Cuban cable criticizes Jamaica drug cooperation

A U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks suggests that Cuba complained to the United States about Jamaica’s apparent lack of cooperation in the fight against drugs.  The cable, dated August 2009 and published by The Guardian newspaper, says Jamaican officials ignored Cuba’s concerns to engage them on the issue of smugglers using its airspace and waters to transport narcotics ultimately destined for the United States.

The cable reports Cuban officials voiced frustration that their neighbor to the south ignored Cuba’s attempts to increase the flow of drug-related information between the two countries.  It also says Cuban officials ultimately blamed the United States for the drug problem caused by high demand in that country.

Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding issued a statement Thursday saying Cuban Interior Ministry officials had voiced the same concerns to his government last year.  He said that as a result, the head of a counter-drug police unit was replaced and the department reorganized.

Prime Minister Golding says since then, there has been “full and active cooperation between Jamaica and Cuba on counternarcotics surveillance and interdiction, and no concern has been expressed by officials of the Cuban government.”

Meanwhile, the Jamaica Observer newspaper quotes Cuba’s ambassador to Jamaica, Yuri Gala, as calling the cable “clear manipulation” and evil.

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