WEST NILE VIRUS: AN INSIDE VIEW
by Carlos Wotzkow with the collaboration of Jaums Sutton
"We believe the fundamental risk is the more than 100 varieties of birds migrating each year from the North and they can transmit the virus to Cuba." Granma Digital, Official Cuban Newspaper.
Everyone should know that the newspaper Granma would take up this topic in order to make us think what they want us to think.
As I told U.S. intelligence officials in August of 2001, "you see things from the perspective of an elephant that is being bit by an ant. You don’t realize that a mound of ants can eat an elephant."(1)
Despite the risk of opening myself up for ridicule once again, I will state the facts as I know them about Cuba’s biological attack on the U.S.
The facts begin in 1980 at the Institute of Zoology in Havana where I worked as a Research Assistant from 1980 to 1982. Statements of those in charge insinuated (you can understand why they couldn’t just make straightforward statements) that the institute was a front for a platform for covert bacteriological warfare.(2)
Credibility, specifically mine, immediately comes into question after making a statement like the one I just made. When I revealed this information to U.S. authorities in 1992(3), they suggested I could have made it all up to impress them and gain sympathies for asylum in the U.S. But I have now been living in Switzerland for 10 years, quite established with a wife and five children. So can we move on to the much more important issue of morals? No country deserves the heinous things directed at the U.S. by Cuba. Especially a country that has been as supportive as the U.S. has been for the Cuban people.
But on to the terrestrial side of the story. Fidel Castro made weekly visits to the Zoology Institute. Not visits accompanied, reality TV-style, by video cameras, Granma and international reporters – staple tools of his ever-present efforts to promote his public image. These were secret weekly visits with no public record.
Or is this whole theory of using migratory birds to deliver disease to the U.S. just my personal paranoia? But Granma just confirmed it in its digital edition of August 23, 2002, by presenting the same paranoia.
Here is the process - simple and scientific - which I first described in my book published in 1998:
Catch birds that are in the process of migrating. When one has a U.S. band on it, carefully remove the band and mail it to the organization that installed it with an explanation of where the bird was found and you will receive a history of that bird including when and where it was banded. This is standard practice in the field of ornithology.
If other members of the flock are captured at the same time, it is scientifically safe to assume that they all came from the same place. That’s what birds do. They start out together, fly together, stop to rest together and can be caught together.
Continue catching birds until you catch some that prove, by the band information received from the U.S., that they are from the area of the U.S. you are interested in. This step is important as you will see in step 7.
Keep the birds safe and healthy until it is the season for them to migrate north.
Inject them with the West Nile Virus.
This step isn’t really a step because the birds do the work. They fly to their place of birth. Not to the closest land to the north. Not willy-nilly. Back to the precise area they are from, unless something physically prevents them from going where they are programmed to go. That is a scientific fact known since the beginning of banding. So, they are like a missile guided by nature.
Another non-step, because the birds and mosquitoes do the rest. But you already know this step.
It really is simple if you do the research first and choose the right disease transmitted by the right mosquitoes, the right type of birds that are migratory and like mosquito-infested areas.
You have to consider things like the incubation period and symptom level of the disease (if it makes the birds too sick to fly before they can get home, it’s the wrong disease). You have to consider how long it takes the birds to fly the distance to the area they were banded (if it’s too far based on the incubation period and symptom level, it’s no good).
It takes time to plan out and test and try all the things necessary to know what birds to choose and what disease to use. Use birds from an area of the U.S. that no-one would associate with Cuba, like New York. It could easily take, say 20 years to do the research and have the first guided missiles make their arrival known. Like from 1980 to 1999. I saw them working on it in 1980 and 1999 is when the first cases were detected in New York.
Cuba has the time, and the motivation.
A later step is the one where the birds migrate back to Cuba and infect mosquitoes and people, but, no plan is perfect. And anyway, if you are cleaver, you can blame this step on the U.S. Blame the U.S. for the West Nile Virus’ boomerang arrival to the population of Cuba: If only the U.S. had done the right thing by properly taking care of it, etc., etc.
Granma and the other official sources work so well for those in Cuba and those on the outside who don’t seek more information. Reading Granma presents a perfect keyhole that reveals only the portion of the room that Castro has carefully placed in view.
The keyhole blocks the view of the victims of encephalitis in Cuba that began with a teen-ager in 1991. Perhaps 20% of the injected birds released to migrate to the U.S. were unable to make the strenuous trip because of their inactivity in captivity, thus exposing Cuban mosquitoes to the infected birds.
Despite thousands of cases of encephalitis in Cuba, the precise diagnosis has never been made clear by the Cuban government. There has been no official connection made to the mortal viral pathogen of Baghdad, known as the West Nile Virus, nor its connection to the Cuba-Iraq connection made so public with Castro’s visit to the Middle East prior to September 11, 2001.
An interesting little irony of all this is that, I believe, the mosquitoes may very well be out of circulation due to the change of seasons, sufficiently long enough before the migration return to Cuba begins. The infected birds that Cuba professes to worry about will be dead or too weak for the migration, meaning, that only healthy birds will be migrating back to Cuba.
It would appear that Cuba is publicizing its "alarm" via Granma for the publicity value only.
(1) August 5, 2001, Miami Florida meeting with special agents John A. Bellamy and J. Brooks Broadus, of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
(2) Those in charge of the Institute of Zoology included Fernando Gonzalez, Noel Gonzalez Gotera, Hiram Gonzalez, Agustin Egurrola, Inez Garcia and Marbelia Rosabal.
(3) I assume that a gentlemen introduced to me as "Mr. Williams" in the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland, August 1992, while introducing himself as a special agent of American Intelligence, was actually of the Central Intelligence Agency or the National Security Agency.© Carlos Wotzkow, 2002
Carlos Wotzkow is an ornithologist and a writer, author of the books "Natumaleza Cubana", 1998 and "Covering and Discovering", 2001 with Agustin Blazquez, and of dozens of articles in favor of nature and human rights in Cuba. His articles are distributed monthly in magazines and via the Internet. He has lived in exile in Switzerland since 1992, in Bienne since 1994.