Castro purges Cuban Politburo of corrupted officials

A young member of the Communist Party was sentenced to 12 years in prison accused of influence-peddling.

Fidel Castro’s so called fight against corruption has taken a new victim. A Communist official long held up as an example of the island's future leadership was sentenced to 12 years in prison for influence-peddling, the party said Wednesday in a communique.

According to the official newspaper Granma, Juan Carlos Robinson Agramonte, one of the youngest members of the Politburo before being kicked out of elite body and the party in April, pleaded guilty Friday during a trial in Havana. Government prosecutors had sought a 15-year sentence, but courts sentenced him to 12 years in prison.

"It was demonstrated that Robinson Agramonte, in the open process of his ideological weakening and with abuse of his position, forgot his high responsibilities and the integrity demanded of a revolutionary cadre and used his influence to obtain benefits," Granma said.

"Criticized, warned and exhorted more than once by the (party leadership) to overcome his failings, he pretended to recognize them and end them," the Politburo said then. "But that wasn't what happened."The party leadership indicated Wednesday that Robinson should serve as an example, warning that "in our country, no one, despite their responsibilities and merits, can violate the law. He who does so will inexorably receive the weight of revolutionary justice."

Robinson, now 49, is from the eastern city of Santiago — Cuba's second-largest city — and had been the party's first secretary for the Santiago Province since 1994. Cuban officials had once pointed with pride to Robinson as an example of the island's young black leadership.

The decision of the Havana’s courts came only a few months after president Fidel Castro, who is turning 80 in August, announced new measures to tackle corruption and theft. By that time - January 2006 - the Communist leader said that corruption was the greatest threat to the survival of his regime, more worrisome than the United States.

Hernan Etchaleco

Discuss this article on Pravda.Ru English Forum

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov