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Last Updated: Friday, 28 April 2006, 22:46 GMT 23:46 UK
Cuba sacks top government member
By Stephen Gibbs
BBC News, Havana

Juan Carlos Robinson
Robinson, 49, had been a party member since 1982
A once high-flying official has been sacked from the Cuban government, accused of arrogance, dishonesty and the abuse of power.

Juan Carlos Robinson was one of 24 members of the Politburo of the country's ruling Communist Party.

His dismissal coincides with a structural re-organisation of the party, including the revival of an organisation from the Soviet era.

The Cuban government says the changes are designed to confront corruption.

A brisk note from Cuba's Politburo announced the end of Juan Carlos Robinson's career.

It added that an investigation was going on as to the legal consequences of his behaviour.

The charges laid against him, while short on detail, are severe.

He is accused of abuse of power, arrogance and dishonesty - all characteristics, the announcement declares, which are incompatible with the expected conduct of a communist.


Mr Robinson is a former party chief in Cuba's eastern province of Santiago.

As a member of the Politburo, he was close to the country's inner circle of power.

...a lamentable and unusual case of the inability of a political cadre to overcome his errors
Granma, Communist Party newspaper

His dismissal serves as a reminder to all senior Cuban officials of how dramatically their power can be stripped.

It comes as the Cuban government says increased vigilance against corruption is required as this country emerges from what was labelled its "special period" - more than 15 years of serious economic hardship following the demise of its former benefactor, the Soviet Union.

As part of that campaign, a political organisation from the Soviet era is being revived.

The Secretariat, which was disbanded in 1991, is being charged with ensuring that the party line is followed throughout the country, and indiscipline is stamped out.

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