The family of one of America’s top Jewish mobsters and gambling casino owners Meyer Lansky (died 1983) have demanded $70 million from Havana as result of the resumption of diplomatic relations in 2015 after 53 years.
Meyer Lansky ran his ‘mob empire’ in Cuba via several gambling casinos in Cuba from 1933 to 1958 until they’re nationalized by Fidel Castro.
The Cuban revolution confiscated the Riviera and other Mafia-owned properties after it toppled the gangster-linked regime of pro-Israel General Fulgencio Batista in 1959. Batista helped Israel to airlift 115 000 Iraqi Jews to the Zionist entity.
Compensation claims like the Holocaust claims by US citizens or businesses for properties nationalized by the Cuban revolution are among the issues under discussion. Lansky’s daughter Sandi, her son Gary Rapoport, and her brother Paul have filed a compensation claim against Cuba for the Riviera Hotel and Casino with the US Foreign Claims Settlement Commission. They claim their father’s property is worth $70 million now.
American author Michael Collin Piper (died 2015) in book Final Judgment has claimed that Lansky was involved in the assassination US president JFK.
“It was through my grandfather’s hard work that the hotel was built,” Rapoport told the UK’s Jewish Daily Mail Online on Dec. 23, 2015. “We are his natural relations. By right, it should be our property.” He said the Riviera is valued at $70 million.
The Riviera, which overlooks the Straits of Florida, was the crown jewel of Lansky’s casinos, hotels and nightclubs in Havana. When the Riviera opened in December 1957, it was the largest Mafia-owned hotel-casino outside Las Vegas. The hotel’s 440 double rooms were booked solid for the winter season of 1957-1958.
However, the narrative that the success of the Riviera was the product of Meyer Lansky’s hard work is undercut by Lansky’s own assessment of his arrangement with Batista. Lansky talked candidly about his years in Cuba with Israeli national security writers Dennis Eisenberg, Uri Dan, and Eli Landau for their admiring biography Meyer Lansky: Mogul of the Mob. Lansky lived in Israel in 1970-1971 to avoid tax evasion charges in the United States (here).
Las Vegas-based The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement’ or the Mob Museum was established by city’s Jew Mayor Oscar Goodman in honor of Jew mobsters in America.