Paya calls on Cuban exiles to fight for their fellow countrymen


The national coordinator of the Christian Life Movement, Oswaldo Paya, has called on Cubans exiles to show their solidarity with those who remain in the Cuba and to demand respect for human rights.

Paya lamented the “double punishment” of Cubans who have left the island nation and are then are neither recognized by the Cuban government or by their new country of residence as citizens of Cuba.

“The respect for the right of Cubans exiles to come to Cuba on the part of the governments of the countries where they live should not be conditioned on changes in Cuba, as that would be to double punishment of the same victim,” he said.

“But Cubans themselves who live outside Cuba should show solidarity with their fellow countrymen and demand all the rights for us Cubans who live here,” he told the Diario de las Americas in a reference to the desired right of Cubans to enter and leave the island freely without restrictions from the Communist government.

“If fear has gotten to those who are overseas and they think they must pay with the price of silence, if not with that of feigned complacency, in order to be allowed to enter their own country as ‘visitors,’ then they are only contributing to the prolonging of the humiliation of all.”

“If they don’t agree,” he added, “let them look at the passport they used to leave Cuba and explain why it says: ‘definitive departure’.”

Paya said this is the reason the Christian Liberation Movement has put forth a proposal to the National Assembly that would recognize the rights of all Cubans, both those on the island and those living in exile.

The proposal would do away with the term “definitive departure” on passports, as well as the confiscation or stripping of properties from Cubans who emigrate. “It would also eliminate the humiliating discrimination Cubans suffer in our own country,” Paya said.

He reminded Cuban exiles that the Castro government was responsible for their rights not being recognized and for them being considered refugees.  This has affected many families, Paya said, families which “have been separated and continue to be separated.”

“We will continue here fighting for the rights of all, including those of our beloved and inseparable family of Cubans in the diaspora, who are part of the same Cuban family, which is one, as we are one people,” he said.

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