In the Cuban slang a “bug” is someone with skills to sneak through the margins of the law and turn it into profitable illegal business.
Some of these “skillful” have found a profitable gold-mine in the Adjustment Act, enacted in 1966 by the US government to provide benefits for asylum to Cubans over any other emigrant.
Figures provided by the Sun Sentinel newspaper talk about two billion dollars stolen over two decades by Cuban citizens who after requesting political asylum obtained legal residence, or citizenship in the United States.
The usual “modus operandi” of these people includes defrauding insurance companies with self-inflicted traffic accidents or collect bills of fake welfare systems to medical services like Medicare.
When the scam is discovered, and as nobody was chasing these “exiles”, a considerable number of them return to Cuba, to enjoy the ill-gotten money and escape from the northern bailiffs.
The absence of diplomatic relations or close judicial cooperation between the two countries facilitates that, if not breaking the law in their countries of origin, the fugitives can live the rest of their days in apparent tranquility. But the situation appears to be changing.
The Gilbert Man “case”
The aforementioned police capture in Havana of reggaeton singer Gilbert Man could be interpreted as a warning from the Cuban government towards those using that escape tactic and a helping hand to the Administration of the north.
The music producer, whose real name is Gilberto Martínez Suárez, was wanted in Florida for credit card fraud, of which he made money to be repatriated in 2013 to his native country and develop a fleeting career.
Once in Cuba he was given himself a life of luxury and took upon himself all eyes, with which he presumably faces charges of illicit enrichment and money laundering.
Another possibility (not confirmed because there is not official communication on this event) is that the increasing joint participation of Cuban government with its counterpart in Washington in operations coordinated by INTERPOL also placed Martinez in police radar.
Security forces of both nations have participated in major international operations against drug trafficking and counterfeit drugs, and through databases of global police agency they have information about persecuted people of mutual interest in the neighboring territories.
Although he has not been returned to American soil, Martínez Suárez could join the list of wanted that Cuba has returned in recent years. That list includes names like Denis Catania and Diana Camacho, accused of murder, or the very recent Joshua Michael and his wife Sharyn Hakken, convicted for drug trafficking.
In the near future, as part of the way of normalization, what until now has been a dispersion of gestures of variable will (according to the political climate of the moment) could become an area of mutually beneficial close cooperation.
Maybe it is time to dust off the Extradition Agreements signed in 1904 and 1926 by the two countries, and functional until their freeze in 1959. For this it must have been resolved the discussion around those involved in kidnappings and killings of law enforcement officers that both parties consider as political and that no pragmatism will delete in one breathe. But the favorable disposition to negotiate demonstrated until now may be enough to weave a net containing certain types of “bugs”.