Rob Sequin | Havana Journal

Pedro Alvarez, former head of Cuba’s purchasing agency has “taken refuge” in the United States according to an anonymous source quoted from El Mundo.

Mr. Alvarez was the former head of the Cuba purchasing agency Alimport which has been recently reorganized by President Raul Castro and it’s purchasing authority has been spread among other agencies in Cuba.

Mr. Alvarez has had an unfortunate couple of months. In June of 2009 he was relieved of his duties at Alimport and moved to the Cuba Chamber of Commerce. He was removed from that office in November 2010 and is now… or at least he was, being investigated for corruption and allegedly detained several times for questioning. Even more tragic, his wife, Olga de la Cruz Llera, died in the November 4 Cubana Airline plane crash in Cuba.

Cuban authorities believe that Mr. Alvarez secretly left Cuba for the United States between December 27 and 29 of 2010. Apparently he called his mother and said that he would not be returning to Cuba.

During his term at Alimport, the United States became the fifth largest trading partner of Cuba.

At this time, Mr. Alvarez’s whereabouts are unknown but one could speculate that he will surface and be subjected to an interview with US authorities due to his high ranking in the Cuban government.

One would also expect Mr. Alvarez to be hired by a Cuba consulting firm since his insight would be very valuable to US based businesses seeking to sell agricultural goods to Cuba.