Raul Castro's Idea of 'Free Enterprise': Drug Smuggling?

     Nearly two week ago, NBC’s Andrea Mitchell suggested hard-line Communist Raul Castro really did have a soft spot for capitalism.


     “Raul has been in charge of the military and the economy,” Mitchell explained to the August 2 “Today” show audience, calling Fidel’s younger brother “politically hard-line but more open than his brother to free enterprise, including foreign investment.”


     She might be on to something, after all.


     “Federal 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,” ABC’s Brian Ross and Vic Walter reported on August 14.


     “The 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 United States in the 1980s and early 1990s,” the investigative journalists noted in The Blotter, an ABC News Web log. 


     Castro’s involvement is likely ongoing noted Ross and Walter, quoting an unnamed federal law enforcement official saying that “the U.S. Coast Guard can’t go after them in Cuban waters.”