La lucha cubana contra las drogas es sin cuartel
Por: Maury Guerrero (AIN)
'Cuba nunca ha perdido tiempo en la batalla contra las drogas', nos dice Roberto D=EDaz Sotolongo al ser abordado en un receso de la III Conferencia Regional sobre Fiscalizaci=F3n de Drogas en el Caribe, que sesion=F3 recientemente en La Habana.
Al preguntarle por los resultados de empe=F1os tan serios como las denominadas operaciones Ach=E9, instrumentada por el Ministerio del Interior cubano contra el narcotr=E1fico internacional y la titulada 'Coraza del Pueblo', contra el =E1ngulo dom=E9stico del fen=F3meno, D=EDaz Sotolongo echa mano a las cifras:
'El pasado a=F1o se incautaron tres mil 80 kilogramos de drogas, que es el total m=E1s bajo de los =FAltimos a=F1os y fueron frustradas nueve operaciones de narcotr=E1fico. Los tribunales cubanos radicaron 1.472 causas contra 3.398 personas. Esos son algunos de los resultados', se=F1ala.
'Una reciente investigaci=F3n de la Comisi=F3n Nacional de Drogas, con el apoyo de un equipo multidisciplinario, confirm=F3 el car=E1cter incipiente del consumo interno, con un =EDndice de prevalencia actual del consumo inferior al 0,17 por ciento, lo cual denota que no nos hemos dormido en los laureles.'
A=F1ade para seguidamente afirmar, que 'no obstante las pol=EDticas y planes de acci=F3n preventivos se corrigen continuamente'.

El tambi=E9n Presidente de la Comisi=F3n Nacional de Drogas insiste en el car=E1cter incipiente del tr=E1fico y el consumo de estupefacientes en la mayor isla del Caribe.
'Cuba es uno de los pocos pa=EDses en el mundo en que se puede hablar en t=E9rminos de kilogramos y no de toneladas de drogas.

'Se nos daba el caso de una peque=F1a red, muy incipiente, muy elemental pero aun as=ED llegamos a considerarlo una clarinada que nos indicaba que deb=EDamos actuar y lo hicimos con energ=EDa porque ese era el germen del crimen organizado y eso no pod=EDamos permitirlo'.

D=EDaz Sotolongo afirma que actuar con la supuesta energ=EDa no signific=F3 para los organismos oficiales involucrados dejar de lado las leyes y las garant=EDas para los ciudadanos.
Al referirse a la cantidad de extranjeros detenidos en Cuba por tr=E1fico il=EDcito de alucin=F3genos, el Ministro cubano la calcula en una cifra que usualmente oscila en 150, 'y a veces ha llegado a algo m=E1s de 170, aunque hay algunos que son deportados como resultado de acuerdos'.
Seguidamente pone el ejemplo de 22 reos que hace algunos a=F1os, en correspondencia con un convenio de traslado de sancionados suscrito con Espa=F1a, fueron remitidos a ese pa=EDs.
Interrogado sobre la marcha de este tema entre Cuba y Estados Unidos, se=F1al=F3: 'Se mantiene la pol=EDtica fijada por nosotros de total disposici=F3n a cooperar cada vez que suceda un caso y de hecho han ocurrido, siguen ocurriendo y cada vez que se producen avistamientos sospechosos de naves circundando la Isla, se les da a conocer; nosotros creemos que cumplimos con nuestro deber al hacerlo'.

D=EDaz Sotolongo nos informa que en la Secci=F3n de Intereses de Estados Unidos en La Habana, esa naci=F3n tiene a un oficial del Servicio de Guardacostas 'con el cual existe un trabajo m=E1s operativo, m=E1s directo', pero califica la actitud de Washington de 'fr=EDa y nada interesada en la cooperaci=F3n'.
El titular de Justicia insiste en el empe=F1o de La Habana por 'estimular el incremento de la lucha m=E1s tenaz contra el tr=E1fico il=EDcito de drogas y propiciar una cooperaci=F3n m=E1s amplia y efectiva sobre la base del respeto a la soberan=EDa, la integridad territorial de los Estados y dem=E1s principios consagrados en la Carta de las Naciones Unidas'.
'Nuestra lucha contra las drogas es y ser=E1 sin cuartel', afirma tajante.
1 2
La lucha cubana contra las drogas es sin cuartel

Pero Raul Castro trabaja "con cartel".
Cuba and Cocaine:
Original Air Date: February 5, 1991
Written, Produced, and Directed by Stephanie Tepper and William Cran

Gen. del PINO:
Several times I received orders from Raul Castro's office and also from General Abrantes's office to let the airplane cross over Cuba.

