STATE-SPONSORED TERRORISM: CUBA
Por Manuel Cereijo
Despite significant pressure by the US on all countries sponsoring terrorism, none of them took the necessary actions to disassociate themselves from their ties to terrorism in 2002. The states have been reduced now to six, Cuba, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, and Sudan. All of them have continued the very actions that led them to be declared state sponsors.
Although Cuba signed and ratified all 12 international counter terrorism conventions in 2001, it has remained opposed to the US-led Coalition prosecuting the war in global terrorism and has been actively critical of many associated US policies and actions.
On repeated occasions, for example, Cuba sent agents to US missions around the world who provided false leads designed to subvert the post September 11 investigation.
In 2002, Cuba continued to host several terrorists and US fugitives. Cuba permitted up to 20 Basque Fatherland and Liberty members to reside in Cuba and provided safeheaven and support to members of the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-FARC- and National Liberation Army-ELN groups.
An accused Irish Republican Army-IRA- weapons expert and longtime resident of Cuba went on trial in Colombia in 2002. He had been caught a year earlier in Colombia with two other IRA members and detained for training the FARC in advanced use of explosives. Some US fugitives continued to live on the island.
Castro allowed the Soviet Union in 1962 to install atomic warhead missiles in Cuba. Once discovered, he tried to force the Soviet Union to launch a surprising missile attack against the United States.
Castro has been 44 years in power in Cuba. A tyrant, an oppressor, who has imprisoned over 150,000 persons and executed above 16,000.
CUBA'S BIOTECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT
Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology
· The most important institution in Cuba's biotechnology industry is the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, CIGB. It was established in La Habana, in 1986. Located west of La Habana. 31 Ave, between 158 and 190 Streets, Cubanacan. Cost: $150 million dollars.
· It has a total area of 60,000 square meters. The Center has state-of-the-art equipment, second only to the United States in the Americas. At the center work outstanding scientists and engineers dedicated to genetic research, virology, cloning, vaccines development.
· The main CIGB buildings cover an area of 43,200 square meters and contain specialized labs for both general purposes and dedicated research. The CIGB has a biotherium, barrier zones or white rooms, which allow research with sensitive and lethal agents.
· The CIGB's modern andefficient technological equipment includes mass spectrometers, infraredand ultraviolet, electron and scanning microscopes, gamma counters, DNA synthesizers. Also, and very important, downstream fermenters, drying and milling machines, centrifuges, which can, therefore guarantee research and development of bioweapons, such as bacteria and virus agents.
· In the CIGB work more than 700 highly skilled researchers, scientists, and engineers. Russians scientists cooperated with the CIGB several times, including, according to certain intelligence sources, assisting in the development of altered strains of bacteria. Capacity to produce bioweapons
· The National Bio-preparations center, Biocen, located in Bejucal, south of Habana province, at Carretera de Beltran km 1 1/2 is engaged in industrial scale production of human vaccines. It was built in 1992 at a cost of $15 million dollars
· Biocen's culture media plant has an annual 40 tons. capacity. It is equipped to carry out homogenization, hydrolisis, dehydration, milling, sifting, filtration, and several other processess required not only for the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, but for bacteria and virus weaponization.
· A new department that manufactures recombinant products went into operation in 1993. New cost: $7 million dollars. The complex also includes a plant producing immunological reagents and two vivaria labs.
· Innovative techniques have been developed at Biocen for obtaining culture media, substituting the traditional expensive nutritive bases, like meat, casein. They have developed 14 alternative protein sources. There is the capacity here to produce bioweapons
The Finlay Institute
· The Carlos J. Finlay Medical Research Institute is located in Ave. 27, No. 19805, La Lisa, Habana. Modernized in 1994 at a cost of $10 million dollars
· The Institute occupies an area of 23,000 square meters, divided into three areas: fermentation, purification, and "clean rooms". Over 950 persons work at the Institute. Of these, 70% are engineers and scientists.
· The Institute has done extensive work in the research and development of new vaccines. Among them, vaccines against Leptospirosis, Hepatitis, Cholera, and Meningitis. The Plant III area is well prepared for the production of the most sophisticated biomaterials. It is highly secured.
· The main areas of research and production of the Institute are related to bacteria and viruses. Commercially, it has worked on research and production of vaccines.
