Family of murdered Cuban dissident file suit in Spain against Cuba’s dictatorship

Via the The Telegraph:

Family of Cuba dissident Oswaldo Paya file lawsuit alleging murder by Castro regime

The family of Oswaldo Paya, a prominent Cuban dissident who died in a car crash on the Communist island last year, have filed a lawsuit in Spain alleging he was murdered by the Castro government.

the daughter and widow of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, Rosa Maria Paya (L) and Ofelia Acevedo (R) giving a press conference at Ermita de la Caridad church in Miami, Florida. The family of late Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya launched a lawsuit in Spain on August 19, 2013 accusing the Cuban secret service of killing him, his human rights group said.

The wife and daughter of Paya, a recipient of the European Union’s top human rights award, asked a Spanish court to investigate the death, accusing two top Cuban army officials of involvement in the fatal crash in July last year.

Paya, one of the foremost leaders of the Cuban opposition, died along with fellow activist Harold Cepero after the vehicle in which they were travelling swerved off the road and collided with a tree in Bayamo, in the province of Granma.

In a highly controversial case, Angel Carromero, a visiting Spanish politician who was driving the rental car at the time of the crash, was convicted of vehicular manslaughter by a Cuban court and sentenced to four years in prison.

But many of Paya’s relatives and fellow dissidents have refused to accept that version of events, alleging instead that Cuban government agents forced the car off the road.

“(His death) was not an isolated incident, it was the result of a continuing process that started a long time ago,” Paya’s brother, Carlos, told the Spanish news agency Efe.

Carromero, leader of the youth wing of Spain’s ruling Popular Party, has been allowed to serve most of his sentence in Spain and has since rejected Havana’s account of the crash. In an interview with Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, he claimed that 60-year-old Paya was not killed in the collision.

Paya had dual Cuban and Spanish nationality, meaning Spanish authorities can investigate his death even though it occurred overseas.

Paya’s wife, Ofelia Acevedo Maura, and daughter, Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo, said they had filed the lawsuit at Spain’s High Court. Paya’s Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) said in a statement that the suit accused Lieutenant Colonel Aguilas and Colonel Llanes, two top officials at a department which investigates crimes against the security of the Cuban state, of involvement in the dissident’s death. The statement did not elaborate on what roles they were alleged to have played in the crash.

The MCL said it trusted in the Spanish courts to grant the justice that had been denied in Cuba.

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3 thoughts on “Family of murdered Cuban dissident file suit in Spain against Cuba’s dictatorship”

  1. This will probably wind up like attempts to get the Spanish celebrity judge Garzón to go after Fidel Castro the same way and for the same reasons he’d relentlessly gone after Pinochet. Alas, to paraphrase Mae West, justice has nothing to do with it–it’s just a convenient pretext for political and ideological grandstanding and advancing a related agenda. As far as Spain is concerned (including its hapless current non-socialist government), the overriding priority is Spanish commercial interests in Cuba, which definitely trumps whatever happened to a couple of Cuban dissidents. Frankly, even if Carromero himself had also been murdered, I expect Spain would still opt not to pursue the matter and simply accept the regime’s version of the events.

  2. Let’s suppose, even though it won’t happen, that Spanish courts were to find Castro, Inc. guilty of murder. This has happened previously with the murder of four unarmed Brothers to the Rescue pilots over international waters. What happened then? Was anyone directly implicated in the killings brought to justice? No. Do we know who they were? Yes. Did the Castro regime admit it had ordered the deed? Yes. In other words, do the math: when you’re “progressive” or taken as such, you can get away with murder. Literally.

  3. I agree with you, Asombra, nothing is going to happen, and I’m the first to always complain about how all of our actions are ineffectual, but I’m nevertheless, I’m happy that the Paya family is filing a lawsuit. While its nothing more than a little grain of sand [ignored by most of the world press, they’re more interested in Cuban men with 12 fingers and giant bicycles], every time one of these lawsuits is filed, it chips alway a tiny little bit. Sure, most of it just runs off the teflon tyrant’s side, but it receives a little bit of exposure and I’m sure that bothers the hypersensitive tyrant.

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