Cuban Officials Linked to Telecom Business with China ArrestedApril 19, 2017 | Print |
Rigoberto Enoa, one of the arrested officials.
By Fabian Flores (Cafe Fuerte)
HAVANA TIMES – Two senior Cuban officials linked to business with the Huawei consortium, a Chinese enclave within the state’s telecommunications monopoly on the island, were arrested in Havana on corruption charges.
Ministry of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX) sources confirmed that the director of the Huawei Sales Department in Cuba, Javier Vilariño and Rigoberto Enoa, Director of Trade Policy with Asia and Oceania of MINCEX, were arrested on charges of influence trafficking.
“Very little is known about what has happened, but I can confirm that the two were arrested recently,” said a source that asked for anonymity.
Telephones and internet
Huawei Technologies Co Ltd., with revenues exceeding US $28 billion in 2015, signed an agreement with the National Telecommunications Company of Cuba S.A. (ETECSA) on November 6, 2016, to market smartphones on the island.
At the beginning of last year it was known that an agreement with the company Huawei would allow it to mount the necessary equipment to provide broadband internet services in the municipality of Habana Vieja, pilot territory for home connections
Home internet service began to be commercialized in Cuba on a small scale with costly rates for 30 hours per month ranging from 15 to 105 CUC (1 CUC =1.15 USD). The plan announced is to expand service to 38,000 customers this year.
Under the agreement, Vilariño told the press that Huawei had been working in Cuba for more than a decade and ETECSA was negotiating with this Chinese company “on the basis of mutual protection”.
Enoa served as an economic and commercial adviser at the Cuban embassy in China and later as a high level officer at MINCEX, accompanied the minister Rodrigo Malmierca, during his visit to China in September 2014.
Considering that both the accused are civil servants, if convicted, the crime of abuse of their functions carries a punishment from seven to 15 years in prison and they could also face the confiscation of property.