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Diaz-Balart to sugar baron: Hey, Alfy, try crying for democracy in Cuba instead of lost mansion


And the hits from the Cuban exile community keep coming.

Outraged by a Washington Post report about Florida Crystals' Alfonso Fanjul appearing to sidle up to Cuba's regime, Republican Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Sen. Marco Rubio are hammering away at him. Meantime, Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia has held his fire.

Alfy is the Democratic side of the sugar company's duo; with brother Pepe contributing to Republicans. So consider the criticism by the Republicans is a political two-fer:

Here's Diaz-Balart:

"I am outraged by reports that a fellow Cuban-American, who has witnessed the atrocities inflicted by the Castro regime, has apparently chosen short-term profit over standing with the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom.

“Some might be blind to the Castro regime's brutality and ruthless oppression, but Alfonso Fanjul's betrayal is compounded because he knows better. He knows very well that any investments made with the Castro regime will not help the Ladies in White, Unión Patriótica de Cuba, the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience Front, or other pro-democracy groups, but rather, will go straight to the pockets of the Cuban people’s jailers and continue to prop them up.

“Alfonso should cry less for his lost mansion, and more for the imprisoned artists and musicians, oppressed independent journalists, or for the women that are beaten every Sunday for simply wanting to celebrate mass.” 

Here's Ros-Lehtinen:

"At a time when the democracy activists on the island are facing even harsher reprisals from the brutal Cuban regime, it's pathetic that a Cuban-American tycoon feels inspired to trample on the backs of those activists in order to give the communist thugs more money with which to repress. The only little old thing that is standing in Alfy's way of realizing these sleazy business deals with the devil is US law. He doesn't talk about the arbitrary arrests of pro-freedom leaders in Cuba or the continual beatings endured by the peaceful Damas de Blanco. Oh no, for Alfy, the only hindrance to turning a profit off the suffering of the Cuban people is pesky US laws and he is working with groups to undo those laws. It is sickening to read that he brings up the separation of the Cuban family when he is doing all he can to exacerbate that problem. Shame on him. And while Alfy was massaging his future profit deals with Castro's Foreign Minister, there were over one thousand political arrests last month. A new record. What's it all about, Alfy? It's about a people who yearn for freedom and not about a tycoon lining his pockets at their expense."


“Senator Rubio was surprised and disappointed to read about Alfonso Fanjul’s new position on the Cuban trade embargo. We should not ignore the systemic violations of human rights in Cuba for the sake of opening up new business opportunities.

 “The story confirms why Senator Rubio so strongly believes we must keep the trade embargo in place.  American businesses creating joint ventures with the Castro Regime would provide further financial and material support to the Cuban dictatorship that denies basic freedoms, violates human rights, and remains engaged in hostile actions toward the United States and its allies. And it would convert these businesses into allies of the Castro regime for the sake of protecting their investments and profits. 

“Senator Rubio strongly believes prematurely lifting the trade embargo would remove any leverage the United States has to promote democracy in Cuba.”


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Tomas Bilbao

Cuban-American community or hardliners in Congress?

Ito Bendito

Hardliners in Congress, Caputo. Not the exile community. These people don't represent the general views of our community on this matter anymore and you know it.


Looks like Alfy has joined the world of the sane. Welcome! Let's hope more influential Cuban-Americans lose their fear of the radical hard-liners, who are completely out of touch with reality, and speak up for the vast majority of Cuban-Americans and Americans in general who understand that the embargo is a horrible domestic policy that has nothing to do with improving conditions in Cuba.

Ed Jenkins

Cuba has very good baseball and mojitos and pretty women and doctors and teachers and sugar cane and music.

Can't take anymore

Rep. Diaz-Blowhard and his fellow zealots have just about milked the Embargo Forever sentiment dry. They could care less about the living conditions of the people of Cuba and just want the US to invade so they can get their own plantations back. This bunch has always been ready to see a fight to the last drop of American blood to regain their power in Cuba.

Milton Sanchez-Parodi

Marc A Caputo promoting the diehards of a failed US policy towards Cuba.


Our Congress is a bunch of self-dealing sleaze-balls. One Human Family. The People of Cuba mostly need Economic Freedom, then they will have the resources to demand better self-determination. Open the Gates!


"...has apparently chosen short-term profit over standing with the Cuban people in their struggle for freedom."

It seems more likely that these politicians are looking for their own short term profit (getting re-elected) seeing as how IF the U.S. would open relations with Cuba it would not happen over night. Fanjul is an older gentleman and may never see any profits lets alone short-term profits. Loosening relations between the U.S. and Cuba would allow more Cuban people to see true freedom and that may actually help them in their struggle for freedom. In Cuban newspapers they lie constantly about the atrocities that the U.S. is committing against Cuba. Maybe if relations were open they would know actual truths vs. the lies their government tells them.

julio crews

I couldn't care less whether Alfy regains his former Cuban properties and holdings but the hardliners like Diaz Balart, Ross Lehtinen, and latecomer child Republican Marco Rubio have made the embargo a prohibition that has to stand even if for the 50 plus years that it has been in place it has only achieved misery for the Cuban people in Cuba and strengthened Castro who has always blamed the embargo and the US for the economic disaster of the Revolution. The worst enemy of the Cuban revolution would be communication with the outside world for its people. But Spain, France and every country in the world does business with Castro and gains a capitalistic hold on the island and the hardliners I cited above do and say nothing about their investmenst in Cuba./

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