Wednesday, August 1, 2012

New Cuban video brings U.S. programs into the discussion

Yesterday’s Granma editorial on the car crash that killed dissidents Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero, in addition to vociferously rejecting the allegation that the Cuban government might have been behind the deaths, provided the first official Cuban comment on the political activities of Angel Carromero and Aron Modig, who came to Cuba to assist dissidents.  The upshot is that Modig was sent home (he’s now back in Stockholm and will speak to the press on Friday) while Carromero faces charges related to the accident itself.

The editorial alleges that the trip of Modig and Carromero originated with and was organized by Sweden’s Christian Democratic party.  As Modig described it, the mission was to deliver money to dissidents, to work to create a youth wing of Paya’s organization, and to help Paya by driving him outside Havana if he wished.

Separately, the editorial alleges that U.S. government grantees tried to generate protests during the Pope’s visit last March.  It said that eight Mexicans were sent to Cuba for that purpose and four were detained, admitting that they were “paid, trained, and instructed” by the Cuban Democratic Directorate, a Miami organization.  

The 14-minute video below shown on Cuban television last night presents statements by the Mexicans on their training and their activities in Cuba.  It also presents a recording of a phone call, purportedly between a man in Miami and one of the occupiers of a Catholic church on the eve of the Pope’s visit, in which payment to the occupiers is mentioned.  A note on the occupation of churches just before the Pope’s visit is here.

Here are today’s stories from Prensa Latina and AP.  

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