Cuba’s black spring remembered


Ten years ago last week, Cuba cracked down on independent journalists, librarians and other opposition leaders.

Many of the 75 Cubans locked up during Cuba’s Black Spring belonged to the Christian Liberation Movement, a group formed by Oswaldo Paya to collect signatures for his Varela Project to open up communist Cuba..

The regime’s show trials of those 75 brave Cubans tried to turn free-thinkers into U.S. “mercenaries” — an attempt to scare Cubans from sharing their viewpoints of a crumbling government unwilling to allow political parties or free elections or freedom of speech.

Now 10 years later, Paya is dead, along with another opposition leader, Harold Cepero, both killed in a crash last year in a car driven by Angel Carromero, a Spaniard who was helping Paya uncover human-rights violations. Carromero, now serving his Cuba-imposed sentence for vehicular manslaughter in Spain, has spoken up now that he’s out of the island gulag. He says, as many already feared, that his car was being followed by Cuban state security, which slammed his car into a ditch. He also says he was drugged while in a Cuban prison so that he would remain mum.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson wants the United Nations to investigate what happened to Cuba’s most well-known dissident. Surely, that’s the least that can be done to bring justice to Paya.