Cuba Will Extradite Joshua Hakken: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

An anti-government couple who allegedly kidnapped their own sons at gunpoint and fled to Cuba on a sailboat will be extradited back to the U.S., reports the Tampa Bay Tribune.

Joshua Hakken allegedly tied up the boys’ grandmother, Patricia Hauser, in Tampa last Wednesday (3 April), snatched Chase, 4, and Cole, 2, and fled with the help wife Sharyn.

Preliminary reports are suggesting that all members of the Hakken family are now in Cuban custody.

The Hakkens had lost custody of their sons on Tuesday (April 2) in a Louisiana court.

Here’s what you need to know about the latest developments in the case …

1. Cuba Will Turn over the Hakkens to U.S. Authorities

2. The Hakkens Arrived in Havana on Sunday

It’s believed that the Hakkens sailed into the Hemingway Marina in Havana on Sunday afternoon amid rough conditions.

3. Joshua Hakken Refused to Talk to CNN

Hakken family Cuba, Joshua Hakken Cuba, Florida man takes family to Cuba.

Early on Tuesday (9 April) a Joshua Hakken refused to speak to a CNN reporter, Patrick Oppmann, but Sharyn Hakken confirmed that her sons were healthy following their 300 mile journey across the Gulf of Mexico. The CNN report goes on to say that armed Cuban security forces stopped prevented any filming of the incident.

4. There is no Extradition Treaty Between the US and Cuba

Originally, law enforcement in Tampa, where the original kidnapping took place, insisted that nothing could be done if the Hakkens were in Cuba. But a Cuban Foreign Ministry statement reads:

From the first moment, diplomatic notes were exchanged and a permanent and professional communication has been maintained between MINREX” — Cuba’s foreign ministry — “and the U.S. Interests Section in Havana, with the goal of guaranteeing the integrity and well-being of the minors.

5. Remember Elian Gonzalez?

Hakken family Cuba, Joshua Hakken Cuba, Florida man takes family to Cuba.

This case slightly echoes the ordeal suffered by Elian Gonzalez, whose mother died on a boat carrying them from Cuba to the US in 1999. After being placed in the custody of family relatives in Cuba, Gonzalez was re-placed back in the custody of his father, a Cuban national, and repatriated to Cuba.

It’s a case of Elian Gonzalez in reverse, that case was called a “dangerous precedent”, by Anti-Castro groups in 2000. This time it’s a case of the Cuban authorities ensuring that American minors are returned to their legal guardians.