The Cuban has participated in the drug trade since the earliest days of the Castro regime and is still active in it today, according to a secret DEA intelligence report obtained by The Herald.
The U.S. remains a key target, the report says.
The report says that Cuba's drug involvement dates to at least 1961. A confidential informant, it says, told the DEA that at a meeting in Cuba that summer, high-ranking government officials discussed setting up a cocaine trafficking network to raise money for the Cuban government.
Among those allegedly present were revolutionary leader Ernesto Che Guevara, then president of the National Bank of Cuba, Captain Moises Crespo of the Cuban secret police, and Dr. Salvador Allende, then a senator from Chile, later to become that country's first Marxist president.
The DEA intelligence report, dated March 31, 1982, does not specify whether the U.S. was to be a target of that particular drug network, or if it was ever set up.
But it summarizes 27 DEA reports over the next 23 years that suggest Cuban-supported drug trafficking flourished in the Caribbean and generally targeted American markets.
"It is safe to assume that Cuba has been, and continues to be both indirectly and directly involved in drug trafficking through the Caribbean to the United States," it says.
The report details various incidents. A ship owned by the Cuban government is seen in the Bahamas offloading burlap bales onto small boats. The captain of a Colombian vessel that smuggled cocaine into Jamaica said the vessel came for Cuba.
Other information was more specific.
"Considering the increasing volume of drug trafficking activity in the Caribbean, the proximity of Cuba to the United States, the benefits to be derived from minimal participation, and the motivating ideas of the government of Cuba, it seems likely that Cuba's involvement with drug trafficking will continue and possibly increase."