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Mafia Conference in Havana, Part 3
Luciano knew why Genovese was there. Lansky had informed Luciano that Genovese was trying to muscle in on Albert Anastasia. According to The Last Testament of Lucky Luciano, Genovese opened the discussion by saying Anastasia needed to be eliminated because he was thinking about killing Harry Anslinger. Luciano rebuked Genovese and pointed out that Vito was the one interested in pushing narcotics, not Anastasia.

The next item on Genoveseís agenda was to ask Luciano to retire. Things were changing in New York City and Luciano was too far away to run the criminal organization effectively. Luciano replied, `Right now you work for me and I ainít in the mood to retire. Donít you ever let me hear this again, or Iíll lose my temper.`

As the other `delegates` arrived for the meeting they checked into rooms set aside for them by Lansky on the top four floors of the Hotel Nacional. (See list of participants at the end of the article.) Lansky also had reserved the hotelís mezzanine for meetings, banquets and parties for the group. In The Last Testament, Luciano states that after the mobsters checked in they paid him a visit in Miramar to `reaffirm loyalty, and acknowledge him as chairman of the board.` The first night a dinner was hosted by Lansky, Frank Costello, and Joe Adonis as a `public showing of their private affirmations,` where all the attendees came forward with envelopes filled with cash for Luciano.

The following morning the Havana Conference was underway. Luciano recounted that he sat at the head of a large rectangular table with Lansky, Costello, Genovese and Adonis at his side. Other than this arrangement, there was no protocol for the seating. Luciano opened the meeting by thanking the boys for their monetary donations. He said the money would be invested in the hotelís casino. He then explained that since he had left Italy that he needed to be addressed and referred to as Salvatore Lucania so as not to draw attention to the former Charles `Lucky` Luciano.

by Allan May, from
Article ID 226
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