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Mafia Conference in Havana, Part 5
Christmas Eve arrived and the meeting’s participants took a break. The wives and girlfriends of the mobsters had arrived and a grand party was held at the hotel in honor of singer Frank Sinatra, then a rising star who had traveled to Havana with the Fischetti brothers.
On the day after Christmas, the meeting reconvened in the evening because everyone was anxious to hear how the opening at the Flamingo had been received. Due to the three-hour time differential between the two cities, it was well after midnight before the first reports were received. Rain and cold weather had prevented planes from bringing customers in from Los Angeles and the opening was considered a disaster.

Despite the flop, Lansky convinced the group that he could salvage the project. The Flamingo closed, work was completed, and it reopened a couple of months later. It would soon become a financial success and mobsters across the country would become rich from it and the casinos and hotels that followed. Unfortunately for Siegel, he would not live to see his vision fulfilled. He was cut down by a hit man using a rifle on June 20, 1947 as he sat reading a newspaper on a couch in Virginia Hill’s Los Angeles home.
In The Last Testament, Luciano states that following the conclusion of the Havana Conference that Genovese asked him if he could speak to him in private. In Luciano’s room Genovese revealed to him that:

`I heard that Washington knows that you’re in Havana and they’re getting’ ready to put the screws to these jerks in Cuba to get you thrown out. There’s gonna be so much heat that nobody can do nothin’ to help you. Charlie, you’re gonna have to get outa here and go back to Italy. By rights, everything that’s over there is half mine – and I want it.`
Luciano was livid. He was sure that Genovese had gotten word to Washington D.C. that Luciano was in Cuba. At this point Luciano claims he gave Genovese a beating – punching and kicking him, and breaking three of his ribs. He says he intentionally avoided marking his face. It took three days before Genovese could travel. Luciano states he and Anastasia put Genovese on an airplane and warned him that if he ever mentioned the incident to anyone, `then I – Charlie Luciano – will get back into New York, if only long enough to do a final job on you.`

by Allan May, from
Article ID 228
First Article 228 of 815 Last
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