Cuba Will Return Kidnapped Boys, ‘Anti-Government’ Parents

Cuba will return two boys kidnapped from their grandmother in Florida, according to a written statement from Foreign Ministry official Johana Tablada to the Associated Press.

The drama began last Tuesday, when the permanent custody of 2-year-old Cole and 4-year-old Chase Hakken was awarded to their grandmother. Joshua Hakken then broke into the home on Wednesday morning after the grandfather had left, tied her up, and took the boys in a stolen vehicle.

The Hakkens had already lost temporary custody when Joshua, his wife Sharyn, and the two boys were attending an “anti-government rally” in Louisiana, where Joshua was arrested for possessing drugs in the presence of minors. While the boys were being held in a foster home, he tried but failed to break in and steal them at gunpoint.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Slidell, LA police department had caught the four in a hotel room, where they were surrounded by both weapons and drugs. Joshua Hakken was apparently ranting about getting ready for Armageddon.

He was definitely better prepared for his latest abduction attempt. After a multi-state search, law enforcement officials found a surveillance video that showed Joshua Hakken outfitting the boat that he used to take the family to Cuba.

Cuban officials now say that the boat, the Salty Paw, arrived at the Hemingway Marina in Havana on Sunday during bad weather. They said that they contacted U.S. officials the next day when they realized that the family was being sought in the kidnapping of the two boys.

ABC News reporters in Havana said that they saw the Hakken family being escorted off the boat today by government officials. Sharyn was separated from the other three and driven off in an official vehicle.

Although the Cuban government didn’t announce when they plan to make the official turnover, Cole and Chase Hakken could be home from Cuba sooner than anyone predicted.

[sailboat photo by Robert Havasy via Wikipedia Commons]