Haroldo Dilla Alfonso*
HAVANA TIMES — The latest statements by Angel Carromero recanting everything he previously affirmed, seems to me — to be compassionate — something quite sad.
Whether a crime was committed or he had an accident on that afternoon in Bayamo is something known only by God and those involved. I can’t assure anything with certainty.
But I must say very clearly that I think, from the beginning up until now, there has been no consistent data provided that indicates Oswaldo Paya was murdered.
I fully understand his family, reacting to the harassment they’ve been subjected to for many years, along with the Cuban government’s refusal to allow an independent investigation.
The first thing is something the government always does, but the second is never allowed. Yet there’s still is no evidence that a murder was committed.
Nevertheless, I do believe that the family has the absolute right to request an independent investigation and that the Cuban government should, in the name of decency, be obligated to allow that.
The unfortunate death of Oswaldo Paya is another example of the morbidities that come with the lack of information openness in Cuba and the lack of independent response channels.
Although the Cuban government acted to provide rapid and technically supported information on the facts of the incident, I don’t think it was sufficient for anyone, if we consider that Paya was always considered an enemy and harassed accordingly.
Later, the passions on the other side began running high with allegations of Le Carré-style conspiracies, and the supposed discoveries of Photoshop altered images (as if the experts of the Cuban security services were so stupid as to be surprised by amateur Internet surfers) and traces of Tweets whose existence ultimately no one could guarantee.
But again, I don’t think there was a murder, if even only for one reason: Taking into account Paya’s visibility and the urgencies of the Cuban government, it would have been the type of action that produced more problems than benefits. Put in terms of Talleyrand, it would have been — worse than a crime — a political mistake.
Later, there was a chain of events that, at the least, make us doubt the alleged criminal plot.
First, there was the refusal of the Swedish passenger involved to say a single word. It was as if he’d been asleep for eight hours during a trip reported to be continually harassed by state security cars.
Then, how can one explain that if the Cuban government had sought to commit this murder it had practiced a crude Japanese check-up by intimidating them over the eight hours journey, providing every opportunity for complaints and reports of those actions.
After this, all Carromero said on camera, at the trial and with all the opportunity he had to say something — was that the accident was the result of poor road conditions and the lack of proper warning signs.
He didn’t say anything else, even in his most absolute intimacy, when he had the opportunity to speak. This remained the case even during the first weeks that a well-behaved Carromero spent in Spain under very mild restrictions of liberty.
What this conservative Partido Popular Party kid is currently saying confirms my suspicions. Now, this international gladiator for democracy has changed his entire statement, which he alleges was initially obtained under duress, with him drugged and housed in a “creepy” cell in a Bayamo infirmary – where he had flush his toilet with a bucket full of water.
What’s more, he says he’s prompted now by his inability to remain complicit in his own silence.
Carromero has just stated that he was the victim in this affair – not a perpetrator. And with this, he has just taken a step forward in getting a slight reduction in his already light prison sentence, a situation he considers unfair and hopes “won’t last long,” which is a legitimate concern of each defendant. But this wasn’t sufficient reason to change his statement.
I’m not stopping with Carromero’s arguments and the story he’s telling. Readers should read it for themselves, and even watch the video of his confession, in order to draw their own conclusions.
Carromero was, and still is, a bad joke of the European right – a toxic gift that had tremendous costs: the lives of two opposition activists, including one of its most respected leaders. Nevertheless, now he wants to keep earning himself a place in the spotlight with a shaky story full of holes.
Let’s support the Paya family in their just demand for an independent inquiry and let this poor boy go on his way, wishing him better luck than the bucket full of water that he had to use in that Bayamo infirmary.
(*) Published originally in Spanish by Cubaencuentro.com.