Today U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) convened a conference call with South Florida Congressional colleague Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart and Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of Oswaldo Paya.
Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"I was honored to speak today with such a courageous young woman. Rosa Maria Paya spoke at the United Nations Human Rights Council to shine a bright light on the human rights abuses occurring in Cuba and seeking justice on behalf of her father. During her UN presentation, the Cuban regime interrupted Rosa Maria's testimony and called her a "mercenary' in an attempt to silence the democratic voices who seek freedom and liberty. It is quite disturbing that the countries of China, Russia, Pakistan, Nicaragua, and Belarus supported the regime's efforts to silence Rosa but freedom of speech prevailed. Today I expressed my support for Rosa Maria's effort to bring to justice the perpetrators behind her father's untimely death. All freedom loving nations should support this brave young woman's endeavor to focus attention on the human rights abuses committed by the totalitarian Castro dictatorship."
Statement by Diaz-Balart:
"Today, I spoke with Rosa Maria Paya after she bravely asked the UN Human Rights Council for an investigation into the death of her father, pro-democracy activist Oswaldo Paya. The Castro regime's thugs repeatedly threatened to murder Oswaldo Paya for his opposition to the Castro dictatorship's crushing oppression.
"Even with continued threats against her family, she is persistent in the fight for the freedom of the island. We stand united with her courageous spirit for democracy. Ms. Paya deserves some real answers into the circumstances of her father's death, and I urge the international community to do all it can to ensure that she gets them."