In memory of Oswaldo Paya-Sardinas
Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas (29 February 1952 – 22 July 2012) was a Cuban political activist. A Roman Catholic, he founded the Christian Liberation Movement in 1987 to oppose the one-party rule of the Cuban Communist Party. He attracted international attention for organizing a petition drive known as the Varela Project, in which 25,000 signatories petitioned the Cuban government to guarantee freedom of speech and freedom of assembly as well as to institute a multi-party democracy. In recognition of his work, he received the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize and People in Need's Homo Homini Award.
On 22 July 2012, he died in a car crash under controversial circumstances. The Cuban government stated that the driver had lost control of the vehicle and collided with a tree, while Payá's children and one of the car's passengers asserted that the car had been deliberately run off of the road.