Two reports on Angel Carromero’s jail sentence.
BBC Anglo-Saxon stiff upper lip understatement:
Cuba jails Angel Carromero over Oswaldo Paya death
Cuba has sentenced a Spanish national to four years in jail over a car crash that led to the death of high-profile dissident Oswaldo Paya.
Angel Carromero, who was driving, had been accused of manslaughter after the crash in July, which also killed another Cuban activist, Harold Cepero.
During the trial, he expressed “profound sorrow for the unfortunate accident that took place”.
But he denied prosecutors’ claims that he had been speeding.
Oswaldo Paya’s family has always claimed the crash was no accident, the BBC’s Sarah Rainsford reports from Havana.
They believe the car was forced off the road and say the dissident received numerous death threats for his activity, she adds.
Mr Carromero, 27, is a member of the youth wing of Spain’s ruling Popular Party.
He had been in Cuba to meet and support dissidents connected to Mr Paya when the car he was driving hit a tree and crashed near the eastern city of Bayamo on 22 July.
Mr Paya and Mr Cepero had been sitting in the back at the time. Mr Carromero and a Swedish activist were injured.
Prosecutors had been seeking a seven-year term for vehicular manslaughter.
State media said the sentence reflected the “gravity” of the incident and cited the “careless conduct” of the driver for causing the crash; but said both Mr Carromero and prosecutors can appeal the decision.
Contrast with ABC’s Iberian clenched-jaw understatement: (read Spanish text here).
“It’s What We Expected.”
For the daughter of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, the well-known Cuban dissident killed in a questionable auto accident, there is no surprise in the four-year prison sentence imposed on the Spanish politician who was driving the vehicle, Angel Carromero. “This is what we expected: after an unfair trial, an unjust sentence,” said Rosa Maria Payá Acevedo in a phone conversation from Havana.
Neither Rosa Maria, nor her two brothers, Oswaldo and Reinaldo, were able to attend the trial on the 5th of October in Bayamo. State security agents forced them to stay at least one hundred meters from the courtroom, and prevented them from having any contact with journalists.
At the same time, their mother Ofelia Acevedo – the widow of Oswaldo Payá – insisted that Carromero “is not guilty: we have never blamed him for the death of my husband, because there are other factors to consider and we want to know the truth and we demand that an independent international commission launch an investigation as an alternative to that carried out by the Cuban government.”
The Payá family is convinced that the car driven by Carromero was followed and rammed this past July 22nd on the road that links Las Tunas with Bayamo, in the eastern end of the island. Calling attention to the many death threats received by Oswaldo Payá, winner of the Sakarov Prize awarded by the European Union in 2002, his relatives have not pressed any charges against Carromero, the Spanish driver.
Payás widow rejected once again the Cuban government’s official version of her husband’s death, and insisted that the trial overlooked “many things concerning victims of murder, because there is no place for such victims in the Cuban penal code.”
She also lamented that three months after her husband’s death she has yet to receive the official autopsy report from the Cuban authorities, both for her husband and for Harold Cepero, the other dissident who died in the same traffic accident. Ofelia closed by saying that “from the very start, we have asked for Angel Carromero to be returned to his family [in Spain].”