Published Thursday, November 21, 1996, in the Miami Herald
Congressmen: Administration must address Cuba cocaine
The Clinton administration must deal with Cuban leader Fidel
Castro's involvement in cocaine smuggling to the United
States, three Republican members of Congress said Tuesday in a
letter to the nation's drug czar.
``Congress will not permit the administration to sweep this
issue under the rug,'' said U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart of
Miami, joined by Reps. Dan Burton of Indiana and Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen of Miami in sending the letter to retired Gen.
The letter cited the 1982 indictment of four senior aides to
Castro, the 1987 conviction of 17 South Florida drug smugglers
who allegedly used Cuban military air bases to smuggle
Colombian cocaine into South Florida, and several seizures of
cocaine that federal agents say came through Cuba.
Five suspected traffickers, four Cuban Americans and a
Colombian, were arrested in Miami in January with a shipment
of cocaine and Cuban cigars.
The men said a freighter from Colombia off-loaded almost 5,665
pounds of cocaine to their speedboats inside Cuban waters
after stopping in Havana to unload a shipment of toiletries.
One of the men, Jorge Cabrera, gave $20,000 to the Democratic
Party and attended a White House Christmas party hosted by
Hillary Rodham Clinton before his arrest in January and later
conviction and 19-year sentence. Embarrassed Democratic Party
officials said they have no way of screening every
contributor's legal past. His donation was returned.
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