You Can't Take It with You

These days it's tough even to make a claim on the properties you left behind in Cuba

The following year Babun included much of the data he had accumulated in a book he wrote called Business Guide to Cuba. The 252-page tome, printed by the Miami Herald Publishing Co., provided information on the island's natural resources, roads, electrical power capabilities, ports, banking, and accounting systems. Babun sold 1500 books at $300 per copy, but by 1998, it was out of print.

These days Babun's Cuba Claims Website, which has no advertisements, receives only twelve hits per day. "But I have more information on Cuba than the Cuban government," Babun boasts. "Then again, I've also probably lost more money on Cuba than anybody else in the world." Babun now dedicates much of his time to reaching out to Christian Cubans on the island through a humanitarian group called Echo Cuba. In June he returned to his country for the first time on missionary work. Babun says he cried for eight days straight while in the land of his childhood. "All your life you hear about Cuba," he says. "There's so much pent-up emotion. When you finally get there it hits you all at once."

lissette.corsa@miaminewtimes.com

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