Friday, September 4, 2009

American fugitive rebuilt his life in Cuba

Charles Hill walks along the sidewalk across the street from the Capitolio

The September issue of CubaNews is here. On pages eight and nine there's an extensive interview I did with Charles Hill, a fugitive living in Havana. He's wanted in the 1971 murder of Robert Rosenbloom, a New Mexico state police officer.
Hill, a former Republic of New Afrika militant, said police officers targeted blacks in the 1960s and '70s.
“They went after us. If you had an Afro hairdo and got stopped by a cop, they went after you. We were being persecuted. There’s no doubt about it.”
Rex Sagle, a New Mexico police academy instructor who knew Rosenbloom, told me that the officer wasn't a John Wayne type and “treated violators with respect and dignity.”
Some details of the Rosenbloom murder will likely go with Hill to his grave.

On the steps of the Capitolio

Hill has been in Cuba since 1971. If he had been jailed in the Rosenbloom killing, perhaps he would have served his sentence by now in the United States.
Then again, he could have gotten the death penalty.
Instead, Hill rebuilt his life in Cuba. He walks the streets freely and leads an austere life.
My impression is that making money is one of his biggest challenges. He said he sometimes works as a "fixer" for English-speaking journalists, translating for them and acting as a guide. But I think he has a tough time getting by, just like most Cubans.

CubaNews, first page of September issue

Associated Press list of top fugitives in Cuba
Robert Rosenbloom memorial Web site
Wikipedia entry for Republic of New Afrika


Lazaro Gonzalez said...

A good post. Why they do not change these guys with the Fives?

Tracey Eaton said...

You'd think someone would be floating specific proposals for prisoner/spy and/or fugitive exchanges. Then again, maybe both sides have too much to deal with as it is. Practically every issue involving U.S.-Cuba relations quickly turns into a can of worms...

PolO said...

A wide-open can of hyperkinetic worms.

Tracey Eaton said...


Güicho said...

This guy still deserves a chair in America.

Tracey Eaton said...

yeah, it's a pretty screwed up situation. charles hill is trapped with no place to go. and the family of the police officer who was murdered will never be the same.