Rosa Maria Paya: Castro Killed My Father, Spain Helped Cover It Up

Monday, July 21, 2014
In The PanAm Post:

Payá: Castro Brothers Killed My Father, Spain Helped Cover It Up

Daughter of Late Cuban Dissident Speaks Out, Demands Independent Investigation

The Payá family has not lost its nerve, nor its hope, in their struggle to clarify the circumstances in which Oswaldo Payá died two years ago. Payá was a prominent activist, member of Cuba’s political opposition, and founder of the Christian Liberation Movement. Tuesday, July 22, marks the second anniversary of the traffic accident that killed Payá, along with 32-year-old Harold Cepero. The cause of that accident remains in doubt.

Rosa María Payá, daughter of the Cuban dissident, has continued to struggle for Cuba; a struggle her father had been fighting since the 1980s. At only 25 years of age, she along with her family have brought Oswaldo Payá’s case before international organizations to request an independent investigation of her father’s death.

The Payá family believes that the Cuban government caused the car crash that killed Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero. They say another vehicle rammed into the car carrying Payá, Cepero, and two others: a Swedish man and a Spaniard named Ángel Carromero. Carromero, the driver of the vehicle, is serving out a prison sentence in Madrid for vehicular homicide, despite pleading innocent and demonstrating evidence of an attack.

Rosa María Payá now openly states that she believes Cuba’s government, the European External Action Service, and the Spanish government have conspired to cover up the truth: the Castro brothers murdered her father.

In an interview with the PanAm Post, she explains her reasons behind her controversial allegations. She complains that the Swedish government ceded to the Cuban government’s claims that the Swedish passenger, Aron Modig, suffered from “amnesia” and was unable to contribute to the investigation.

She also says that the Spanish judiciary has repeatedly dismissed requests for an independent investigation as to whether or not Carromero was indeed culpable for the crash.

“The Spanish government knows, and probably knew it before we did, that what happened wasn’t an accident. They received messages from Ángel [Carromero] asking for help in which he said it wasn’t an accident. Ángel has said they didn’t crash into a tree,” explained Rosa María. She further added her regret that the Spanish government has denied Carromero’s request for a pardon, considering the lack of clarity in the incident.

She also states that her father’s case has been a point of division within Spain’s ruling party. The Popular Party is tasked with awarding the Oswaldo Payá Human Rights Prize, even though they do not official support the family’s humanitarian requests.

“Some of the Spanish executive authorities, when they weren’t part of the cabinet, were stronger critics of the Cuban government and friendlier with the Christian Liberation Movement.  They are actively protecting the Cuban government, with their silence and [lack of] action. History will not remember them well,” stated Rosa María.

The only open case that remains considering the possibility of an attack on Payá and Cepero is with the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions.

Rosa María Payá also had a message for the US citizens that support Raúl Castro’s reforms. ‘The reforms that took place in Cuba have nothing to do with a democratic transition. There were reforms in China as well, and that doesn’t mean the Chinese are free people.”

“People who want to give money to the Cuban government and deal with the oppressors of the Cuban people, they have the freedom to do it as children of God. While negotiating with the Cuba government, they are not helping a democratic transition.”

The young Payá also said that the changes introduced on the island will only make Cubans more dependent on the government. She says, for example, that the concessions to open a small business are not backed by private property rights.

Click here to listen to the full interview.