February 1, 2023

Ricardo Alarcon, Diplomat and Castro Confidant, Dies at 84

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Ricardo Alarcón, once Cuba’s leading diplomat, was the third most powerful communist after Cuba. Fidel Castro And His brother Raul, And his country’s most prominent negotiator with the United States, died in Havana on Saturday. He was 84 years old.

His death was announced by the Cuban Foreign Ministry. No reason given.

From 1966 to 1978, and again from 1990 to 1991, Mr. Alcan was Cuba’s representative to the United Nations. He served for a term as Vice President of the General Assembly and for two months as President of the Security Council.

He became Foreign Minister in 1992 and chaired the Cuban National Assembly from 1993 to 2013, a legislature that generally pursued President Castro’s agenda.

Fluent in English and known for his white gayabera shirts and kohiba cigars, Mr. Alcor became a well-known figure in the negotiations. Uncontrollable exit In 1994, when the Clinton administration agreed to issue 20,000 visas annually to Cuban immigrants, thousands of Cuban refugees arrived in Florida.

In 2000, he was instrumental in engineering the return of the young castway. Elaine Gonzalez From relatives in Miami to his father in Cuba after seven months of fierce legal battle. The boy, who was about 5 years old at the time, got off a truck tire near Fort Lauderdale, his mother and a dozen other Cuban fugitives after drowning in a failed Florida Strait. Ran away

Mr Alarcón’s role in the González case, and his success in winning his release almost a decade later Five Cuban spies Accused of infiltrating anti-Castro refugee factions in Florida, it was a prelude to the final normalization of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba.

Despite his success as a negotiator, Mr. Al-Arkan was aggressive in defending his country’s ideology and condemning the United States.

The Americans said in early 1959 that Mr. Castro had the support of the majority of the people. Guardian In 2006. “They had to weaken this support by refusing money and exports to face hunger and unemployment and mass suffering which will make people so disgusted that they want change.”

“For me,” he added, “the starting point is to recognize that democracy must begin with the definition of Pericles – that society is for the benefit of the majority – and should not be imposed from outside.”

In an email, William M. Leo Grand, a professor of government at American University in Washington, described Mr. Alcan as an “invincible supporter and protector of the revolution,” who, in his dealings with the United States, never wavered. Of course, a more normal relationship would benefit both countries – and it was possible.

But Theodore Hankin, a professor of sociology at New York City University’s Barch College, added by e-mail that Mr Alcorn was “very comfortable in a system where people have no right to demand that their unelected Leaders should be held accountable. For them. “

Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada was born on May 21, 1937 in Havana to a family called the Upper Middle Class.

He entered the University of Havana in 1954 and, as the leader of the Students Federation and the Union of Young Communists, organized the support of civilian students for the revolution as a citizen, while the Castro brothers and Che Guevara fought a guerrilla war against the Americans. ۔ Supported dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Mr. Alcan holds a doctorate in philosophy and humanities, and at the age of 25, was named director of the American division of the Cuban Foreign Ministry. Four years later, he was appointed ambassador to the United Nations, where he also served as chairman of the committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

He was. Also a member Member of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party until 2013. His close associate was arrested a year ago and charged with espionage, and allegedly fell out of favor because he was known to be loyal to Fidel Castro, rather than to Raul Castro. , Who took power in 2008.

He was married to Margarita Pereira Maza, who died in 2008. Information on survivors was not immediately available.

One of Mr. Elarken’s students, Deputy Foreign Minister Josefina Vadal, wrote on Twitter: “For Master Ricardo Alarcon de Quisada of our generation of diplomats, we will always have deep respect, admiration and unconditional love.”

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