As if there were not enough sugar stacked on top to hide the Cuban missiles, weapons, and fighter jets being smuggled to North Korea, the United Nations and the United States is looking to make the whole deal even sweeter for Cuba’s apartheid Castro dictatorship.
U.N. may go lightly on Cuban weapons to North Korea
Chinese and U.S. diplomats at the United Nations may turn a Cuban shipment of weapons to North Korea last year into a sort of “teaching moment” on violations of the U.N. arms embargo on Pyongyang, according to a U.N. publication.
The publication also indicated that U.S. diplomats have prepared proposals to add people or enterprises involved in the Cuban shipment to the U.N. Security Council’s list of violators of the U.N. embargo, but might not submit it.
The report appeared to signal that Cuba will suffer little more than a slap on the wrist for the arms shipment, said Mauricio Claver-Carone, director of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy political action committee, which supports U.S. sanctions on Havana.
“Apparently, they feel Cuba just didn’t understand the rules” of the 8-year-old U.N. arms embargo on North Korea, Claver-Carone said. “Unbelievable.”
North Korea’s Chong Chon Gang freighter was seized in Panama on July 15 with a load of Cuban weapons, hidden under tons of Cuban sugar. It was described by U.N. experts as the largest single shipment intercepted under the U.N. embargo on Pyongyang.
A panel of U.N. experts on the weapons ban ruled in February that the shipment clearly violated the embargo despite Cuba’s claim that the equipment was not being transferred to Pyongyang, but rather was to be repaired, serviced and returned to Havana.
The panel of experts recommended the issuance of “an implementation assistance notice (IAN) to remind states that the arms embargo also includes services and assistance,” said a report in What’s In Blue, a publication of the U.N. Security Council.
“It appears that the U.S. has already conducted negotiations with China on a draft IAN that could be presented” to the committee of the Security Council that supervises enforcement of the arms embargo, added the report, dated Monday.
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