Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya speaks to reporters before a meeting with former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Havana. (Photo : REUTERS/Desmond Boylan)
The Interior Ministry of Cuba has released a statement saying that the a 'driver error' of excessive speed caused the fatal crash that killed Cuban dissenter Oswaldo Paya, who wasn't wearing his seatbelt.
Apparently, the car hit a tree, and killed another Cuban activist.
Oswaldo Paya is the founder of a Cuban activist group that pushes for more civil rights, the Verala Project.There were three other passengers in the car. Another opposition activist, Harold Cepera, was killed in the crash. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt as well.
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The other two passengers, Angel Carromero and a Swedish Jens Aron Modig, were treated for minor injuries.Speculations were running high that the Cuban government might have interfered in the crash.Paya's son said that the car might have possibly been coerced off the road.
The Cuban government, however, claims that the section of the road Paya had died from was under repair and had loose gravel and was a prime source for an accident.
The police stated that Carromero told them that Paya "could not be precise as to the speed" when they crossed over the deteriorated section of the road.
Carromero also said that Paya "tried to lower his speed by braking sharply and the car began to slide sideways until it hit the tree."
The team that investigated the crash said that Paya's car was traveling at approximately 75 miles per hours (120 kilometers per hour).
An eyewitness on his bike, Jose Antonio Duque de Estrada, confirmed the claim, saying that "I'm sure it [Paya's car] was travelling at more than 100km/h".