Press Release

June 14, 2021
Cardin, Cruz, Colleagues Introduce Bipartisan Legislation Highlighting Cuban Regime Human Rights Violations, Honoring Dissident Oswaldo Payá

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today introduced legislation with Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rick Scott (R-Fla.) to rename the street outside the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. “Oswaldo Payá Way,” to call out the oppression of the Cuban regime and highlight the cause of dissident Oswaldo Payá.

“The name of Oswaldo Paya, who died while peacefully working to promote constitutional democracy in Cuba, will never be forgotten in Cuba.  This measure would ensure that Americans also would be reminded of Paya’s courage and the sacrifice he made for the people of Cuba,” said Senator Cardin.

“Today, I had the honor to meet again with Oswaldo Payá’s daughter, Rosa Maria Payá, who continues her father’s legacy by denouncing the evils of communism and fighting for the people of Cuba. As an outspoken dissident, Oswaldo Payá courageously fought for freedom and democracy in the face of the Castro regime’s brutal human rights abuses. The regime desperately wants the world to forget Oswaldo Payá. That is why I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill once again to rename the street outside the Cuban embassy after Payá and send a powerful message to the Cuban regime that we stand with freedom fighters who work to liberate the people of Cuba as they stand up to ruthless oppression,” said Senator Cruz.

“Oswaldo Payá Way will be a constant reminder of the urgency to stop the impunity of the regime. My father’s legacy is alive in the fight for freedom and rights of the Cuban people,” said Rosa Maria Payá.

“Oswaldo Payá was a courageous voice for justice and democracy in Cuba, and his death was a tragic blow to the dissident movement on the island. I have long called for a transparent and independent investigation into his suspicious death. 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,” said Senator Durbin.  

“The life and legacy of the leader of Cuba’s Christian Liberation Movement, Oswaldo Payá, has left an everlasting mark on the lives of many Cubans. His tireless advocacy in defense of Cuba’s democratic future, one in which the island is truly free from the evils of tyranny, was not in vain. I’m proud to join my Senate colleagues in reintroducing this resolution to honor the work of one of Cuba’s most important civil society leaders,” said Senator Rubio.

“I’m honored to join my colleagues to commemorate the 8th Anniversary of the tragic assassination of Oswaldo Payá – a hero who dedicated his life to fighting for freedom and democracy in Cuba. Payá’s legacy lives on through the unrelenting strength of his daughter, Rosa Maria Payá, and all those courageously working to liberate Cuba from Castro-Communism. We will not forget the crimes and human rights violations of the Castro regime against its people – crimes that continue today. The United States will always remain on the side of freedom and democracy and we will not stop working for a new day of freedom in Cuba,” said Senator Scott.

Read the full text of the resolution here.