Honoring Oswaldo Paya: Standing with Cuba’s heroes as they pave the future

VOC’s CEO, Ken Pope, writes in a joint op-ed with Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R) for The Washington Times on the importance of names and preserving the legacy of Oswaldo Payá by re-naming a certain street after the slain Cuban activist:

“Names are important. They carry identity, meaning and tradition. As a building block of language, names enable us to communicate with others. More importantly, names build a sense of history and shared memory.

But what happens when a name is erased from history? The communist Cuban regime is trying to do just that to the legacy of Oswaldo Paya Sardinas.

We must not let them.

One of the most famous Cuban opposition leaders, Paya was a husband, father of three, and founder of the Christian Liberation Movement. He was a brave, pro-democracy activist and leader for the Cuban people, giving a voice to millions oppressed on the island nation.

On the night of July 22, 2012, Paya and fellow activist Harold Cepero were killed while driving home from a rally.

Paya was a target of the Cuban dictatorship because he was an effective, tireless advocate of religious liberty and representative government.

The regime claimed the deaths were the result of a simple car crash. But Paya’s family knew the truth: He was murdered for daring to speak out.”

Read the full article in The Washington Times.

Ken Pope is CEO of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R) serves Florida’s 26th Congressional District