Sunday, January 9, 2011

Cuba: High-Ranking Official Is Missing

January 8, 2011

The State Department has no information about the whereabouts of a leading Cuban government trade expert who Miami news reports said had fled, an American official said Friday. The newspaper El Nuevo Herald and several Cuban-American Web sites reported that Pedro Álvarez, 67, the former head of Cuba’s state food importing company, and a crucial figure in legal Cuban purchases of American farm products, had defected to the United States. Cuban authorities and state-run media made no mention of the reports from Miami, which said Mr. Álvarez had escaped last week and had been under investigation for corruption.

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