Mr. de BEUNZA:
(through interpreter) Perez Betancourt told me that Aldo Santamaria was involved in drug trafficking. He said Aldo was following Fidel and Raul's orders but he was doing it reluctantly whereas he, Perez Betancourt, say that if he were the boss of the navy, he would be happy to do it because they were Fidel's orders, and that surprised me.
Mr. LLOVIO-MENENDEZ:
Tony de la Guardia knew that Fidel was involved in drug trafficking. He was the only living witness except perhaps Raul Castro and Abrantes who knew that Fidel was involved in drug trafficking. Fidel had to get rid of him.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/archive/cubaandcocaine.html
More evidence:
CASTRO'S DRUG-RUNNING LINKS PART 1
By Ernesto Betancourt
The New Australian
Australia
Colaboración:
Paul Echaniz
Agosto 28, 2001
Castro's links to drugs go back to the time when he was in the Sierra Maestra. When he survived the disastrous landing of the Granma in 1956, the first local protector he had was Crescencio Perez, a local peasant "capo" who controlled production and marketing of many crops, including marihuana. When some of the revolutionaries realized who their savior was and complained to Castro, he told them that for the time being they had to depend on him. Such issues would be dealt with afterwards. Later on, Crescencio became a peasant revolutionary hero.
Once in power, Castro was not, and still is not, averse to associate with drug or any illegal or unsavory activity as long as it helps him stay in power. There are four drug cases involving Cuban officials at the highest level which have resulted in U.S. grand jury indictments:

a. In 1982, four high ranking Cuban officials were indicted by the Guillot Lara Gran Jury for arranging a drug smuggling operation through which drugs were brought into the U.S. in exchange for smuggling weapons to the M-19 guerrilla movement in Colombia, which was being supported by Castro. The officers indicted included Admiral Aldo Santamaría, who was the Cuban Navy Chief and one of the closest Castro collaborators; Fernando Ravelo, Ambassador to Colombia and later to Nicaragua; René Rodríguez Cruz, President of the Cuban People's Friendship Institute, a close Castro collaborator, since deceased; and, Gonzalo Bassols, a Cuban diplomat accredited to Colombia at the time. The most important of them in terms of relevance to the issue under discussion is Admiral Santamaría. He was a member of the Honor Tribunal condemning Gral. Arnaldo Ochoa!

b. One of the central events in the Noriega indictment and trial involved Castro's mediation between Noriega and the drug cartel over the seizure of a cocaine laboratory in Panama which Noriega had allowed to operate there in exchange for a payment of $4 million dollars. According to the indictment, Noriega traveled to Cuba on June 27, 1984, at Castro's request, on his way back from Paris. Castro offered his good offices to settle the disagreement between the drug cartel and General Noriega. A mediator role that requires good relations with the drug lords. Good relations that extend to the present.
c. In 1989, Robert Vesco was indicted by the Carlos Lehder Grand Jury in Jacksonville, Fla. for arranging safe passage for drug planes over Cuban air space. According to the indictment, Vesco obtained approval from Cuban authorities for this arrangement. Later on, in an interview over Radio Martí, former Cuban Air Force Deputy Chief, General Rafael del Pino, who defected in 1987, reported that all the planes flying over Cuba which veered off from the approved air corridors for commercial and private aircraft, had to be cleared with the office of Raúl Castro at MINFAR.

In a program broadcast over Cuban TV on the Ochoa trial, one can see an indignant Fidel Castro calling SOBs those who pointed out Raul's involvement in drug traffic. But, his indignation does not explain away the truth: only Raúl Castro had overall command of the forces which allowed the smugglers to land in Cuba and provided them radar assistance and protection from U.S. Coast Guard cutters.
d. But the most worrisome of all the indictments for Castro was the one that ended in the conviction, on April 23, 1989, of Reinaldo Ruiz and his son Rubén. Reinaldo Ruiz was a cousin of Captain Miguel Ruiz Poo of Cuba's Ministry of the Interior. The Ruizes were allowed by Cuban authorities to land their plane at the Varadero Beach airport for refueling after dropping their drug cargoes off the Cuban coast near the Bahamas. Drug smuggling motorboats (lancheros), would come from Florida to pick up the cargoes. Cuban Coast Guard radar monitored U.S. Coast Guard cutters and helped the Alancheros evade them.
These four indictments provide ample evidence, from US judicial sources, that the Castro regime, at the highest level, was involved in drug-running activities. It has been claimed that these activities may have been undertaken by rogue Cuban government officers on their own and without Castro's knowledge or, much less, approval. Nobody who has the most limited inkling of how the Cuban regime works could give credit to this explanation. True, Castro wants the world to believe there is such a possibility because he is in utmost fear of meeting the Noriega fate.
As will be shown in the next section, a search for the ability to deny any potential Castro involvement in drug traffic was one of the reasons for the Ochoa trial. Although, in order to avoid falling into the trap of reductionism to a single cause, it is acknowledged that the need to dispose of an emerging highly popular rival also played a role. Ochoa's actions reveal the intention to challenge Castro's power monopoly in many directions, in Cuba's relations with the Soviets, in directing military operations overseas and in managing the drug traffic.

