By Marc Frank and Nelson Acosta
HAVANA (Reuters) – Ricardo Alarcon, one of the vital highly effective males in Cuba below former President Fidel Castro and a key participant in relations with the US, died in Havana on Saturday night, his household mentioned.
The previous diplomat was one of many architects of the primary migratory dialogue between Washington and Havana in 1978, the yr during which negotiations additionally started with a bunch of representatives of the Cuban neighborhood in the US.
Alarcon performed a key function in negotiating an immigration settlement with the US that put an finish to an enormous exodus of Cubans by sea in 1994. He was additionally central in arranging the return of younger castaway Elian Gonzalez from relations in Miami to his father in Cuba in 2000.
The cigar-puffing and rum-sipping Alarcon, invariably clad in a white guayabera, at one level grew to become the third strongest man within the nation’s Communist Social gathering elite after Fidel and Raul Castro.
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He was international minister between 1992 and 1993 after which served as president of the Nationwide Meeting for 20 years till he was faraway from the submit and the ruling political management.
No motive was given for Alarcon’s fall from grace, nonetheless his closest assist, Miguel Alvarez, had been arrested the earlier yr for being a U.S. spy and it’s customary process in such instances to contemplate all contacts compromised.
Alarcon remained a loyal member of the Revolution regardless of his political downfall.
“To Ricardo Alarcon de Quesada, the Grasp of the diplomats of our era, we are going to at all times have deep respect, admiration and infinite affection,” Deputy Overseas Minister Josefina Videl, Cuba’s lead negotiator with the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama, tweeted on Sunday.
Alarcon was born on Might 21, 1937. From a really younger age he participated within the July 26 Motion, the revolutionary group that overthrew U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.
Alarcon then served as a frontrunner of the College Pupil Federation and later the Union of Younger Communists, the youth arm of the ruling Communist Social gathering.
Throughout his years as head of Parliament, Alarcon performed an essential function within the island’s marketing campaign for the discharge of 5 Cuban intelligence brokers who had been sentenced to lengthy jail phrases in the US for espionage.
(Reporting by Marc Frank; extra reporting by Nelson Acosta; Modifying by Andrew Heavens)
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