US Lied on Terror --rebuts Cuba

Chris Brady cdbrady at
Thu Sep 19 01:37:21 MDT 2002

{The last paragraph is the best.
    Anything else you can add?  <--rhetorical question. –c.}

 Cuba Says U.S. Lied on Terror

New York Times, September 19, 2002

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18 — Cuba's foreign minister today angrily rebutted
State Department charges that his government was providing the United
States with false leads on terrorism, and he accused one American
official of "lying with impudence."

The minister, Felipe Pérez Roque, said that the government of President
Fidel Castro had repeatedly sought to cooperate with the United States
since the Sept. 11 attacks but that the Bush administration had rejected
its overtures.

"I want to be emphatic: Cuba repeatedly proposed to the U.S. government
that a bilateral agreement be signed to engage in cooperation in the
fight against terrorism, and the U.S. government refused," Mr. Pérez
Roque told reporters at the Cuban mission to the United Nations.

As evidence of that cooperation, Mr. Pérez Roque released a copy of a
March 12 diplomatic note, sent by the Castro government to American
officials in Havana, that spoke of Cuba's desire for new agreements "on
cooperation regarding illegal migration, drug traffic and terrorism."
The note was spurned, he said.

The minister's remarks came a day after the deputy assistant secretary
of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, Daniel W. Fisk, accused Cuba of
sending American law enforcement agents on "wild goose chases" by
providing erroneous tips about terrorist threats.

Mr. Fisk said the false leads had come as frequently as once a month, in
locations on three continents, and were squandering American resources
as officials felt duty-bound to investigate them.

"This is obstructionism," Mr. Fisk said, "and I am concerned that it
could one day cost innocent people their lives."

The accusation, which Mr. Fisk aired in separate conferences Tuesday on
Cuba policy, marks the second time this year that a State Department
official has portrayed Cuba as a national security threat to the United
States without releasing any evidence. Last spring, Under Secretary of
State John R. Bolton accused Cuba of developing biological weapons,
which President Castro vigorously denied.

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