Cuban human rights activist Osvaldo Jose Paya Sardinas has become laureate of the 2002 Andrei Sakharov Prize.
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thinking is a prestigious international prize which is yearly presented by the European Parliament.
The parliamentarians mentioned the Paya indefatigable work to further democracy, peace and freedom in Freedom Island. According to information agencies, Paya himself, while appearing in Strasbourg, stressed this prize was in fact awarded not only to him, but to all Cuban people who support the campaign for political rights, independently on “party membership.” “We cannot and will not live without freedom,” – the dissident from Freedom Island said.
Since 1988, European Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize to a person or organization for prominent contribution to furthering democracy, human rights, and fight against injustice.
Not strange the prize was awarded to the Cuban dissident. In Freedom Island, movement “for peace and democracy” grows stronger every day. But one thing is really strange. The European Parliament President, Pat Cox, while giving Paya his due, thanked at the same time Cuban President Fidel Castro, for he permitted Osvaldo Paya to come to Strasbourg and to receive the prize.
Fidel Castro himself has not noticed yet, that he started already reconstruction “in Cuban style.” Paya will be probably once called one of the reconstruction “foremen.”
Translated by Vera Solovieva