|"And now freedom." Image by Rolando Pulido|
Eleven months seem so long ago and at the same time just like yesterday. Yes, its a contradiction but nevertheless true. It was a Sunday, and got the phone call leaving the movie theater..."They killed him. Oswaldo is dead." Feels just like yesterday, that hollow feeling in the pit of the stomach at the horror of what had just happened. At the same time it seems so long ago.
The vigils, masses, and funerals of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante. The painful losses suffered by two families who had already sacrificed much for Cuban dignity and freedom. The battle to get at the truth of what happened on that Sunday afternoon in Bayamo, Cuba. The survivors of the crash detained, drugged and threatened. The sordid bilateral agreements between states to cover up a crime in the favor of expediency and commercial interests.
The international solidarity from people of good will around the world. Rosa Maria Payá and Regis Iglesias Ramírez speaking before the United Nations Human Rights Council to demand justice and truth for Oswaldo and Harold while at the same time calling for freedom of Cuba's political prisoner and for Cubans to follow the People's Path to an authentic nonviolent transition. This in the midst of death threats called into the Payá home and other members attacked with machetes. It all seems so long ago but in fact its been less than a year, and all I can say is that you are all in my prayers and my condolences for your loss.
July 22, 2012 was not just a terrible day for Oswaldo, Harold and their families, friends and colleagues it was also a terrible day for Cuba. Two leaders that offered a way forward for Cuba without hatred and violence were cruelly taken away.
Thankfully, there is much that one can do. Letting others know about the life and work of Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero. Following Rosa Maria Payá, Regis Iglesias and the Christian Liberation Movement over twitter and supporting the People's Path. Lastly, and just as importantly adding ones name to the growing list of signatures demanding an international and transparent investigation into the deaths of Oswaldo and Harold.
|Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero|