Goldblog's Meyer Lansky Connection


Here is an excellent theory about my visit to Cuba, from a prominent antisemite named Jeffrey Gates (h/t Harry's Place):

Goldberg reports he was "summoned" to Havana to discuss Castro's fears of a global nuclear war. After conceding in the interview that the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis "wasn't worth it," Castro turned to a theme of topical importance to Tel Aviv, insisting that the Iranian government must understand that Jews "were expelled from their land, persecuted and mistreated all over the world."

Knowing Cuba's pre-revolution alliance with Meyer Lansky and other kingpins in Jewish organized crime, one must wonder if this "journalist" was dispatched to commence negotiations for gambling concessions as a means to fill the Castro government's depleted coffers.

The recent relaxation of restrictions on travel to Cuba may signal a pending return to Cuba's "glory days" as a nearby haven for organized crime.

Castro's well-timed comments about persecuted Jews may have been a signal that Cuba is again open for business -- any business.

Gates is obviously a great investigator. How could he possibly have known that on August 12th, Bugsy Siegel summoned me from the Atlantic offices at the Watergate (coincidence that I work at the Watergate? I don't think so) to Wolfie's Deli in Miami Beach, where I found the diminutive Meyer Lansky in his usual booth, slurping borscht. "We have a job for you, Goldblog," Lansky says.

"I thought you were dead, Meyer," I said. "You were killed at the end of Godfather II."

"Shut your piehole," he said, pushing a thick envelope toward me. "Here," he said. "This is from me, Dutch and Bugsy," he said. "Give it to Fidel."

"Fidel?" I asked, surprised.

"Yeah, you're going to see Fidel. There's a Pan Am Clipper leaving at 2 for Havana. Be on it."

 "The Pan Am Clipper?" I asked.

"Yeah. Got a problem with it?"

"The Pan Am Clipper is as dead as the Jewish mob," I said.

"Who you calling dead?" Bugsy said, sliding into the booth next to Meyer.  He pulled out a gat and aimed it at my kishkes. "Get on that plane, Goldblog, or you'll be floating to Cuba," Bugsy said.

What could I do? This is the brutal way of the Jewish mob. I went to Cuba (collecting a bunch of Pan Am frequent flyer miles for my troubles), and gave Fidel the envelope.

Was it worth it? Who knows? I got some good quotes out of the meeting, and also, I'm the new owner of the Hotel Nacional.  I don't know much about managing a casino, but I do know entertainment. For the first big show, we have Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr.

I hope Meyer approves.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. Author of the book Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror, Goldberg also writes the magazine's advice column. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. Previously, he served as a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward, and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

His book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. Goldberg rthe recipient of the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism. He is also the recipient of 2005's Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.

Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus


Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.


Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.


The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air



More in Global

From This Author

Just In