That was decided by the US District Court in Colorado The Cuban government has to pay $2.595 million in the case filed years ago by the Villoldo family in which the island’s regime was found guilty in absentia of the crimes of torture and murder.
After the September 1 judgment in this case The court accepted jurisdiction over the matter This prompted Cuban Gustavo E. Villoldo, representing Gustavo Villoldo Argilagos, to file his complaint in the District Court of the Eleventh Judicial District of Miami-Dade County more than a decade ago.
According to the decision The case against the island regime was “supported by competent evidence”, so the judgment must be carried out in favor of the Villoldo for an amount of 2,595 million dollars.
This resolution could lead to similar demands in the US from exiles affected by repressive actions in Havana confirms the decision of US District Court Judge Nina Y. Wang, who earlier this year agreed to see to the enforcement of the sentence, asking brothers Alfredo and Gustavo E. Villoldo to decide what happens should be the “right course of action” given the unusual nature of the case.
“Despite this court’s extensive independent investigation, the competent authority could not be located to indicate how to proceed in this case,” Wang wrote in a March 7 order quoted by the media. Colorado Policy.
The Villoldos asked Wang to uphold an order by a Florida state judge that held the Cuban government liable under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, which allows lawsuits against countries deemed sponsors of terrorism.
In addition, the plaintiffs pointed out that The Cuban government or its agents likely have “significant assets” at financial institutions in Colorado who could be required to pay the judgment amount.
For his part, Wang agreed that he could carry out the sentence for the torture of Gustavo Villoldo and the assassination of Gustavo Villoldo Argilagos, the plaintiffs’ father, in 1959 by the Fidel Castro regime.
Attorney Charles B. Rosenberg then called She called the injunction “a significant advance in our clients’ years of efforts to hold the Cuban regime to account for its heinous acts of terrorism.”
The Villoldo brothers are 80-year-old US citizens whose family lived in Cuba in 1959. Gustavo Villoldo Argilagos had dual American and Cuban citizenship and was a successful businessman on the island.
According to documents from the trial, which took place nearly a decade ago, the Fidel Castro regime had targeted the Villoldo family because of their wealth and ties to the United States. The young Gustavo Villoldo would have been arrested and transferred to an internment and torture center There he was denied food and water, interrogated and carried out “mock executions” before finally being released.
His father, Gustavo Villoldo Argilagos, reportedly received direct threats from Ernesto Che Guevara in February 1959. The guerrilla leader threatened to kill the family if they didn’t hand over their belongings. The next morning, Villoldo Argilagos committed suicide.
From then on, Gustavo Villoldo dedicated himself to the fight against the Cuban regime in various ways: from participating as a co-pilot of a B-26 bomber during the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, to infiltrating the island several times in CIA operations, to the Persecution of Guevaras in Bolivia, 1967.
In 2011, brothers Gustavo and Alfredo Villoldo filed a lawsuit in Miami-Dade County for emotional distress, economic loss and wrongful death.
The accused, the Cuban government, did not respond and did not appear in the case. District Court Judge Beatrice Butchko sided with the brothers and reversed her sentence in 2021 and awarded accusers $2,790 million in compensation.
“This court found that the torture perpetrated by the defendants began in January 1959 with the imprisonment and physical torture of the viloldos, resulting in the suicide of Mr. Villoldo and the theft of his vast wealth by the Republic of Cuba,” Butchko said.
The judge determined that The money received “was used by Cuba to fund its efforts in support of terrorism in Latin America and around the world.”
Since then, the brothers have worked hard to enforce Butchko’s orders.
Under the law, countries are not immune from being sued for torture or extrajudicial killing in certain circumstances. Based on testimonies from academics and individuals with personal knowledge of the Ronald Reagan administration’s designation of Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism in 1982, Wang concluded that the designation was “the result” of Havana’s attacks on citizens with ties to Cuba is. with the United States States.
Wang explained further that the treatment suffered by Gustavo Villoldo amounted to torture and that Villoldo Arilagos’ suicide was an act of the government after Guevara’s death threat.
“This threat came after months of harassment of the Villoldo family and the imprisonment of Gustavo and Alfredo (including Gustavo’s torture) and was made at a time when revolutionary agents were pursuing people with ties to the United States and executing Cuban citizens and residents. ” Wang wrote.