Time Will Have the Last Word / Alberto Mendez Castelló
The tree against which, according to the official version, the car of
Oswaldo Payá and his companions crashed
The death of Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero, occurred according to the
official version by accident while traveling in a rental car, driven by
a Spanish citizen with a tourist visa, and it could take as many years
as the regime endures to know the reality of what happened.
According to the authorities the accident was caused by the driver of
the vehicle traveling at excessive speed and without due attention to
Those imputations involve violations of Articles 102 and 126 of the
Highway Safety Code. According to the glossary of terms and definitions
of the code, a traffic accident is defined as the incident occurring on
the road on which a moving vehicle is operated and, as a result, death,
injury to persons or property damage occurs.
Therefore, given the facts in the official version, technically the
driver of the vehicle in which Oswaldo Payá and his companion were
killed has committed a crime. And, under Article 177 of the Penal Code,
the driver of a vehicle violating the traffic laws or regulations that
causes the death of a person, shall be punished by imprisonment of one
to ten years.
According to Article 183 of the code itself, the courts can adjust the
penalty, taking into account, the degree of seriousness of the offense
that caused the accident, according to the classification in the Highway
Safety Code and, in the case of offenses with whose major or minor
seriousness has not been determined specifically for traffic law, the
court will use its judgment, taking into account the greater or lesser
probability of creating the accidents incurred.
As for the term of the trial, in accordance with Article 479 of the
Criminal Procedure Act, in the case where exceptional circumstances so
warrant, the Attorney General of the Republic may appeal to the Chief
Justice, and he may decide through a summary process the offenses within
the jurisdiction of any court of justice, thus reducing the terms prior
to trial. This could be done in a very short time, rather than taking
Sentencing of foreigners is provided for in Article 7.1 of the Criminal
Code and foreigners sentenced to imprisonment by the Cuban courts may be
delivered to complete their sentences in the the countries of which they
Knowing the interrogation procedures, the prospect of a season in Cuban
prisons and the natural survival instinct of man, and noting that there
are two dead through alleged violations of the Highway Safety Code, they
are now looking at ten years in prison, and one wonders if there is a
reality other than the official version, and what other statement the
driver of the car in which Payá and his Swedish comrade were traveling
might have made.
On one side of the balance is a summary trial and a minimum sentence
with a prompt execution of sentence in his country of origin, while on
the other side is a long process and who knows how many years in prison.
Hopefully Payá and Harold were not victims of a crime. A new crime in a
country where mistrust and hatred grow every day as a result of
political segregation, not convenient to anyone.
Hopefully the pain of these deaths will not be joined by that of murder.
Sadly, only time will have the last word.
From Diario de Cuba
28 July 2012