US

Cuban dissidents honor OAS secretary-general denied entry

  • Empty chairs with the names of Organization of American State (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro and and Chile's former Education Minister Mariana Aylwin sit inside the home of Rosa Maria Paya, right, daughter of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Rosa Maria Paya organized the event to recognize the two men for defending human rights even though the government denied them entry to attend the ceremony. Cuba has not been a member of the OAS since 1962 and considers the organization an instrument of the U.S. government used to pressure countries that do not follow its policies. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

    Empty chairs with the names of Organization of American State (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro and and Chile's former Education Minister Mariana Aylwin sit inside the home of Rosa Maria Paya, right, daughter of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Rosa Maria Paya organized the event to recognize the two men for defending human rights even though the government denied them entry to attend the ceremony. Cuba has not been a member of the OAS since 1962 and considers the organization an instrument of the U.S. government used to pressure countries that do not follow its policies. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rosa Maria Paya, center, daughter of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, and members of her organization, gives a press conference after an award ceremony in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Paya organized an event to recognize Secretary-General of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro for defending human rights in Cuba even though the government denied him entry to attend the ceremony. Cuba has not been a member of the OAS since 1962 and considers the organization an instrument of the U.S. government used to pressure countries that do not follow its policies. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

    Rosa Maria Paya, center, daughter of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, and members of her organization, gives a press conference after an award ceremony in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Paya organized an event to recognize Secretary-General of the Organization of American States Luis Almagro for defending human rights in Cuba even though the government denied him entry to attend the ceremony. Cuba has not been a member of the OAS since 1962 and considers the organization an instrument of the U.S. government used to pressure countries that do not follow its policies. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)  (The Associated Press)

  • An chair sits empty with the name of the Organization of American State (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro at the home of Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Paya organized an event to recognize Almagro for defending human rights in Cuba even though the government denied him entry to attend the ceremony. Cuba has not been a member of the OAS since 1962 and considers the organization an instrument of the U.S. government used to pressure countries that do not follow its policies. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

    An chair sits empty with the name of the Organization of American State (OAS) Secretary General Luis Almagro at the home of Rosa Maria Paya, daughter of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. Paya organized an event to recognize Almagro for defending human rights in Cuba even though the government denied him entry to attend the ceremony. Cuba has not been a member of the OAS since 1962 and considers the organization an instrument of the U.S. government used to pressure countries that do not follow its policies. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)  (The Associated Press)

Cuban dissidents have recognized the secretary-general of the Organization of American States for defending human rights in their country even though the government denied him entry to attend the ceremony.

The dissidents and diplomats from several countries honored Luis Almagro on Wednesday at the home of the late democracy activist Oswaldo Paya, who died in 2012.

Almagro had sent dissidents a letter stating that the OAS's only interest is to help move Cuba closer to the values and principles upheld by the organization in relation to democracy and human rights. He also said his intention is not to evaluate Cuba's internal politics.

Cuba has not belonged to the OAS since 1962. It considers the organization an instrument the U.S. government uses to pressure countries that do not follow its policies.