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What I'm saying is that we have now what we have always needed: real partnership with a government. English, this meeting of mobsters in Havana is actually predicated on a real event, right? That incident took place at the Hotel Nacional in Havana in It was a gathering of the brain trust of the mob in the United States at that time, all of them to meet in Havana to discuss the exploitation of Cuba, establishing Cuba as a kind of criminal base, which had been the dream of the American mob going all the way back to the s.
DAVIES: Now, this plan to in effect sort of adopt Cuba as a safe haven for mob activities, you know, took many, many years to get going, but a critical moment was in , when Batista was in effect running Cuba at the time, and he brought Meyer Lansky back, and it's interesting that they quickly formed this close partnership, and the hotel and casino and nightclub scene in Havana flourished, and the mob began making a fortune. Tell us just a little bit about the financial relationships that made this possible.
To what extent was the mob really running Cuba, and to what extent was the government of Cuba helping to finance the mob's operations? It was a development institution controlled by the government that financed the building of bridges and highways and everything else on the island.
These were banks that were controlled by the mob in Cuba so that this tourism boom that was also part of this development of the criminal empire was all financed by mob money. So you would have the overflow of money from the casinos, which was phenomenal, that would flow into the nightclubs and also flow into the financial institutions like banks and development agencies so that the very development of the country was being financed by the mob, by the criminal activity, and this was really kind of unprecedented.
And they a flood of tourists, mostly from North America and from Europe, who came to Havana, seeing it as one of the great entertainment scenes throughout history in a way because it really was a confluence of a kind of entertainment and a sort of slightly dangerous feel to it, particularly as the revolution began to unfold, and we can certainly talk a bit about that.
And so really what you had is this great entertainment era of dance and music and gambling and sex. DAVIES: One of the slogans that Vegas uses today is what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and we live in an era where there's so much - you know, where sex and all kinds of hedonism is so much more a part of the culture than it was in the s. Did airlines and travel agents and others talk about Havana as a place you could really go and just let it all out?
I mean, they really - see, this is part of what led to the revolution. There became this relationship between the criminal elements who were promoting Havana for their own reasons and large American corporations like Pan Am and the Hilton hotel chain, who were promoting Havana for their reasons, and so you started to see an intersection between the legitimate American corporate business entities and also the underworld entities, and so Havana was heavily promoted.
You know, Havana had sort of existed in the consciousness of Americans for quite some time, probably beginning in the s through the music and through Hollywood movies, and it had been promoted as kind of an exotic tourist destination that was, you know, just 90 miles off the coast of the state of Florida, and it's just there was so much money around that the nightclubs were able to hire these huge orchestras, and they probably wouldn't have been able to if it had not been for the money that was generated by the casinos.
And so you had orchestras like Perez Prado, who began the mambo craze, and all of this was really quite an extraordinary period in time for those who passed through it. DAVIES: You know, sex and the sale of sex is always part of an escapist tourism scene, and there's a memorable scene in "The Godfather II" where the gang goes to a really, well, exotic sex club and sees a guy with a really exotic sex act.
How kinky was the scene in Havana back then? ENGLISH: Well, that scene in "The Godfather," where they go to the theater, that is based on an actual theater, the Shanghai Theater, which was located in Havana's Chinatown, and it was an old Chinese theater that had been converted into a kind of live sex emporium that was pretty kinky, I think about as kinky as you can get, although it also had a theatrical nature to it.
You know, this just wasn't a strip club. It was a club where you would go where they would actually do kind of comical skits often, little theater pieces that were bawdy and usually ended with outright nudity if not actual live sex acts being performed on the stage. I mean, a lot of the tourists who passed through Havana in the s wanted to go to the Shanghai because it was notorious at the time. There was a performer there who went by the name of Superman, who was famous for his - the size of his appendage, and that's also portrayed in the movie "The Godfather II.
And so stemming from that, you just had a lot of sex going on in Havana, ranging from just kind of tourists on the loose in an exotic foreign land, sexual tourism, but you also had prostitution, and you had sex performances. Along with the Shanghai Theater, they had private shows.
You could go to a home in a kind of nice, discrete neighborhood in the city, and there in that home would be a kind of sex parlor, which you could view and perhaps even take part in. And so it was kind of a multi-leveled sexual marketplace that contributed to what was viewed as the allure of this whole entertainment era.
Sinatra, I mean, he was known for having friends in the mob. John F. Kennedy made it down there. Tell us about some of the, you know, better-known excursions by American celebrities to Havana. ENGLISH: Right, well that was also part of what would become the reputation of Havana in the '50s, was that it became this scene that drew a lot of celebrities there, and so you got celebrities like Marlon Brando, who came to Havana in the s.
