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Saturday, March 03, 2007

Cuba's biological warfare agents

Originally posted at Right Truth

According to reports, Roberto Ortega informed the CIA two years ago about Cuba's 'stockpiling biological warfare agents like the plague, botulism and yellow fever at a secret underground lab near Havana. When he saw no visible signs of action coming from the CIA, he went public with this information. (story below)

Another source says, 'In 2002, John Bolton, then a top U.S. State Department official for arms control, said that Cuba "has at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort." My first fear would be Cuba selling these agents to terrorists or other nations, like Venezuela. But Venezuela probably has their own biological and chemical labs.

The former head of Cuba’s military medical services says the communist government is stockpiling biological warfare agents like the plague, botulism and yellow fever at a secret underground lab near Havana. Roberto Ortega ran the Cuban military’s medical services from 1984 to 1994 and defected to the U.S. in 2003.

The Cubans "can develop viruses and bacteria and dangerous sicknesses that are currently unknown and difficult to diagnose,” Ortega told the Miami Herald. "They don’t need missiles or troops, they need four agents, like the people from al-Qaida or the Taliban, who contaminate water, air conditioning or heating systems.”

According to Ortega, Cuba was prepared to use the biological weapons "to blackmail the United States in case of an international incident” such as the threat of an American invasion.

Ortega told the Herald he visited the lab, called Labor One, in 1992 when he accompanied a high-level Russian military delegation.

"I saw it,” he said. "I lived it.”

Russian defector Ken Alibek, who was deputy director of the Soviet Union’s bioweapons program, told the Herald: "If you ask whether the Cubans are capable [of developing bioweapons], I’d say easily.” (source)

The Counterterrorism Blog:

While the official US Government position on Cuba's bio-weapons appears undeterminative, some officials have indicated in the past their belief the Cubans do possess such weapons to some extent. If Ortega's claims are correct, this may pose a serious potential terror threat to the US.

Apart from the obvious possible military application of such weapons, biological weapons that are expertly designed and produced by a state military and turned over to terrorist operatives present a particularly nightmarish scenario.

Babalu Blog has a letter to the Orlando Sentinel Editors that is worth your time to go read.