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U.S. Judge Awards US$1 billion in Lawsuit against Cuba

Last Friday, a Miami-Dade Circuit judge awarded more than US$1 billion in damages against the Cuban government for the lawsuit filed by a Cuban-American man blaming them for the suicide of his father.

Gustavo Villoldo, 76, claimed that Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Fidel Castro and others were guilty for his father’s 1959 suicide in Cuba. Villoldo would later join the U.S. military and be involved with the CIA-led capture of revolutionary Che Guevara. Even though the damage award would be almost impossible to collect, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Peter Adrien said he wanted to send a signal to Cuba’s government.

Judge Adrien awarded almost US$1.2 billion; US$393 million for economic damages suffered by the family; US$393 million for pain and suffering; and US$393 million in punitive damages.

Villoldo’s attorney said the law firm search for global Cuban assets to fulfill the judgment. The Cuban government has not offered a defense to the lawsuit. In February 1959, Villoldo’s killed himself by overdosing on sleeping pills after being held by the government and tortured for days and threatened to be executed on supposed grounds that he was a U.S. agent.

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