He was drawn by the music and the women. Brando was a conga player, a bongo player, percussionist, amateur percussionist, and was down there to buy a drum, a conga drum, and also to take part in the music and the dancing. Errol Flynn, the actor Errol Flynn was quite prominent there in the s.
Of course, Hemingway had been coming to Cuba since the s and actually lived there in the s, and so he was kind of a local mascot during this period of the s. The casinos often hired celebrities. The Capri Hotel hired the actor George Raft, who was kind of near the end of his career by that time, but he was famous for portraying mobsters and gangsters throughout the '20s, '30s and '40s in many, many movies, and they hired him as kind of meeter and greeter at the casino at the Capri.
He became another kind of mascot of the era. Yeah, that was a big part of it, the draw of the celebrities, partly the underworld allure, the connections to gangsters. That was certainly the case with Sinatra, who had many mobster friends. And keep in mind, gambling was legal in Havana, and so you could go to the casinos and hang out with known mobsters, and since you were outside the United States, it really wasn't going to cause you any problems with the law.
He's written a book about mobsters in Cuba in the s. It's called "Havana Nocturne. While the mob is having its fun in Havana and making a fortune, and tourists are streaming in, and this hedonistic nightclub culture flourishes, a guerrilla movement grows in the eastern part of the island, led by Fidel Castro, the son of a landlord, who was a student and intellectual, and we don't really have time, I guess, to describe how the revolution develops.
You describe it - really one big improvisation, a whole series of disasters that befall it, but eventually it takes hold and begins to get more support and become a real threatening force in the late '50s. To what extent did the mob scene and the nightclub and casino scene in Havana fuel the revolution? To what extent was resentment at that form of American exploitation, if we want to call it that, a driving force for the revolution? ENGLISH: Yes, I think - to me this is the most important point of the book because here are these events, this exploitation of Havana, and the revolution sort of - they were unfolding at the same time.
So of course they had to have had some sort of relationship, and I think what it was is the exploitation of Havana, the plundering of Havana economically and turning it into a kind of a bordello, was a symbol to the revolution of the capitalist exploitation that was taking place through the Batista regime. Castro and the revolution saw the mob and the capitalists who are operating in Havana kind of as all one entity, and so what was taking place in Havana really became a symbolic motivation for the revolution, a driving motivation for the revolution in a way.
DAVIES: Yeah, and as you said earlier, the fact that the rebels were making some progress, and there were acts of sabotage, made the Havana scene all seem that much more dangerous. This, of course, comes to a climax on New Year's Eve , December 31, , and it was known that the rebels had made progress and were getting closer to Havana. Did the fact that there was some sense that - and Batista was seen as perhaps being increasingly isolated and on his last legs - did any of that prevent the nightclubs from holding big New Year's Eve celebrations?
Did they have any sense of how close the revolution was to taking over? See, the revolution was unfolding on the island mostly outside of Havana, and Havana was kind of this little dream world where all this kind of money was flowing, and people were dancing and drinking and fornicating into the tropical night, and so they didn't really pay much attention to what was happening around the rest of the island.
And since Batista controlled the media on the island, there was propaganda that led people to believe that Batista had things under control and everything was okay. There were intimations of it because, like you say, there was occasional acts of sabotage, bombs that would go off in the city of Havana. Even in the Tropicana nightclub a bomb was set off, but this only added to the excitement, in a way.
And so you kind of have a frenzy, a peaking as the revolution. As rumor of the revolution grows and grows, the excitement of the nightlife scene in Havana at the time only became more heated and exciting. DAVIES: So New Year's Eve, people are partying the night away, and then somewhere in the middle of the night Batista quietly resigns and leaves the island with zillions of dollars, and what's fascinating is you describe how Meyer Lansky, I mean the American mobster who is in many respects the architect of all of this, learns of the events.
Tell us about what he heard and what he did. I had a number of good sources on this, but the best source, I dedicated the book to a man by the name of Armando Jaime Casielles, who was Lansky's driver and bodyguard and valet during the last two years of this period, ''58 on in to '59, and he had become quite close to Lansky and was with Lansky that night, and Lansky, he caught wind of it. The revolution, at that time, was coming very close to Cuba. They were in the city of Las Villas ph.
Che Guevara led a column of soldiers that had taken the city of Villas. So everyone knew that the revolution was approaching, and Lansky actually got word that the city of Las Villas had fell and that Batista had fled the country.
