Eccentric US millionaire plans presidential run… from Cuba

HAVANA (AFP) – After making a fortune with his early anti-virus software, then being caught up in murder and drugs cases in Belize, United States (US) millionaire John McAfee has now added a new chapter to his tumultuous life story: from a yacht in Havana harbour, he said he is running for the US presidency.

This will not, he deadpans, be “an ordinary campaign”. “I am wanted as a criminal by the government for which I am running for president,” McAfee told AFP as he sat surrounded on his white yacht by an entourage of seven campaign aides and two enormous dogs.

He wears shorts, a tropical-themed shirt and wraparound sunglasses, and sports a greying goatee. McAfee’s immediate goal is to win the presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party, which advocates for free trade and a sharply reduced federal government.

He tried but failed in 2016, edged out for that party’s nomination by Gary Johnson, who went on to win just over three per cent of the vote in the general election.

But McAfee has an unusual confession for a presidential candidate, “I don’t want to be president, I really don’t, nor could I be,” he said. He goes on, “However, I do have a large following, and I will influence this next election.” Since making a fortune with his eponymous anti-virus software in the 1980s, McAfee has become a self-styled cryptocurrency guru, claiming to make USD2,000 a day. He has nearly one million followers on Twitter.