Havana Pursues Biological Warfare; Technology Given to 'Rogue states'.(PAGE ONE)

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 7, 2002 | Go to article overview

Havana Pursues Biological Warfare; Technology Given to 'Rogue states'.(PAGE ONE)


Byline: Nicholas Kralev, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The Bush administration said yesterday that it has "broad and deep" evidence that Cuba is developing offensive biological warfare capabilities and sharing them with "other rogue states."

In a speech titled "Beyond the Axis of Evil," John Bolton, undersecretary of state for international security and arms control, named Cuba, Libya and Syria as "states intent on acquiring weapons of mass destruction" against which the United States would take action to prevent such arms from reaching terrorists.

President Bush included Iran, Iraq and North Korea in an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address to Congress in January.

"The United States believes that Cuba has at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort," Mr. Bolton said at the Heritage Foundation. "Cuba has provided dual-use biotechnology to other rogue states. We are concerned that such technology could support [bioweapons] programs in those states."

In a later interview, a senior administration official said Washington has gathered "broad and deep" evidence of Cuba's pursuit of such weapons but is "constrained" in what it can disclose publicly.

The official said the decision to go public with the charges reflects the effect the new assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, Otto Reich, has had on the administration's Latin America policy. Mr. Reich was born in Cuba and came to the United States with his parents after the 1959 communist revolution.

Mr. Bolton said Cuba, which has been designated by the State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism, "has long provided safe haven for terrorists" and "is known to be harboring terrorists from Colombia, Spain and fugitives from the United States."

He said Cuban President Fidel Castro visited Iran, Syria and Libya last year and cited a speech at Tehran University in which he said, "Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring America to its knees."

Mr. Bolton said that for four decades, Cuba "has maintained a well-developed and sophisticated biomedical industry," supported by the Soviet Union until 1990. …

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