Former Colombian drug cartel capo on drug trafficking through Cuba: ‘Fidel Castro had to know’

Over the decades, an unimaginable amount of drugs has flowed through Cuba into the U.S. To propose the communist Castro dictatorship, which tightly controls all movement, was unaware is ludicrous. Carlos Lehder, a former leader of Pablo Escobar’s Medellin drug cartel, did drug trafficking business directly with the Cuban military, even meeting personally with Raul Castro. He is certain, as any reasonable person should be, that “obviously, Fidel Castro had to know.”

Via Diario de Cuba (my translation):

Former capo on the business relationship between the Medellin Cartel and Cuba: ‘Fidel Castro had to know’

The former leader of the Medellín Cartel, Carlos Lehder, said in an interview with Semana, following the publication of his memoirs, that “obviously Fidel Castro had to know” about the drug trafficking businesses in Cuba and described the late dictator as “the orchestra conductor.”

“I speculate that Fidel Castro was aware of everything, but I don’t know because I didn’t see them together talking. I know that Raúl Castro was the commander of that operation, the leader,” insisted the former drug trafficker, who has recounted the relationships of the so-called “extraditables” with the governments of Cuba, Panama, Nicaragua, and the Bahamas, which received millions of dollars to traffic Colombian drugs smoothly to the United States.

Lehder, who had a brief encounter with Raúl Castro in Havana facilitated by Col. Antonio de la Guardia, emphasized that “they (the Castro brothers), even though they didn’t know how to traffic cocaine, immediately tried to control the entire business.”

The former drug lord revealed that while imprisoned in the United States, where he was extradited in 1987, and cooperating with authorities, he learned that Washington attempted to bring federal charges against Raúl Castro for “cocaine trafficking.”

According to Lehder, U.S. security and surveillance forces “had completely monitored the shipments and the boats arriving with cocaine directly from the port of Mariel and other Cuban ports to the shores of Florida.”

“They were accumulating evidence” at the moment when President George Bush lost the elections that Bill Clinton won, he added. “There was a change of prosecutors and whatever, but they never brought federal charges against Raúl Castro, even though they had mountains of evidence and a number of people navigating the boats who had been caught with cocaine from Cuba and were cooperating with the U.S. government.”

Lehder only traveled to Cuba on two occasions: “I saw the moves they were making, very dangerous moves for me,” he said, without going into details.

At another point in the interview, Lehder considered that “they had the Cuban people with a boot on their neck.” In his opinion, describing the Cuban government as a dictatorship “is a compliment” and spoke in terms of “barbarism,” “an affront to every human being,” and “an insult to Latin America and to God.”

Revelations about the Castro’s ties to drug trafficking are not new. Jhon Jairo Velásquez, better known as “Popeye,” one of Pablo Escobar’s hitmen who passed away in February 2020, implicated the Cuban regime in regional drug trafficking.

Velásquez described the connections between the regime in Havana and Pablo Escobar, which, according to him, began when Jorge Avendaño, nicknamed “the Crocodile,” facilitated relations between Escobar and Fidel Castro, who in turn connected him with Raúl Castro.

In his autobiography, titled “The Real Pablo: Blood, Betrayal, and Death,” he claimed that Escobar “was happy with that route (Colombia-Mexico-Cuba-United States). He said it was a pleasure to do business with Raúl Castro because he was a serious and enterprising man.”

“Popeye” asserted that the relationship between Escobar and Fidel Castro was ongoing and fluid, through letters and third parties, and began through commanders of the leftist M-19 guerrilla group.

“The Cuban military, under the command of General Ochoa and officer Tony de la Guardia, under Raúl Castro’s direct instructions, took charge of the merchandise, guarding it to later ship it on fast boats, fueled with gasoline by the Cubans, bound for the United States, entering through Key West,” Velásquez said.

In an image-cleansing operation in 1989, the regime brought De la Guardia, Arnaldo Ochoa, Captain Jorge Martínez Valdés, and Major Amado Padrón Trujillo before a military tribunal and accused them of links to drug trafficking. On the morning of July 13, 1989, all four were executed in Havana, and their execution was announced hours later on state-run television.

1 thought on “Former Colombian drug cartel capo on drug trafficking through Cuba: ‘Fidel Castro had to know’”

  1. Of course he knew, and the US knew he did. Sort of like China knew the COVID-19 virus came from the Wuhan lab, and the relevant US people also knew that, but everybody did what was most convenient.

Leave a Comment