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Posted May 30, 2009 by publisher in Cuban Americans

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A Miami judge has awarded more than $1 billion in damages to a Cuban-American who was involved in the 1967 capture and killing of revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Peter Adrien said Friday he was sending a signal to the Cuban government. Such a large award may be impossible to collect but attorneys involved in the case insist they’ll try.

The award came in a lawsuit filed by Gustavo Villoldo, who blamed Guevara, Fidel Castro and others for his father’s 1959 suicide in Cuba. The family fled to the U.S.

The 76-year-old Villoldo later took part in the CIA’s Bay of Pigs invasion and was involved in catching Guevara in Bolivia.

Cuba’s current government refused to respond to the lawsuit and offered no defense.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on May 30, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    The original title of this AP story is “Miami judge awards $1B in lawsuit against Cuba” but I wanted to rewrite the title and put the Judge’s name and the claimant’s name so this article will forever show up in search engines whenever they or anyone else searches for their name.

    I don’t know the merits of the case but in my opinion they should both be ashamed of themselves for this abuse of the US court system.

    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on May 30, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Here’s more on Villoldo from Reuters:

    Villoldo is a former CIA operative who participated in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and later helped hunt down Guevara in the jungles of Bolivia. The bearded revolutionary was captured and killed by CIA-backed Bolivian soldiers in October 1967.

    Villoldo has said he personally supervised the burial of Guevara’s body and cut off a lock of Guevara’s hair, which he kept for decades. The hair and related items were sold at auction for US$119,500 in October 2007.


    So, Villoldo made money off his father’s death and Che Guevara’s death?

    Cuba consulting services

  3. Follow up post #3 added on May 30, 2009 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    I see your point but I feel that the court case was not about Villoldo’s involvement with the death of Guevara but the whole issue around his father prosecution and death. BTW the judge was not Cuban American.

  4. Follow up post #4 added on June 01, 2009 by grant with 48 total posts

    So anyone questioned by the police can kill themselves and their children get a billion dollars?Nothing like the lottery.

  5. Follow up post #5 added on June 01, 2009 by Ian

    Peter Adrien is obviously doing this as a publicity stunt to gain favor within the dwindling conservative Cuban community that still wants to punish the Castro leadership for redistributing property after the revolution. 

    This is counter-productive to what most of the Cuban expat community, as well as the rest of the world, is working toward: peaceful relations with Cuba.

    Regarding institutional persecution done by a government on its own people, the courts would be doing a service to work on the injustices done within our own borders.

  6. Follow up post #6 added on June 02, 2009 by paul

    Redistributing stolen property gotcha.

  7. Follow up post #7 added on June 02, 2009 by Ian

    paul, looking at the history of post-colonial Cuba, and especially at the history of US-Cuban relations, you might want to take a deeper look at who “stole” the property to begin with. 

    After the revolution, wealth was redistributed to the workers, who had previously been dominated by a system that was not democratic, but that kept the elite in control and prevented the working poor from having a chance at equality.  The goal of the revolution was equality.  In my opinion, there are problems inherent with dictatorships, yet before I visited Cuba I had never before seen a country that displayed such racial equality and sincere cohesiveness of community. 

    It truly is amazing.

  8. Follow up post #8 added on June 02, 2009 by paul

    thanks for paraphrasing http://www.granma.cu

  9. Follow up post #9 added on June 02, 2009 by Ian

    paul, I’m not sure what you are referring to.  I don’t generally read that paper because I prefer more objective sources of information, but after scouring today’s issue, to give you the benefit of the doubt, I couldn’t find anything remotely similar to what I wrote in my previous post.

    My post was based on years of objective research using multiple sources and perspectives during pursuit of my international affairs degree, as well as on first-hand experiences in the streets of Cuba.  Could you please be more specific?  It feels like your tone might be a bit McCarthy-ish in its vague anti-Cuba sentiment.  I would love to read anything intelligent you might have to offer to this discussion.

  10. Follow up post #10 added on June 02, 2009 by paul

    Not going to “debate” when both of our minds are made up.

  11. Follow up post #11 added on June 03, 2009 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    “I had never before seen a country that displayed such racial equality and sincere cohesiveness of community.”

    You definitely should travel a little bit more.

  12. Follow up post #12 added on June 03, 2009 by Ian

    I love traveling, Yeyo.  Can you please recommend some places that have accomplished an equivocal sense of racial equality and that display a sincere cohesiveness of community?  I’m particularly interested in countries that have a history of colonization.  I look forward to your sincere and well-informed response.

