The following is a statement from Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, on the death of Oswaldo Payá:
"Cuba has lost a valiant champion for tolerance, democracy and social responsibility. Oswaldo Payá's legacy will be an enduring inspiration to Cubans seeking freedom and democratic reforms. As a boy, Mr. Payá paid a personal price for rejecting Marxism and becoming a passionate advocate for peaceful, civic action. But that only emboldened him to organize the largest pro-democratic petition drive in Cuban history, the Varela Project, and bravely deliver 11,000 signatures to the Cuban National Assembly urging a referendum on freedom of speech, amnesty for political prisoners, support for private business, and new electoral law and a general election. His courage, his character, and his commitment will be missed.
"Given the Cuban Government's ongoing harassment of Mr. Payá, an impartial, third party investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Oswaldo Paya is necessary."