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Sens. Cruz, Menendez, Colleagues Re-Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Honor the Legacy of Cuban Dissident Oswaldo Payá

July 22, 2020

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, exactly eight years after the celebrated Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá's violent death by the Castro regime in Cuba, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) reintroduced legislation to rename the street outside the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. as "Oswaldo Payá Way."

"Oswaldo Payá dedicated his life to fighting for the Cuban people against the evils of communism that have for too long stood in the way of freedom and democracy in Cuba," Sen. Cruz said. "On many occasions, I have had the honor of meeting with Oswaldo Payá's daughter, Rosa María Payá. As an outspoken dissident, Rosa María - like so many freedom-loving Cubans - continues to live out her father's legacy of courage and conviction by unapologetically denouncing communism and calling for freedom to be restored in Cuba. I'm proud to honor Oswaldo Payá today by reintroducing this bipartisan measure and will continue to stand strong with the people of Cuba as they continue to combat the violence and oppression under the Communist rule of Raúl Castro and his successor, Miguel Díaz-Canel."

"As we continue demanding answers and justice for Oswaldo Payá's tragic and suspicious murder, I am proud to join my colleagues in honoring the memory of one of the most visible faces and leaders of Cuba's peaceful opposition movement," Sen. Menendez said. "As I told Oswaldo Payá's daughter, Rosa Maria, I am committed to using the power of my voice and office to ensure the world does not forget the legacy of her father. His dream will one day become a reality and there will be freedom and democracy in Cuba. Until then, we will continue to honor and support the courageous dissidents fighting the good fight for real, honest, and political change free from the yoke of the Cuban regime."

"Oswaldo Payá paid the ultimate price for having the courage to defend democratic principles and speak out against the communist dictatorship in his beloved Cuba," Sen. Rubio said. "As we commemorate the eighth anniversary of Payá's assassination, I'm proud to join my colleagues and reintroduce this important bill. By renaming the street in front of the Cuban embassy in our nation's capital as ‘Oswaldo Payá Way,' Americans will honor this martyr's life, and also remind those who seek freedom and oppose democratic values in Washington, D.C. of Payá's everlasting legacy."

"Oswaldo Payá was a courageous voice for justice and democracy in Cuba, and his suspicious death was a tragic blow to progress on the island. I have long called for an impartial investigation into his death and this resolution honors his life and legacy," Sen. Durbin said. "I continue to stand with the Payá family and the people of Cuba in demanding peaceful democratic reform and the release of all political prisoners."

As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Cruz has led the fight in honoring Oswaldo Payá's life and legacy. Sen. Cruz worked closely with Payá's daughter, and in November of 2019 met with Rosa Maria on National Victims of Communism Day to denounce the evils of communism and to call for freedom and democracy to be restored to Cuba. Sen. Cruz also joined a bipartisan resolution, which passed the Senate in April of 2018, honoring the legacy of Oswaldo Payá and calling for an impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death. In July of 2018, Sen. Cruz delivered remarks on the Senate floor commemorating Payá's life to inspire dissidents, in Cuba and in other countries under tyrannical rule.

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