  13. Follow up post #13 added on June 03, 2009 by paul

    This guy is the standard issue baiter. Polite coating with a predetermined agenda/stance. He’ll refute this and give another coated reply.

    Good luck Yeyo.

  14. Follow up post #14 added on June 04, 2009 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Check Canada

    While I recognize that the revolutionary government did few steps to try to resolve the racial differences and problems in Cuba as part of their populist message, they were far from solving the deep racial discrimination.

    There is no racial equality in Cuba, period.

  15. Follow up post #15 added on June 04, 2009 by Ian

    Have you been Cuba?  I’m just wondering how much of this anti-Cuba sentiment is fact-based, or based on personal observation in Cuba, or based on anything non-McCarthyist.  I really am open to any intelligent posts.

  16. Follow up post #16 added on June 04, 2009 by paul

    LOL “McCarthyist”, that already says plenty about your so called objective perspective mate.

  17. Follow up post #17 added on June 04, 2009 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    What do you call intelligent post? By any chance anything that agree with your brainwashed posts? The mere inference of openness to so-called “intelligent posts” implies that the rest of us, mortals’ comments are simply not at your “scientific level”.

    I’m not just been there; I was born and raised there, so guess: do I know what I’m talking about or not?

    When you say that there are no racial conflicts in Cuba, only that clearly tells me that you need to spend more time there to understand the Cuban society.
    For starters, there are lots of racial divisions; higher positions at all levels of the society are occupied by whites.
    There are disproportionally many times more whites in University than blacks or mixed. Therefore that redounds on disproportionally more white professionals, doctors, lawyers, executives, etc.
    There are disproportionally more blacks in meager jobs as construction, agriculture, cleaning etc.
    There is such a tremendous use of racial profiling by the police and security forces that even black policemen uses racial profiling towards the black population. Therefore the black jail population is disproportionally higher than the white.
    Those are not anti-Cuba sentiments as you call it, those are PRO-Cuba sentiments, I’m Cuban and I am very proud of that.

  18. Follow up post #18 added on June 04, 2009 by Ian

    Yeyo, I would say that you do have a solid foundation, having spent most of your life in Cuba.  Just because I have a different opinion or different observations than yours doesn’t mean that I am “brainwashed.”  I do appreciate the detail of your post, and the fact that you are sharing something more than one-liners with no depth.  The contributions you can make to this discussion are quite valuable.  But attacking my character, rather than addressing the issue does nothing for one’s argument.

    That being said, nor do blanket-statements.  I did not say that there are “no racial conflicts in Cuba;” I said that I have never been to a place in which there was such a high degree of racial equality and sincere cohesiveness of community.  Just because I have something nice to say about Cuba doesn’t make me a bad person.  Just because I have an opinion doesn’t mean that I’m not open-minded.

    The socioeconomic issues you bring up do exist in Cuba, as they appear to exist worldwide.  However, I was impressed by the fact that these issues were not any where near as predominant as they are in other places I have seen, particularly in the region.  As I stated in my prior post, I don’t think that dictatorships work.  Yet, the result of this dictatorship was that racism was made illegal and was severely punished.  While there is no way that I could possibly see all of Cuba for all of time, what I did see regarding how people related to each other impressed me. 

    P.S.  I have only spent limited time in Canada, and while I am sure that black people must surely live there, I didn’t see any, so I’ll have to take your word on that one.

  19. Follow up post #19 added on June 04, 2009 by paul

    Where is Cuba’s Obama? getting some social welfare instead of a high position in Cuban society.

    For such a high degree of so called racial equality, most of the Nomenklatura is of Spanish descent. Little to no black people in positions of power.

    There is inequality in the United States, but minorities of all types are in high positions of authority in the government. Not even in progressive Europe, do most of the countries have minorities in positions of power. Considering the centuries that most European countries raped the third world, and the amount of immigrants from those respective countries, nearly all European countries lack minorities in government.

    With all the blabla about equality in Cuba, you would expect more mulattos and black people in government. Instead, there is equality in poverty.

    ps- I LOVE one liners.

  20. Follow up post #20 added on June 05, 2009 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    Hi Ian, got your point and apologize for the misunderstanding.
    I would like to ad that the racial conflicts in Cuba are very deeply rooted and sometimes difficult to see. Cubans have learned well with so many years of dictatorship to think one think and say another, they learned to lie when somebody ask them about their opinion or their feelings.
    It is very common to find white families that are proud to be racists and openly talk about not liking the blacks or not liking that a son or a daughter do not become friend or engage with a black person.
    Also it is very common for high positioned government officials to openly push the anti-racism government policy but in private they are openly racist and make jokes about the black people.

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