Here are some of the most notorious Americans who have been reported as possibly hiding in the island nation just 90 miles off the coast.
1. Joanne Chesimard
Joanne Chesimard has been living in Cuba under the name Assata Shakur since 1984. She was a member of the Black Liberation Army in 1973 when she shot and killed Trooper Werner Foerster during a traffic stop. She was convicted in 1977 and escaped prison two years later.
Chesimard, who is became the first woman on the FBI’s Most Wanted list last year, hid in a series of safe houses in New Jersey and Pennsylvania before fleeing to Cuba. Anyone who helps bring Chesimard, now 66, into custody stands to get $2 million in rewards, according to the FBI.
2. Guillermo Morales
A bomb maker who fought for Puerto Rican independence is one of the American fugitives who has been living in Havana.
Guillermo “William” Morales was sentenced to 99 years in prison after being linked to two explosions in New York City — one in 1975 that killed four and injured 60, and a second in 1977 that killed one, The New York Post reported.
Morales escaped from the prison ward of Bellevue Hospital in 1979 and, though he was reportedly held in a Mexican prison for several years in relation to a different crime, he fled to Cuba after his release in 1988.
“The U.S. press looks at me one way, but the press in Puerto Rico looks at me in a positive way because I’m a person that defends their homeland,” he told The Post in 1999.
4. Charlie Hill
Like Chesimard, who was publicly praised by Fidel Castro, not all of the fugitives are trying to hide their whereabouts.
Charlie Hill is wanted by New Mexico officials after he allegedly killed a state trooper and hijacked a plane in 1971.
Hill, a native of Illinois, spoke to The New York Times in 2007 and discussed what he thought would happen to him if his longtime protector, Castro, died.
“I don’t think there will be much change if Fidel dies,” Hill told The Times in 2007. “There might be, but I think it’s 60-40 that not much will happen. If it does, well, what can I do?”
5. Nehanda Abiodun.
She’s been living in Cuba since 1990. U.S. law enforcement believes she helped Shakur, who was convicted in the killing of a New Jersey state trooper, to escape from prison in 1979.
Abiodun is often called the “godmother” of Cuban hip-hop, Latner says, She became an adviser for Cuban youth who were becoming hip-hop artists. She has served as a bridge between Afro-Cuban and American hip-hop artists.
6. William Lee Brent.
Brent, a Black Panther Party member who had been excommunicated, hijacked TWA flight 154 from Oakland to Havana in 1969. He was imprisoned in Cuba for 22 months as a suspected spy, but upon his release he went on to work at a pig farm and a soap factory before getting a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Havana. He died in Cuba in 2006.
7. Guillermo Morales.
A member of a militant Puerto Rican separatist movement, Morales escaped from a hospital in New York while under police custody. He has admitted he was planting a bomb at a New York military installation when the bomb blew up, taking nearly all his fingers. He was facing 89 years in prison when he escaped. He is still believed to be living in Cuba.
8. William Potts.
One of the last hijackers and another Black Panther Party militant, Potts became known somewhat mockingly as “the homesick hijacker.” Potts diverted a commercial flight from New York City to Cuba in 1984, hoping to go on to South Africa to join the anti-apartheid movement. He was imprisoned for 13 years and then lived as a political exile. In 2013, he returned to the United States and earlier this year pleaded guilty to kidnapping. He is now in prison and eligible for parole in 2021.