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  • Jul 28, 2014
  • Updated: 1:19pm
NewsWorld
CUBA

Madrid accused of covering up Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya's death

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 09 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 09 March, 2013, 4:17am

Spain's government is aiding a cover-up of the mysterious death of one of Cuba's most respected opposition leaders, who died after an unmarked police car rammed the car he was travelling in, according to his daughter.

Oswaldo Paya, 60, and fellow anti-Castro activist Harold Cepero died in the July 22 accident in eastern Cuba, while their Spanish driver and fellow Swedish passenger survived.

His daughter Rosa Paya accuses Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's government of putting pressure on a Spanish politician who was driving the car carrying Paya to remain silent about what she claims is probably murder.

The politician, Angel Carromero of Rajoy's conservative People's Party, was handed a four-year jail term in Cuba for allegedly causing the deaths through reckless driving. A Cuban court declared no other vehicle was involved and that Carromero, 27, had been driving too fast.

They warned me that I was their enemy, and that I was very young to lose my life … They gave me another statement to sign - one that in no way resembled the truth

But he broke his silence this week, saying he had been bullied into signing a confession.

He said several vehicles had been trailing their hire car. A car bearing official number plates had just begun harassing them when he felt a bump in the back of his car and spun off the road.

Rosa Paya wants to know why the two foreigners were taken to hospital while her father, who received regular death threats, and Cepero died. Spanish government officials denied Carromero was being put under pressure and said he had recognised the Cuban court process as valid.

Carromero told The Washington Post that Cuban authorities threatened him. "They warned me that I was their enemy, and that I was very young to lose my life … They gave me another statement to sign - one that in no way resembled the truth."

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