Cuba Dissident's Widow Says Regime Orchestrated Fatal Car Crash

Tuesday, 06 Aug 2013 11:11 AM

By Joel Himelfarb

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The widow of Oswaldo Paya, a Cuban dissident purportedly killed in a July 2012 car crash in Cuba, says the statements by the driver that the Cuban secret services killed her husband make an international investigation of the tragedy all the more relevant.
 
In an interview with the Miami Herald, the widow, Ofelia Acevedo, pointed to statements by Angel Carromero, driver of the crashed vehicle, who said Paya and another dissident were alive after the crash. She said this suggests that both men were murdered later.
 
“This is why we must continue demanding and seeking support for an international investigation,” she said. “Both the people of Spain and the people of Cuba have the right to know how and where they were killed.”
 
The Acevedo interview provided the first comprehensive Payá family reaction to Carromero’s Sunday interview with Spain’s daily newspaper El Mundo, in which he said Cuba’s secret services assassinated Payá and fellow dissident Harol Cepero.
 
Carromero is a young politician belonging to Spain’s ruling Popular Party (PP). After being arrested in Cuba, he was found guilty of vehicular homicide, but was released under an agreement with Madrid that he would serve out his sentence in his home country. He is currently under supervised release.
 
“For us this is all very hard,” Acevedo said when asked about Acevedo’s statements. “Although one suspected from the start that this was not accidental, that someone confirms to you that your husband was alive when he was pulled from the car, is to say to me ‘your husband was murdered’ because the impact didn’t kill him.”
 
Acevedo said the July 22, 2012 crash with Carromero behind the wheel was only 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 lug nuts on the tires of Paya’s cars were loosened.
 
“I knew this was not a casual accident,” she said of the Carromero incident.

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