In the sequel to the film The Godfather, Michael Corleone travels to Cuba during the pre-Castro, pre-Cuban embargo days to finalize some “business” deals with Hyman Roth(stein). “All reports were enthusiastically optimistic,” Doug Casey writes, “but he begged off after witnessing a street fight in which one of Castro’s rebels didn’t hesitate to sacrifice himself to take out a couple of soldiers. Michael concluded that if Castro’s people were that motivated, they were certainly more than just opportunistic bandits.”
The following puts this scene in Godfather II in historical perspective:
“In December 1958, an important Mafia summit was held by Hyman Roth and Michael Corleone, aimed to divide Cuba’s tourism industry among various criminal organizations, particularly the Corleone family and the Jewish Mafia.
“After suffering a crucial defeat at Santa Clara, Fulgencio Batista abdicated on January 1, 1959, and many gangsters and other American citizens fled Cuba’s capital Havana. Castro’s forces occupied Havana and other important cities the next day. Havana’s hotels and casinos were nationalized in the months that followed.”
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