15 convicted in Cuban airline, tourism agency corruption scandal


HAVANA, Cuba – A Cuban court has convicted 14 government officials and businessmen and a Chilean entrepreneur for corruption and bribery involving the state-owned airline and a tourism agency.

Marcel Marambio, a Chilean businessman with close ties to the Communist government, was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison for bribery, fraud and falsification of documents, according to a notice published in state media on Tuesday.

Marambio was president of Sol Y Son, a tourism agency jointly owned by the Cuban state and Chilean investors. His brother Max Marambio, a long-time friend of Fidel Castro, was sentenced in absentia in a separate corruption trial earlier this year.

The 14 Cubans, all employed by Cubana de Aviacion airline or Sol Y Son, were sentenced to between three and 10 years of prison.

State media said they were convicted because they received “cash bribes and personal perks” but did not provide details about what they provided in exchange.

Courts have launched a number of corruption cases since President Raul Castro assumed the presidency of Cuba in 2008.