Cuban Regime Killed Dissident, Family Maintains

Monday, 19 Aug 2013 05:31 PM

By Joel Himelfarb

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The family of a prominent dissident who died last year has filed a complaint in Spain alleging that he was killed by Cuban officials, the BBC reported Monday.

The family claims that two Cuban Army officials, who have yet to be named publically, had a role in the death of Oswaldo Paya last July. It filed a case in Spain’s High Court asking for an inquiry into the official account that he was killed in an accident.

Paya had both Cuban and Spanish nationality, making it possible for the court to investigate the case as a potential crime against a Spanish citizen.

The official Cuban government position is that is that Paya, a leader of the communist nation’s embattled dissident movement, and fellow Cuban dissident Harold Cepero died in a July 22, 2012 automobile accident.

In an interview with the Miami Herald last week, the driver of the car, Spanish politician Angel Carromero, said the crash was caused by a vehicle with government license plates that rammed his car off the road. But after being interrogated, threatened and slapped repeatedly by a Cuban man in military uniform, Carromero changed his story to say it had been a one-car accident.

In a recent interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Carromero said that Paya and Cepero were alive after the crash and suggested that government assassinated Paya and fellow dissident Harold Cepero.

Carromero, a young politician belonging to Spain’s ruling Popular Party, was convicted in Cuba of vehicular homicide in the case. He was later released from prison under an agreement permitting him to serve out his sentence in Spain. Carromero is currently under supervised release in his home country.

Paya’s wife has described the crash as the culmination of a long string of harassment incidents directed at her husband prior to his death. A month earlier, a car crashed into Paya's vehicle from behind and made it flip over. In previous years, the tires of Paya’s cars were tampered with.

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