Nine and a half years after death in Cuba of the opposition leader Oswaldo Payá and the activist Harold cepero, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) held a hearing this Tuesday to independently review some facts that the families of the victims consider a full-blown attack and that the Havana regime once condemned the Spanish Angel Carromero, then leader of New Generations of the Madrid PP and at the wheel of the car in which they were traveling.
The IACHR is an autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), based in Washington and dedicated to protecting human rights in the American continent. Oswaldo Payá, founder of the
called Project Varela to promote a democratic opening in Cuba, and Harold Cepero lost their lives after on July 22, 2012, a vehicle driven by Ángel Carromero went off the road in the east of the island and in which the Swedish politician Jens Aron Modig.
From the beginning, the Payá family rejected the official version that it had been a mere traffic accident and denounced that the car he had been deliberately pulled off the road by another vehicle. A few days after the events, the regime released a video in which Carromero claimed responsibility for what happened and denied that they had been beaten from behind. A Cuban court would sentence the young Spanish politician in October to four years in prison for reckless homicide, although at the end of 2012 he was allowed to continue serving his sentence in Spain, and in January 2013 he obtained the third degree and was able to get out of prison.
“It was a sham trial, a montage, one of those that the dictatorship has carried out for decades,” he assures ABC Carromero, who yesterday was called to give his testimony by videoconference at the IACHR hearing. As he maintains, “they knew what the sentence was going to be before it was held.” “They forced me to record a video, without having had access to a lawyer, in which I incriminated myself, as they did that year in Belarus with the blogger who was arrested after they got off the plane,” he says, referring to the young Roman Protasevich, who was arrested. by Alexander Lukashenko’s regime after forcing the plane flying from Greece to Lithuania to land in Minsk and crossing Belarusian airspace.
Carromero, who is currently director general of the Madrid Mayor’s Office Coordination, emphasizes that “it was not an accident”, that “they were being followed as they were following all the opponents” and that they were “thrown off the road” to do “Disappear the main Cuban opponent, Oswaldo Payá.” In addition, he points out that the Cuban regime itself was changing its version of what happened. In fact, he indicates as a sign that a montage was made, the images released by the regime sometimes show the car that he was driving with bumpers and others without.
Evidence against the regime
He recalls, in this regard, that Human Rights Watch “presented evidence that it was a sham.” In a report published in 2015 after gathering testimonies and evidence that had not been taken into account during the Ángel Carromero trial, this organization pointed to “the direct responsibility of the Cuban regime in the death of Payá and Cepero” and concluded that “it was not an accident “, but” the result of a motor vehicle act deliberately caused by agents of the State. “
Carromero now hopes that, despite the slowness of the process initiated by the IACHR in 2013 at the request of the Payá and Cepero families, the statement of this entity will contribute to reinforcing “international pressure”, since, in his opinion, “it is which weakens communist regimes ”.
Although Cuba is not a signatory to the 1969 American Convention on Human Rights, by which the IACHR is governed, the families of the victims hope that the Commission’s action will contribute to justice. This Tuesday they were called to intervene in the hearing, among others, Rosa Maria Payá Y Ofelia Acevedo, daughter and widow respectively of Oswaldo Payá; Amílcar Cepero, father of Harold Cepero, in addition to the aforementioned Ángel Carromero.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism