Osvaldo Paya Lives On at the Miami Book Fair

Vicente Morín Aguado

Rosa María Paya at the Miami Book Fair.

HAVANA TIMES – The Miami Book Fair is in full swing and one of the opening days most awaited events was when Rosa Maria Paya presented “La Noche no será eternal” (Night will not be eternal), a book that becomes the political testament of her father Osvaldo Paya Sardiñas, an opposition leader to the Castro government, whom she accuses of murdering him.

The text is offered for the first time to the public at this fair.  Its Spanish publisher is Hipermedia, whose editor Ladislao Aguado, was responsible for conducting the conversation with Rosa Maria, who continues on with the political ideal of her father through the organization Cubadecide that she founded and leads.

The book will be one more of the many books forbidden to readers in Cuba by the government censors.

The first certainty of the book is that Osvaldo Paya did not stop in his struggle after the forced and unconstitutional response of the Cuban government to the legislative proposal Proyecto Varela, collection of more than 10,000 signatures constitutionally required in his country to have a proposal of substantial changes reach the legislature. Its essence was the recovery of the freedoms of expression, association, election and citizen economic initiative on the Island dominated by a Communist Party.

In characterizing the current situation in Cuba after the so-called changes made by Fidel Castro’s successor, his brother Raul, the young opposition leader who maintains her residence in Havana, highlighted:

“This book aims to give us therapy if there is a cure for a people infected by the syndrome of acquired helplessness. They want to convince us that nothing can be done against power, but it is proven otherwise, they are not infallible. It is in our minds as a people to change reality,” explained Paya.

Night will not be eternal is an autobiography of Paya Sardiñas, starting from his confinement in the forced labor camps called Military Units of Support for Production (UMAP), the University under pressure for being Catholic and a free thinker, as well as his 25 years of work in electromedicine laboratories. A life of a simple Cuban, suffering the same limitations and traumas of the majority, emphasized the daughter of the Sakharov Award of the European Union.

Osvaldo Paya is, up to now, the dissident who, like no other, placed the totalitarian Cuban regime without arguments. From the assessment made in the book that circulates for the first in print, Rosa Maria warns:

“The regime is in decomposition, today it uses the language, the symbols of the free world that decades ago were not mentionable, considered heresy. The alleged changes of Raul Castro are permits granted by the power to carry out this or that activity. As such, he who gives the authorization can also remove it, blackmail, and force the beneficiary to behave well. They are repressive mechanisms.”

The Conference Room at Miami Dade College, headquarters of the publishing event, was full and generated a substantial debate about the reality in Cuba.

From her position heading Cubadecide, Rosa Maria Paya concluded: “It is not Raul and the aging generals with him whom we have to move, it is the Cuban people”.

Vicente Morin Aguado: [email protected]