Thursday, March 7, 2013

Carromero speaks

Two months after arriving in Spain and seven months after the car crash in which dissidents Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero died, Spanish Partido Popular activist Angel Carromero has spoken out – to a Washington Post opinion writer who posed a series of basic questions.  Carromero declared that he “could not live, being complicit through my silence,” and “it’s not my intention to go on talking about this traumatic experience.”  He says he took lessons from USAID contractor Alan Gross’ experience, and relates that his statements on tape and at trial in Cuba were made for expediency, to have a chance to get home.

His version: that their car, which he was driving, was followed by a car that Paya and Cepero identified as being “from ‘la comunista,’” whatever that is, and was rammed and driven off the road by that car.  His memories are not intact; for example he says that only after returning to Spain did he recall that he and Swedish activist Aron Modig, who was in the passenger seat, had sent text messages after the accident.  He ascribes his memory gaps, which continue to this day, to the accident itself and to drugs that he alleges to have been administered to him during his captivity.

Modig, for his part, told the press in Sweden, “I do not remember what happened” and he has “no reasons to doubt” Carromero’s account.

There’s lots of background on this side of the story and the Cuban official account here. 

Carromero might quite understandably want to close this chapter in his life rather than wage a public battle.  Also, some suggest that he is under pressure to keep quiet.  Either way, his conduct to date has frustrated those that most want to pin Paya’s death on the Cuban government, and the presentation of the case – slow, late, and piecemeal, with Modig consistently useless – has limited its impact.  My strong guess is that skeptics of both accounts are not going to get satisfaction.     


Anonymous said...

Why did he wait so long to say these things?

Why didn't he say them to the Spanish Consular officials in Cuba before or after the trial?

Let us accept what he states that he was scared and went along so that he could get out of Cuba as soon as possible?

But then once he hit Spain and was not under pressure from Cuban officials, why did he not speak up then?

Why has he waited this long before speaking out?

It makes us wonder whether he was not pressured by high officials of his own party and by Paya's daughter to change his story so as to compromise the Cuban government and allow political propaganda to be made against the Cuban government.

Mind you if I interpret his present version correctly, I consider it it credible.

That is that the car was being followed by cars from the Cuban security services throughout the trip from Havana to Oriente and that one of them had rammed the car Paya, his fellow dissident, and the two euopean polical activists were traveling in sometime before the accident.

As a result of which Carromero was traveling at a very high speed to elude his pursuers. went into a poor stretch of the road at this high speed and had the accident in which the two Cuban dissidents died.

This would make the Cuban government have some indirect responsibility for the accident because due to the pursuit, Carromero had to drive at high speed.

I do not accept as credible the rest of his testimony that the Cuban authorities refused to provide medical treatment for the two Cuban dissidents because Modig states he was unconscious and Carromero was in no condition to be aware of anything going on around him.

Also because if the Cuban authorities wanted to let the two Cuban disisdents die it would have made more sense to kill the two europeans along with them rather than run the danger of letting them live to testify against them.

I think the second part is simple political propaganda but I believe the first part could be credible provided that Carromero could give a credible answer to the logical question of why he waited for such a long time after arriving in Spain to provide thsi "testimony"?

If he does not provide a logical, credible answer for this query, i will draw a negative inferrence and conclude that he needed all this time to make the whole story up.

The whole matter is full of gaps and contradictory circumstances for me not to doubt the whole story.

I would like to believe him because I am no fan of the Cuban government but frankly I have a strong doubts about the whole thing and suspect that part of this testimony has been made up.


Anonymous said...

I don't find any of the story credible... Since when do cuban security ram tourist rental cars with foreign nationals in it to bother a dissident that no one knows. It makes no sense.

T Gonzalez said...

Carromero pressured by Paya's daughter???? Please, please tell me how and provide a credible basis. The Cuban Ministry of the interior is an old hand at using verbal and physical intimidation (as well as blog comments, after the fact, to cover their misdeeds.) If one has any doubts that cars are used to ram dissidents, along with goon squads and extensive use of pharmaceuticals and hospitals to blur memory and even terminate lives, merely look at past actions action against Yohani,Farinas,the ladies in white and other dissidents. Furthermore, we cannot ignore the extensive history of these tactics by the KGB;mentors of the Cuban security apparatus. The deaths of Paya and his companion do not fit the facts on the ground and history will bear that out. The Cuban portion of the Mitrokin files (former KGB) now openly available further attest to use of these practices. However, as we know from Eastern Europe's Soviet days (when numerous dissidents died from car accidents, balcony falls and umbrella strikes)inevitably... the truth will be known by the free world.

Anonymous said...

This all is very crappy. What happened was:
1- They were indeed being shadowed (of course!).
2- They played the James Bond and speed up.
3- They had this tragic accident just by themselves.

Peter, you are already being targeted by the story makers.


Anonymous said...

there was nothing to gain by the cuban security ramming that car, it's simply not the way they operate in those circumstances. there is something to gain for this story to now come out, so many months later and so many opportunities prior to tell it. the story just isn't credible, but bashing cuba is so easy to do, even if it involved a tragic car accident