[Marxism] The Great Swine Flu [non-]Epidemic of 1976
sabocat59 at mac.com
sabocat59 at mac.com
Wed Apr 29 17:03:28 MDT 2009
When did the US try to spread swine flu in Cuba? -- Michael Perelman wrote.
San Francisco Chronicle citing Newsday
January 10, 1977 Front page
CIA Link to Cuban
Pig Virus Reported
With at least the tacit backing of Central
Intelligence Agency officials, operatives linked
to anti-Castro terrorists introduced African
swine fever virus into Cuba in 1971. Six weeks
later an outbreak of the disease forced the
slaughter of 500,000 pigs to prevent an animal epidemic.
A US intelligence source told Newsday last week
he was given the virus in a sealed, unmarked
container at a U.S. Army base and CIA training
ground in the Panama Canal Zone, with
instructions to turn it over to the anti-Castro group.
The 1971 outbreak, the first and only time the
disease has hit the Western Hemisphere, was
labeled the ?most alarming event? of 1971 by the
United Nations Food and Agricultural
Organization. African swine fever is a highly
contagious and usually lethal viral disease that
infects only pigs and, unlike swine flu, cannot
be transmitted to humans. All local production of
pork, a Cuban staple, was halted, apparently for several months.
A CIA spokesman, Dennis Berend, in response to a
Newsday request for comment, said: "We don't
comment on information from unnamed and, at best,
obscure sources". Why the virus turned up in Cuba
has been a mystery to animal investigators ever
since the outbreak. Informed speculation assumed
that the virus entered Cuba either in garbage
from a commercial airliner or in sausages brought in by merchant seamen.
However, on the basis of numerous interviews over
four months with US intelligence sources, Cuban
exiles and scientists concerning the outbreak
(which occurred two years after the
then-President Nixon had banned the use of
offensive chemical and biological warfare), Newsday
was able to piece together this account of events leading up to the outbreak.
The US intelligence source said that early in
1971 he was given the virus in a sealed, unmarked
container at Ft. Gulick, an Army base in the
Panama Canal Zone. The Central Intelligence
Agency also operates a paramilitary training
center for career personnel and mercenaries at Ft. Gulick.
The source said he was given instructions to turn
the container with the virus over to members of an anti-Castro group.
The container then was given to a person in the
Canal Zone, who took it by boat and turned it
over to persons aboard a fishing trawler off the
Panamanian coast. The source said the substance
was not identified to him until months after the
outbreak in Cuba. He would not elaborate further.
Another man involved in the operation, a Cuban
exile who asked not to be identified, said he was
on the trawler when the virus was put aboard at a
rendezvous point off Bocas del Toro, Panama.
He said the trawler carried the virus to Navassa
Island, a tiny, deserted, US-owned island between
Jamaica and Haiti. From there, after the trawler
made a brief stopover, the container was taken to
Cuba and given to other operatives on the
southern coast near the US Navy base at
Guantanamo Bay in late March, according to the source on the trawler.
The source on the trawler, who had been trained
by the CIA and had carried out previous missions
for the agency, said he saw no CIA officials
aboard the boat that delivered the virus to the trawler off Panama, but added:
We were well paid for this and Cuban exile groups
don't have that kind of money . . .
He said he was revealing the information because
he is a member of an exile group that is being
investigated by the United States in connection
with terrorist activity in Florida. His account
was confirmed by another intelligence source in
Miami. The source indicated he had no proof that
the operation was approved by CIA officials, but
added: In a case like this, though, they would
always give them (CIA officials in the Washington area) plausible deniability.
The investigation referred to by the operative on
the trawler involves a Federal inquiry into
terrorist acts allegedly carried out by Cuban
exiles. Those include bombings and assassination
attempts in the United States and Venezuela.
Trained originally by the CIA for operations
against Cuba [sic], the exiles have become more
restive as they view what they believe to be an
increasing move toward rapprochement between
Fidel Castro and the United States [sic!].
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