Is Cuba Smuggling Weapons for FARC Terrorists?

Sunday, April 5, 2015
There is a deafening silence surrounding the recent capture by the Colombian authorities of a Chinese-flagged ship, the Da Dan Xia, which was seemingly headed for Cuba with a weapons cache hidden as "grain products."

Neither the Santos Administration, the Obama Administration, nor the Castro dictatorship want to talk about it -- or answer any questions.

Such secrecy raises serious questions about the real purpose of the illegal weapons shipment and the lack of transparency of the Santos Administration (as it conducts negotiations with the FARC), the Obama Administration (as it seeks to remove Cuba from the state-sponsors of terrorism list) and the Castro dictatorship (sitting pretty amid no consequences).

Here are the facts:

- On February 28, 2015, the Da Dan Xia was intercepted in the Port of Cartagena carrying an unregistered shipment composed of 100 tons of gunpowder, 2.6 million detonators, 99 missile heads and around 3,000 artillery shells.

- The ship's documentation sought to disguise the arms shipment as "grain products."

- After stopping in Cartagena the vessel was bound for another Colombian port, Barranquilla, and then to Havana, Cuba.

- The supplier was listed as Norico, a Chinese manufacturer of machinery and chemical products, as well high-tech defense products. The arms were purportedly destined for TecnoImport in Cuba, the shadowy procurement branch of the Cuban military ("MINFAR").

Now here are the unanswered questions:

Upon the weapons shipment being discovered, the Chinese government stated that the transaction was part of "completely normal military trade co-operation."

That's right. An arms shipment between China and Cuba would have been legal, if conducted with transparency. Instead, the parties chose to illegally conceal the weapons shipment.

-- Why did the parties go to such lengths to conceal a shipment that could have otherwise been legal?

-- Was it concealed because the real recipient was an illegal entity in Colombia, i.e, FARC terrorists?

-- Is the composition of the shipment more tailored for use by non-conventional forces (such as the FARC) than for a conventional military forces (such as Cuba's MINFAR)?

If so, this would be further incontrovertible evidence of Cuba's support for international terrorism. Thus, the silence.

As the Obama Administration zealously seeks to remove Cuba from the state-sponsors of terrorism list, it shouldn't leave such questions unanswered -- for it will only embolden Castro's regime to continue its rogue activities.

Let's not forget, this was the second illicit weapons shipment intercepted in the last eighteen months in which the Cuban regime was directly involved. Last year, Cuba was found in direct violation of international sanctions for attempting to smuggle 240 tons of weapons to North Korea hidden as "sugar."

Moreover, the Obama Administration should not ignore inconvenient facts in pursuit of its policy ends.

Last month, we also learned that Spain had (again) recently requested the extradition of two Basque terrorists ("ETA") -- to no avail. Ironically, these two Basque terrorists are also wanted for their illegal activities with the FARC.

If the Spanish government hadn't unwittingly made this revelation, it would have been swept under the rug.

To continue turning a blind-eye -- in order to fulfill (at all costs) Obama's deal with Cuban dictator Raul Castro -- is short-sighted, disingenuous and dangerous.