U.S. Government Warns Cuba on Bio Weapons Program

John O. Edwards
Monday, May 6, 2002

The Bush administration is set to give Cuba a blunt warning today: end your biological weapons program or else.

NewsMax has received an advance copy of a major address by John Bolton, undersecretary of State for Arms Control, who will speak Monday afternoon before the Heritage Foundation.

Bolton, for the first time, will identify three more rogue nations that pose significant danger to U.S. security and continue to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The three nations named – Libya, Syria and Cuba – Bolton says will pose the most significant threat to the U.S. after the "axis of evil” nations – Iraq, Iran and North Korea -- as identified by President Bush.

But the U.S. may be wagging its finger most boldly at Cuba.

Bolton’s speech is the administration’s first effort to target Castro’s regime, and lays out concerns about Castro’s growing military threat to the U.S.

Bolton said bluntly that Cuba has been developing biological weapons of mass destruction, and issued a demand on behalf of the U.S. government:

"We call on Cuba to cease all BW-applicable cooperation with rogue states and to fully comply with all of its obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention.”

Bolton noted that while "Cuba’s threat to our security has often been underplayed,” the Bush administration is reassessing that threat.

"… there is a threat coming from another BWC signatory, and one that lies just 90 miles from the U.S. mainland – namely, Cuba,” Bolton said.

Bolton also noted that Cuba remains a "totalitarian state has long been a violator of human rights.”

Additionally, he said Cuba "has long provided safe haven for terrorists, earning it a place on the State Department’s list of terrorist-sponsoring states. The country is known to be harboring terrorists from Colombia, Spain, and fugitives from the United States. We know that Cuba is collaborating with other state sponsors of terror.”

Bolton continued: "Castro has repeatedly denounced the U.S. war on terrorism. He continues to view terror as a legitimate tactic to further revolutionary objectives. In May, Castro visited Iran, Syria and Libya – all designees on the same list of terrorist-sponsoring states. At Tehran University, these were his words: ‘Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring America to its knees. The U.S. regime is very weak, and we are witnessing this weakness from close up.’”

For the first time, Bolton revealed that the U.S. "believes that Cuba has at least a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort. Cuba has provided dual-use biotechnology to other rogue states. We are concerned that such technology could support BW programs in those states.”


Bolton also issued U.S. concerns about Libya.

In his speech, Bolton alleged that Libya "continues its longstanding pursuit of nuclear weapons.”

Although Libya is believed to have made limited progress in that effort, Bolton says the Libyan government has been developing chemical weapons and "has produced at least 100 tons of different kinds of chemical weapons . . .”

Equally worrisome is Libya’s continued efforts to build biological weapons.

"Although its program is in the research and development stage, Libya may be capable of producing small quantities of biological agent," Bolton says.

Soon, Bolton says Libya may have delivery methods for these weapons, as it is continuing its "efforts to obtain ballistic missile-related equipment, materials, technology, and expertise from foreign sources.”


A third nation to join Bolton’s list of nation’s posing a threat to weapons of mass destruction is Syria.

"The United States also knows that Syria has long had a chemical warfare program. It has a stockpile of the nerve agent sarin and is engaged in research and development of the more toxic and persistent nerve agent VX,” he noted.

He added that "Syria … is pursuing the development of biological weapons and is able to produce at least small amounts of biological warfare agents.”

Ominously Bolton notes Syria has the capability of striking Israel with these weapons.

"We think that Syria has a variety of aerial bombs and SCUD warheads, which are potential means of delivery of deadly agents capable of striking neighboring countries.”