Congress: Sanction Cuban Officials Responsible for Arms Trafficking to North Korea

Saturday, July 26, 2014
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have written to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, asking that Cuban officials and entities involved in arms smuggling to North Korea be placed on the U.N. Security Council's sanctions violators list and face consequences for their illegal actions.

The letter was signed by U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Albio Sires (D-NJ), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Matt Salmon (R-AZ), Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), and Sean Duffy (R-WI).

Below is the text of the letter:

July 15, 2014

The Honorable Samantha Power
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
The United Nations
760 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017

Dear Ambassador Power:

We are writing to respectfully ask you to use the full weight of your office to urge the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), and its Member States, to act within the scope of UNSC resolutions 1718, 1874 and 2094, and designate those individuals and entities involved in the Chong Chon Gang arms shipment from Cuba to North Korea in July 2013 as UNSC sanctions violators.

As you know, following the interdiction of the Chong Chon Gang by the Panamanian authorities, the Security Council requested that the Panel of Experts established pursuant to UNSC resolution 1874 provide a full and detailed report to the Council with its findings and recommendations regarding this incident. The Panel concluded that North Korea’s actions represented a violation of UN Security Council resolutions 1718, 1874 and 2094. Further, the Panel found that the arms on board the ship, destined for North Korea, were of Cuban origin and as such, the Cuban dictatorship was in direct violation of:

· Paragraphs 8 (a) (i) of resolution 1718, as modified by paragraph 10 of resolution 1874, prohibiting the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to North Korea of all arms and related materiel; and

· Paragraph 8 (c) of resolution 1718 and paragraph 9 of resolution 1874, as clarified by paragraph 7 of resolution 2094, adopted to prevent the provision of technical training advice, services or assistance related to the provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of such arms or materiel by North Korea, its nationals or from its territory;

Pursuant to paragraph 12 of UNSC resolution 1718, a Security Council Committee was established with a mandate to take action on alleged violations of measures imposed by paragraph 8 of UNSC resolution 1718, and to designate additional individuals and entities subject to the measures imposed by paragraphs 8 (d) and 8 (e) of the resolution.

Therefore, in accordance with applicable law, rules and regulations, we respectfully request that you submit for designation the names of certain Cuban regime and military officials that you know to be connected to these sanctions violations for consideration by the Committee, and that you use the full weight of your office to encourage the other Security Council members to support these efforts. We also request copies of any correspondence your office has had with the Panel of Experts as it relates to the Chong Chon Gang incident.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to your prompt response.