Email received from Oswaldo Paya’s organization:
FIRM IN OUR UNITY: RESPONSE TO THE REUTERS NEWS AGENCY
Havana, April 18, 2007- With certain astonishment we have read the disinformation from the Reuters agency in Havana in the April 16 article “The Cuban opposition joins against the mediation of Spain in Human Rights” that refers to the declaration “Unity For Freedom” that we circulated last Sunday April 15, signed by a group of leaders of the peaceful democratic opposition and that is now supported by the immense majority of groups inside and out of Cuba. The note from Reuters, after a title that lacks any truth, continues with the same disorientation, stating: (we cite)
The divided Cuban opposition united in its rejection of dialogue over human rights between the Cuban government and Spain, which was agreed to this month during a visit to the island by Miguel Angel Moratinos, the Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister. (end of citation)
I feel the responsibility of answering for all because I drafted the declaration “Unity for Freedom.” It faithfully expresses the consensus of all that signed it, although, for this reason, any of us could answer to Reuters clarifying to the public, who always deserve the truth. We are not going to get worn down answering this note point by point, although it surprises us coming from Reuters which is characterized by seriousness and that, having been present in Cuba, has experienced the context of oppression that we Cubans suffer and knows well the transparency of our positions. Our declaration of unity is solely and completely positive. The members of the Cuban opposition do not join to push back dialogue on human rights, but to defend the human rights of all Cubans and we have been doing this for decades in the midst of repression, exclusion and campaigns of defamation and disinformation that are unloaded against us by the regime and those who collaborate with the lies, abusing our disadvantage and lack of means of communication. We are joined in the determination to achieve a new era of freedom and peace for our people who are compromised by the lies and repression, but not conquered definitively.
We know that the misinformation and attempts at sowing discord and suspicion between us will come, but this alerts us and confirms in us the determination to stay firm in our Unity for Freedom. But also we know that in the world there is much more good will and hearts united for the rights of the Cuban people. All Cubans are identifying with this manifesto because with radical Cuban-ness one can vindicate one’s dignity. There is a lot of love toward our people who proclaim Unity for Freedom and that is what makes hope be reborn, which some would prefer for it to appear lost, and feel uncomfortable, because Cubans, inside Cuba and in the whole world are raising their stares and their hearts, because now they know, that freedom is possible and is near.
Oswaldo José Payá Sardiñas
For more information or to obtain a copy of the press release, please contact: Francisco De Armas and Julio Hernández,