Capacity to produce bioweapons
The Institute of Tropical Medicine Pedro Khoury
· The Institute was founded in 1937 by Dr. Flori, a very well known Cuban scientist. The center's research area is in microbiology. The Institute has the necessary state-of the-art equipment for research and development related to tropical bacteria and viruses. Modernized and relocated in 1992 at a cost of $12 million dollars
· The Institute has also conducted extensive research on yellow fever. Yellow fever is a viral disease that has caused large epidemics in the world. Infection causes a wide spectrum of disease, from mild symptoms to severe illness and death..
· There are other tropicaldisease that could be used as bioweapons, such as: malaria,dracunculiasis, filariasis, leishmaniasis, dengue, dengue hemorrhagic fever. Capacity to produce bioweapons. CIM
· The Center for Molecular Immunology is a 15,000 square meter, two floor facility. Over 250 employees work at the Center, of which, 200 are scientists and engineers. It was built in 1994 at a cost of $10 million dollars. The ground floor includes development, pharmacology, and toxicology. The auxiliary technical services, and, secret research and development are on the second floor.
· Their main research activities are on antibodies-hybridoma, molecular biology, celular immunology. CIM has laboratories equipped for cell culture, immunochemistry, and radiochemistry. Their work on the immune system is related to the development of stronger strains of virus an bacteria. The Center has the capacity to produce bio-weapons
· Cuba's biotechnological capacity places it in group four of the World Health Organization's five categories. To reach group five, which is formed only by the eight top industrial economies, Cuba must produce at least 20% of the 260 basic materials. It regularly produces 18% of these and certainly has the scientific ability to produce the others with biotech methods.
· Cuba also has 160 distinct research and development units and over 10,000 researchers through out the country
· According to Cuba's own figures, as well as those provided by scientists and engineers, both from Cuba and other countries, the Cuban government has spent approximately $3,500 million dollars in this industry since 1986. The return of such investment has been approximately the sales of $200 million dollars in vaccines and medicines. The production for domestic use has been almost nothing, since the Cuban people lack the most basic medicines.
SUMMARY OF THE SIGINT AND CYBER FACILITIES OF CUBA
I. BEJUCAL BASE
Located in Bejucal, La Habana, Cuba. 20 square mile area. Cost: $ 750 millions. Built by the Russians from 1994 to 1997. Workforce: 1,100 engineers, computer scientists, technicians, staff. Three groups of antennas/satellites. First group to listen to general USA telecommunications. Second group to listen to pre designated phones and computers. Third group with the voice recognition capacity. It has 2 HPCs given by PRC. Operated now with the cooperation of PRC's military personnel. Utilizes PRC's satellites. It can interfere USA computer networks
II. PASEO BETWEEN 11 and 13, La Habana.
Dedicated to transmission and reception of radio wavesCost: $60 millions. Radio and TV Marti interference headquarters are located here. Capacity to interfere radio telecommunications in USA, mainly in airports and strategic places.
III. COJIMAR ELECTRONIC COMPLEX
Located in La Habana del Este. Cost: $20 millions. Work on electronic experiments, such as HERF.
IV. WAJAY ELECTRONIC BASE
Located in Wajay, La Habana. Cost: $15 millions. Weather change research. Radio interference. More than 100 very high antennas.
V. SANTIAGO DE CUBA ELECTRONIC FARM
Very similar to the Wajay farm. Located in Santiago de Cuba, extreme east of Cuba. Cost: $10 millions. 80 very high antennas
Cuba has high technology capacity and facilities to conduct SIGINT operations on the United States, as well as to interfere with telecommunications and computer networks in the United States
Since 1990, Cuba and Iran have cooperated in the development of weapons of massive destruction. Dr. Miyar Barruecos, physician, very close to Castro, has been the force behind the throne in this alliance. Dr. Luis Herrera, from the CIGB, and one of the main scientists in the development of the CIGB and the biological weapon programs in Cuba, has been the operator, the facilitator, in the massive and huge cooperation between Cuba and Iran.
Cuba just finished, May 2001, the construction of a Biotechnology Center in Teheran. Cuba served as the source of technology, selling of equipment, and project management for the Center.
Iran has bought the best fruits of the CIGB, recombinant protein production technologies in yeast and Escherichia coli, as well as the large scale purification protocols for both soluble and insoluble proteins synthesized in or excreted by them.
Iran can use these technologies to create bioweapons of massive destruction. Iran, with Cuba's assistance is capable of producing a bacteria known as Pseudomonas. The pathogen is not usually lethal to humans, but it is an excellent battlefield weapon.
Sprayed from a single airplane flying over enemy lines, it can immobilized an entire division or incapacitate special forces hiding in rugged terrain otherwise inaccessible to regular army troops-precisely the kind of terrain in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and similar terrorist regions.
Besides Cuban scientists, at least there are about ten scientists from the Biopreparat Russian Center working in Iran. The New York Times reported in December 1998 that the Iranian government dispatched a few scientific advisors attached to the office of the presidency in Moscow to recruit former scientists from the Russian program.
In May, 1997, more than one hundred scientists from Russian laboratories, including Vector and Obolensk, attended a Biotechnology Trade Fair in Teheran. Iranians visited Vector, In Russia, a number of times, and had been actively promoting exchanges. A vial of freeze-dried powder takes up less space than a pack of cigarettes and is easy to smuggle past an inattentive security guard.
The Soviet Union spent decades building institutes and training centers in Iran and Cuba. For many years, the Soviet Union organized courses in genetic engineering and molecular biology for scientists from Cuba and Iran. Some forty scientists from both countries were trained annually.
In 1997 Russia was reported to be negotiating a lucrative deal with Iran and Cuba for the sale of cultivation equipment including fermenters, reactors, and air purifying machinery.
CUBA'S ELITE MILITARY GROUP: SPECIAL TROOPS
What are Cuba's elite forces? Who commands them? Who trains them? Where is their training camp? What are the main missions they are prepared for? Since mid 1980s, Cuba established in Los Palacios, Pinar del Río, in a region known as El Cacho, a special troop military training school.
Named Baraguá School, it is situated in a big valley, near the mountains of Pinar del Río. It is a very large training camp, with artificial lakes, and the most modern training technology. The School is exactly located where the first missiles were seen during the 1962 missile crisis. The De la Guardia brothers founded the School. It was under General José Luis Mesa, very close to Raúl Castro. General Mesa, 50, speaks fluent English, and is well mannered. He was a veteran of Vietnam, as a young officer, and also of the African wars. He retired due to health problems. The daily operations are under Colonel Ramírez, Veteran of Angola, Vietnam, and other war places. Colonel Ramírez is an expert on this kind of special troop training. Presently they have assistant from special personnel from China and Vietnam. The special troop school has about a constant flow of 2500 to 3000 men in training.
Ranging from 18 to 35 years old, they are a breed apart -a cut above the rest. Unquestionable, they are one of the world's finest unconventional warfare experts. Certainly, second only to the United States Special Troops in this Hemisphere. They are kept on an uncommon physical and mental caliber. Mature, highly skilled, and superbly trained. They are always ready to serve anywhere, at any time: Infiltrations, commando operations, biowarfare, cyber warfare, and espionage. Special troops are trained to deliver people, equipment, and weapons with surgical precision. They locate high-value, strategic, movable targets and they deliver firepower more accurately. They are trained to operate in small independent units.
They have advanced personal camouflage with enhanced protection against harsh environments and climatic conditions. Clothing will offer them individual body armor and safeguards against biological and chemical agents. They have helmets fitted with enhanced sensory head-up displays including thermal, image-intensified, and acoustic sensors. External and imbedded optics enable them to see long distances clearly without using handheld optical systems. They have external skeletal systems that will improve individual skills, enabling special operators to move faster, jump farther, and lift more weight. Such enhanced physical attributes allow them to deliver more deadly force with greater accuracy and penetrating power. They also have miniaturized command, control, and communication functions, as well as embedded artificial intelligence for situational decision-making. In Baraguá School, Special troops are trained to perform the following missions: · Unconventional Warfare, UW: A broad spectrum of military operations conducted in politically sensitive territory or "enemy" held territory. Including interrelated fields of guerrilla warfare, evasion and escape, subversion, sabotage. · Direct Action, DA: Either overt or cover action against an "enemy" force. Seize, damage, and destroy a target. Short duration, small scale offensive actions. Ambushes, direct assault tactics, emplace mines. · Special Reconnaissance, SR: Infiltration behind "enemy" lines. Collect meteorological, hydrographic, geographic, and demographic data. · Psychological Operations, PSYOP: Induce or reinforce foreign attitudes and behavior favorable to Cuba objectives. Influence emotions, motives, and behavior of foreign governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. They also receive additional training and skills in freefall parachuting, underwater operations, target interdiction strategic reconnaissance, and operations and intelligence. Obviously, this group is strictly an offensive military group. Cuba is an island, and therefore has not borders to defend from neighboring countries. The most serious threats from the Special troops are: biowarfare operations, cyber warfare operations, infiltrations, commando attacks, kidnapping, espionage.
Shouldn't the Cuban government be next in line to be abolished?
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