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For release May 15, 2002:


May Have Been Source of West Nile Virus, Producing Anthrax-Like Toxins

Washington -- Iraq may have unleashed the West Nile Virus in the United States via Cuba through the release of migratory birds infected with the virus, and may be producing antiobiotic-resistant toxins for future attacks, according to two articles published in The Medical Sentinel, The Official Journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (Volume 6, Number 4).

In the first, "West Nile Virus - Is Castro�s Bioterrorism Threat Being Ignored," author Ernesto F. Betancourt, Castro�s Washington Representative in the �50s and former Director of Radio Marti, outlines the possible Cuba-Iraq link.

He cites ornithologist, Carlos Wotzkow, who was fired from Cuba�s Institute of Zoology after objecting to the creation of the "Biological Front," an effort to develop viruses that could be carried by host birds or other means into the U.S.

A second article, "Cuba, Castro and Bioterrorism," by Agust�n Blazquez, a documentary producer, outlines his claims that "... we clearly see that Castro has used this time to develop weapons of mass destruction in our backyard to be used against us."

Mr. Blazquez cites a previously ignored paper by Dr. Manuel Cereijo, a professor at Florida International University. "In 1992, the [Castro-controlled] Institute of Oceanographic Studies conducted an experiment with the Academy of Sciences to find out which places on the Cuban coast were the best to let bottles and containers reach the United States coast line fastest and most effectively," writes Dr. Cereijo. Further, Dr. Cereijo claims that there are at least 12 Cuban centers producing bacteriological agents located around Havana, and that the U.S. government has had knowledge of these capabilities. He describes the newest and most notorious, La Fabriquita ("Little Factory") located across the street from the former Naval Hospital. Disguised as an "Animal Feed Plant," one must pass through a station of the Cuban Armed Forces to enter. Dr. Cereijo believes the plant has the capability to produce A-232, an agent more toxic that previous nerve agents, and that La Fabriquita could be producing an anthrax-like toxin totally resistant to antibiotics. Concludes Mr. Blazquez, "The blackmail potential that this represents renders the U.S. and its people in grave danger and in an almost impotent situation."


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