We commend the July 20 editorial “ A torch that still burns,” which marked the first anniversary of the suspicious deaths of Cuban pro-democracy leaders Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero and called attention to the democratic aspirations of the Cuban people.
Mr. Cepero was posthumously awarded the National Endowment for Democracy’s annual Democracy Award. Mr. Cepero, 32 years old when he died, was a proponent of political reform and societal change that would allow Cubans to free themselves from censorship and restrictions on academic and artistic expression, which are prerequisites for the development of a strong civic society independent of the Cuban government. Accepting the award on his behalf was Rosa Maria Payá, the 24-year-old daughter of Mr. Payá — illustrating a generational shift in the leadership of Cuba’s pro-democracy movement. Young people in Cuba are increasingly assuming the mantle of leadership and calling for greater reforms on the island. We stand with these young leaders who, like Ms. Payá, are working to build a free and democratic future for Cuba.