Bush White House is lying, says Cuba

Campaign News | Friday, 20 September 2002

Cuba denies hindering the “war against terrorism”

Cuba has fiercely rejected US charges that Havana was deliberately obstructing US efforts to fight terrorism by providing false tips.

"False and slanderous. It is a colossal lie," said Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque on 18 September, “just like when they published that Cuba was a terrorist state and that we were producing biological weapons”.

In May, State Department official, John Bolton, alleged that Havana had "at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort (and has) provided dual-use technology to other rogue states”. No information was provided on which states had allegedly been supplied by Cuba. The charge was firmly denied by Cuba.

On 17 September, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere, Daniel Fisk, accused Cuba of providing Washington with false information about potential terrorist threats since the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the US.

According to Mr Fisk - a former staff aide to Republican Senator, Jesse Helms – US investigators had been sent on "wild goose chases” with false information on attacks planned against the US. At least one "walk-in" a month was allegedly sent to a US intelligence agency, purporting to offer information about pending terrorist attacks against the US or other Western interests, said Mr Fisk. Following up on these leads, he added, misdirected the US’ investigation into international terrorism.

"The Castro regime has intentionally worked through human and electronic means to distract the attention and resources from our ongoing counterterrorist efforts," Mr. Fisk told a press conference. This is not harmless game planning. This is a dangerous and unjustifiable action that damages our ability to assess real threats. This is obstructionism”.

Luis Fernández, spokesman for Cuba's diplomatic mission in Washington, described Mr Fisk as “twisted and sick”.

Foreign Minister Perez Roque, who challenged Mr Fisk to provide evidence to back up his accusations, linked the allegations to Jeb Bush’ campaign for re-election in November as Florida’s Governor, and legislation under consideration in the Senate to ease US sanctions against Cuba. In late July, Congress approved proposals by two Republican lawmakers to end travel restrictions and ease the trade embargo. President George W. Bush has vowed to veto the legislation.

"The government of the US is desperately trying to use Mr. Fisk's statement to confuse US public opinion, which is convinced that the embargo against Cuba is a failure”, said Foreign Minister Perez Roque.

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