Paya issued a statement following the July 7 announcement that five prisoners of conscience would be released yesterday and another 47 over the next four months.
He thanked the Church for its efforts and its solidarity, as well as for the “comfort and assistance that so many religious, lay people, priests and bishops across Cuba have given over the years and that they continue to give to political prisoners and their families.”
Likewise, he expressed his hope the Cuban government would follow through on its decision to “release these prisoners, without conditions, so that they can freely live their lives.”
“This should be the first step towards freeing all political prisoners soon and beginning the changes that the entire nation desires,” Paya continued. “And changes mean rights, freedom, reconciliation. We can achieve this among all Cubans,” he added.
Paya also thanked Cubans at home and abroad who have shown solidarity with the political prisoners, as well as the governments, international institutions and the “heroic Women in White,” the wives of those imprisoned in 2003 for political reasons.
All those imprisoned for defending human rights in Cuba must be released, he urged, “including Agustin Cervantes Garcia, who was sentenced to two years in 2009 merely for promoting the Varela Project.”
Paya also thanked “all those in Spain, from the government to opposition leaders to the entire society, for their concern and solidarity and for their efforts to free these peaceful political prisoners.”
“We thank all these heroes who one day were kidnapped from their homes and unjustly imprisoned for merely defending Human Rights. The people of Cuba and all those who love justice should be thankful to these Cubans who have been torches of dignity and hope shining in the darkness,” Paya said.
.- The coordinator of the Christian Life Movement, Oswaldo Paya, thanked the Church yesterday for its efforts to achieve the release of political prisoners. He also expressed his hope that an end to unjust imprisonment in Cuba is near and that Cubans could finally live under democracy.