Thursday, August 22, 2013

Oswaldo and Harold : A year and a month later truth and justice still needed

Half of the Cuban people believe that the leader of Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya, was murdered. The other half know it. - William Cacer Diaz, over twitter August 22, 2013

Oswaldo and Harold: Murdered by Cuban State Security

397 days ago on a Sunday afternoon two decent and good men were killed. At the time the evidence and suspicions pointed to Cuban government involvement. There was speculation that a state security vehicle had crashed into the car in which Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero Escalante were traveling with two European visitors both members of political parties related by shared values to the Christian Liberation Movement killing them. However, over the past year the evidence that comes to light paints a more disturbing picture.

On June 2, 2012 an old American car struck Oswaldo's 1964 VW station wagon while he was driving it with his wife, Ofelia Acevedo in Havana, with such force that it knocked the vehicle onto its left side on the opposite side of the road. 

The Cuban government's attempt to manufacture a crash scene claiming that only one car was involved and that the driver had been speeding and hit a tree ran into some difficulties despite the show trial. The two Europeans who survived the crash on July 22, 2012 although detained and held incomunicado, drugged, and subjected to the tender mercies of Cuban state security had already send text messages abroad shortly after the crash indicating the involvement of another vehicle.

After they were released from confinement in Cuba and got back to their home countries and were able to talk the picture that emerges is that Oswaldo and Harold survived the accident that the injuries the Spaniard sustained were after the accident and with the butt of a gun. The two Cuban human rights defenders were murdered in cold blood by agents of Cuban State Security.

After the killings when the families sought justice they too were threatened with death and after rising violence and a machete attack against a Christian Liberation Movement member the rest of the  Payá family left Cuban and became political refugees.

The fact that the international community with some noble exceptions has remained indifferent before this atrocity and that to the present date a serious, international and transparent investigation has not been undertaken into the deaths of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and Harold Cepero is an outrage that must be remedied.

Truth and justice for Oswaldo and Harold. Please take action and sign the petition demanding an international investigation into their deaths. Their families continue to struggle for and demand justice, the least we can do is demonstrate our solidarity in a concrete way.

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