The Ochoa Trial, Drugs and the Castro Brothers
The implications of the last US indictment, the Ruiz case, require some amplification because it is the central event leading to the Ochoa trial. It is precisely the use of Cuban air space and refueling facilities, as well as providing drug smugglers radar support to evade the US Coast Guard that was one of the central issues raised during the trial against Ochoa. This, despite the fact that, at no time during that period, was Ochoa in command of the forces involved in controlling Cuban air space, territorial waters and shores in the areas where these operations were taking place.

However, this does not exonerate Ochoa. He just did not realize the consequences of becoming entangled with Ministry of Interior operations fully approved by Fidel Castro and directed by his brother Raul. Once discovered, Ochoa, along with some other key operatives, were to be made sacrificial lambs to save Castro's good name and the reputation of the revolution.
Radio Martí was able to interview Reinaldo Ruiz in prison shortly after he was sentenced in 1989. We were told we had to wait for the sentencing to avoid the implication that what he said was the result of some plea bargaining. In the interview with our reporter, Ruiz explained that he had been involved in a MININT people-smuggling operation through Panama and wanted to make use of it himself to get some of his relatives out of Cuba. It was while he was engaged in this effort that he claims he was approached by his cousin, Captain Ruiz Poo, to use his people-smuggling network for drug smuggling into the U.S.
At the time, Captain Miguel Ruiz Poo was working for the convertible currency (MC) operation of Cuba's MININT, which was headed by Colonel Tony de la Guardia, another of the officers executed by Castro. Reinaldo Ruiz claims he agreed to do it after some hesitancy. His son flew as copilot of the planes landing at Varadero and he himself went into Cuba on various occasions, enjoying VIP treatment from Cuban authorities. Reinaldo Ruiz stated that, in some occasions, the Cubans even took him to Havana as a government guest. Mr. Ruiz claimed in the interview that he had no doubt that what he was doing had the approval of Castro. As an exile, he would have never taken the risk of going into Cuba had he had any doubt about who was behind those activities. A most plausible explanation.

But the Ruiz operation had been infiltrated by the DEA. The pilot of the plane was an undercover DEA agent and he recorded in videotape many of the conversations they had. The U.S. requested the extradition of Reinaldo Ruiz from Panama early in 1988. According to Reinaldo Ruiz, he was surprised when Panama granted the request. However, he was convinced all along that the Cubans would get him out somehow before his being convicted. According to the Norberto Fuentes report, Fidel Castro considered this setback was a consequence of Raul's incompetence in handling the operation.
As far back as 1980, the Minister of Interior at the time, Ramiro Valdez, stopped marihuana smuggling operations ordered by Fidel when Castro refused to issue written orders to him to undertake them. In early 1983, the Minister of Interior ordered Tony de la Guardia to make a feasibility study for a drug money laundering center at Cayo Largo, south of Cuba, and de la Guardia is also asked by Fidel to establish contacts with Pablo Escobar, the Colombian drug cartel head.

Castro initially delayed a proposal from the Colombian M-19 movement to engage in an exchange of weapons for coca because the proposal had been addressed directly to him by Jaime Bateman. Evidently, after Bateman's death in an airplane accident, a more discrete arrangement was made - leaving Castro out of the loop - that led to the above mentioned Guillot Lara Grand Jury.
In the Fall of 1983 Fidel told Abrantes, who was really acting as Minister of Interior, and two MININT officers, Jose Luis Padron and Tony de la Guardia, that he wanted to be shown the feasibility of undertaking drug operations while overcoming three obstacles: the requirements established by Ramiro Valdez of written orders, the clumsiness of the Chief of the Navy, Aldo Santamaria and other Raul collaborators, already indicted in the US, or the level of formal commitment expected by the Colombian M-19. In other words, as Fidel Castro was moving towards expanding his involvement in the drug traffic, he wanted to ensure deniability for himself.

When Reinaldo Ruiz was convicted on April 23, 1989, the contents of some of the videotapes recorded by the DEA undercover agent were given ample coverage by mass media, among them one in which Reinaldo Ruiz is seen saying that the money they were paying "went straight into Castro's drawers." He also alleged that, on one occasion, while they were waiting at the Varadero Airport tarmac, Raúl Castro was at the airport and one of his bodyguards approached them requesting marihuana.
One can imagine the panic this caused among Castro and his collaborators. Neglect of the fate of a low minion in the drug operation being run by Cuban intelligence all of the sudden had entangled directly the revolutionary leadership. And in an American court of all places. Plausible denial was no longer credible.
http://www.lanuevacuba.com/archivo/e-betancourt-88.htm

CASTRO'S DRUG-RUNNING LINKS PART 2
By Ernesto Betancourt
The New Australian
Australia
Colaboración:
Paul Echaniz
Septiembre 1-2, 2001
According to one of the Cuban TV tapes of the Ochoa trial, it is precisely on April 24, 1989, the day after the conviction of the Ruizes, that Captain Miguel Ruiz Poo got a call from Major General Abelardo Colomé, a close collaborator of Raúl Castro, who is now Minister of Interior and at that time was head of MINFAR intelligence, inquiring on what was going on. In his testimony, Colonel de la Guardia stated that he tried to calm down Captain Ruiz Poo by explaining that General Colomé was inquiring about the status of collections from the operation.
It is this conversation that led to the dramatic testimony seen later on in the TV program covering the trial, showing Captain Ruiz' pathetic effort to save himself by referring to comments by other accused officers about higher ups being involved in the drug operation. After Captain Ruiz started sobbing uncontrollably in the witness stand, he is hurriedly removed from the court and the next day he is not allowed to expand on his clarification by the prosecutor, while other witnesses are brought to deny that any involvement at the highest level was ever discussed and to question that anybody had grounds to even think of such a possibility. The reaction to the highly emotional revelation of a clearly terrified witness reveals that the higher ups involvement issue was central to the rationale for the trial.

One version of the Ochoa trial, which reached Radio Martí at the time, was that Ochoa was preparing to challenge Castro. He had discrete encouragement from the Soviets, Gorbachev had visited the island earlier in 1989, and was not very pleased with Castro's defiant stance towards Glasnost and Perestroika. General Ochoa twice attended Soviet military schools and developed close links with Soviet generals when he commanded Cuban forces in Ethiopia and Angola. Under this version, knowing about Castro's plans to cooperate with the drug cartels in exchange for massive investments in Cuban tourism, Ochoa sent his aide Captain Martínez, also later executed by Castro, to meet Pablo Escobar in Colombia to get evidence for the challenge he was planning.
Another, much more plausible version, emerges from the Norberto Fuentes report. It reveals that Ochoa was distrusted by Raul, who sent General Leopoldo Cintras Frias as Ochoa's deputy in Angola to try to control him. In a preview of the trial that took place later on, on May 28, 1989, Raul gave Ochoa a dressing down, while already under preliminary arrest, in the presence of Grals Ulises Rosales del Toro and Abelardo Colome. Raul raised with Ochoa, for the first time, the issue of sexual orgies, while adding as factors under consideration that he:
i) openly disobeyed Fidel's orders in waging the last phase of the war in Angola;
ii) was developing too close a relationship with Soviet generals there (at a time when Fidel had given orders to Minister Abrantes to start watching Soviet contacts with Cuban officials);
iii) had supported the attack on La Tablada garrison in Buenos Aires by Argentine guerrillas without having cleared it with his superiors; and,

iv) more worrisome of all, had established his own connection to Pablo Escobar to engage in drug operations.
This last issue involved a project to build a coca laboratory in Angola in association with Pablo Escobar; for which, Ochoa had asked Tony de la Guardia to take charge of developing a marketing network in the US and Western Europe. Up to that time, the drug smuggling operations undertaken by Tony de la Guardia on behalf of the Ochoa/Escobar group, which had started early in 1987, had generated small amounts of money, the rate was about $1,200 per kg of coca, and were aborted on several occasions due to sabotage, apparently encouraged by Castro. As a result, Ochoa was moving to set up his own smuggling operation independent of the MININT MC Department.

From the Fuentes report, it is evident that Castro was engaged in many simultaneous drug smuggling arrangements. In the end, Fidel emerges as a distant Godfather, always in the background, having the final say in deals with Vesco, Ledher and others. Some of the deals proposed involved substantial amounts. For example, through one of Tony de la Guardia subordinates, Lt. Col. Rolando Castañeda Izquierdo, Carlos Ledher proposed a $ 7 million a week arrangement for regular shipments. That would generate a flow of $ 364 million dollars a year. It is deals of this magnitude that could explain how Cuba finances the gap in its balance of payments. In another such deal, Abrantes, under Fidel orders, instructs Tony de la Guardia to find buyers in Europe for $ 50 million dollars of coca.

Of all the sins of Ochoa, challenging Castro as the Cuban Godfather, was his worst offense. It was not only a threat to Castro's absolute rule, it also endangered his careful efforts at covering up Cuba's involvement in drug smuggling. The Ruizes sentence precipitated events.

With his obsession to give a legal cover to the most arbitrary actions he wants to undertake, Castro decided to orchestrate a trial to eliminate the threat Ochoa presented to his leadership of the regime and, in the process, to cleanse himself from any involvement in drug traffic. To ensure their silence, he executed the four that not only knew about his entanglement with drug trafficking, but were closely involved in Ochoa's operations.

Later on, he would also get rid of the Minister of Interior, Jose Abrantes. Abrantes was dismissed as Minister of Interior as a result of the Ochoa trial, but not because he was involved with Ochoa. Quite the contrary. He was the executor of the Castro orders in relation to drug operations. It is quite possible that Raul saw in the whole mess the opportunity of bringing the MININT under this control. He was able to do so by placing Gral. Abelardo Colome, one of his most trusted officers, in charge of the MININT.

After his dismissal, Abrantes was tried and sentenced to prison for omission in preventing the corrupt activities of his subordinates. While in prison in Guanajay, on January 18, 1991, he had a confrontation with Gral. Patricio de la Guardia, Tony's twin brother, one of the defendants at the Ochoa trial sentenced to prison. According to the Fuentes report, Abrantes told Patricio that Fidel had authorized everything. Patricio was indignant upon the confirmation that his brother was executed for having undertaken tasks ordered by Fidel. On January 21, 1991, three days later, Abrantes died in prison. . Actually, it is reported he died as a result of an overdose of a heart medicine he needed, a frequent outcome in Castro's jails.
Those defendants in the Ochoa trial serving time in prison got a warning: revealing the involvement of Castro in the drug operations could be a fatal indiscretion. Meanwhile, as recent events reveal, Castro continues tolerating drug traffic through Cuba, the crime for which he executed Ochoa, free of any local competition in his role as Godfather.

For example, in January, 1996, Jorge Gordito Cabrera, was arrested in the Florida Keys and charged with importing 6,000 pounds of cocaine. At the time of his arrest, El Nuevo Herald reported he was carrying a photo of himself with Fidel Castro. Later that year, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to
19 years in prison. To make the matter more bizarre, during the campaignfinance scandal, it was revealed that three weeks before his arrest, in December, 1995, Mr. Cabrera had pictures taken of him with the First Lady, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, at a White Hopuse Christmas party.

Before meeting with Hillary Clinton he had pictures taken with Vice-President Al Gore at a Miami fund raising party. It turned out Mr. Cabrera had made a $20,000 contribution to the Democratic Presidential campaign at the urging of Mrs. Vivian Mannerud, a pro-Castro activist in Miami who owns a company that provides travel services to Cuba. She had approached him during a visit both had made to Havana earlier in 1995. The funds were returned, of course, but the scandal remains.

A more recent drug incident took place on December 3, 1998 in Cartagena, Colombia. That day the Colombian police seized 7 tons of cocaine bound for Cuba to be transshipped later to Europe and the United States. According to the head of the Colombian National Police, drug runners Aare employing a new trend of loading cocaine into containers transported initially to Cuba for distribution in smaller shipments to the United States and other international consumer markets.
In this case, the shipment was made under the disguise of raw materials for a plastic factory owned by two Spanish investors in a joint venture with a Cuban government enterprise, which had 51 per cent ownership. Later on, the Colombian police announced records of the firm involved revealed that there have been seven or eight earlier shipments following a similar pattern.

Castro was enraged at the Colombians over making this incident public. In a speech in January, 1999, he quoted drug arrests statistics to prove how hard Cuba is fighting drugs. That Cuba is fighting drug smuggling is another theme of Cuba's current propaganda. Unfortunately, there are some in the US Government who believe that. They are even willing to share with Castro US drug smuggling intelligence. However, others, in Colombia, claim that those Castro is arresting are from rival cartels.
This idea is not as farfetched as it may appear. At the trial of the Mexican Drug Czar, who was arrested two weeks after being praised as an honest man by US Drug Czar General Barry McCaffrey, it was revealed that the Drug Czar, General Jesus Gutierrez Rebollo, was using Mexican Army and Air Force resources to help drug capo Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the so-called King of the Skies, eliminate his competitors.
That means that the sophisticated equipment the US provided to the Mexican army to fight drug smuggling was actually used by one of the capos against his competition. Since, as is commented further down, Carrillo Flores had close links with Castro, it is quite likely that the recent Castro efforts to reach an agreement to have access to US intelligence and equipment were intended to replicate that experience.
http://www.lanuevacuba.com/archivo/e-betancourt-89.htm

CASTRO'S DRUG-RUNNING LINKS PART 3
By Ernesto Betancourt
The New Australian
Australia
Colaboración:
Paul Echaniz
Septiembre 8-9, 2001
Cuba does not generate the savings required to finance investments. Hotels are reported to be built with Cuban funds, one logical conclusion is that Cuba is a huge money laundering center for the cartels. After all, wasn't this Ochoa's plan? We will elaborate on this hypothesis using the figures provided in the ECLAC report.
Some Relevant Indicators on Hotel Investment

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996Room stock (000) 12.9 16.6 18.7 22.1 23.3 24.2 26.9 Additions (000) 3.7 2.1 3.4 1.2 0.9 2.7
Estimated investment (million US dollars) 370 210 340 120 90 270 Peso equivalent (million pesos @20 rate) 7400 4200 6800 2400 1800 5400
Gross domestic investment (million pesos) 4872 2274 975 965 1036 1500 1900
Domestic savings (million pesos) 2327 820 555 577 794 985 1380 Year end market exchange rate in pesos per dollar 7 20 45 100 60 25 19
Except the estimates for hotel investment in dollars and their conversion to Cuban pesos, all the figures are taken from tables in the statistical annex of the ECLAC report. Since no table is provided in the ECLAC report for the flow of remittances, and the US$ 800 million figure is mentioned only in the text, no equivalent numbers are available to compare for the years covered in the above table. Some questions may be raised on the use of a rate of 20 pesos to the dollar to do the conversion of the investments to current Cuban pesos. As can be appreciated from the last line, if anything, this rate underestimates the pesos equivalent which in 1993 reached 100 to the dollar. Therefore, it provides a conservative conversion to Cuban current pesos.

According to the tables provided in the ECLAC report, Cuba built 14,000 hotel rooms of international level quality between 1990 and 1996. The ECLAC Report acknowledges that these hotels are built with Cuban financing. The benchmark figure for hotel investment in the Caribbean is between 100 and
125 thousand US dollars per hotel room. Applying the lower figure to allowfor lower labor costs in construction in Cuba we arrive at a total investment during the period of 1,4 billion US dollars.

The amount of dollars required would be lower if Cuba could provide more inputs, however, the collapse of Cuban industry since the end of Soviet assistance does not allow for use of local components other than labor, cement and perhaps some steel bars for concrete structures. International quality hotels require equipment above Cuban production standards. According to ECLAC, even food items for tourism, such as eggs and chicken, are imported due to the poor quality of Cuban production.

The contradictions and inconsistencies these figures reveal are related to the relation between investment in hotels and total national investment and savings reported in the national accounts. As can be observed, the peso equivalent of the hotel investment in all years exceeds the figures reported by ECLAC in its report for both gross domestic investment and national savings. More so, when we consider that hotel building is not the only national investment. There is a fact that is unquestionable: hotels have been built.
As commented above, the information on foreign investment provided to The Economist Intelligence Unit did not include hotel investment either. The question is why do the aggregate figures from national accounts do not reflect those investments. Unless there is some explanation resulting from the techniques followed for computing the national accounts, the only possible explanation is that financing for these investments has been handled outside the conventional national accounts: money laundering or drug trafficking.
What is the evidence supporting the money laundering hypothesis?

Here is where money laundering enters as another plausible explanation for how investments in hotels are financed. Not only by the coincidence of this massive expansion starting precisely the year after General Ochoa was executed. As commented above, there was a hypothesis that Ochoa had uncovered this scheme and was trying to document it to justify his challenge to Castro. The other, more credible, hypothesis is that Ochoa was trying to become a Castro rival as a capo in drug smuggling. Whatever is the actual explanation, when Castro discovered what Ochoa was up to, he decided to turn the tables on him and use the accusation of dealing with the drug lords to discredit Ochoa and justify his execution.
Castro's involvement with the drug lords is more than documented by the four grand jury indictments mentioned above. And this involvement did not end with the Ochoa trial. The arrest of Jorge Agordito Caberra, with a photo with Castro, raises the possibility Castro was considering gaining some influence, a la Chinese, with the Clinton Administration.

The cocaine shipment seized in Colombia in December, 1998, one of seven or eight previous ones, owned by foreign investors who were partners in a joint venture with the Cuban government could take place only with some previous clearance by Castro himself. The fact no regime official has been fired or prosecuted for acting on his own, points to Castro as the approving authority and not the doings of some rogue officer. It is evident drug smuggling has survived the Ochoa execution, and so has money laundering, but following another tract.
Over the years, Castro's practice has been to handle dollar transactions through his own substantial personal accounts overseas, the so-called "Reserva del Comandante." This was revealed by Jesús M. Fernández, who defected in May, 1996 and had had access to the highest level of financial management within the regime. He reports that these private Castro accounts were used to channel Soviet financing of Cuba's military operations overseas, subversive activities and the CIMEX enterprise, later replaced by the MININT's Department of Convertible Currency.
This is precisely the agency where Colonel Tony de la Guardia worked when he was involved in drug deals. According to Mr. Fernández, these private accounts are also used for those economic sectors under the direct supervision of Castro, such as pharmaceuticals and tourism, as well as Ministry of Interior overseas operations generating convertible currencies.

It has been established by DEA that the weight of the money generated by drug sales exceeds the weight of the drugs themselves. Therefore, disposing of the money involved in the US alone - with more than $100 billion in retail sales yearly - is a process of industrial proportions. Trailer trucks cross the US-Mexico frontier with full cargoes of US dollars. According to a report on money laundering in The Economist, the fee at that time for helping the cartels launder their money had increased to between 25 and 28 per cent. In the argot of the money launderers, this is called "discounting," the cost of making a drug tainted dollar a tradable dollar.

Ironically, through the prohibition of legal remittances in 1996, the US Government provided an excellent cover-up for money laundering. Money started reaching Cuba through so-called "mules." That is, people who traveled to Cuba through third countries carrying tens of thousands of dollars in cash. By depositing these monies in Cuban government accounts, or, more likely, in the accounts of the Comandante's reserves, the money is legitimized.
The death of the "Lord of the Skies," Amado Carrillo Fuentes, has lifted the veil of another potential avenue for money laundering. According to a report published by The Miami Herald, Mexican authorities have obtained evidence that Carrillo Fuentes was a guest at a protocol house of the Cuban government during his frequent visits to the island. There is speculation that among the alleged activities taking Mr. Carrillo Fuentes to Cuba was money laundering. Authority for assigning protocol houses is vested exclusively on Fidel Castro and his Chef de Cabinet, Dr. Jose Millar Barruecos, is responsible for their administration.

Finally, Cuban defectors have mentioned that, among the attractions offered to drug dealers visiting the Cayo Largo resort, a key south of the island of Cuba, is the existence of banking facilities where money laundering is performed. As was mentioned above, Tony de la Guardia was the MININT officer commissioned to undertake the feasibility study to make this key a money laundering center.
This analysis offers only an inkling of what is going on. There is no doubt that there is a huge flow of laundered money worldwide and that Cuba is one of the channels being used. It is also evident that in Cuba nothing of this sort can go on without Castro's personal approval. Use of the remittances scam to cover-up the huge gap in Cuba's balance of trade stands on shallow ground. In conclusion, we can say that the available evidence indicates there is an unquestionable impossibility of the remittances option offering the main source to finance whatever is the balance of trade gap.

As to other sources, there is substantial evidence to conclude that Cuba is engaged in drug smuggling and money laundering. This is a huge growing gap, as is shown in the previously mentioned Table 4 of Jorge Perez Lopez paper, which in 1998 registers a trade gap amounting to US$ 2,785 million. Therefore, even accepting the US$ 800 million estimate for remittances, there are two billion dollars more to explain.
However, there is not enough data to estimate the magnitude of the resulting financial flows. All we have is a simple way to calculate how that gap may be met through money laundering and drug smuggling. It reveals that to meet the balance of trade gap, Castro needs four dollars in money laundering transactions for each dollar in net proceeds and to smuggle a kilogram of coca for each $ 1,250. Back in 1989, the US Coast Guard had reports of about
300 flights per year outside of the approved air corridors over Cuba forprivate and commercial flights. It is such flights that make the coca drops to be picked up by the Alancheros
At some future time, reliable estimates on drug trafficking volume may be available and it may be possible to combine the data on volume with rates and the money laundering fees to compute estimates of the involved financial flows. But the lack of data for quantification should not deter us from considering that drug trafficking and money laundering are the most plausible sources for financing the Cuban balance of trade gap.

http://www.lanuevacuba.com/archivo/e-betancourt-90.htm
PL
"PL" (Email Removed) a écrit dans le message de 2saye.136972$
PL reste silencieux la dessus, pourquoi ? Serait il gêné ? http://www.centre-ernesto-che-guevara.org/forum/forum posts.asp?TID=270&PN=1&TPN=1

Et la dessus, toujours pas de commentaires ?
http://www.centre-ernesto-che-guevara.org/forum/forum posts.asp?TID=275&PN=1

Je cite :
"C'est le mec qui essai de prendre tout le monde par des imbéciles, car au même moment où il ne parle que des merdes sur Cuba et LEUR régime, il invite à toute le monde à se rendre à Cuba avec son AGENCE de VOYAGES."
QUEL MALHONNËTE !
Et voila des faits que tout le monde peut vérifier, voyons voir ce qu'il en dit et s'il répond aux questions :

