Response to Fernando Ravsberg
Response to Fernando Ravsberg / Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo
Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo, Translator: Cleonte
Fernando Ravsberg, correspondent for the BBC in Cuba, has published an
extension of the misrepresentations, manipulations and deceits with
which the Cuban official media have sought to confuse the Cuban people
and the rest of the world for over half a century. He has published it
in his own blog, perhaps because the daily four pages that the newspaper
Granma– the Communist Party's organ — publishes were already full.
This time, to the falsehoods copied from the Round Table (the
government's political talk show) and to the absurd accident theory that
the government provides to explain the deaths of my father, Oswaldo
Paya, and of Harold Cepero, Fernando adds some entanglements of his own
invention. He claims that Angel Carromero, the young Spaniard who was
driving the car, and Aron Modig, the young Swede also in the car,
traveled to the island to proselytize and to distribute money.
Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero. Source: cubanexilequarter.blogspot.com
My friend, Harold Cepero recently wrote that "those who have the courage
and freedom to choose a path of peaceful political work know they are
exposed to nothing short of absolute solitude, labor exclusion,
persecution, imprisonment or death." His life and death are sincere and
radical confirmation of his thought.
Ravsberg chooses not to mention that most Cuban dissidents lose their
jobs, that they and their families are treated as social pariahs and are
condemned to misery, especially outside Havana, where the foreign press
is not interested to go. Instead, Fernando highlights the hypocritical
moral debate regarding whether or not the opposition should be provided
material support, as if elsewhere and in other times, during the
struggles in oppressed societies, with many examples in Cuba's history,
regime opponents had not been positively supported by sympathizers and
I wonder how many countries of the world Ravsberg knows where dissidents
cannot travel freely in their own country because their names are in all
police stations and airports. In what other dark corners of the planet
do political police stop opposition members from meeting through
blackmail, threats, beatings, arrests or "accidents." This is the reason
why young supporters who came to meet my father sometimes facilitated
transport for him. This fact is far from the version that this reporter
from the BBC and the Cuban government are determined to sustain.
Fernando lies intentionally because he knew my father very well and is
aware that no one could give him orders on how to organize the Christian
Liberation Movement (MCL), a movement with 24 years of history with
young members who have a clear vision and path. My father enjoyed
freedoms that Fernando probably has never experienced despite coming
from a democratic country: the freedom to live responsibly, to be
consistent with one's principles, thoughts and feelings, to be
illuminated by his faith, these freedoms know no owners.
Mr. Ravsberg employs the most cynical colonialist tone to discuss the
concerns of my people, simplifying us, saying that us, "the cubanitos",
will have enough if food appears in the markets and buses at the bus
stops. Subtly he adds himself to an orgy of lies which aims to entertain
the public, with a fa?ade of poorly implemented economic reforms, which
cover the fraudulent change my father often denounced.
Ravsberg, you enjoy the privileges that come with living in Cuba as a
foreigner, you live above the disadvantages of all Cubans.
Your children can get in and out of the island, as they live their lives
in Spain, but my brother has not been able to go meet his uncles in
Madrid. I wonder if you have had to wait 5 years to visit your son,
that's the punishment doctors receive when they decide to live Cuba.
You're so used to ignoring these disadvantages that you dare to suggest
Cubans do not care about human rights. How dare you despise people in
such a racist way, the people you have lived off for so many years?
Thank God that today there are many initiatives in the cultural,
political and social fields that manifest the dissatisfaction of the
Cuban people and promote peaceful change. I would like to remind you
that the Varela Project is supported by over 25,000 signatories, and it
continues to exist because it intends to make changes in the law and not
in the constitution, its purpose is to realize basic rights we still
Thousands are signing the Heredia Project, which aims to give the people
the right to leave and enter Cuba freely, to reside in any part of the
country. It demands a stop to the humiliating internal deportations
Cubans suffer and seeks to guarantee equal opportunities without
exclusions due to ideology and to provide internet access to all at a
price that the people can pay. These are independent and spontaneous
initiatives that reflect the aspirations of many citizens.
Cubans, inside and outside the island, need our basic rights to design
and build the Cuba we want. Our ingenuity, hard work and skills, which
have been demonstrated even in times of crisis, are proof that we will
be prosperous despite the destruction 50 years of communism will leave
I assure you, Mr. Ravsberg, the food and the buses will come when we
Cubans have our right to work for the right price and have real
economic, social and political opportunities that allow us to
participate in the process of building our own future. This is why we
are fighting for our rights; this is the freedom we are demanding. We
are getting closer to obtaining it because even those who persecute us,
those whom you serve, are also our brothers, they are also Cubans and
will benefit from democracy.
You have been in my house many times and now pretend not to remember how
to spell my father's name, a technique you have learned from the
Roundtable. You have used my father's name to supplant the truth, and
have offended his memory, my family, the entire opposition and all
Cubans. That is too low even for a correspondent for the Roundtable.
Translated by Cleonte
5 September 2012
Tags: accident, blog, bus, food, freedom, human rights, internet, Oswaldo Paya, persecution, police, Spain, transport, travel, Varela