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What’s it all about, Alfy?: Fanjul family patriarch puts his money on Castro dictatorship

If you really want to know how the vile and murderous Castro dictatorship has managed to survive for more than a half-century, you do not have look much further than Cubans themselves. It is true that the cause of freedom, the desire for liberty, the honor of our dead, and the dignity of our brothers and sisters still in chains have been the values that have kept the opposition against the Castro dictatorship both on and off the island alive and kicking for over five decades. However, there is another value that some Cubans find too  irresistible and is sadly measured by dollar signs instead of memorials for the dead.

As we reported here in 2012, Alfy Fanjul, the leader of the powerful Cuban American Fanjul family, had pretty much already decided that when it comes to Cuba, honor and dignity are not money makers. If you want to make money in Cuba, you have to deal with the island's slave masters.

Apparently, Alfy Fanul still has no problem with that. Forget about values such as honor, dignity, or reverence for the blood spilled by tens of thousands of Cubans fighting for freedom; the only value that counts for Alfy apparently has a $ in front of it.

Via the Washington Post:

Sugar tycoon Alfonso Fanjul now open to investing in Cuba under ‘right circumstances’

Alfonso Fanjul fled Cuba as a young man, leaving behind his family’s mansions and vast sugar-cane fields as they were being wrested away by the communist Castro regime.

In exile in the United States, he built an even larger sugar empire, amassing one of North America’s great fortunes and befriending members of Congress and presidents who benefited from his largesse. The sting of his family’s forced departure from Cuba led him to become one of the principal funders of the U.S. anti-Castro movement.

Now, contrary to what almost anyone could have imagined, the 76-year-old Fanjul has begun to reassess old grievances and tentatively eye Cuba as a place for him and other U.S. businessmen to expand their enterprises. Quietly, without fanfare, Fanjul has started visiting the island of his birth and having conversations with top Cuban officials.

“If there is some way the family flag could be taken back to Cuba, then I am happy to do that,” Fanjul said in a rare interview, publicly discussing his recent visits to the island for the first time.

Fanjul’s about-face is a startling development for the exile network that has held a grip on the politics of U.S.-Cuba relations for decades and has played an outsize role in presidential campaigns. His trips place him at the vanguard of a group of ultra-wealthy U.S. investors with roots on the island whose economic interests and political clout are pushing the two countries toward a thaw in their half-century standoff.

Fanjul, in the interview, said repeatedly that his primary motivation in visiting Cuba has been a desire to “reunite the Cuban family,” referring broadly to the Cuban diaspora and those who remain on the island. Business considerations could be explored only if there are political and diplomatic advances, he said.

“The [Fanjul] family was in Cuba for 150 years, and, yes, at the end of the day, I’d like to see our family back in Cuba, where we started. .?.?. But it has to be under the right circumstances,” said Fanjul, who is best known by his nickname, “Alfy.” “One day we hope that the United States and Cuba would find a way so the whole Cuban community could be able to live and work together.”

Continue reading HERE.

7 comments to What’s it all about, Alfy?: Fanjul family patriarch puts his money on Castro dictatorship

  • asombra

    Alberto, maybe you're being too harsh on Alfy Fanjul--btw, is that like Bobo Rockefeller? Anyhow, maybe this is not as vulgar and vile as it looks. Maybe it's a congenital defect--you know, like mental retardation. After all, there ARE people stupid enough to believe they can make deals with the devil and not only win but come out clean. Besides, Alfy has the Cesar Romero look down pat. I mean, even if he's really a slimeball, he looks f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s, much more suave than that nasty-faced parvenu Saladrigas. And he certainly says the right things, no? "Reunite the family" and everything. I'm sure he'd throw in "reconciliation" with a little nudge from Wenski or Ortega, or even without. Very much Vanity Fair material. Sure, he still smells rancid as hell to "those people," but you know how they are.

  • asombra

    And let's face it, there's plenty of precedent for what Alfy's doing. Many Cuban magnates, I mean oligarchs, bankrolled, I mean worked with, the Castro crowd before 1959, including the sugar baron Julio Lobo, reputedly the richest man in Cuba at the time, not to mention the Bacardí people. It's traditional, you see.

  • asombra

    So let's give Alfy the benefit of the doubt, shall we? Just because all those stupid professional diplomats, intellectuals, economists and assorted world figures like Pope John Paul II have failed to make any kind of dent on Castro, Inc. doesn't mean the fabulous Fanjul charm won't do the trick. If anyone can make the Nosferatu tribe come around, Alfy can--and I'm sure George Clooney totally agrees with me, so there.

  • Jorge Ponce

    Alfy is not in the same league as Bacardi. The first belongs to the FOC (Friend of the Castro's) family, while the second is situated with the EOC (Enemy of the Castro's) clan. I tip my hat to the Bacardi, and will continue supporting them to the end.

  • […] “If you really want to know how the vile and murderous Castro dictatorship has managed to survive for more than a half-century, you do not have look much further than Cubans themselves,” penned Alberto de la Cruz at the Babalu blog. Enough said. […]

  • Rayarena

    Cubans are monsters of ambition and greed. Time and time again, Cubans have proven that the all mighty dollar is what matters. [Gloria Estefan, anyone, Jorge Mas Santos, anyone?] The days of the opulently wealthy Cuban independence patriachs burning their vast estates, freeing their slaves and giving every single last gold coin that they had to liberate Cuba are long gone, buried and forgotten. Today's Cubans are shit.

  • asombra

    The Bacardí people were among the rich Cubans who materially supported Castro before 1959 and thus helped put him in power, regardless on their intentions. Even if they thought they were doing the right thing as opposed to protecting their interests, they were effectively useful idiots, and changing their minds after Castro went for all their goodies does not absolve them of their responsibility in Cuba's downfall.

    The Bacardí case is aggravated by the fact they were based in Oriente, the home turf of the Castro family, and given the connections and influence of Bacardí in that region, they should have known (or could easily have found out) that the Castros were anything but trigo limpio, which should have made them look much harder into Fidel's turbid and highly dubious record. Fidel was NOT the only alternative to Batista, let alone the optimal one, but he became the most fashionable, certainly the one with the best media PR. Nevertheless, being a fashion victim is hardly respectable.

    Needless to say, the only possible honorable position for Bacardí to take after the fact is to be unequivocally anti-Castro, but that's still after the fact, like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. I'm afraid the Bacardí people may have been a Cuban version of "liberals" or "progressives" for their time, like the current rich supporters of Obama, and that idea makes me angrier the more I consider it. Yes, Bacardí's current position is quite different from Alfy Fanjul's, which is obviously to their credit, but unfortunately the horse that left the barn was still lost and never recovered.