Cuban dissidents claim leader's death was no accident

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The spokesman for the Christian Liberation Movement, Regis Iglesias, voiced doubt that the death of the dissident group’s leader, Oswaldo Paya, was an accident as the Cuban government claims.

“Oswaldo and his family have suffered endless attacks and threats for more than twenty years, and therefore we always are suspicious of what the regime says,” he said on EWTN Radio’s Spanish-language program “Mas que noticias” on July 23.

Iglesias, who is a former prisoner of conscience now living in Spain, has joined those questioning the official government account of the accident.

The headline in the state-run newspaper Granma said that “two people” had died in the wreck on Sunday, when “the driver of a tourist rental car lost control and slammed into a tree.”

Only in the third paragraph were the names of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero mentioned. There was no reference to the Christian Liberation Movement. Granma reported that “authorities are investigating the cause of the accident.”

Iglesias said Paya was once told that “he would lose his life before Fidel Castro died.” Just a few weeks ago Paya’s car was rammed by another vehicle as he was driving in Havana with his wife Ofelia Acevedo.

Paya’s daughter, Rosa Maria, told reporters, “According to what the men who survived told us, there was a truck bumping into them the entire time until it forced them off the road. A friend of ours who went to the scene said the rear of the car was totally smashed.”

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