How Many Foreign Businessmen Are Imprisoned in Cuba?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013
This morning's letter to The Economist by Stephen Purvis, a British businessman who was imprisoned by the Castro brothers for 15 months and had his assets confiscated, raises an important question:

How many foreign businessmen are currently imprisoned in Cuba?

We know about Cy Tokmakjian of Canada’s Tokmakjian Group, who was arrested in September 2011, when his Havana office was unexpectedly raided and its assets confiscated.  Nearly two years later, Tokmakjian has yet to be charged with anything.

We know about Sarkis Yacoubian of Canada’s Tri-Star Caribbean, who was given a 9-year sentence despite months of interrogations in which he was "broken," admitted to everything his interrogators desired – and then some.

And obviously, we know about Amado Fahkre and Stephen Purvis of Britain’s Coral Capital, who were arrested in October 2011 and March 2012, respectively, and recently sentenced to time served and allowed to return to London.

But Purvis mentions in today's letter:

"I spent time with a number of foreign businessmen arrested during 2011 and 2012 from a variety of countries... Very few of my fellow sufferers have been reported in the press and there are many more in the system than is widely known."

He drops a clue about Ericsson's imprisoned Cuba representative, who we were previously unaware of:

"Why for example is the representative of Ericsson in jail for exactly the same activities as their Chinese competitor who is not?"

So how many more foreign businessmen are imprisoned in Cuba that we don't know about?

Apparently, many more.

Who knows how many foreign companies and governments are being blackmailed by the Castro regime

If this happens to foreign businessmen, who are "protected" by their governments, companies, lawyers, etc. -- just imagine what happens to regular Cubans.