband stated in his speech in Strasbourg, where he was awarded the Sakharov Prize: "The first victory we can claim is that our hearts are free of hatred. Hence we say to those who persecute us and who try to dominate us: ‘You are my brother. I do not hate you, but you are not going to dominate me by fear. I do not wish to impose my truth, nor do I wish you to impose yours on me. We are going to seek the truth together." (...) The Cubans (...) we cannot, we do not know how, and do not want to live without freedom.

Follow peacefully this way is the Path of the People.

Havana, March 1, 2013

Ofelia Acevedo Maura

Member of the Coordinating Council M.C.L.

Original text in Spanish

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