Angel Carromero, the driver and key witness of a car crash that killed human rights activists Oswaldo Payá Sardinas and Harold Cepero, spoke extensively to Radio Martí about the incident, his subsequent arrest and sentencing, and his views on suspicious circumstances surrounding the crash. Carromero gave the live in-depth interview by phone from his home in Madrid, Spain, where he is carrying out the rest of his four-year sentence for vehicular manslaughter.
“How is it possible that the two Cuban dissidents were killed and the two Europeans leave unscathed? How is it possible that if this was an accident – one year and more than twenty days later - they haven’t released the autopsy reports? How is it possible that the lawyers who defended me have not been allowed to see the car, or to access the evidence of the crime for which I was charged?,” asked Carromero concerning numerous inconsistencies in the authorities’ actions in the case. “How can you not let independent experts review the case? If there was nothing to hide why all these things?”
Speaking to veteran journalists José Luis Ramos and Amado Gil on Radio Martí’s Las Noticias Como Son (News the Way It Is), Carromero opened up about the chronology of events on July 22, 2012 when the car he was driving ran off the road and hit a tree. Until now, few details from the surviving witnesses have emerged, and some, including the family of Oswaldo Paya, have accused the Cuban government of being involved.
At the time of the crash, Carromero was the leader of “New Generations,” a youth organization that is part of Spain’s ruling Popular Party. He and Swedish politician Jens Aron Modig were visiting Cuba to show support for the nation’s pro-democracy activists. Modig also survived the crash, but has remained silent about the events of that day. Payá’s family has called for an independent investigation, a request that Carromero says he supports. At the time of his death, Oswaldo Payá was the head of Cuba’s Christian Liberation Movement.
The half-hour interview can be heard in its entirety here: