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The World : Cuban Accused of Treason

June 28, 1989

A Cuban military tribunal found that one of Cuba's most highly decorated generals had betrayed his country by trafficking in drugs, ivory and diamonds, and it recommended that he be court-martialed on treason charges. The recommendations--made by the court of 45 generals and two admirals--raised the possibility that Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa Sanchez, one of only five officers ever awarded the Hero of the Republic of Cuba, might face a firing squad. In a taped broadcast on official television, Ochoa admitted his guilt and appeared to accept a possible death sentence: "One pays for treason with one's life." Until the Ochoa case, Cuba had routinely denied reports that army officers were involved in the drug trade.

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