Castro’s Spanish hostage Angel Carromero charged in Paya death

 This AP article confirms that Cuba has charged Spanish citizen Angel Carromero with vehicular manslaughter. If found guilty in Cuba’s state controlled court, he faces a sentence of one to ten years in prison.

The next step is for prosecutors to formally say what sentence they will seek, according to a Spanish Embassy spokesman. He said Carromero was transferred to Havana and received a consular visit there on Monday.

“He is in good health and calm,” spokesman Francisco de Borja said.

Granma said Carromero and Swedish citizen Jens Aron Modig, who was also riding in the car, entered the country July 19 on tourist visas and, “in violation of their migratory status, got involved in clearly political activities contrary to the constitutional order.”

Both Carromero and Modig are affiliated with conservative political parties in their home countries. They said they brought 4,000 euros ($4,900) for Paya’s organization and helped organize dissident youth wings.

Cuba’s government considers the small opposition to be subversive, and objects to foreign-based efforts to support them.

Granma pointedly said that Modig was allowed to return to Sweden “in spite of the illegal activities he carried out.”

Modig tweeted Tuesday that he was back in Stockholm and needed rest. “Have European soil under my feet. So nice!”

“I’m very happy that Aron Modig is now in Sweden again and is resting with his family,” Christian Democrats party leader Goran Hagglund said in a statement. “It’s been a period of great worry after this horrific accident. … We’re proud of (Modig’s) efforts for democracy and freedom.”

Elizardo Sanchez, a de-facto spokesman for the Cuban opposition, insisted that doubts will remain until both Europeans are able to speak from their own countries.

“Whatever they say while in the hands of police or the government of Cuba is necessarily skewed, contaminated, due to the lack of guarantees,” Sanchez said. “The Swede can’t speak freely because his friend is still prisoner in Cuba.”

Sum from Capitol Hill Cubans:

In sum: Just over a week ago, two European democratic politicians traveled to Cuba to provide support to the island’s peaceful dissidents in their struggle for freedom and democracy. Upon a tragic (and mysterious) accident that killed two of these prominent dissidents, they have been held virtually incommunicado. Suddenly, they have publicly “confessed” and “apologized” to the dictatorship. One will now purportedly be allowed to leave, while the other will remain hostage for security.

It will be interesting to see how the Spanish government reacts if Carromero is found guilty (which he surely will be) considering their many investments in Cuba.  Unlike in American hostage Alan Gross’ case, where the Obama administration has nothing to lose other than pissing off fellow travelers, and has taken no concrete action to obtain his release.

1 thought on “Castro’s Spanish hostage Angel Carromero charged in Paya death”

  1. Carromero is in a lose-lose situation. He’ll get screwed one way or the other. For one thing, he’s not even a “progressive,” though Alan Gross was/is and that hasn’t helped him. The Swede has said he’ll speak to the media this Friday, so we’ll see, but don’t expect too much. What SHOULD happen is for all Spaniards to stop going to Cuba as tourists until Carromero is released, but I’m not holding my breath.

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