Here is a summary of news and information regarding the death of Cuban democracy advocate, Oswaldo Paya.
Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya dies in car crash
By ANDREA RODRIGUEZ | Associated Press
Cuban activist Oswaldo Paya, who spent decades speaking out against the communist government of Fidel and Raul Castro and became one of the most powerful voices of dissent against their half-century rule, died Sunday in a car crash. He was 60.
Paya and a Cuban man described by media as a fellow activist, Harold Cepero Escalante, died in a one-car crash in La Gavina, just outside the eastern city of Bayamo, Cuban authorities said. A Spaniard and a Swede also riding in the car were injured.
Cuba’s International Press Center told The Associated Press that witnesses said the driver of the rental car lost control and struck a tree. Police are investigating.
Cuban dissident dies in car accident
By Patrick Oppmann | CNN
NEW: Cuban government statement says two people died in accident, two more injured. Daughter of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya Sardinas questions government account.
Prominent Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya Sardinas died in a car accident Sunday, his daughter Rosa Maria Paya told CNN. He was 60.
She said her father died after the car he was traveling in was struck by another car in Cuba’s eastern Granma province.
The car crash took place at 1:50 p.m. near Bayamo, Cuba, according to statement released by the Cuban government’s International Press Center.
Paya and passenger Harold Capero died in the accident, the statement said. Two other passengers—a Spanish citizen and Swedish citizen—were injured and taken to a hospital, it said.
The government statement says there was not a second car involved in the crash and said the rental car that Paya was traveling in lost control and crashed into a tree. Cuban police are investigating the crash, the statement said.
Official statement from the Cuban government
Dos personas fallecen en lamentable accidente de tránsito en la provincia Granma
Un lamentable accidente del tránsito en el que fallecieron dos personas y dos resultaron heridas, se produjo este domingo 22 de julio a las 13:50 horas en la localidad conocida como La Gavina, a 22 Km de la ciudad de Bayamo, provincia Granma.
Según testigos presenciales, el hecho ocurrió cuando el conductor de un auto turístico rentado, perdió el control y se impactó contra un árbol.
Los fallecidos son los ciudadanos cubanos Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, residente en La Habana y Harold Cepero Escalante, oriundo de Ciego de Ávila. Resultaron lesionados el español Ángel Carromero Barrios y el sueco Jens Aron Modig, quienes sufrieron heridas leves y reciben asistencia médica en el hospital Clínico Quirúrgico Docente Carlos Manuel de Céspedes de la citada ciudad.
Las autoridades investigan las causas del accidente.
Statement of the Christian Liberation Movement
At 16:00 pm on July 22, confirming the fatal news, the death of the Christian Liberation Movement leader Oswaldo Paya, and Harold Cepero, youth leader of the MCL. The circumstances of these deaths have not been clarified and are open to all scenarios. Therefore we demand that the Cuban military junta a transparent investigation and call on all friends and supporters to the cause of liberation of the Cubans to remain vigilant and based on this demand.
We are a movement and will continue working until reaching the dream of Oswald and the thousands of Cubans live in a free country.
The MCL is grateful for the expressions of condolence that have come from all over the world, governments, politicians and citizens to encourage them to continue the work that began more than 20 years.
These are painful times for the families of Oswald and Harold and our prayers and thoughts are with them. These are painful times for the Christian Liberation Movement, but we will continue our commitment and our work inside and outside the island until the sovereignty and freedom are returned to the Cuban people.
Regis Iglesias Ramírez
Spokesman Christian Liberation Movement
July 23, 2012
for more information:
Ernesto Martini (MCL, Havana, Cuba) 005 352 495 372
Regis Iglesias (MCL, Madrid, Spain) 696 751 283
Carlos Paya (MCL, Madrid, Spain) 680 913 331
Antonio Diaz (MCL, Miami, USA) 001 305 244 390
Francisco d Weapons Puerto Rico 0017874471878
The Cuba Study Group issued the following statement today in reaction to news of the untimely passing of prominent Cuban democracy advocate Oswaldo Payá, founder and leader of the Movimiento Cristiano de Liberación:
“We are deeply saddened by the news of the untimely passing of Oswaldo Payá and express our most sincere condolences to his family, friends and fellow members of the Movimiento Cristiano de Liberación. Through his leadership, Oswaldo inspired countless democracy advocates who have embraced and carried forth his vision of non-violent political change. Oswaldo’s memory and legacy lives on in their work.”
Oswaldo Payá received the European Parliament’s Sakarov Prive for Freedom of Thought in 2002 and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by former Czech President Václal Havel in 2005.