Five of the Most (In)famous U.S. Fugitives in Cuba 6

Puerto Rican terrorist Guillermo Morales remains safe in Havana

Puerto Rican terrorist Guillermo Morales remains safe in Havana

As relations with Cuba normalize, here’s a look at the most well-known fugitives in the island nation — past and present

By Tina Griego, Washington Post

Assata Shakur may be the most-high profile American fugitive living in Cuba, as well as the most controversial. Extradite her, U.S. authorities demand of Cuba. Pardon her, demand her supporters in the United States.

But what of the other 70 or so American fugitives believed to be living on the island nation? They’re not easy to track, says Teishan Latner, a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for the United States and the Cold War.  “And among those who are known, they are hard to generalize. Some are seen as criminals. Some are mentally ill. Some fled from genuine political persecution.” The lines between the groups blur.

Take, for example, the hijackers. To live in the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Latner says, was to have lived in the heyday of airline hijacking to Cuba. It was so common that one publication carried a photo of a flight attendant with the caption, “Coffee, tea or — Castro?”

Between 1968 and 1973, there were 90 attempts to reach Cuba from the United States by commercial plane or, in a few cases, private aircraft, he writes in a forthcoming article for the journal Diplomatic History. Most of the hijackers were from the United States, “making American citizens or residents the world’s most frequent hijackers.”

Latner traveled to Cuba several times to interview those wanted by U.S. authorities. The life they live depends on whether the Cuban government saw them primarily as victims of political persecution in the United States – or as common criminals.

Those viewed as criminals received a welcome party that led straight to prison and eventually into a kind of halfway house, where they could be watched while they transitioned in or out of Cuban life. For many, the reality of a communist society could not survive the idealized version.

But, Latner says, those whom Cuba welcomed as political refugees were put in apartments, given stipends and ration books and supported as they found work.

I asked Latner whom he would place on the list alongside Shakur as the most-high profile American fugitives – past and present. He said it would be hard to narrow down, but these five are among the most well-known.

Nehanda Abiodun. She’s been living in Cuba since 1990. U.S. law enforcement believes she helped Shakur, who was convicted in the killing of a New Jersey state trooper, to escape from prison in 1979. Abiodun is often called the “godmother” of Cuban hip-hop, Latner says, She became an adviser for Cuban youth who were becoming hip-hop artists. She has served as a bridge between Afro-Cuban and American hip-hop artists.

Feature Continues here:  The Top 5 US Fugitives Protected by Castro Regime




  1. There are also incidents where other fugitives from the U.S. have gone to other nations and have been even found to be residing in Spain and not Cuba and attempts have been made by the Unites States to be bring those fugitives of justice back–as for example–from Spain such as the case of Miguel Recarey, CEO of International Medical Centers who fled to Spain from Florida and after a prolonged court battle Spain to extradite Miguel Recarey Spain did not extradite Miguel Recarey to the United States, as Cuba also refused to return a fugitive claimed by the U.S.

    So, this is not a case about Cuba alone, although it is being manipulated by special interestes groups to their corner position as if it were. The story with Miguel Recarey also gets a bit more complicated, because there are those who claim Miguel Recarey business ties to Jeb Bush during business transactions dealings in Miami, Florida, and as was recently published in the media about things Jeb Bush, a 2015 potential Presidential candidate of the United States of America who would perhaps compete with Christies another Republican in a nomination bid and where Miguel Recarey would be an ítem for jeb Bush, something Jeb Bush would have to address. Is this why Governor Christie all of a sudden perhaps is also addressing “fugitives” who have fled the U.S. perhaps to set a political environment on the subject for Jeb Bush later-on if he decides to run for President where Christie more tan likely would like to aspire?

    Bottom line is Spain has also rejected claims for extradition by the United States of fugitives in Spain and the countries of Spain and Cuba get along just great. So what´s the difference with Cuba? Th radical chanters of the “trade embargo against Cuba” worshipers in Miami, Florida, who are now but a reduced percentage, when compared to the entire Cuban American population in South Florida. The answer is: No doubt!

    The diplomatic relation between the U.S. and Cuba have entered a higher level of dealing than the Street gossip in this blog. Time to move-on.

