Rafi Eitan plans trip to Cuba

Spokesperson denies planned meeting with Castro during the trip.

rafi eitan 298.88 ap (photo credit: AP)
rafi eitan 298.88 ap
(photo credit: AP)
The head of the Gil Pensioners Party is planning to visit Cuba this month for a private visit, his spokeswoman said Sunday. Rafi Eitan, who serves as pensioners affairs minister, declined comment Sunday on the nature of the weeklong business trip, although it is known that he holds vast business interests in the Caribbean island. A 79-year-old former spymaster, who was in charge of the Mossad operation that led to the 1960 capture of Adolf Eichmann and who ran the bungled Jonathan Pollard espionage case, Eitan now heads the seven-member Gil Pensioners Party which champions pensioners' rights. Eitan's visit to Cuba did not require government approval since it was a private trip, and by law he was simply required to inform the prime minister of his trip in writing, officials said. For the last decade, Eitan, a reported multimillionaire, has been involved in several large business ventures in Cuba in the field of agriculture and construction. Eitan's spokeswoman denied as "baseless" a report in the Ma'ariv daily Sunday that the minister was going to meet with Cuban President Fidel Castro during the trip. Israel has no diplomatic relations with Cuba, in deference to US wishes. Earlier this month, Pollard petitioned the High Court of Justice in an attempt to block Eitan's appointment as minister.