Cuba tries former official, Chilean businessman for corruption
Published March 24, 2011
Havana – A Cuban court is now weighing its verdict in a corruption case
against former government minister Alejandro Roca Iglesias and Chilean
businessman Max Marambio, Communist Party daily Granma said Thursday.
Marambio, who boycotted the investigation and prosecution, was tried in
Roca, dismissed as Food Industry ministry by President Raul Castro in
March 2009, was accused of taking bribes for the awarding of contracts
and faces a potential 15 years in prison.
The Chilean entrepreneur is charged with bribery and falsifying
financial and commercial documents.
Marambio and the Cuban government were equal partners in Alimentos Rio
Zaza, a food company operating on the communist-ruled island. He resides
in Santiago and last visited Cuba in December 2009.
The Chilean was represented at the trial by a court-appointed attorney,
Cuba's investigation of alleged bribery, embezzlement and fraud at Rio
Zaza became public in April 2010 after the firm's general manager,
Chilean engineer Roberto Baudrand, was found dead in his Havana apartment.
Medical examiners attributed his death to "acute respiratory
insufficiency" associated with drugs and alcohol.
Once a close friend of retired Cuban President Fidel Castro, Marambio
was the principal backer of independent candidate Marco Enriquez-Ominami
in the 2009 Chilean presidential contest won by right-wing billionaire
In his 2008 book, "Las armas de ayer" (Yesterday's weapons), Marambio
recounts that he trained as a revolutionary in Cuba and later became
chief bodyguard for Chilean President Salvador Allende, a Socialist who
took his own life during the 1973 military coup that toppled his government.