Spanish driver of Payá’s car still in the hands of Castro’s police; Dozens of mourners arrested at Payá’s funeral

The Spanish newspaper ABC continues to call attention to the “accident” that claimed the lives of  Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepera, with two headline articles on their web site.

Ángel Carromero, Spanish driver imprisoned at Bayamo
Ángel Carromero, Spanish driver imprisoned at Bayamo

The first article (read full Spanish text here) reports that Ángel Carromero, the young Spanish driver of the crashed vehicle is still being held by Cuban authorities and has not been allowed to leave Bayamo.  After being released from the hospital he was immediately imprisoned in a private cell, although he has not been formally charged with any wrongdoing.  According to the Castroite authorities, he will remain locked up in Bayamo until the “official” investigation into the “accident” is completed.    An adjunct consul of the Spanish embassy in Havana, Álvaro Kirpatrick, has been dispatched to Bayamo, and will remain there “as long as is necessary” to keep an eye on things and report to the Popular Party officials in Madrid. (Carromero was visiting Cuba as a representative of the Popular Party, even though he declared himself a tourist upon arrival in Cuba).  Consul Kirpatrick has yet to make any statements to the press.  The other survivor of the crash, Aron Modig, a representative of the Swedish Young Christian Democrats, has been allowed to return to Havana, and was escorted there by a Swedish diplomat.

Neither the Spanish nor the Swedish embassies have released any information concerning these two crash survivors.

Apparently, none of the journalists who represent foreign news media in Cuba have made any effort to interview anyone at either embassy.  They have also raised no fuss about being unable to interview the crash survivors.

The article does point out, however, that María Payá,  Oswaldo’s daughter, continues to claim that a second vehicle had repeatedly tried to run her father and his companions off the road and had rammed them several times.  It also mentions that Carlos Payá, Oswaldo’s brother, has repeatedly claimed that something very similar happened in June, when a van being ridden by Oswaldo was rammed and overturned — without any injuries to the occupants.

paya funeral
Mayhem at Payá's funeral

The second article (read full Spanish version here) reports on the arrest of 40 to 50 dissidents who attended Oswaldo Payá’s funeral.  Those rounded up were shoved “with considerable violence” into two buses and taken to a police station in the beach town of Tarara, to the east of Havana.  The arrests were made as mourners tried to make their way from the funeral Mass in the El Cerro neighborhood to Havana’s Colón Cemetery. Elizardo Sánchez, a spokesman for the dissident group Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional (CCDHRN), said that among those arrested were Guillermo Fariñas, Julio Aleaga; Antonio González Rodiles and his wife Ailer; Ricardo Medina and Pavel Herrera.

The funeral Mass for Payá was officiated by none other than Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who apparently voiced no public protest over the arrests.

This article also quotes a Castroite blogger named Yohandry who denounced the dissidents at the funeral and accused them of trying to “tarnish” Payá’s memory.  The loathsome toady posted this Tweet today: “No tienen la oposición prestigio, ni crédito y buscan visibilidad internacional a costa del funeral de Payá. No tienen vergüenza” (The opposition has neither prestige, nor credibility, and they seek international attention at the expense of  Payá’s funeral.  They are shameless).

The BBC also reports on these arrests.  Read here.

The French newspaper Le Monde also chose this as a headline story, emphasizing the arrest of Fariñas and calling attention to the need for an independent investigation of the crash : read here.


4 thoughts on “Spanish driver of Payá’s car still in the hands of Castro’s police; Dozens of mourners arrested at Payá’s funeral”

  1. The foreign media, aka presstitutes, are not in Cuba to report real news. They know that getting and keeping a Havana news bureau requires playing by the rules set and enforced by Castro, Inc., and they have no intention of getting ejected from the game by breaking those rules. The Spanish driver will probably be threatened with trial and imprisonment in Cuba (for something like involuntary manslaughter) if he does not sing a suitable tune, and also be reminded that even if he cooperates and is released, he’d better not change his story once back in Spain, because the arm of Castro, Inc. can reach him even there. The Swedish guy is more difficult to control, because he can’t be charged with anything except being with Payá, but you know what happened to Alan Gross.

  2. The Spanish driver, who initially told Payá’s daughter the car had been rammed, has changed his story to say he was speeding, which of course goes with the official narrative of an accident due to bad driving. I expect he will stick with that story, which is virtually certainly the regime’s price for allowing him to return to Spain. This is a young man in the prime of life, who is not Cuban and cannot be expected to sacrifice his future for the sake of Cuba. As with Laura Pollán’s death, the official story will be effectively accepted, even if it is doubted, and the matter will recede into inert memory, just like her death has. And the band plays on, even going so far as to write Havana restaurant reviews for foreign tourists in the European press. Lord have mercy.

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