She also has been asking the OAS, United Nations and European Parliament to protect Cuban dissidents “and especially my family,” which has become a growing target of death threats and harassments by State Security agents since her father’s death.
“From our experience, we know they are not fooling around,” she said during her visit with the editorial board and reporters of El Nuevo Herald and The Miami Herald.
As for Castro’s economic reforms, she added, she prefers to call them “fraud-changes” because she does not believe that there have been real changes, and the level of repression against dissidents in fact increased under Raúl Castro.
Among other changes, the reforms allow more small-scale private businesses, make big cuts in the overstuffed public payrolls and trim government subsidies in areas such as health, education and welfare.
Payá Acevedo argued that the changes are designed only to “clean up” Cuba’s image so that the government can win economic concessions from the United States and Europe.
“It would be dangerous if they start to believe those changes,” she added.
Cuba’s best future, she noted, lies in the plebiscite on democracy and human rights that her father proposed under his Varela Project in 2002 — and backed up with 25,000 signatures with full names and national I.D. card numbers, she added.
That could lead to a dialogue between the government and its critics, and a “real transition,” Payá Acevedo added.
The Cuban government answered Project Varela with a harsh crackdown in 2003, known as Cuba’s Black Spring, that sentenced 75 peaceful dissidents to prison terms of up to 28 years. All were freed after serving up to eight years of their sentences.