Batista had loaded up a lot of cash and, without telling the mobsters or anyone else, he got on an airplane and left the country right after midnight on January 1st, And so Lansky is given this information discretely, before anyone else really knows it, when he's at this restaurant, and he immediately kicks into action. And his first concern, of course, and it makes perfect sense, is get the money, get the money. He tells Armando Jaime Casielles we've got to make the rounds to all the casinos.
We've got to make sure the counting rooms are secure, that the money is secure. You know, the island is going to fall. It could get violent. It could get heated, and we have to protect our assets. So there was a frenzied night and into the early morning of Lansky and his driver-bodyguard driving around to the different casino hotels and trying to make sure that the cash was secured so that if they needed to get it off the island, they would at least have it all gathered and ready to go.
DAVIES: Now, Lansky gets word before the populous does, but as he's proceeding through, trying to secure these enormous amounts of cash that the casinos have generated, word begins to leak out of Batista's departure.
How do the citizens of Havana react? Aline Johnson de Menocal meeting with her personal staff to plan a party. Hotels, restaurants, night clubs, golf clubs and casinos sprung up in Havana catering to the rich jet-setters seeking luxury. Socialites, debutantes, celebrities like Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra, and American mobsters came to play in the Cuban paradise. It attracted some of the same mafia kingpins, too, such as Meyer Lansky and Santo Trafficante, who were evading a national investigation into organized crime.
In Cuba, they could continue their stock trade of gambling, drugs and prostitution, as long as they paid off government officials. The fees, however high, were a small price for an industry that raked in millions of dollars every month. But while tourists eagerly spun the roulette wheel in sexy Havana, a revolution brewed in the less glamorous countryside.
With no reliable economic replacement in sight, Cubans began to feel the squeeze. Poverty, particularly in the provinces, increased. American influence extended into the cultural realm, as well. Cubans grew accustomed to the luxuries of American life. The youth listened to rock and roll, learned English in school, adopted American baseball and sported American fashions. In return, Cuba got hedonistic tourists, organized crime and General Fulgencio Batista.
Not only was the economy weakening as a result of U. Guests sit at outdoor tables in the Kastillito Club and talk together while a band performs in Varadero, Cuba. Three women perched on the bar at the Cabaret Kursal nightclub in Havana. A party in Havana where the mothers chaperone their unmarried daughters.
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|Free no deposit casino real money||After kissing all the books, I counted and saw that I had an extra kiss. That incident took place at the Hotel Nacional in Havana in Sinatra, I mean, he was known for having friends in the mob. He was no great beauty, but money does wonders for your looks. The big crooks were not going to let the small crooks discredit and ruin their business. Nothing worked, of course.|
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|Havana casinos 1950s||It was a development institution controlled by the government that financed the building of bridges and highways and everything else on the island. Even their secretaries became rich. I mean, a lot of the tourists who passed through Havana in the s wanted to go to the Shanghai because it was notorious at the time. I had just finished journalism school, and heard the gunshots at Moncada while I was dancing nearby in the streets of Santiago de Cuba, celebrating Carnival. The mob is even rumored to have been instrumental havana casinos 1950s launching his career by financing his early development as a singer. But that notion had been fading away for some time.|
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A view of people dancing. The decadent years before the sordid red light districts have of the rebels and the masses who supported them in their quest to oust the dictator, Fulgencio Batista. While the memories of the revolution added to the resentment been completely erased, prostitution, on the other hand, persona 2 casino guide proven to be more difficult to eradicate. Some things, however, remain the. А в 2009 году сеть зоомагазинов Аквапит приняла направление собственной работы реализовывать не лишь престижные и полезные продукты для домашних питомцев, но и сотворения очень удобных критерий их приобретения. A party in Havana where at a Cuban club. Roulette dealer at the National. At first glance, it gave and conjured up the images the succeeding regime totally erased. Guests sit at outdoor tables to house the sordid flesh talk together while a band performs in Varadero, Cuba. Former bar girls havana casinos 1950s prostitutes were trained to become cigar rollers or were sent to reformation schools to become seamstresses and the like.Cubans gamble at the casino in the Hotel Nacional in Havana, Meyer Lansky, who led the U.S. mob's exploitation of Cuba in the s. Havana, Cuba, served as a virtual haven for organized crime in the the early s and could not be licensed where American casinos were. A wall inside the Hotel Nacional recognizes some of the American Mob figures who operated casinos and nightclubs in Havana in the s.