The communist Castro dictatorship tortured Gustavo Villoldo Argilagos and forced him to commit suicide. Decades later, his sons, Alfredo and Gustavo Villoldo, are finally receiving some justice.
Cuba must pay Cuban American brothers $2.6 billion for torture, federal judge says
A Colorado federal judge ruled that Cuba must pay $2.59 billion in damages to the children of Gustavo Villoldo Argilagos, a prominent businessman with dual Cuban and American citizenship whose sons said was harassed and forced to commit suicide by Fidel Castro’s close ally Ernesto “Che” Guevara in 1959.
The default judgment granted by District Judge Nina Wang was a legal victory for brothers Alfredo and Gustavo Villoldo, who had spent several years trying to collect on an original $2.79 billion judgment against the Cuban government issued by a state court in Florida in 2011. The new ruling, signed on Sept. 1, would allow the brothers to collect on the state court judgment in Colorado, where they say Cuba has assets.
Cuba did not defend itself in court. The Cuban embassy in Washington did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
In March, Judge Wang had sided with the Villoldo brothers and agreed Cuba was liable for the death of Villoldo Argilagos and the torture of his son Gustavo, but was not convinced about the torture allegations against his brother Alfredo. She raised other legal questions she asked them to address in a new filing.
Because Cuba has not paid, the brothers, now in their eighties, have sought to collect the money by going after assets supposedly owned by the Cuban government in the United States. Still, several attempts in different states have failed.
Gustavo Villoldo, who lives in Miami, said he could not comment on the ruling because the litigation is ongoing.
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