Networks Forget Raul Castro's 'Economic Reforms' Include Drug Running
It may be the end of an era for Fidel Castro, but his brother is no sweetheart either.
Unless youâ€™re some sort of Cuban sycophant, like Michael Moore who spent time praising the Cuban health care system in his 2007 movie â€śSiCKO,â€ť thereâ€™s little reason to think things will be any different now that Raul Castro is in charge.
Well, except for ABC correspondent Jeffrey Kofman, whoâ€™s not expecting the best, but has a different take on what Raul could bring to
â€ś[H]eâ€™s talking about significant reforms â€“ liberalizing trade, economic reforms designed to ease poverty in a country where the average person earned $19 a month in the hope of consolidating his own power,â€ť Kofman said on the Feb.19, 2008, ABC â€śWorld News with Charles Gibson.â€ť
However, Kofman has a skewed view of what liberalizing trade and economic reforms are. An August 2006 ABC report indicated the younger Castro allowed Colombian drug lords to stage smuggling runs into the United States.
â€śFederal prosecutors in Miami were prepared to indict Raul Castro as the head of a major cocaine smuggling conspiracy in 1993, but the Clinton Administration Justice Department overruled them, current and former Justice Department officials tell ABC News,â€ť ABCâ€™s Brian Ross and Vic Walter reported on August 14, 2006.
â€śThe officials say Castro, as Cuban Defense Minister, permitted Colombian drug lords to pay for the use of Cuban waters and airstrips as staging grounds for smuggling runs into the
â€śRaul has been in charge of the military and the economy,â€ť Mitchell explained to her audience, calling him â€śpolitically hard-line but more open than his brother to free enterprise, including foreign investment.â€ť