Skip to content

Miami Street Name to Honor Freedom Fighter: Cuban Opponent Leader Oswaldo Payá

Tras 10 años de la muerte de Oswaldo Payá una calle de Miami llevará su nombre

Leer en Español

[Leer en español]

THE LATE Cuban opponent leader Oswaldo Payá, whose death was ten years ago this month, will have a street named after him in Miami due to the initiative of two Miami-Dade Commissioners, the Payá family told the media.

The inauguration of the Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas Way will be on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the death of the opposition leader — next July 21st. The street will cover the stretch of LeJeune Avenue between 11th and 14th Streets in northwest Miami.

The Payá family has denounced before international organizations —among them the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) — the Cuban State as responsible for the death of the leader of the Christian Liberation Movement.

The bill sponsored by Miami-Dade Commissioners Rebeca Sosa and José Pepe Díaz to name a Miami street after Oswaldo Payá was endorsed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, among other elected officials.

Payá’s family hopes the designation will prompt federal legislators to approve a bill naming the street of the Cuban embassy in Washington D.C. after the late opposition leader as well.

The bill was introduced last March in the lower house of Congress by Republican Representative Mario Díaz-Balart and a group of congressmen of Cuban origin, both Democrats and Republicans.

A similar bill sponsored by Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Cuban-born Republicans, was approved in the Senate in 2021.

In addition to being a leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, Payá was the promoter of the Varela Project. This was a campaign to collect signatures starting in 1998 in support of the presentation of a bill before the Cuban Congress to recognize the rights of the Cuban people.

Payá and fellow opponent member Harold Cepero died in a car accident in Cuba on July 22, 2012.

The driver of the car, Spanish conservative politician Angel Carromero, was accused by the Cuban justice system of reckless driving and was imprisoned in Cuba. Still, due to an agreement between governments, he did not serve his entire sentence on the island.

“The truth is that they were assassinated by state security agents on orders that could only be dictated by Fidel or Raúl Castro,” Payá’s daughter, who is the head of the Cuba Decide movement, stressed in a statement made last March in the presentation of a documentary about her father.

The Robert F. Kennedy Center is handling the case. It represents Paya’s family in the lawsuit filed against the Cuban State before the IACHR, together with the relatives of Harold Cepero.

In a virtual hearing held on December 14, 2021, Carromero of the conservative Popular Party said that throughout the trip, they were watched by “state security” vehicles that followed them, and one of them knocked them off the road and that caused the collision.

Leave a Reply