Statement by SG Thomas E. Garrett on the Inter-American Commission decision concerning the deaths of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero


Globally accepted standards of democracy and human rights, such as the Warsaw Declaration, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, among others, speak to all people’s fundamental rights and freedoms.

I am grateful to the Inter-American Commission for their long and dedicated effort to investigate the deaths of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero on 22 July 2012. The Commission’s finding that there was “serious and sufficient evidence to conclude that State agents participated in the death” of these human rights defenders requires answers from the Cuban government. Many Member States of the Governing Council of the Community of Democracies have spoken directly against the excesses of the Cuban authorities and expressed support for Cuban civil, political, and human rights. As Secretary General of the Community of Democracies, I commit to working with engaged Member States and civil society to monitor and address the current and future situation accordingly.