Cuban dissident's daughter demands autopsy results from fatal 2012 crash

Oswaldo Paya-Sardines' supporters don't believe fatal car crash was accident

WASHINGTON – One day after the Cuban embassy opened in Washington, the daughter of a prominent Cuban dissident is making demands three years after his death.

Oswaldo Paya-Sardines was killed in a car crash in July 2012. Now, his daughter, Rosa Maria Paya, wants the Cuban government to hand over his autopsy results.

"What they are telling us is a lie," Paya said.

The letters request her father's autopsy reports done three years ago. Rosa Paya hoped a new and open relationship would allow their delivery and a push for human rights.

Paya-Sardines was one of Cuba's most well-known dissidents. He was killed while riding as a passenger in a blue rental car that crashed off a deserted road. His supporters have said they do not believe it was an accident.

Paya-Sardines preached non-violence (and) reform from within. His 2002 Varela Project collected some 11,000 petitions asking Cuba's parliament for Democratic reform (and) free elections.

"The people of Cuba (have) never elected the regime that we have now," said Orlando Luis Pardolazo. "The people of Cuba have never elected -- or at least it has never been asked if they want to live under a Communist regime forever."

Pardolazo is a dissident blogger accompanying Paya on her quest, which is much like her father's.

"Cubans' rights don't depend on the American government," Pardolazo said. "We hope to have solidarity from democracies in supporting real changes in Cuba, real changes that we Cubans have designed and have (demanded)."

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Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."