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Rubio Joins Senate Colleagues in Applauding Senate Passage of Bipartisan Legislation Honoring the Legacy of Cuban Dissident Oswaldo Payá

Aug 2, 2021 | Comunicados de Prensa

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Rick Scott (R-FL) applauded the Senate’s passage of their bipartisan bill to rename the street outside of the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C. as “Oswaldo Payá Way.”  

An early critic of the Castro regime, Payá founded the Christian Liberation Movement (Movimiento Cristiano Liberación, or MLC for its initials in Spanish) in 1988 to promote democracy and civil liberties through non-violent resistance. A decade later, the organization established the Varela Project, which sought to advance democratic reforms by exploiting a provision in the Cuban Constitution that allows the public to introduce legislation.

Rubio is the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues. 
“By renaming the street across from the Cuban Embassy as Oswaldo Payá Way, we are paying tribute to the life and legacy of one of the island’s most important civic leaders who paid the ultimate price in defense of the island’s democratic future,” Rubio said. “Following the historic protests led by Cuban Americans in front of the regime’s Embassy in our nation’s capital this past Monday, another symbol of the Cuban people’s tenacity in their quest for freedom will be engraved for eternity. I thank my Senate colleagues for passing this bill.”
“The bipartisan support we saw today in the Senate for renaming the street outside the Cuban embassy after Oswaldo Payá has been years in the making,” Cruz said. “Renaming this street ‘Oswaldo Payá Way’ is a small but meaningful step that will force everyone visiting or writing to the embassy to remember not only Payá, but all those who have contested the cruelty and oppression of the communist Cuban government. “Generations of Cuban people have been oppressed by their tyrannical communist government, including members of my own family, and no one represents their plight better than Oswaldo Payá. Payá courageously fought for freedom and democracy in the face of the Castro regime’s brutal human rights abuses. Because of his fight, the Cuban regime desperately wants the world to forget about Oswaldo Payá. Rosa Maria Payá and I have fought for years to honor her father’s memory properly, and I look forward to immortalizing his legacy for all the world to see that the United Stated stands squarely and unequivocally on the side of freedom. I believe that through the tireless fight of Cuban dissidents like Oswaldo Payá, the world will someday see a Cuba Libre.”
“I’m honored my colleagues joined us today to commemorate Oswaldo Payá and stand with the freedom fighters in Cuba,” R. Scott said. “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. ‘Oswaldo Payá Way’ will serve as a tribute to the courageous Cuban people standing up to put an end to the atrocities and oppression of the Castro regime, and a reminder the United States will not abandon the people of Cuba in their fight for freedom, democracy, patria y vida.”

  • June 15, 2021: English/ Español: Rubio joins Cruz, colleagues in reintroducing a bipartisan legislation honoring late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá.
  • July 22, 2020: Rubio joins Senate colleagues in reintroducing bipartisan legislation honoring the legacy of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá.
  • July 19, 2017: Rubio, colleagues introduce resolution honoring late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá.
  • March 8, 2017: Cruz, Rubio, Menendez introduce bill to rename street in front of Cuban Embassy in honor of murdered dissident.
  • January 19, 2015: Rubio announces Rosa María Payá, daughter of slain Cuban democracy leader Oswaldo Payá, as his guest for the State of the Union.
  • July 22, 2014: ICYMI: Rubio remembers Castro regime victims Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero.
  • April 10, 2013: Senators meet with Rosa Maria Payá to discuss democracy in Cuba.
  • March 25, 2013: Rubio & colleagues urge Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to investigate the death of Cuban activist Oswaldo Payá.
  • August 2, 2012: Rubio discusses Oswaldo Payá’s death with Telemundo Miami.
  • August 1, 2012: U.S. Senate passes Rubio resolution (S.Res.525) honoring the life of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá, calling for an impartial third party investigation into his death.
  • July 23, 2012: Senator Rubio mourns the loss of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá.