Jorge Mas Canosa, the head of the right-wing Cuban American National Foundation and an important critic of the Cuban Government, has died.
Canosa fled Castro's regime, leaving with his family members, who were friends and employees of Batista. The following year, he took part in the Bay of Pigs attack.
Returing to the U.S., he amassed a great fortune, and founded the Cuban American National Foundation in 1981.
This organization has by political means effectively blocked any reconciliation with Cuba. It is possible that may change now.
His group and allies want no dialogue with the Cuban Government and Fidel Castro at all. He often used his power and influence to terrorize those who felt different, even if they still opposed Castro.
A report by the US Army War College on Canosa called him, "demagogic, intolerant, dictatorial, with an enormous ego and a propensity for delivering thundering speeches, exuding hatred and intransigence."
The CANF, comprised largely of other wealthy businessmen, did not hesitate from making large contibutions to canditates it felt would advance CANF goals. It also held much sway over Cuban-Americans in Florida, and greatly influences their voting patterns.
Jorge Mas Canosa hoped to become President upon returning to Cuba. He always claimed to want democracy for Cuba, but would have had virtually no chance of winning a fair election. For this reason, the Miami Herald called him "Cuba's Dictator in Waiting."
His foundation was established by President Reagon, and thought of as the Cuban Government-in-exile. He and his wealthy friends, many of whom had links to Batista, hoped to return to Cuba to destroy the Communist government and reclaim their lost fortunes.