Sometimes in the mundane world of federal court filings a gem shines through. I came across a case involving a supposed CIA operative, his daughter’s dogged quest for information and the country of Cuba. Court records read Sherry Sullivan of Maine was awarded $21 million dollars in the death of her father, Geoffrey Francis Sullivan. That judgment was against Cuba.
Here’s the back story according to the lawsuit. Sullivan’s father was an Air Force and Army National Guard veteran who began flying secret CIA missions to help subvert Castro’s regime. Records filed as part of the lawsuit claim in the early 60s Sullivan and another man participated in several anti-Castro missions, including the bombing of the Esso oil refinery in Havana.
The lawsuit claims Sullivan was either shot down or crashed off the coast of Cuba in October of 1963. The lawsuit quotes several sources who say Sullivan was imprisoned in Cuba, while his partner died. The lawsuit also cites several individuals who, over the years, reported seeing Sullivan or an “American pilot” in a prison cell. The last report of a Cuban national spotting Sullivan was in 1991 according to the lawsuit. Sullivan has since been declared legal dead, even though he has never been found. In 2007 Sullivan’s daughter filed a lawsuit in Maine against Cuba, claiming her father’s imprisonment and believed death violated the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. Since Cuba never responded to the lawsuit a judge awarded Sullivan’s daughter $21 million dollars.
Now that lawsuit has landed in Houston federal court. Sullivan’s attorney filed an action to get Cuba to pay what it owes.
Sullivan’s attorney declined to speak with us until after Cuban officials are formerly served with this latest legal filing.
Sullivan still has never learned concretely what happened to her father five decades ago.
Here is a link the Bangor Daily News article that was written when the multi-million dollar judgement was issued: