The San Juan Star
May 3, 1983, page 31


Castro the smuggler?

Add dope smuggling to the other foul deeds that Fidel Castro's Cuba has perpetrated against the United States.

It isn't enough that the Caribbean's Soviet sycophant unloads his prison population on us, that he supplies arms and training to the enemies of democracy in Latin America, that he thumbs his nose in many other ways at the United States.

Now there is testimony that the Cuban government has been officially involved in smuggling drugs to the United States to raise money and corrupt U.S. society.

In a Senate hearing the other day, James Michel, deputy assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, said that "the evidence is clear that the government of Cuba has, as a matter of policy, used narcotics trafficking" to advance its goals in Latin America and the United States.

Three persons convicted in February on drug charges also told senators of a dope-running conspiracy involving Cuban authorities.

Other high officials of the State Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration made similar statements.

Last November, four high-ranking Cuban officials were indicted by a federal grand jury on drug-smuggling charges but they haven't been tried because the United States can't lay its hands on them.

Why aren't more people in the United States outraged about this? Here is the government of Cuba sending cocaine, marijuana and other mind-altering drugs into this country and only a few seem to care.

One of those who cares is Sen. Paula Hawkins, R-Fla. who chaired the Senate hearing. She wants an official U.S. complaint filed with the United Nations.

Given the U.N.'s predilection to take sides against the United States, nothing probable would come of it. But at least it would give the charges an airing before a world body and it would put Castro on notice that we're keeping score on him.