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The Origins of the Cuban-American Mafia in Miami

Miami, Florida, is considered in political circles around the world as the home of the worst of the Cuban community in North America. As a safe haven for some of the most dangerous terrorists in the country and the world, in that country’s plight, they have established many garrison headquarters that control illicit businesses related to arms, drugs and human trafficking.

But it has not always been this way. The story was told by Mario Puzo in his books and films about the violent methods used by the first Italian mafia groups of immigrants, who changed their ways to adapt to the American Way of Life. This even reached the level of the high politics of the United States, and can be compared with the history of the Cuban mafia of South Florida.

In 1959, hundreds of corrupt politicians and servants of the defeated Batista tyranny began to arrive in Miami with bags stuffed with dollars stolen from Cuba’s public treasury. There were hundreds of torturers and murderers among them. They were organized and re-organized by the CIA and other agencies of the United States government to be used in military and terrorist acts against the Cuban revolution and other misdeeds of the extreme right-US in the world.

These fearsome “refugees” were the germ of what came to be the powerful Cuban-American mafia in Miami when they joined other elements of the subsequent Cuban emigration.

Meanwhile, the American extreme right, using its intelligence and subversion organizations, organized various terrorist groups of Cubans. They were recruited from among the emigres and on the island. Their goal was subverting order in Cuba and creating the conditions for military invasion and re-occupation of the island.

After the roaring failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion in the Bay of Pigs, the American extreme right intensified hundreds of other terrorist projects that also went down to defeat.

They then opted for a tactical change that gradually turned the cleverly-made Cuban terrorists into politicians who controlled US foreign policy toward Cuba for almost half a century and through the administration of twelve different US presidents.

The process of legitimizing the representatives of Cuban-American mafia in the political establishment of the United States was fast and effective. They learned the game of politicking, opportunism, and fraud. Soon they had several members of congress, senior executive officials and ambassadors, as well as a number of members of the judicial power in Florida. They incorporated to this learning their methods acquired during the bloody dictatorship of Batista in Cuba.

Some of these groups have been imposing since 1959 methods of depression comparable to those of the Chicago gangsters in the 30s or 40s of last century to manipulate the population of Cuban immigrants in the United States.

The Cuban-American mafia of South Florida has carried out numerous terrorist acts. They have participated in political crimes funded by the extreme right US policy as much in Cuba as ub the United States as well as in other countries in Latin America and Europe.

They have been involved in electoral tricks and political scandals involving Latin American countries, and in the United States as well. They know the protagonists of Watergate and the electoral fraud in Florida that presided over George W. Bush in 2000. It is known that they were involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

It was not that they were politicians and officials of Cuban origin, but not only that. They were “Cuban-Americans” clearly aligned with the extreme right of the country, recently unmarked from the ranks of known terrorist elements with links to Miami.

There have been attempts to get Cuban-Americans to lead Latinos in the political establishment, but the interests and ambitions of both groups have been incompatible.

Cuban-American politicians, with honorable exceptions, are a more homogenous and manageable group than other Latino immigrants because, as a rule, they respond uniformly to the interests of those who promote them, because they are something like laboratory politicians, cloned and breastfed by the conservative forces to which their promotions owe.

However, at present, we must take into account that three-quarters of the Cubans who emigrated to the United States. After 1980, they did so for economic reasons. Because of this, they are carriers of many of the ethical, moral and patriotic values of the revolution. Sooner or later they will end up imposing coexistence with Havana, making the business of the counterrevolution, with which the Cuban-American mafia made its fortune, obsolete.

A CubaNews translation by Walter Lippmann.

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Manuel E. Yepe is a lawyer, economist and journalist. He is a professor at the Higher Institute of International Relations in Havana.

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