Bye Bye Alarcon

Friday, December 21, 2012
We wrote about Miguel Alvarez's (Ricardo Alarcon's top aide) purge earlier this year.

Now, it's Alarcon's turn to pay-the-Castro piper.

From The Miami Herald:

Cuba's Ricardo Alarcon out as head of legislature

Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, 75, one of Cuba's longest-serving officials and a specialist on U.S. relations, will leave the post of president of the National Assembly of People's Power in February after 20 years on the job.

The Cuban government made no comment on the departure, but Alarcon's name was not on the list of the 612 candidates in the upcoming elections for the legislative body published in the official newspaper Granma on Thursday.

Although Alarcon remains a member of the Cuban Communist Party's powerful Political Bureau, speculation that he was in disfavor has mounted since police arrested top aide Miguel Alvarez last summer on suspicion of corruption and spying [...]

Alvarez and his wife Mercedes Arce have been detained in Havana since March 3 for investigation, initially on charges of corruption but later for espionage, according to a close colleague who believes they were targeted in order to get at Alarcon.

Arce, an academic and part-time resident of Mexico, is suspected of obtaining sensitive Cuban information through her husband and using it in "business reports" sold to foreigners, according to one source. Former FIU professor Carlos Alvarez, convicted of spying for Cuba, identified Arce as one of his handlers in the 1980s and 1990s.

Miguel Alvarez, who is not related to the FIU professor, was a senior adviser to Alarcon on international and political affairs. Cuba's state-run media has not reported on the case.