Anti-Castro group links Cuba with drug running into US
An anti-Castro foundation released an 88-page report here Wednesday linking Fidel Castro's Cuba with drug smuggling into this country. In a press conference at which the report was introduced, Francis M. Mullen Jr., administrator of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), described the report as ''objective.''
Mr. Mullen said that the DEA could not support every conclusion or recommendation contained in the report, which was prepared by the Cuban American National Foundation in Washington, D.C. He said, for example, that the DEA has not been able independently to confirm that Cuba is involved in the production of narcotics or that Cuba has established a drug-selling network in this country.
But Mullen declared the DEA does have evidence of Cuban involvement in drug trafficking. He further said that indictments of Cuban officials and classified intelligence reports show that Fidel Castro himself is aware of the trafficking and involved.
Mullen testified recently that he believed there was involvement on the part of some Cuban government officials in facilitating the flow of drugs through the Caribbean and into the United States.
''It's our belief, based on intelligence, some of which is classified, and on actual cases, wherein we have had indictments of Cuban government officials, that this trafficking, the facilitation of the traffic, is occurring to obtain hard currency and in cases to support subversive activities in some areas of Latin America,'' said Mullen.
''To put it in perspective,'' he said, ''if the only drug problem we had in this country was the Cuban problem, then it wouldn't be much of a problem. But it is the appearance of a government facilitating the trafficking. And I often think if we had a government there which would assist us in our interdiction efforts, we could be much, much more effective in stopping the flow of drugs into the United States.''
Appearing at the same Wednesday press conference, Sen. Paula Hawkins, chairman of the Senate Drug Enforcement Caucus, described the new report on ''Castro and the Narcotics Connection'' as the ''first comprehensive documentation of Fidel Castro's extensive use of narcotics as a weapon against the United States and a means to finance and promote terrorism.'' The Florida Republican supported two of the report's most sensational findings:
* That the Cuban government is not only directly involved in trafficking in narcotics, but also involved in their production.
* That Cuban intelligence agents entered the US during the Mariel boatlift and established a narcotics network here.
Senator Hawkins recommended that five steps be taken as suggested by the newly released report:
1. Condemnation and inspection of Cuba by the United Nations and the Organization of American States.
2. Imposition of trade and loan sanctions against Cuba.
3. Establishment of the newly proposed Radio Marti to inform the Cuban people of ''Castro's crimes.''
4. Further investigation by the Congress, FBI, DEA, and State Department.
5. Extradition of four Cuban officials and two other persons indicted on charges of smuggling narcotics into the US.
According to the report, Aldo Santamaria Cuadrado, a vice-admiral in the Cuban navy and a member of the Cuban Communist Party Central Committee, is charged with having supervised the protection and resupplying of ships transporting drugs from Colombia to the US by way of Cuba.