(No one is safe. Is Raul Castro eating his own now? LOTS of reshuffling, lousy sugar harvest, arrests of foreign businessmen. Since just about everything is illegal in Cuba, maybe everybody should be arrested.)
By Juan O. Tamayo | Nuevo Herald
A senior aide to Ricardo Alarcón, Cuba’s long-serving parliament president, was arrested along with his wife, a former intelligence agent.
The top aide to the president of Cuba’s parliament, Ricardo Alarcón, and his wife — both former intelligence agents — have been in police custody for two months in a case that might well be aimed at ousting Alarcón, according to a Havana colleague.
Miguel Alvarez and Mercedes Arce, in their mid-50s, were detained on March 3 in Havana and remained in custody as of Monday for investigation on alleged corruption charges, the colleague added.
Alvarez was long known as Alarcón’s right-hand man in his job as senior advisor on international and political affairs, and he sat in on many of Alarcón’s meetings with visiting dignitaries and journalists.
Arce was assigned to Cuba’s diplomatic mission to the United Nations in New York from 1977 to 1983, and was mentioned in Florida International University professor Carlos Alvarez’s confession that he worked for Cuban intelligence.
The Spain-based blog Penúltimos Días — Penultimate Days— which first made public the arrests last week, reported that authorities started an investigation of Arce for “charging commissions and other small corruptions,” which later led to her husband. But the colleague told El Nuevo Herald that the couple lived frugally in a small Havana apartment and generally made it a point to avoid the black market, where most Cubans buy hard-to-find items, usually stolen from government warehouses. “I don’t believe the target is Miguel or Mercedes. I believe this has a political objective, which is Alarcón,” the colleague said.
He added that investigators may be squeezing Alvarez and Arce in hopes of obtaining some incriminating information about Alarcón. Cuban criminal investigators typically try to squeeze subordinates in an effort to obtain damaging information about their superiors.
The colleague said he has been in touch with relatives of the couple, who confirmed the arrests. He asked to remain anonymous to avoid becoming embroiled in the case.
Alarcón, 75, is generally viewed as one of the island’s most powerful figures. READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE