They Lie! Beware of Cuban Regime Defectors

El sepelio de Oswaldo Payá se convirtió en un acto de protesta contra el régimen de los Castro (Libertad Digital)
The burial of Oswaldo Payá became an act of protest against the Castro regime. (Libertad Digital)

EspañolOn April 28, the PanAm Post published an article concerning a Cuban defector from the Interior Ministry, supposedly named Ortelio Abrahantes Bacallao.

After brief detention in Nassau, Bahamas, this former Cuban official appeared as refugee in Slovakia. There he insisted that the martyrs executed by the Castro regime — Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero — suffered a “supposedly spectacular accident” caused by Cuban state-security services on Sunday, July 22, 2012. Abrahantes Bacallao claims to have proof of the crime, and has asked for Payá’s family to contact him.

But it happens that these pieces of evidence existed from the very moment of the double murder. There are text messages sent by Jens Aron Modig and Ángel Carromero, moments after they witnessed the attack.

If this former agent has any document of any legal force, let him go to the courts with his own version. But don’t manipulate the pain of these Cuban families, nor try to spread false hope of justice that still seems far away. In saying that, I do not want to add any credibility to the idea that those responsible for killing Cepero and Payá did so without any previous order or intention from the highest levels in Havana.

To begin with, this would have been a unique accident if it really was one. The Hyundai rental car the victims were traveling in barely suffered any damage, beyond the scratch created when those pursuing them bumped into the car to force it off the road in a PIT maneuver.

All the photos of a blue car in fragments are false, or perhaps were staged long after the accident — no investigators were allowed near the car. None of the four passengers suffered serious damage in the “crash,” except for when several agents of the Interior Ministry appeared out of nowhere, hit Spanish citizen Ángel Carromero on the head and took him away in a van. They also took Aron Modig, leaving Cepero and Payá behind. A few hours later, the two Cubans were corpses.

The journalist Fernando Ravsberg, who — unlike Payá’s family — was allowed to attend Carromero’s trial in Bayamo on October 5, 2012, reported that a forensic doctor “described and showed photos of the state in which dissident leader Oswaldo Payá was left: skull divided into five parts, almost decapitated, the heart pierced, kidneys turned into ‘mush.'” Yet Castroist authorities never even delivered a copy of the autopsy report to Payá’s family.

There’s also the testimony published by Carromero in the 2014 book Muerte Bajo Sospecha (Death under Suspicion). Aron Modig has not yet set down his version of events, but nor has he questioned Carromero’s report.

They killed Oswaldo Payá with impunity, not even after a summary trial, and perhaps even filming the entire operation. The exact location of the crime is unknown, and the supposed tree they crashed into is another lie that must be disproved.

Harold Cepero apparently arrived in a terrible state at the hospital. They never let him have contact with another human being, let alone a doctor. There, he was killed, or they let him die, in a room surrounded by soldiers.

Payá’s family never accused the two foreigners of anything. However, they were never allowed to see them while the two foreigners remained in Cuba.

I fear that Ortelio Abrahantes Bacallao left Cuba now to modify the version of the Cuban government. His may be an attempt to disprove the charges of crimes against humanity, since without a statute of limitations on said crimes, sooner or later the accomplices of the Castro brothers who will replace them in 2018 will eventually be judged.

The Cuban Ministry of the Interior is a factory of lies and half-truths. No-one and nothing that comes out of the ministry, still less its defectors, are viewed with a shred of credibility by the Cuban people.

Translated by Laurie Blair. Edited by Fergus Hodgson.

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