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Castro's lesson for Saddam
Washington Times ^ | 9/12/02 | William R. Hawkins

Posted on 09/12/2002 12:30:01 AM PDT by kattracks

Edited on 07/12/2004 3:57:09 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

As President George Bush argues the case for decisive action to remove the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the hands Saddam Hussein, it might be well to remember events of 40 years ago. In September 1962, intelligence reports indicated that a radical leader with an anti-American agenda and aggressive regional ambitions was about to receive nuclear weapons. That dictator was Fidel Castro and the resulting confrontation in October and November would be known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events

1 posted on 09/12/2002 12:30:01 AM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks

Center for the Study of a National Option
Thursday, Sept. 20, 2001

Rafael Artigas and Ana Carbonell provided research support for this article.

It was not hard to guess what common foe brought the Supreme Leader and the Comandante together for their summit meeting in Tehran in May. The statements made by Fidel Castro during his visit to Iran are chilling when read in light of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

According to news reports, during the visit Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei "assured Castro that Iran and Cuba can defeat the U.S. hand in hand,” to which Castro agreed, adding that America was "extremely weak today,” and that "we are today eyewitness to their weakness, as their close neighbors.”

At Tehran University he stated to the thunderous applause of students and faculty, "The imperialist king will finally fall,” (AFP, May 10, 2001). Immediately afterward the Iranian Press Service proudly proclaimed that "Iran and Cuba reached the conclusion that together they can tear down the United States.” (IPS, May 10, 2001)

Some have argued that Cuba’s well-documented sponsorship and instigation of international terrorism is a thing of the past, to be understood in light of the Cold War context.

However, irrefutable evidence indicates that to this day:
The Castro dictatorship continues to actively harbor international terrorists,
The Castro dictatorship continues to pursue a strategic alliance with terrorist states so as to create an ‘anti-Western’ international front, and
The Castro dictatorship has engaged directly in terrorist attacks and espionage against Americans. As recently as July 1999 Domingo Amuchastegui, a former Cuban government official said to have exceptional information about the Cuban government, wrote: "For U.S. interests, the closeness of the [Cuban] relationship with Iraq and some of the more militant terrorist groups in the Middle East is troublesome. Can Cuba be used to carry out terrorist acts against U.S. targets? Is there any cooperation between Sadam Hussein and Castro in the development of chemical and bacteriological weapons? What remains from the close cooperation between Castro and the more militant terrorist groups in the region?” (University of Miami Middle East Studies Institute, July 1999).

Evidence indicates that Cuba today continues to serve as a base for coordination and mutual support among transnational terrorist organizations. In August, Colombian authorities arrested three suspected IRA terrorists who were providing specialized training to the FARC terrorist organization. One of the men, Nial Connolly, had lived in Cuba since 1996 as the IRA’s representative. (The Times, Aug. 16, 2001; BBC News, Aug. 17, 2001)

It is believed that it was in Cuba where the IRA established contact with the FARC and ELN terrorist organizations. These two organizations, according to the State Department’s 2000 report on global terrorism, have "… maintained a permanent presence in the island.” It is further believed that the IRA men were training the Colombian rebels in the development of powerful anti-personnel explosives destined for the proposed FARC "urban offensive."

There is additional information that indicates that the Colombian territory under FARC control has become a haven for Terror International. Argentine journalist Julio Cirino, an expert on international terrorism, has written about the existence of a logistical support base "in a small city near the Colombian border with Venezuela,” where "Middle Eastern types” receive fake Colombian passports and move on to other unspecified destinations. In October 1998, Interpol arrested Egyptian extremist Mohamed Enid Abdel Aal, in Bogota, Colombia. Abdel Aal, a leader of one of the most dangerous of the Islamist terrorist organizations, told authorities under questioning that "he planned to stay in Colombia for a few days and then head to Venezuela over land.” (El Nuevo Herald, Sept. 16, 2001)

The Castro regime has not only continued to provide support for the vicious Basque terrorist organization ETA, known for its ghastly car bomb attacks on civilian targets, but it has also publicly attempted to scuttle diplomatic efforts to condemn it. In a 1995 raid by French police on ETA hideouts, computer files were found which clearly indicated that Cuban intelligence aided members of the group wanted for terror attacks in Spain. According to the files, Cuba’s Communist Party "considers its relations with ETA to be ‘fraternal, sustained, strategic and increasingly deep.’" (The Miami Herald, Dec. 27, 1997)

Cuban covert support for terrorism in Spain has been accompanied by attempts at diplomatic protection. Castro not only refused to join the other Ibero-American heads of state in condemning ETA terrorism at the 2000 Ibero-American summit, he also "slammed Mexico for its support of a statement against terrorism at the Ibero American Summit in Panama.” (The Miami Herald, Nov. 11, 2000).

The Cuban dictatorship’s continued relationship with bloody terror groups and the use of Cuban territory and diplomacy to protect them has long been a mainstay of Cuban foreign policy. As State Department reports indicate, Americans sought for crimes linked to 1960s radical groups have long received sanctuary in the island. What proves even more worrisome however, has been the recent effort by the Cuban regime to forge an "anti-Western" front with terrorist states in the Middle East.

'I Will Not Reconcile'
On Sept. 18, 2000 in an exclusive interview with the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television, Castro stated that "We are not ready for reconciliation with the United States, and I will not reconcile with the imperialist system.” He further added that his government had defended Cuba against "a Western cultural invasion,” echoing one of the key themes of fundamentalist Islamic groups in the region.

