Thursday, March 18, 2010


Norwegian Christian Democrats

( The 18th of March marks the 7 years
anniversary of the beginning of the Black Spring where 75 Cuban
dissidents were arrested for their struggle for human rights. Dagrun
Eriksen, deputy leader of the Norwegian Christian Democrats (KrF), has
nominated Oswaldo Payá, the most prominent leader of this struggle, for
this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

– The Nobel Prize to Payá would be a significant contribution to a
peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba, says deputy leader of KrF
Dagrun Eriksen.

Cuba has a long history of violent regime changes. Today's regime is
getting more and more unpopular, and many fear that it might end in a
bloody rebellion. Oswaldo Payá has, with a clear message of
non-violence, through many years been Cuba's most prominent dissident in
a peaceful struggle for human rights.

Oswaldo Payá has succeeded in gathering different groups off dissidents
in dialogue and peaceful resistance. He has consistently tried to work
within the frames of Cuban law. From 1996 he has led the work on
petitions in support of fundamental human rights, with reference to the
Cuban constitution that guarantees that 10 000 signatures should set off
a referendum. In spite of strong resistance from the government, they
succeeded in this work. The government's response however, was to arrest
75 oppositional leaders in what became known as the Black Spring of 2003.

Payá has taken the initiative to a "National Dialogue" in which over 12
000 Cubans have participated in discussion groups on visions for the
future of Cuba. The suggestions were gathered in a "Program for All
Cubans", which Payá presented in 2006 as a basis for a peaceful
transition to democracy. In January 2010 Payá released the ALL CUBANS
FORUM, inviting all the Cuban society, within Cuba and abroad, to
present proposals for a peaceful change towards democracy.

- The Nobel Peace Prize to Oswaldo Payá will be a strong contribution to
peace and democracy in a country where the people has been denied their
fundamental human rights for far too long. Oswaldo Payá represents all
Cubans who want a peaceful change based on reconciliation and dialogue.
Such a prize will also give inspiration to peaceful human rights
defenders all over the world, says Dagrun Eriksen.

For more information contact:

Per Kristian Nielsen, International Secretary KrF: tel. +47 930 89 103.

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