Cuban Interior Minister
Jose Abrantes, a former Cuban Minister of the Interior who was serving a 20-year prison sentence for negligence and misuse of government funds, died Jan. 21 in a hospital in Havana after a heart attack. He was in his fifties.
He was stripped of his rank of general after his trial in August 1989. The former interior minister was jailed along with six of his aides after a drug trafficking scandal that rocked Cuba in the summer of 1989. He was convicted of abuse of authority, negligence in his duties and improper use of government funds.
Jean Mantelet, 90, a French industrialist who vowed to free women from cooking chores and built an industrial giant on a potato masher, died Jan. 19 at his home in Paris. The cause of death was not reported.
He became famous overnight in France 58 years ago when he invented a machine to help his wife mash potatoes easily. The masher was an instant hit with housewives and Mantelet went on to found Moulinex, one of the world's most successful household appliance companies, which has 12,000 employees and annual sales of $1 billion.
Writer and Walker
Alfred Wainwright, 84, whose guidebooks to the British Lake District popularized countryside trekking, died Jan. 20 in a hospital in Kedal, England. The cause of death was not reported.
He produced seven handwritten and hand-drawn guides to the lake district from 1955 to 1966. The guides, published by his local newspaper, sold more than 1 million copies, said The Times of London. After his retirement as borough treasurer of Kendal in 1967, he produced 40 other guidebooks and sketchbooks of the Lake District, the Pennine mountains and Scotland.