In May 2001 Castro undertook a round of visits to Syria, Libya and Iran. Speaking at Tehran University, he insisted that "people must be informed and awakened; they must not allow themselves to be pillaged by the West.” On July 26, 2001, Castro marked another anniversary of the beginning of his revolution by marching in Havana alongside the Ayatollah Khomeini’s grandson, now a high-ranking Iranian official.

Biological War
The Iran-Cuba link has long worried intelligence and security analysts in the U.S. Soviet Colonel Ken Alibek, formerly second-in-command of the U.S.S.R.’s bacteriological arms development program, has long insisted that the Castro regime has such weapons at its disposal. In his book "Biohazard," Alibek quotes his former boss, Gen. Yuri T. Kalinin, as having told him that Cuba had an active bacteriological arms program.

Former Secretary of Defense William Cohen stated in May 1998: "Cuba’s current scientific facilities could support an offensive biological warfare program in at least the research and development stage.”

In October 2000, Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage and the Iranian vice minister of health inaugurated a biotechnological research and development plant outside Tehran. Experts expressed doubts about the supposed medical objectives of the installation, because Iran already produces 97 percent of the medicines its population consumes.

It is feasible to establish the links of the bin Laden network with the Iranian government and to identify its common interests with the Castro regime. Castro and bin Laden work hard to build a common front to bring down the United States and to develop biological weapons of mass destruction.

In its indictment of bin Laden, the Justice Department stated that the Al Qaeda terrorist organization under his command sought to "put aside its differences with Shiite Muslim terrorist organizations, including Iran and its affiliated terrorist group Hezbollah, to cooperate against the perceived common enemy, the United States and its allies.”

The indictment further alleges that Al Qaeda "also forged alliances with the National Islamic Front in Sudan and with representatives of the government of Iran, and its associated terrorist group Hezballah.”

In February 1998 Osama bin Laden announced the creation of an "international front” against the United States. According to a document obtained by the PBS program "Frontline," bin Laden "regards an anti-American alliance with Iran and China as something to be considered.”

But there may be more to the Castro-bin Laden connection than the Iran link. In a March 4, 2000 story the Associated Press reported: "A young Afghan who trained this winter at a camp in mountainous Kunar province, in northeastern Afghanistan, said he saw men from Chechnya, Sudan, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Cuba and North Korea. The North Korean, he said, had brought chemical weapons, which were stored in caves and in the dozens of sunbaked mud-and-stone houses.”

In an official statement Sunday, the government of Grand Cayman reported that in August 2000 it had arrested three Afghan nationals who had illegally entered the country from Cuba using fake Pakistani passports.

The New York Times reported in September 1998 that advisers provided then-President Bill Clinton with evidence that "bin Laden is looking to obtain weapons of mass destruction and chemical weapons to use against U.S. installations.” Is it that far-fetched to see that the ideological affinity between Cuba and Al Qaeda and the allure of bin Laden’s money for Castro’s cash-strapped regime could easily result in the worst of scenarios?

As America prepares to build a global coalition for a definitive assault on international terrorism, it must come to grips with the fact that the enemy is a step ahead. Policy makers, legislators and analysts must not dismiss Cuba’s insistent efforts aimed precisely at building an anti-Western alliance, its continued support and encouragement for international terrorist organizations, or its latent capacity for biological warfare and its propensity to share it with other terrorist states directly linked to U.S. enemies.

Above all, Castro’s continued virulent rhetoric against the U.S. and the Western world in general must not be overlooked. It was not too long ago that Americans were the direct targets of Castroite terrorist attacks. On Feb. 24, 1996 two unarmed U.S. civilian aircraft were shot out of the sky in plain daylight in international air space, murdering three US citizens and one resident. A group of Cuban spies in Florida were recently convicted of conspiring to murder U.S. citizens, seeking to penetrate US military installations, spying on members of the U.S. Congress and providing information on Miami International Airport.

Turning a blind eye to Castro on the eve of the "first war of the 21st century" would be tantamount to ignoring the Nazi and fascist alliance with Japan the day after Pearl Harbor. The enemy is 90 miles south of Key West. And he does not hide his hatred for us.
2 posted on 09/12/2002 9:47:23 AM PDT by Cardenas
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; harpseal; Snow Bunny; archy; StriperSniper; hchutch; ppaul; Mudboy Slim; ...

3 posted on 09/12/2002 2:51:35 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Thanks my friend and I agree with you!!!! Good graphic too!!
4 posted on 09/12/2002 5:38:42 PM PDT by Snow Bunny
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Yep...any valid War on Terrorism must include Regime Change in Cuba.


5 posted on 09/13/2002 7:41:38 AM PDT by Mudboy Slim
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To: Tailgunner Joe
6 posted on 09/13/2002 3:14:59 PM PDT by mafree
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To: kattracks
Somehow with all the trouble Bush is going thru with an Iraq regime change I doubt that the political will is there for an attack or even an attempt at a regime change in Cuba.

One other thing I seem to remember is that in 1978 Jimmy Carter acknowledged that the Soviets had Nuclear weapons based in Cuba but that these were short range weapons or something of the sort. Anyone remember this? and whatever came of the Soviet era combat brigade that was stationed down there?
7 posted on 09/13/2002 3:22:32 PM PDT by e_castillo
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