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Families of two men executed by Fidel Castro's government suing Cuba

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  • Families of two men executed by Fidel Castro's government suing Cuba

    The families of two men executed by Fidel Castro's government will receive more than $90 million in Cuban assets held in the United States, a federal judge ruled Friday.

    Howard Anderson was arrested in April 1961 and accused by the Cuban government of smuggling guns to anti-Communist rebels a few days before the Bay of Pigs invasion by some 1,500 U.S.-backed expatriates.

    During the attack, Cuban troops shot down two B-26 bombers operated by the CIA in support of the landing at the Bay of Pigs on Cuba's southwestern coast.

    Thomas "Pete" Ray, 30, a CIA contractor, was one of four B-26 airmen killed in the attack.

    Ray, a pilot with the Alabama National Guard, was shot by Cuban troops after his plane crash landed. Anderson was executed by a firing squad in the days following the invasion.

    "I just wish this had come a month earlier," Anderson's daughter and former CNN correspondent Bonnie Anderson said.

    "We are distraught. We lost our mother one month ago. We so hoped that she would live long enough to see this final payment."

    In 1996, Congress passed a law allowing U.S. citizens to file domestic lawsuits against foreign countries in terrorism cases.

    The law was aimed at benefiting the families of four men who died that year when Cuban jets shot down planes flown by a group called Brothers to the Rescue -- activists known for flying missions to rescue Cuban refugees at sea.

    The Brothers to the Rescue families wound up collecting a total of about $97 million from dozens of frozen Cuban accounts held in U.S. banks.

    Their success prompted the families of Anderson and Ray to seek other Cuban assets, which were frozen under the Cuban embargo imposed by the Eisenhower administration in 1960.

    The Anderson and Ray cases were later joined by U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero, who issued the ruling Friday.

    "The final measure of justice comes with Fidel Castro paying for what he did," Bonnie Anderson said. "It seems a hollow victory because Mother cannot share it with us."

    Anderson's family has acknowledged that he may have carried CIA messages to anti-Castro groups in Havana, although they say he was not a paid American intelligence agent.

    At the time of his arrest, his family has said, he was in Cuba only to prevent the expropriation of his family's businesses.

    "I'm 51," Bonnie Anderson said. "My father was killed when I was 5. I have waited my lifetime to see this measure of justice."

    The Bay of Pigs invasion was an abortive attempt by Cuban exiles, backed by the CIA, to overthrow Castro, who had himself led the overthrow of dictator Fulgencio Batista two years earlier.

    Some 1,100 exiles were captured within days of the April 17 landing. Castro returned most of them to the United States several years later in exchange for $53 million in food and medicine, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

  • #2
    re: Families of two men executed by Fidel Castro's government suing Cuba

    There are some other cases pending as well. One firm in Washington DC seems active in the area.

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