Granma, the Cuban communist party's daily rag, on Tuesday launched a propaganda offensive against the two European politicians who survived the car crash that killed Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero.
The newspaper accused the pair, Ángel Carromero of Spain, who was driving the car, and Jens Aron Modig of Sweden, of lying to win entry onto the island and then subsequently getting involved with activities "against the constitutional order of Cuba." The editorial also said Carromero is facing a murder charge in the case.
The attack comes a day after the pair were shown on video backing up the government's account of Paya's death, that the crash was an accident caused by Carromero's careless driving, and not by another vehicle as some have claimed. Granma said only the "Miami mafia" has accused the Castro regime of carrying out a political assassination of Paya, leader of the Christian Liberation Movement.
Granma also chastized the international media for not questioning why Carromero and Modig, members of conservative political parties in their respective countries, were in Cuba in the first place. The editorial slammed Modig for his membership in the Swedish Christian Democratic Party, comparing it to the Tea Party in the United States.
The broadside from Granma appears to be part of Cuban government campaign to pressure Carromero and Modig as Paya's family, Cuban dissidents and many overseas pressure the regime to offer a full, transparent account of how Paya and Cepero were killed.
Since the July 22 crash, Carromero and Modig have been prevented from leaving Cuba and are being held in isolation, according to various accounts.
With their comments Monday, Carromero and Modig showed that the pressure may be working. Reuters reports:
Modig said he had been sent by his party to meet with Paya and members of his Christian Liberation Movement and give him 4,000 Euros ($4,904) to help finance his work.
He said he now regrets his involvement with the dissidents.
"I understand that these activities are not legal in Cuba and would like to apologize for having come to this country to carry out illicit activities," Modig said.
In the video, Carromero requested help in getting out of his predicament and that the case not become a political matter.
"I ask the international community to please concentrate on getting me out of here and to not use the traffic accident that could have happened to any other person for political ends," he said.
For more, read CubaEncuentro.com's description of the Granma editorial.
I won't publish a link to Granma, but you can Google it. As of this morning, I couldn't find the editorial on either the newspaper's Spanish-language or English-language sites.