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Spanish driver charged in crash that killed Cuban dissident

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MEXICO CITY -- Cuban authorities have filed criminal charges against a Spanish politician who was the driver in a crash that killed prominent Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, the official daily Granma reported Monday (link in Spanish).

In an editorial that took up half the front page, Granma said Angel Carromero had been charged with the equivalent of vehicular manslaughter. Carromero has acknowledged losing control of the car when it hit an unpaved piece of road in eastern Cuba. The July 22 crash killed Paya, one of the island’s best-known opposition figures, and another dissident. A Swede also in the car was injured.

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Granma noted that Carromero, a member of Spain’s center-right Popular Party, and Jens Aron Modig, from a conservative Swedish faction, had entered Cuba on tourist visas but ‘illegally’ engaged in political activity. The two men said they gave money to Paya’s organization and offered advice on mobilizing youth.

The communist government considers the small dissident movement to be counter-revolutionary subversives and disapproves of its members receiving money from abroad.

Spanish diplomats planned meetings with Cuban officials to stave off a broader crisis, El Pais reported from Madrid.

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-- Tracy Wilkinson


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