Cuba Sentences Chilean Businessman To 20 Years Behind Bars
Written by Amanda Reynoso-Palley
Sunday, 27 March 2011 23:45
Max Marambio, former bodyguard to Socialist President Salvador Allende,
and former chief political advisor to Marco Enriquez Ominami during his
presidential campaign in 2009, has been sentenced to 20 years in a Cuban
prison for crimes of bribery and falsification of banking and commercial
Marambio first met Castro during a visit to Cuba in 1966 accompanying
his father who was part of a delegation of Communist Party leaders
sympathetic to the Cuban cause. After the military coup of September 11,
1973 Marambio went into exile in Cuba where he maintained close ties to
Castro's government and began developing multiple businesses. He
co-owned Río Zaza industries with the Cuban government, which
specialized in juices and milks that became a monopoly on the island and
converted Marambio into a very wealthy man.
The case against Marambio was originally launched in April 2010 after
one of his top Chilean executives, Roberto Baudrand, was found dead in
his apartment just days after being interrogated by Cuban officials.
Cuban authorities ordered that Marambio present himself before
investigators by July 29, 2010. But Marambio fled the country and was
not present for the trial or his sentencing. Cuba is in the process of
soliciting the businessman's extradition.
Marambio's lawyer, Juan Pablo Hermosilla, traveled to Cuba to deal with
the situation. "This verdict does not surprise me, this is the not the
first time Cuba has sentenced someone in absence,2 said Hermosilla.
"According to Chilean law and most international law it is illegal to do
so. How can you sentence someone when they are not present to accept the
Hermosilla blames Rául Castro, believing his brother, Fidel Castro, who
headed the small country for 40 years and is a close friend of Marambio,
would never have brought charges against him. Still, the case against
Marambio follows a similar pattern of probes into high-level corruption
SOURCE: EL MERCURIO
By Amanda Reynoso-Palley