Being a member of the opposition in Cuba has caused unemployment and expulsion from college for thousands of young people, a Christian Liberation Movement leader says.
Carlos Paya, the spokesman for the Cuban dissident group, told EWTN News that Rosa Maria Paya, the daughter of the group’s late leader Oswaldo Paya, faced discrimination at school when she was perceived to be against the revolution.
Carlos Paya said the University of Havana’s decision to reject an application from Rosa Maria to work in one its research centers—even though she was assigned there by the Ministry of Labor—“is another reprisal” and added the thousands of cases that occur in Cuba when the government labels a young person “a non-revolutionary.”
“This is harassment that the entire opposition endures. I was expelled from college when I was a student in 1986 because I was a ‘non-revolutionary,’ and this happens all the time,” Paya said.
He noted that the same thing happened to Harold Cepero, who was killed along with Oswaldo Paya on July 22. “He was expelled for signing the Varela Project.”
“Anyone in Cuba the government considers a ‘non-revolutionary’ can be expelled from college, from a job, they can be denied travel or anything else. One’s abilities as a teacher, a student or worker mean nothing. What matters most is one’s ideological disposition,” Paya added.
In the case of Rosa Maria, the 23-year-old daughter of the late dissident leader and physics graduate student, had filed a request to be released from the astronomy center where she was working as a “trainee”—a period during which students work for the State to pay for their studies—and be transferred to an institute at the University of Havana, where she completed her thesis.
“At the end of the semester I checked at this center to see if I would be accepted, and they told me I would. I went to the astronomy center where I was working, I asked to be released and they granted it,” she told EWTN News.
Rosa Maria said she filed additional paperwork with the Ministry of Labor, which placed her at the center where she wanted to work for both professional and financial reasons.
However, when she showed up for work on Monday, “They told me ‘no,’ because the process had been violated and that I should have asked the rector for permission to work at this institute of the University of Havana, and therefore they were not going to accept me.”
She asked to speak with the rector but was not allowed. “I don’t have any other choice but to think that this decision has nothing to do with work” and is probably a reprisal, she said.