Fidel Castro Smuggled Coke Into America

Former bodyguard Juan Reinaldo Sanchez pens book about old boss
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2015 2:18 PM CDT
Fidel Castro Was a Drug Smuggler
A boy dressed as a Cuban revolutionary holds an image of Fidel Castro in Regla, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015.   (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

Fidel Castro, ragtag communist revolutionary? Not according to a new book that chronicles his alleged luxurious lifestyle and drug-smuggling into the United States. A former bodyguard to Castro, Juan Reinaldo Sanchez—who fled Cuba in 2008 and has made similar allegations before—describes them fully in The Double Life of Fidel Castro: My 17 Years as Personal Bodyguard to El Lider Maximo. In a juicy New York Post excerpt, Sanchez claims that he overheard Castro meeting with a loyal general, José Abrantes, about drug trafficking: "What business!" Sanchez writes, with co-writer Axel Gylden. "Very simply, a huge drug-trafficking transaction was being carried out at the highest echelons of the state."

According to the book, Castro and Gen. Abrantes discussed smuggling cocaine into the US. Castro's reasoning: "If the Yanks were stupid enough to use drugs that came from Colombia, not only was that not his problem ... it served his revolutionary objectives in the sense that it corrupted and destabilized American society," the book reads. Sanchez also accuses Castro of covering up his involvement by engineering sham trials that led to the deaths of two devoted officers, including Abrantes; this fueled the alcoholism of brother Raul, who feared he would be next. Imprisoned in Cuba for two years before fleeing, Sanchez has already accused Castro of secretly living a luxurious life that includes an 88-foot yacht and a Caribbean getaway island, the Miami Herald reported last year. (More Cuba stories.)

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