HAVANA, CUBA (WFLX) - CNN is confirming the two kidnapped boys from Hillsborough County are in Cuba.
Florida authorities are working with the FBI to confirm that 2-year-old Chase Hakken and 4-year-old Cole Hakken arrived on the island nation Monday.
U.S. law enforcement authorities say the Hakken family may have come by boat to Cuba. U.S. State Department officials say they have asked the Cuban government for help in the case. But if you talk to Cuban officials, so far, they're saying they haven't received any such request, nor are they confirming whether the Hakken family is in fact in Cuban custody.
This kind of diplomatic dysfunction is very typical with U.S. - Cuba relationship.
For years now, the Cuban government has refused U.S. request to extradite dozens of America fugitives living in Havana. It's not clear, though, if they would extradite someone, like the Hakkens, who are accused, not of political crimes, but of domestic ones.
As of right now, the Cuban government is remaining very, very tight lipped. This is simply one place where the American legal system has no sway.
While there is an American diplomatic mission in Havana, there are no formal U.S. - Cuban diplomatic relations. Therefore, the Hakken family may be taking advantage, if they are in Cuba, of this delicate relationship and maybe exploiting the fact, that at least for U.S. authorities, they will have no way to force the Cuban government to send this family back to the United States.