Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart

Representing the 25th District of FLORIDA

Castros’ Cocaine Conspiracy

Apr 15, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) released the following statement after reports that Panamanian authorities discovered 401 kilos of cocaine en route from Cuba to Belgium.

"The Castro regime has once again been caught red-handed violating international law and norms.  This time, it reportedly was caught red-handed sending hundreds of kilos of cocaine to Belgium.  This is only the latest in the Castro regime's long history of links to narco-trafficking.

“Shamefully, President Obama's overtures to the Castro regime have emboldened it to escalate its illicit activities.  As this latest incident reveals, the Castro brothers remain a grave threat to U.S. national security interests and global stability.  President Obama's policy of providing this rogue dictatorship with billions of dollars in sanctions relief is unconscionable.

“I commend the Panamanian authorities for their effectiveness in rooting out narco-trafficking and illicit weapons smuggling.  In light of the Castro regime's continued malevolence against the United States and complete disdain for international comity, President Obama should abandon his failed policy of appeasement and prohibit U.S. dollars from bolstering the Castro regime's illicit and dangerous activities.”

In 2013, Panamanian authorities also caught the Castro regime smuggling 240 tons of military weapons to North Korea, which a U.N. panel of experts determined was the largest violation of sanctions against that country to date.  Colombian authorities discovered a hidden shipment of weapons from Cuba on a Chinese-flagged vessel in 2015.