Washington Post OP/ED: Spain’s ‘Universal’ Obligation to Pursue Cuban Dissident’s Death 6

By Editorial Board

THE MYSTERIOUS car wreck that took the life of Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payáand his associate Harold Cepero last year occurred on an isolated road outside Bayamo, in Cuba’s eastern Granma province. Mr. Payá and Mr. Cepero were heading to Bayamo to meet with members of the Christian Liberation Movement in a blue 2010 Hyundai Accent, a rental car driven by a young Spanish politician, Ángel Carromero, who was visiting Cuba to support Mr. Payá and his movement. Mr. Carromero survived, as did Jens Aron Modig, of Sweden’s Christian Democratic Youth movement, who had joined him on the trip to Cuba.

The official Cuban version of the accident was that Mr. Carromero was driving too fast, lost control and hit a tree. But a detailed complaint filed by Mr. Paya’s widow, Ofelia Acevedo, and his daughter, Rosa Maria, before the Spanish National Court earlier this month tells a different and more ominous story.

They say that when Mr. Carromero and Mr. Modig met in Havana with Mr. Payá and Mr. Cepero on July 20, 2012, they were monitored and followed by Cuban security agents. They were followed again when they departed Havana for Bayamo two days later. On the road, the Hyundai was rammed from behind “premeditatively, deliberately and following the plan orchestrated by the authorities,” which was to kill all four of them, the complaint says. Mr. Carromero told us in March that the vehicle that rammed the Hyundai had government license places. Soon after the crash, the ramming was reported to a person in Sweden by a text message sent from Modig’s cell phone.

The ramming was not part of the Cuban official version. Mr. Carromero’s “confession” that he was at fault was coerced by the Cuban authorities, according to the complaint. Two Cuban security agents, identified as Col. Salinas and Col. Llanes, pressured Mr. Carromero “in a direct, deliberate and conscious way” to falsify testimony during a subsequent trial that was a “farce,” according to the complaint. Mr. Carromero was convicted of vehicular homicide; he later was released to serve out his sentence in Spain. In his comments to us, Mr. Carromero recalled a nightmarish aftermath of the crash in which he was drugged, interrogated and forced to make a videotaped confession in which he read words written out for him by a Cuban security agent.

The Spanish National Court, La Audiencia Nacional, is empowered to order investigations abroad under the concept of “universal jurisdiction,” that some crimes are so egregious they must be pursued across borders, including genocide and crimes against humanity. Spain has an obligation to Mr. Payá, who was a Spanish citizen; his family argues the Castro regime has not only silenced a critic but attempted to wipe out his movement. The Spanish court ought to order an investigation. It is unlikely that the thugs who rammed Mr. Payá’s car will be called to account, but an investigation would show the world, and the Castro brothers who rule Cuba, that a beacon of hope like Mr. Payá cannot be simply extinguished in a violent car wreck on a lonely road.



  1. All the case is based on Carromero’s false testimonies, and they are false because all of them came from another car hitting from behind, which is a blatant lie since there is no indication of collision in the rear bumper of the Hyundai driven by Carromero when the accident happened. The Spanish authorities checked all the evidence since the very beginning, and the same was done by Lupicinio Abogados, the Spanish law office which coordinated Carromero’s legal defense. The WaPo campaign is shameless propaganda. The Editorial Board and the rest of the bandwagon behind Paya’s family should take a look at the photos of the crash before saying anything. And don’t tell me that the Castroite G-2 manipulated them, because the Spanish experts have checked them thoroughly. Being against Castro does not mean at all being so stupid.

  2. The evidence cited is not compelling. Modig himself denies that he sent text messages or that a car was following his group. His father, who spoke with him right after the accident, says that his son never mentioned a car following the group. Why doesn’t the Paya family chose to follow the lead of this credible witness?

    By contrast, Carromero had a history of reckless driving. Since March 2011 he had received 45 fines for driving infractions, with a total fine of 3,700 euros. In May, 2012, is driver’s license was suspended, and he had to pay a fine of 520 euros, the heaviest possible fine in Spain when driving at a speed double the allowed speed.

    Carromero drove from Habana to Bayamo, a distance of 800 km, in less than 8 hours, including 3 stops. This shady character should allow the Paya family to mourn in peace.

    • How do you know Carromero had a History of reckless driving?Did you check his driving record?Or this is another disinformation campaign following Castro Tyranny’s agenda? Where you an Spanish traffic Police Officer?

  3. How is it possible for Carromero to be speeding when the Cuban roads are full of pot holes?The Cuban Central Highway is a nightmare for drivers.We must remember that this one occasion was not the first one when the Cuban state security had behave in the same manner against Paya.All we need to do is to observe the rear bumper of the blue Hyundai and anyone with minimal common sense would conclude that there were signs of collision.The problem is that the Cuban regime useful idiots are always trying to defend things that are irrational and can not be defended.The same way these idiots tried to justify the shot down of the Brothers to the rescue airplanes,the sinking by the Castro Coast guard of the Tug boat 13 de Marzo and the Wasp spy network,excuses and more excuses.Bunch of idiots!

  4. My dear Freedomseeker, the Spaniards checked the body of evidence because the crashed car was available. All the media circus was mounted on another car hitting from behind and not only the Spanish authorities, but also you, can realize there is not a single dent in the rear bumper. All the rest of conjectures and arguments are superfluous.

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