WikiLeaks cable details Cuba's 'frustration' with Jamaica in drug fight

Cuban counter-drug officials cooperate well with a U.S. Coast Guard liaison but also complain that Jamaica has "consistently ignored" calls for help on drug cases, according to a U.S. diplomatic cable from Havana.

A "significant frustration on the Cuban side is the reportedly complete lack of cooperation afforded them by the GOJ [Government of Jamaica] when it comes to . . . information sharing,'' the cable noted.

The Aug. 11 2009, dispatch, on contacts between a Coast Guard Drug Interdiction Specialist (DIS) based in Havana and Cuban officials, was published Wednesday by the Guardian newspaper in London as part of the WikiLeaks disclosures.

It hinted at an easy cooperation with Cuba's anti-drug police, who brief the DIS regularly on drug cases and invite him on trips to the provinces to inspect seized shipments. U.S. and Cuban diplomats in Havana and Washington generally cannot travel far from their bases.

The Cubans were also willing to increase contacts with other U.S. counter-drug officials, and were relatively open in their less-formal meetings with the unidentified Coast Guard specialist, according to the cable.

"While the DIS is often briefed via formal means'' on drug cases, the dispatch added, "side-bar conversations during provincial trips . . . often yield increased insight into Cuban counterdrug operations and mind set.''

U.S. proponents of improved U.S.-Cuban relations have long portrayed Havana as an important and eager partner in the fight against drug trafficking in the Caribbean.

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