Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cuban dissident nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Cuban dissident nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Mar, 18, 2010 02:16 PM - EFE Ingles

Copenhagen, Mar 18 (EFE).- A Norwegian lawmaker confirmed Thursday that
she and her colleagues have nominated Cuban opposition figure Oswaldo
Paya for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

Awarding the prize to Paya would be a "significant contribution to a
peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba," Dagrun Eriksen, deputy leader
of Norway's Christian Democrats, said in a communique.

She said that this week marks the seventh anniversary of Cuba's "Black
Spring," when the communist government rounded up and jailed 75
political opponents, 53 of whom remain behind bars.

Eriksen said that the Cuban regime is getting more and more unpopular
and that, although the fear of an eventual bloody rebellion on the
island does exist, Paya has been a key figure delivering "a clear
message of non-violence" and occupying the role of Cuba's most prominent
dissident for years in the peaceful struggle for human rights.

Paya, a past recipient of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for
human rights, has pushed for dialogue and peaceful resistance among
different groups of opposition members, working within the framework of
existing Cuban laws, the Norwegian legislator said.

As an example of that, she cited the National Dialogue initiative
launched by Paya in which more than 12,000 Cubans have participated.

Only if the nominators make their picks public do the identities of
candidates for the peace prize become known, since the Norwegian Nobel
Committee - and the Peace Prize is the only award decided upon outside
of Sweden - does not confirm the names and only releases the overall
number of candidates.

For this year's award, which will be presented in October, there are 237
candidates, including 38 organizations.

The winner of the Peace Prize last year was U.S. President Barack Obama. EFE


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