California’s Political Ties to Cuba

With negotiations ongoing to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, we thought it was worthwhile to take a quick look at some of the times that California politicians and Cuba have crossed paths.

  • 1900s: Congressman Joe Crail served as part of the U.S. Occupation of Cuba during his service in the Army.
  • 1900s: Assemblyman and Congressman Willis Bradley served as part of the U.S. Occupation of Cuba during his service in the Navy.
  • 1959: 2014 State Senate candidate Mario Guerra was born in Holguin, Cuba
  • 1974-1977: Black Panther Party co-founder and 1968 congressional candidate Huey P. Newton lived in Cuba for four years in the 1970s to avoid trial for the murder of an Oakland police officer.
  • 2004: Assemblyman Tom Umberg spent five months deployed to Guantanamo Bay as a war crimes prosecutor
  • 2007: Two-time Peace and Freedom Gubernatorial candidate Gloria Estela La Riva served the Coordinator to the National Committee to Free the Cuban Five.