Top Official Of The Ministry Of The Interior Implicated In Contraband
Case: Crime Or Reckoning? / Juan Juan Almeida
Juan Juan Almeida, August 8, 2016 — This past July 18, in the Cuban
capital, Lieutenant Colonel Rafael Mujica, the head of the Capdevila
Special Command of Firefighters, Boyeros municipality, and of the
prevention unit of the José Martí Havana Airport, was detained.
He's accused of being the brains behind a hypothetical illegal operation
— in addition to being a millionaire — involving trafficking and
contraband: exploiting an advantageous privilege, like having free
access to restricted areas of the upper terminals of the Havana airport,
in order to charge passengers for taking out and/or bringing into the
country prohibited articles without passing through the correct customs
and migration controls. They also impute to him the supposed use of
firefighter unit inspections to put obstacles in the way of projects and
foreign investments and then accepting the ubiquitous bribe to release
Sources who claim they're close to the case, and who prefer to remain
anonymous for their own protection, reveal that at the moment of the
arrest, the authorities were alerted about another individual, nameless
for the moment because it hasn't been leaked, who managed to escape the
country recently, with an unknown destination and false documents, and
who could be the possible co-author of these continued crimes.
"What's bad about that?" asks someone who then answered himself. "It's
one of the ways, secretly but with previous government authorization,
that Cuban intelligence uses to bring in or take out of the country
merchandise and people. They taught the formula; he learned it and used it."
Part of the airport security is built over the firefighting unit, which
Mujica directs, and is located at one side of the 4,000 meter runway of
the Havana aerodome, between terminal 3 of the José Martí airport and
terminal 5 of Guajay, where Aero Caribbean and other charter airlines
operate commercially. It's a special location, where, supposedly,
packages stolen from the wagons that transport luggage could be taken
out without touching the airport, and material and people could enter
the airport without the least fear, violating all the legal regulations.
"I'm not saying that Rafael is a saint. The greed of Cuban officials is
a notable phenomenon. They all feel the need to grab property in order
to face a future that appears uncertain, that seems to offer no shelter.
So it's more than a case of corruption. It looks like a settling of
accounts," says someone here in Miami who identifies himself as a friend
of the detained soldier.
"The Cuban military class to which he belongs has turned its back on him
out of fear. But doesn't it seem strange that Mujica, today presumed
corrupt, hasn't created bad memories among anyone who knows him or his
subordinates? Doesn't it seem equally strange that, having so much money
as they supposedly say, he lives in a modest home wth the roof falling
down, in the neighborhood of Lawton?"
Translated by Regina Anavy
Source: Top Official Of The Ministry Of The Interior Implicated In
Contraband Case: Crime Or Reckoning? / Juan Juan Almeida – Translating