Our Voices

The New York Times’ reporting on civic space in Cuba comes at a key time

In Mass Trials in Cuba Deepen its Harshest Crackdown in Decades (Americas, Jan. 14), the Times details a disturbing new twist to the Cuban government’s continued crackdown on civic space. This reporting comes at a key time. As scores of citizens are placed on trial for taking part in summer demonstrations, the continued systematic repression of Cubans is also on display before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights via the case of Oswaldo Payá, a human rights advocate and dissident who led the movement calling for a democratic referendum on Cuba’s future. Payá was killed in 2012 when the car he was traveling in was rammed by a vehicle with state plates. During the investigation, the prosecution ignored complaints from the Payá family and hid key facts. Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights asks the Commission to hold the state of Cuba responsible for his death and confirm his family was not guaranteed access to justice. Whether it be one, or dozens, voices of freedom must not continue to be snuffed out in Cuba. The world now has the opportunity to begin to see the full scope of this stifling of civic space.

Angelita Baeyens

Vice President, International Advocacy and Litigation

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights