Castro Promotes Military Officer (Son-in-Law) at Center of U.N. Smuggling Probe

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Curiously, Lopez-Callejas' new rank of "brigadier general" was revealed at a ceremony of  Almacenes Universal S.A., the military company that runs Cuba's Port of Mariel facility -- in conjunction with Brazil's Odebrecht Group -- and is at the center of the recent Cuba-North Korean illegal arms smuggling operation.

According to the recent U.N. Panel of Experts report, which found this smuggling operation to violate international sanctions, the Port of Mariel was specifically chosen for this operation, in order to prevent detection and avoid any paper trail.

Moreover, all of the commercial facilities and transactions involved in the Cuba-North Korea smuggling probe fall under Castro's military business conglomerate, GAESA, run by Lopez-Callejas.

Yesterday, the U.N.'s Panel of Experts announced the probe continues into the illegal weapons shipments, seeking to identify the entities that participated in the operation and subjecting them to sanctions.

Surely, GAESA should be one of them. 

And the reason why the Castros continue to withhold info from U.N. investigators.

From The Miami Herald:

Castro son-in-law promoted to general  

A powerful son-in-law of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro, in charge of the military enterprises that dominate the island’s economy, has been promoted to general despite recurring reports of tensions with his wife and brother-in-law.

Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas, in his mid-50s and long identified as a colonel in the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR), was identified as a brigadier general in a Jan. 29 report in the Web pages of Cubadefensa, a FAR publication.

Rodriguez heads the Enterprise Administration Group (GAESA), the FAR’s business arm — the military controls 80 percent of the Cuban economy, including hotels, factories, restaurants and airlines — and sits on the Central Committee of the Communist Party.

He also is spearheading the $1 billion development project for the Port of Mariel west of Havana, Cuba’s strategic bet for reinserting itself into the global economy with the help of $800 million in financing from Brazil.

Military promotions in secretive Cuba are seldom announced, but Cubadefensa revealed his new rank in a brief report saying he attended a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the military-run Almacenes Universales S.A.