Havana, Cuba, Aug 6, 2013 / 11:45 am
A Spanish national who accompanied Cuban dissident leader Oswaldo Paya on the day that he died, has charged that the death was not an accident, but a deliberate act by the Cuban secret service.
Claims that Paya died in a car accident were “the perfect alibi to cover up the death of the only opposition figure that could have the lead the transition in Cuba,” Ángel Carromero told the newspaper El Mundo in an interview published August 5.
Contrary to these accounts, Carromero said, Paya survived the collision with a government vehicle that forced them off the road.
“I am sure that he was alive after the accident,” he said. “The nurses and a priest assured me that all four of us were taken to the hospital.”
He recalled that the four men – himself, Paya, Harold Cepero, and Swiss national Jens Aron – were on their way to Santiago that day in the summer of 2012, and said “we had already been followed three different times on the way.”
“In Bayamo, a blue car began to follow us and harass us up close. It was so close I could see the driver’s eyes in the rear view mirror. When Oswaldo saw the car he said, ‘They’re from the Communists, you can tell by the color of the license plate. Angel, just keep driving like normal.’”
Carromero said that the car began to ram them from behind and forced them off the road. He said that several men put him in a van with sliding doors and then he lost consciousness, later waking with a gash on his head.
As the investigation evolved, he continued, “Cuban prosecutors began fabricating evidence,” while defense attorneys were not permitted to access the car or any witnesses. “It was a farce, with witnesses reciting answers written on the palms of their hands.”