Family of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya goes into U.S. exile

Miami, Jun 10 (EFE).- The widow of the late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya and the couple's two children are now in Miami, where they have availed themselves of the U.S. program for political refugees, a source in the city's Cuban exile community told Efe on Monday.

Ofelia Acevedo and her children, Rosa Maria and Reinaldo Paya, "arrived last Thursday in Miami," since their "physical safety, freedom and emotional stability" were in grave danger in Cuba, according to Antonio Diaz Sanchez, leader of the Miami branch of the Christian Liberation Movement, or MCL, founded by Oswaldo Paya in 1988.

The family, which "has suffered harassment and repression for 20 years," has no statement for the media at present, he said.

The family's decision came after Rosa Maria Paya slammed last April in Miami the "culture of fear" that reigns on the island and thanked exiled Cubans for their support for the international campaign requesting an investigation into the death of her father.

Ms. Paya claims the July 2012 road accident that claimed her father's life was not really an accident.

Diaz Sanchez said the Cuban opposition lives in an atmosphere of coercion and terror, and the MCL, a movement that "peacefully requests a referendum to return sovereignty to the Cuban people," is being cornered by the regime "in these difficult times" following the death of Paya.

"The government wants to dismantle our movement and they're not going to do it," Diaz said categorically.

The MCL is currently one of the main groups of the Cuban opposition.

The MCL's Varela Project, which has the solid backing of democratic countries, asks for a national referendum on five topics: freedom of expression, freedom of association, amnesty for political prisoners, freedom to organize private companies, and a new electoral law.