Posted on Thursday, 03.27.14
Son of Cuban Interior Minister lives in Miami
BY JUAN O. TAMAYO
The son of Cuban Interior Minister Abelardo Colomé Ibarra, one of the
island's most powerful and feared figures, has defected and joined the
long list of relatives of top government officials now living in South
Florida, according to a Miami blog.
Josué Colomé Vázquez crossed from Mexico to Texas and arrived in Miami
one month ago, according to the list published by Cuba Al Descubierto —
Cuba Uncovered — a blog that focuses on sensitive information about the
island and its ruling class.
His Facebook page includes recent photos showing him in a bathing suit
on Miami Beach and in a gym, his new car, two pairs of fancy sneakers, a
lobster dinner and a gathering with friends at a Hooters restaurant.
Also on the list compiled by blog editor Luis Dominguez are the sons of
three senior Cuba figures — a former intelligence chief, a former top
diplomat in Washington and the godfather of virtually all of Latin
America's leftist guerrillas.
Dominguez said he has been gathering the names for months and published
them late Wednesday to highlight the case of one of his cousins, a Cuban
doctor who defected while working in Venezuela last year but has been
repeatedly denied a U.S. visa.
"Where is the justice, morality and national security when visas are
issued to members of the Castro nomenklatura (ruling class) and are
denied to Cuban doctors in other countries," he wrote in a his blog post.
His cousin was denied the U.S. visa because she could not prove she was
in Venezuela as part of an official Cuban program, Dominguez added, "an
absurd argument because it is known that there is no other way for a
Cuban doctor to go there."
Parts of Dominguez's list could not be independently confirmed. But his
previous reports, including one last week on the promotion to the rank
of brigadier general of a son-in-law of Cuban ruler Raúl Castro, have
proven to be reliable.
Dominguez said Josué Colomé Vazquez left Cuba for Cancun, Mexico,
crossed the border with Texas and flew last month to Miami to reunite
with his mother, Suri Vázquez Ruiz, a former wife of Colomé Ibarra. The
son could not be reached for comment.
Colomé Ibarra, 75, is vice president of the Council of State and as
interior minister is in charge of national security, from the
Directorate of Intelligence to the police and fire departments. A
veteran of Fidel Castro's revolution, he is nicknamed "Furry."
Another of Colomé Ibarra's former wives, Rita Torres Beltrán, lives in
Miami, according to Dominguez. She is the mother of José Raúl Colomé
Torres, who owns an upscale private restaurant in Havana named Starbien.
Also on the bloggers' list is Pablo Ernesto Remírez de Estenoz Semidey,
24, who arrived in Miami in August. His father is Fernando Remírez de
Estenoz, former deputy foreign minister and head of Cuba's diplomatic
mission in Washington from 1995 to 2001.
The father was fired in 2009, along with Foreign Minister Felipe Perez
Roque and Carlos Lage, then vice president and executive secretary of
the Council of Ministers, amid accusations by Fidel Castro that they
were too ambitious for power.
Dominguez's list also said that Alejandro Luis Barreiro Agrelo, 25, the
son of former Directorate of Intelligence chief Gen. Luis Barreiro
Carames, arrived in Miami in September of 2012. The son worked in Miami
with John Henry Cabañas, a pro-Castro businessman whose Company used to
charter flights to Cuba, the list noted.
The father was fired from the Intelligence Directorate in 1989 amid the
case against Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa, Cuba's top combat veteran, executed by
firing squad on charges of drug trafficking.
Dominguez' list also included two offspring of the late Manuel Piñeiro
Losada, known as "Redbeard" and the notorious chief of Cuba's campaign
to train and arm Latin American and Middle Eastern guerrillas in the 60s
Manuel Kahlil Piñeiro Burdsall, 56, now lives in the United States,
according to the list. And Camila Piñeiro Harnecker, 34, is a Cuban
economist who has participated in several public conferences in the
United States and is married to a U.S. citizen.
Division Gen. Guillermo Rodríguez del Pozo, a top-ranking veteran of
Castro's guerrillas, has two grandchildren in the United States: Juan
Carlos Sarol Rodríguez and Ana Cristina Sarol Rodríguez. Their uncle is
Brig. Gen. Luis Alberto Rodríguez López-Calleja, married to Raúl
Castro's eldest daughter and head of military enterprises.
Also living in Miami, according to the list, is Ramón Castro Rodríguez,
son of Ramon Castro Ruz, the oldest brother of Fidel and Raúl Castro.
South Florida has been rife with reports of relatives of senior Cuban
government officials, especially the young, moving to South Florida to
escape the stagnant economy, the communist system or other issues. Most
try to keep a low profile once they arrive.
Pedro Alvarez, former head of Alimport, the government agency that
imports more than $1.5 billion worth of food products each year, turned
up in Tampa in late 2011, shortly after Cuban authorities began
investigating him on suspicion of corruption.
Glenda Murillo Díaz, daughter of Marino Murillo, vice president of the
Council of Ministers and enforcer of the economic reforms pushed by Raúl
Castro, defected in August 2012 and also settled in Tampa with her husband.
Under migration reforms adopted by Havana early last year, Cubans can
now obtain U.S. residence after spending one year and one day in the
United States, then return to the island to retain their residency there
— and from then on travel back and forth at will.
Dominguez said he's not done uncovering the relatives of powerful Cuban
government figures who are living in South Florida.
"The list is already long," he said, "and there's many more to come."
Source: Son of Cuban Interior Minister lives in Miami - Cuba -