Trump’s VP Meets with Cuban Dissident

Rosa Maria Paya and Mike Pence in their meeting in Lima, Peru on Friday April 13, 2018. Photo: screenshot


HAVANA TIMES – US vice president, Mike Pence, met Friday in Lima, Peru, venue of the Summit of the Americas, with the Cuban dissident Rosa Maria Paya, who was assured of the support of the Trump Administration, reported dpa news.

“We are together with you in support of freedom for the Cuban people, the release of prisoners (political), the restoration of basic human rights and free and fair elections,” Pence said in a meeting with Paya at the residence of the US ambassador in the Peruvian capital.

The vice president was in Lima to attend the VIII Summit of the Americas in place of Trump, who canceled the trip at the last minute because of the crisis in Syria.

Pence, who had previously met with leaders of the Venezuelan opposition, said he admired Paya’s “courage”, as he did of her father Oswaldo Paya, an opposition leader who died in a car accident in 2012. “We deeply admired your father’s courage and his  commitment to freedom in Cuba.”

“Although at this Summit of the Americas there is a great focus on the dictatorship and the deprivation and struggle of the people of Venezuela, I want to assure you on behalf of President Trump that the US people and our administration are with you,” he assured.

Paya called the meeting with Pence “a hand extended to the Cuban people.” “What the Cuban people want is freedom,” expressing that the Trump Administration’s support was “fundamental.”

Since his inauguration, Trump has reversed part of Barack Obama’s policy of rapprochement – which resumed relations with Cuba after more than 50 years. He has also tightened the embargo on the island and limited the trips of the US citizens. However, the US president has not broken off the renewed diplomatic relations.

Like Trump, Cuban President Raul Castro did not travel to Lima for the summit, which would have meant his last participation in a regional forum before his scheduled leaving office on April 19th.

7 thoughts on “Trump’s VP Meets with Cuban Dissident

  • So, they are happy being paid low salaries and not having the freedom to speak the way they wish?

  • Now VP Pence has the same narrow view as Senator Rubio. Learning about Cuba by speaking to a dissident is the same as evaluating a business by speaking to someone marching outside in a protest march. Now I am not contending that no one should speak with dissidents but they certainly need to realize they are not getting a valid overall picture.

    I live part time in Cuba, with a Cuban woman, in a typical Cuban town where I know many people who live only on Cuban salaries. I am thankful that their life is not full of doom, gloom, and despair the way it is portrayed in the US.

  • I wasn’t that impressed. She seems to be saying exactly what a Washington hawk would like to hear ie that the problems of Latin America are all down to interference by Cuba. Apparently even Bolivia !! She is saying that if you elect a left wing government you are automatically a Cuban stooge undermining democracy. That’s not well informed in my opinion.

  • Farce, exiled Cubans make a business of the “dissident” business. Luckily nobody pays attention to them except Pence who knows as much of Cuba like the man he serves.

  • Curt, she is not a recipient of foreign support. Nor is Cuba Decide.

    Cuba Decide is a citizen- led movement.

    What she is asking for is clear:
    1. Don’t recognize the illegitimate successor of Raul Castro, who remains to be announced on the 19th of April, and is NOT elected by the people.
    2. Support people in their right to choose their form of government in a BINDING PLEBISCITE.

    In terms of her father’s murder, there has been independent investigations, principally by international organizations such as Human Rights Foundation, that claim otherwise as can be found here.

  • Is Miss Rosa asking the US for financial help for her cause? If that’s the case she is doing the same thing as the other dissidents who get arrested regularly and is knowingly breaking the law which prohibits dissident groups from receiving aid from a foreign and hostile government. There is no proof that the Cuban government was involved in her father’s death but it is a way to get the U.S to rally for her cause.

  • Ms. Paya is well-spoken and well-informed. She is an ideal spokesperson for the dissident community. Given her pedigree, with time and experience she would make an excellent President of a free and democratic Cuba one day.

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