Rubio Demands Answers on U.S. Missile in Cuba's Possession

Friday, January 8, 2016
Rubio Demands Answers From Administration on U.S. Missile in Cuba's Possession

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, today demanded answers from the Obama Administration  regarding reports of a U.S. Hellfire missile in Cuba’s possession. In a letter to the Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta S. Jacobson, Rubio asks the State Department about its prior knowledge of the missile, and he warns of its significant implications on U.S. national security.

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Assistant Secretary Jacobson:

Preventing the proliferation of sensitive U.S. technology is one of the most important duties carried out by the State Department. While your bureau is not the primary entity within the State Department handling these issues, you oversee U.S. policy toward Cuba and interactions with Cuban officials. Thus, the fact that members of Congress are reading about Cuba's possession of a U.S. missile in the newspaper rather than from you or other State Department officials is astounding and inexcusable.

Given that you have been talking to officials of the Cuban government for more than a year as part of President Obama's efforts to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, I would like to know:

  • When was the State Department informed that a U.S. Hellfire missile had been sent to Cuba?
  • When were you personally first informed of this matter and by whom?
  • What has been done to obtain the missile's return by the Cuban government?
  • What specific entity of the Cuban government is currently in possession of the missile?
  • Please provide a list of the specific occasions on which you or other U.S. Government officials have raised this issue with the Castro regime.
  • Why was the return of the missile not obtained as a result of the negotiations that led to President Obama's December 17, 2014 announced change in U.S. policy toward Cuba?
  • Why was the return of the missile not a condition of removal of Cuba from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list?
  • Why was the return of the missile not a condition of establishment of embassies in Havana and Washington?
  • What members of Congress did you inform of this issue during your briefings and testimony regarding U.S. policy toward Cuba over the last 18 months?
  • Does the State Department know if the Cuban government shared the missile or its design with any foreign governments?
As you know, Cuba has extensive military and intelligence ties to U.S. adversaries around the world, including countries such as China and Russia. In July 2013, the Castro regime was caught red handed trading military technology with North Korea. Sensitive U.S. technology falling into the hands of such a regime has significant implications for U.S. national security. The fact that the administration, including you, have apparently tried to withhold this information from the congressional debate and public discussion over U.S.-Cuba policy is disgraceful.

I urge you to provide the above information to Congress as quickly as possible.


Marco Rubio