Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Supports Death Sentence in Ochoa Case

FL1207121989 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1100 GMT 12 Jul 89

[Text] Cuban television last night broadcast on both its channels the
speech by our commander in chief at the Council of State meeting convened
to discuss Case No 1 of 1989 of the special military tribunal.  During the
meeting, the death sentence was ratified for four of those involved in the

Fidel said that this legal process was characterized by its exceptional
fairness [limpieza] and its extensive participation, information, quality,
and equality.

The president of the Cuban Council of State gave an extensive summary of
the last stage of war in Angola, which he described as the greatest
internationalist feat undertaken by Cuba.  He said that these shameful and
detestable events, which have been sanctioned, occurred precisely when this
great feat was underway.

Our commander in chief said that Ochoa [former Division General Arnold
Ochoa] could have saved himself during the first conversation he had with
Raul if he had been frank and sincere, if he had assumed his
responsibility, if he had told the truth.  Nevertheless, he added, we have
had to search, investigate, and work hard to discover all this information
without Ochoa's cooperation.

Fidel described the acts tried in case No 1--to sell out the country, put
it at risk, undermine the morale and prestige of the Revolution--as
treason.  He said that we are going to recover and strengthen the
credibility of the Revolution throughout the world, not based on the acts
of these sanctioned individuals, but despite what they have done and in the
manner in which the country has confronted what they have done.  The
rectification process will win because a better understanding will arise
and the party will have much more strength to make demands and sweep away
everything that smells rotten.

Fidel concluded by saying that on behalf of those who died fulfilling
internationalist missions, of the ideals they defended, and, of the
fatherland and they dreamed about, we are obligated to be severe.  He added
his vote to the unanimous ratification of the sentence of capital
punishment and he called for a formal vote after which he said:  The
Council of State ratifies the sentence handed down by the special military
tribunal.  He also [words indistinct].