Cuban Biotechnology
A First-hand Report

May 2003

Following are excerpts from a report edited by Glenn Baker of the Center for Defense Information from individual  submissions by a team of US experts that have examined first-hand several biotech facilities in Cuba:

Members of the group were chosen for the diverse range of their collective expertise, and included a former UNSCOM chief inspector, a retired four-star general, a leading infectious disease specialist, senior research scientists, bioweapons policy experts, and former assistant secretaries of Defense and Energy. The differing perspectives brought to bear by this group provide a multi-disciplinary assessment of the Cuban biotechnology sector and the issue of bioweaponry....

After extensive research and consultation with a variety of sources in the United States, both official and private, we provided the Cubans with a list of nine facilities that we wanted to see. Upon arrival, we were handed an itinerary that listed all nine facilities. The Cubans repeatedly stressed that we could go to locations not on the list as well, if we so desired.

At each center, following a PowerPoint presentation about its mission from the center's director and a jolt of thick Cuban coffee, we donned white coats, foot-covers, and hats and toured the primary facilities. As we toured, we frequently were introduced to mid-level scientists and technicians, who were proud to talk about their work. We then had the opportunity to request to see additional parts of what in many cases are sprawling complexes....

Does Cuba have 'a limited offensive biological warfare research and development effort'? Sorry. I can't say.
Did Cuba display a remarkable degree of openness and goodwill in permitting our group to go where it went and do what it did? Absolutely....

Neither I nor any member of the group found any indications that Cuba was involved in other than legitimate biotechnical activities. We did not expect that we would uncover anything to the contrary. The consensus of the group is that while Cuba certainly has the capability to develop and produce chemical and biological weapons, nothing that we saw or heard led us to the conclusion that they are proceeding on this path.

Download entire document (in PDF format) from the Center for Defense Information website.