  2. Mister Garrido do you want to make shade with one of your finger….please you know the Castro’s Cuba is a perfect sanctuary for any individual who want to hurt and hate USA.
    The Spain government also for the last 53 years had given support to Castro…Why? I know and probably You know too.
    Cuba is the snakes and rats’s nest of the world. I agree with you is time to move and see the end of 53 years Castro keep the power for destruction, incarceration, prostitution, and all kind of corruption and but never move the time for the dictatorship…please Mr.Garrido

    • Bottom line is: Cuba is not the ONLY country in the world that has rejected extradition of people that the United States has requested to be extradited there are other nations who have refused the United States´request for extradition of other people living in those nations. This is a fact and that is my point. There´s no “monopoly” on the issue of extradition, in this least, on the part of Cuba, which would characterize that Cuba has monopolized the issue of extradition. Other countries around the world also do not extradite individuals. Now listen here; just because the U.S. requests such individuals for extradition doesn´t mean another nation has to comply and I simply pointed the case of Spain, but there are others, such as Brazil, Sweeden etc. Your views on and about Cuba are in conflict with the issue of extradition from a foreign country to the U.S. and it would be highly unfair to say Cuba is the only country that rejects extradition from the U.S. That is a self serving statement motivated from Cuban American radical right wing conservatism, outdated to today´s reality.

      But I´ll give you a better exampleand twists the tabels on this issue:

      I´m sure you will also remember our government in the U.S. also harbored fugitives from germany´s SS and killers of Jews, on United States soil, after second world war and not just one German SS officer or Nazi murderers, but over one thousand five hundred murderers and fugitives from Geramny´s Nazis. You cannot deny this. You will recall officers from the Hitler´s SS where part of “Operation Paperclip” which was from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program in which over 1,500 German scientists, technicians, and engineers from Nazi Germany and other foreign countries were brought to the United States for employment in the aftermath of World War II. It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), and in the context of the burgeoning Cold War. One purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific expertise and knowledge to the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, as well as inhibiting post-war Germany from redeveloping its military research capabilities.

      You will remember although the JIOA’s recruitment of German scientists began after the Allied victory in Europe on May 8, 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman did not formally order the execution of Operation Paperclip until August 1945. Truman’s order expressly excluded anyone found “to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazi militarism”. However, those restrictions would have rendered ineligible most of the leading scientists the JIOA had identified for recruitment, among them rocket scientists Wernher Von Braun, Kurt H. Debus and Arthur Rudolph, and the physician Hubertus Strughold, each earlier classified as a “menace to the security of the Allied Forces”. The Allied Forces lost thousands of lives at the hands of the Nazi enemy.

      To circumvent President Truman’s anti-Nazi order and the Allied Potsdam and Yalta agreements, the JIOA worked independently to create false employment and political biographies for the scientists. The JIOA also expunged from the public record the scientists’ Nazi Party memberships and regime affiliations. Once “bleached” of their Nazism, the scientists were granted security clearances by the U.S. government to work in the United States. Paperclip, the project’s operational name, derived from the paperclips used to attach the scientists’ new political personae to their “US Government Scientist” JIOA personnel files.

      So when you say “please Mr. Garrido”, rather tan considering your comment to be condescending toward me, I–instead–took it as the fact you lacked correct historical and correlational information. So I have kindly presented such information here for you to deny, should you choose or be able to, in black and white, because, frankly I don´t have an opinion when the facts speak loudly for themselves.

      Nuff said.


  4. Mr. Lashkoff, allow me to put your commentary into correct appropriate historical perspective.

    Before Fidel Castro even dreamed of coming to power in government in Cuba, the United Nations, 1947, passed Resolution 181 and approved the creation of Israel, the Jewish State.

    CUBA long before Fidel Castro was in power aligned itself with 13 countries which by your definition would classify a terrorist states. They were referred to as the “HALL OF SHAME COUNTRIES” which voted “NO” to the formation of the States of Israel.

    Those 13 countries that chose the Hall of Shame and voted “No” were: Afghanistan, CUBA, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Yemen. Now, for your edification Mr. Lashkoff, Ten (10) of these countries are Muslim countries; Greece has the special distinction of being the only European country to have joined the “Hall of Shame”.

    The 33 countries that cast the “Yes” vote were: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, Union of South Africa, USSR, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela. (Among other countries, the list includes the US, the three British Dominions, all the European countries except for Greece and the UK, but including all the Soviet-block countries.)

    The ten countries that abstained are: Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom, Yugoslavia.

    On November 30, 1947, the day following the vote, the Palestinian Arabs murdered six Jews in a bus making its way to Jerusalem, and proceeded to murder another Jew in the Tel-Aviv – Jaffa area. This was a prelude to a war that claimed the lives of 6,000 Jews, or 1% of the total Jewish population in 1948. This toll is the per capita equivalent of today’s Canada losing 300,000 lives, or the US losing 3,000,000. In addition, immediately after the UN vote, Arabs attacks their Jewish neighbours in a number of Arab countries, the murders in Syria’s Aleppo being the best known.

    Bruised and bleeding, Israel prevailed nonetheless.

    So CUBA long before Fidel Castro voted “NO” to the fromation of the State of Israel, together with what you consider terrorists nation states.


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