PL est le plus grand contributeur de propagande
anti-cubaine de
Au 28/06/2005 nous ne trouvons pas moins
de 34 000 contributions pour la période
comprise entre le 25 nov. 2003 et ce jour,
avec l'adresse (Email Removed)
http://minilien.com/?cTteiQ2ybG
Et 2630 avec l'adresse (Email Removed)
http://minilien.com/?CsBODlSI3s
Ce qui fait de lui le plus gros contributeur particulier de Usenet, big 8 compris.
C'est a dire qu'il passe tout son temps à poster
la propagande qu'on lui transmet.
Pourrais t'on savoir de quoi il vit ?
En effet, il faut bien qu'il mange, alors de quoi vit-il sinon des subventions des organisations nord-américaines ?
Comme c'est un amoureux de la vérité, n'en doutons, il va surement répondre, sinon nous serions tenter de croire qu'il est payé par ces derniers.

Et oui !
PL
"PL" (Email Removed) a écrit dans le message de zBaye.136979$
PL reste silencieux la dessus, pourquoi ? Serait il gêné ? http://www.centre-ernesto-che-guevara.org/forum/forum posts.asp?TID=270&PN=1&TPN=1

Et la dessus, toujours pas de commentaires ?
http://www.centre-ernesto-che-guevara.org/forum/forum posts.asp?TID=275&PN=1

Je cite :
"C'est le mec qui essai de prendre tout le monde par des imbéciles, car au même moment où il ne parle que des merdes sur Cuba et LEUR régime, il invite à toute le monde à se rendre à Cuba avec son AGENCE de VOYAGES."
QUEL MALHONNËTE !
Et voila des faits que tout le monde peut vérifier, voyons voir ce qu'il en dit et s'il répond aux questions :

PL est le plus grand contributeur de propagande
anti-cubaine de
Au 28/06/2005 nous ne trouvons pas moins
de 34 000 contributions pour la période
comprise entre le 25 nov. 2003 et ce jour,
avec l'adresse (Email Removed)
http://minilien.com/?cTteiQ2ybG
Et 2630 avec l'adresse (Email Removed)
http://minilien.com/?CsBODlSI3s
Ce qui fait de lui le plus gros contributeur particulier de Usenet, big 8 compris.
C'est a dire qu'il passe tout son temps à poster
la propagande qu'on lui transmet.
Pourrais t'on savoir de quoi il vit ?
En effet, il faut bien qu'il mange, alors de quoi vit-il sinon des subventions des organisations nord-américaines ?
Comme c'est un amoureux de la vérité, n'en doutons, il va surement répondre, sinon nous serions tenter de croire qu'il est payé par ces derniers.

Et oui !
PL reste silencieux la dessus, pourquoi ? Serait il gêné ? http://www.centre-ernesto-che-guevara.org/forum/forum posts.asp?TID=270&PN=1&TPN=1

Et la dessus, toujours pas de commentaires ?
http://www.centre-ernesto-che-guevara.org/forum/forum posts.asp?TID=275&PN=1

Je cite :
"C'est le mec qui essai de prendre tout le monde par des imbéciles, car au même moment où il ne parle que des merdes sur Cuba et LEUR régime, il invite à toute le monde à se rendre à Cuba avec son AGENCE de VOYAGES."
QUEL MALHONNËTE !
Et voila des faits que tout le monde peut vérifier, voyons voir ce qu'il en dit et s'il répond aux questions :

PL est le plus grand contributeur de propagande
anti-cubaine de
Au 28/06/2005 nous ne trouvons pas moins
de 34 000 contributions pour la période
comprise entre le 25 nov. 2003 et ce jour,
avec l'adresse (Email Removed)
http://minilien.com/?cTteiQ2ybG
Et 2630 avec l'adresse (Email Removed)
http://minilien.com/?CsBODlSI3s
Ce qui fait de lui le plus gros contributeur particulier de Usenet, big 8 compris.
C'est a dire qu'il passe tout son temps à poster
la propagande qu'on lui transmet.
Pourrais t'on savoir de quoi il vit ?
En effet, il faut bien qu'il mange, alors de quoi vit-il sinon des subventions des organisations nord-américaines ?
Comme c'est un amoureux de la vérité, n'en doutons, il va surement répondre, sinon nous serions tenter de croire qu'il est payé par ces derniers.

Et oui !
JEJEJEJ Eso seria como el Ku Klux Klan estar en
contra de la discriminacion racial o los NAZI
alemanes de hitler a favor de el Zionismo.jejeje
On 4 Jul 2005 05:42:18 -0700, "Horizontes"
SPAM PL

Spam ? vean esto
http://www.centre-ernesto-che-guevara.org/forum/forum posts.asp?TID=275&PN=1
www.centre-ernesto-che-guevara.org
SPAM PL

Spam ? vean esto

De Spam a mentiras.
No es mejor.
PL
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