Monday, August 14, 2006

Cuba Before The Revolution

For about 20 years, from 1939 until the revolution in January 1959, Cuba was run by gangsters. Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano and Santos Trafficante, Jr. owned the Havana casinos and Fulgencio Batista or whomever was president got his cut. Havana was the location of the notorious Havana Conference -- one of the most important meetings in the history of organized crime in the U.S. The list of attendees reads like a "Who's Who" of the syndicate at the time -- all the original leaders of New York's five families and their closest associates were there -- Bumpy Johnson was there too. Cuba is the link between the Kennedy assassination and the mob. The syndicate, represented at the time by Trafficante, was furious that Kennedy failed to support the Bay of Pigs invasion with the Air Force and the Marines (among other things) even though the latter were stationed offshore and ready to land at a moment's notice. Jose Aleman (Cuban exile and F.B.I. stool pigeon), in his testimony before the U.S. Senate, said that Trafficante told him that Kennedy was going to get hit.

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