Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died last week in jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, had once traveled to Cuba at Fidel Castro’s invitation, Colombia’s former president Andrés Pastrana revealed.
Pastrana’s comments were revealed in a report by the Washington, D.C. bureau of McClatchy newspapers. The report noted that Pastrana said he accompanied Epstein on his trip.
Pastrana made his remarks on Wednesday in a tweet in Spanish.
McClatchy reported he said: “Amid journalistic revelations about horrifying and reprehensible sex scandals of financier Jeffrey Epstein, a trip of mine on his plane to Nassau, Bahamas has appeared, to transfer to the final destination of Havana, Cuba, invited by President Fidel Castro.”
He added: “Mr. Jeffrey Epstein left Cuba a day or two later; I stayed on the island.”
The trip would have taken place in March 2003 when Pastrana was not president, McClatchy reported.
The newspaper chain said records reveal Pastrana was aboard one of Epstein’s planes that flew on March 20, 2003, from New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport to Palm Beach International Airport. He also appears in the manifest of another flight the next day from Palm Beach to the Bahamas.
The records do not reveal any travel to Cuba.
“It was probably unlawful travel,” said attorney Robert Muse, an expert on the U.S. embargo against Cuba. “At that time, there were very few categories of authorized trips, and it is not clear that he would have qualified under one of them.”
McClatchy noted Pastrana had maintained a close relationship with Castro, who died in 2016.