The president of the Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, said this week the “liberating message” of Jesus was what inspired the creation of this dissident movement that seeks peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba through the Varela Project.
“Everything began very simply. We were inspired by Jesus when he said in the Gospel: ‘Therefore, give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.’ And we discovered that in this phrase of Jesus, as in the entire Gospel, there is a message of liberation,” Paya said on the occasion of the CLM’s 20th anniversary.
In a message, Paya said, “We need to tell Cubans that their lives, their dignity and their freedom” belong to God, “and nobody, not even Caesar, can take that away from them if they don’t give in to fear or other things.”
Paya recalled that throughout the years, Cubans of diverse tendencies and from all parts joined the CLM, which does not have a specific religious identity but is “inspired in the Gospel.” “We are all moved by love for Cuba and for freedom,” he said.
The movement was born “to proclaim that we are all brothers and that love and that the power of the state or of the market should not be the basis of relationships in our society and among all the peoples of the earth,” Paya stated.
He warned that as long as the “indivisible” people of Cuba do not have the right of free expression guaranteed in law, “there will be oppression and feigning” on the island.
He noted that many of the CLM’s leaders who have demanded this right are in prison as well as “many others of our brothers and sisters from other democratic groups and independent journalists.”
“Our children deserve the truth and freedom and not to live in the humiliation of a great show of lies and a culture of death that are only sustained through the force of repression,” Paya continued.
For this reason he announced the re-launching of the Varela Project, to demand “that the people be given a voice through a referendum and demanding fundamental rights for all Cubans.”
“The totalitarian government is afraid that Cubans will no longer be afraid, because this is its main tool for controlling people. For this reason the signature campaign of the Varela Project continues now more than ever because it is liberating, because it overcomes fear and transparently opens the way towards a peaceful solution,” Paya said.