A Cold Cuban Spring

JOSE GOITIA/AP

POWER VS. SPIRIT: In his May Day speech Castro accused critics of being traitors working for the U.S.

When Cuban president Fidel Castro took power, in 1959, Oswaldo Payá was in primary school — the only kid in the entire school who refused to become a Communist Youth member. In high school, after openly criticizing the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Payá was sent to a Cuban labor camp for three years. Rather than escape to Miami in the 1980 Mariel boatlift, he stayed in Cuba to work for democratic reform. More than two decades later, his efforts are suffering a backlash — they moved Castro to launch his harshest crackdown ever. In the past few months, 54 leaders...

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