|"Democratic change today in Cuba is possible, even if tyranny pretends otherwise." - Rosa María Payá|
Let us also not forget that 24 U.S. diplomats in Havana between November 2016 and August 2017 suffered severe injuries, including brain trauma, under circumstances that have not been cleared up or that a Cuban dissident was the victim of a brutal machete attack on May 24, 2015 for advocating to keep a school open in Cuba.
This is why it remains important for friends of freedom to follow her on social media and raise the alarm if and when danger seems imminent or she is actually under attack. On March 6, 2018 at 10:07am Rosa extended the following invitation in Spanish, "Thursday 8/3 at 11:00am we invite civil society and interested citizens, accredited and independent press, diplomatic corps of democratic countries and above all, you, to the Payá Award, murdered in Cuba 2012 by the Castro regime that today seeks to perpetuate itself."
Jueves 8/3 a 11am invitamos a sociedad civil y ciudadanía interesada, prensa acreditada e independiente, cuerpo diplomático de países democráticos y, sobre todo, a ti, a entrega del Premio Payá, asesinado en Cuba 2012 por el régimen castrista que hoy busca perpetuarse @CUBADECIDE https://t.co/ThUXq9B37w— Rosa María Payá A. (@RosaMariaPaya) March 6, 2018
Arrests and detentions are already taking place to prevent dissidents from attending the ceremony in what may be shaping up to be a crackdown. Independent journalist Agustín López Canino has been detained. Activists Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, and Sayli Navarro are being held under house arrest in order to prevent them attending the ceremony on Thursday.
Latin American leaders have applied for visas to enter Cuba, including Luis Almagro, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS) and Jaime Bellolio, a member of Chile's Chamber of Deputies.Will the Castro regime allow them to enter?
This is a time to be vigilant, keep all eyes on Cuba, and to denounce repression and other irregularities.