December 3, 2021

Cuba Violated the United Nations Embargo

The weapons found in the North Korean freighter Chong Cho Gang that left from Cuba and was trying to cross the Panama Canal, without a doubt violated the United Nations sanctions and embargo against North Korea, according to a report issued on August 27, 2013. A month-an-half ago, Panama´s president Ricardo Martinelli had announced on Panama radio that he gave the order to capture the North Korean ship on July 15, 2013.

The North Korean ship had anchored in Cuba at the same time that the chief of the Armed Forces of North Korea Kim Kyok Sik was in Havana meeting with Cuban dictator Raúl Castro. The United Nations had issued several years ago a complete embargo on weapons against North Korea since that rogue nation had refused to stop its nuclear weapons programs and improvement of the Intercontinental ballistic missiles. North Korea and Cuba have had close relations for more than half a century.

The 35 members of the crew of the North Korean ship Chong Cho Gang resisted with force the efforts of a Panamanian authority to take control of the ship. All of the members of the crew were arrested and sent to prison and the ship was taken to the Panamanian port of Manzanillo. The Panamanian government asked U.S. and U.N. experts to examine the cargo.

Juan O. Tamayo wrote an article entitled “Report: Weapons on ship violate U.N. embargo” which was published on The Miami Herald on August 28, 2013. The reporter explained that a report published in 38North, a webpage on North Korean issues based in the United States stated that the weapons shipment hidden was also much larger than previously reported, and included two MiG-21 jets, 15 engines for the MiGs, nine missiles and parts, two anti-aircraft missile radar systems, anti-tank cannons and night vision equipment, rocket propelled grenades and artillery ammunition (which were in mint condition).The oppressive dictatorial government of Cuba had lied when it declared that the North Korean ship was carrying 240 tons of obsolete equipment from Cuba that was being sent to North Korea for repairs and return to Cuba only. Now the Cuban communist government lie and cover-up was exposed before the entire world.

Tamayo wrote that Hugh Griffiths, who co-authored the report and is an expert on global arms trafficking with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden, stated “the statement (from Cuba) was misleading to say the least”. His report stated the following: “The method of packing does not suggest that the aircraft themselves were to be repaired and returned to Cuba, but rather they were intended for end use in North Korea as scrap or spare parts. The jet engines were securely attached and adequately spaced… covered in layers of protective plastic sheeting and brown packing paper and cradled in improvised transport frames, suggesting their end use as replacement engines.”

North Korea has been trying to buy Mig-21s for its Air Force for a very long time in violation of the United Nations arms embargo. Tamayo pointed out that “North Korea attaches great importance to its fleet of MiG-21s which are capable of flying as fast as the KF-16, the South Korean variant of the United States made F-16.”

The weapons carried by the North Korean ship were hidden under 220,000 bags of  brown sugar that Panamanian authorities removed after several days of hard work. President Ricardo Martinelli stated that “this material was not declared and Panama being a neutral country, a country in peace that does not like war, worries that a ship like this going across the Panama Canal”. This North Korean ship, which was built in 1977, has been for many years on the list of suspicious vessels that carry drugs and weapons. In 2009 this North Korean ship disembarked in Syrian port of Tartus, where Russia has naval base. One wonders what was this ship doing in Syria, a country in the middle of a civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people and has used poison gas against civilians. The United States is considering attacking Syria for its use of illegal chemical weapons.

The administration of President Barack Obama for the last few months was working on normalizing relations with the tyrannical government of Cuba. Some suspected that the Obama administration wanted to recognize Cuba diplomatically. It is absolutely outrageous that President Barack Obama wanted to normalize relations with Cuba, a country that have been oppressing the Cuban people for 54 years. The tyrannical and bloody Cuban communist regime has been assassinating, torturing, hitting and sending to jail men and women who are fighting peacefully for liberty and democracy in that unfortunate island. Thousands of Cubans have died by drowning or being eaten by sharks trying to cross the Florida Straits in an effort to arrive to the United States. Thousands of other Cubans have been imprisoned for many years, including this writer, his brother and many cousins. Many Cuban patriots have been shot on the wall for over half a century by the Cuban communist regime which has implanted the worst totalitarian regime in the history of the Western Hemisphere.

What has the president said about Cuba’s intentional violation of the United Nations arms embargo against North Korea? He has said nothing at all, which is a shame. What is the president going to do with regards to Cuba´s blatant violation of the United Nations embargo against North Korea, which was pushed by the United States at the National Security Council of the United Nations? Probably nothing.

The only person that complained strongly about Cuba’s violation of the arms embargo of North Korea, was Congresswoman Iliana Ros-Lehtenin, Republican from Miami, Florida. Once again, President Obama shows weakness and impotence against our nation’s enemies, Cuba and North Korea.