July 17th, 2013
09:04 AM ET

Cuba: It's our weapons on N.K. ship

It was a mystery that Panama's president said his country was struggling to solve.

What was the massive military equipment hidden under hundreds of thousands of sacks of brown sugar on a North Korean boat? Where did it come from? And where was it going before investigators seized the vessel near the Panama Canal?

Hours after Panama said it would ask U.S. and British officials for help solving the puzzle, Cuba gave an answer Tuesday night.

In addition to 10,000 tons of sugar, Cuba's Foreign Ministry said, the shipment contained "240 metric tons of obsolete defensive weapons" sent to North Korea "to be repaired and returned to Cuba."


Filed under: Cuba • North Korea • Panama
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Pete

    How come Russias not repairing weapons,they've backed Cuba for decades since before Kennedys Cuban missile crisis . ..Just what type of missiles were they that were sent to N Korea to be repaired and if American made what type and how the hell did they the Cubans get them,black market, how!!Time to start a UN security committee and see who's involved and put more sanctions on all involved ..Plus take that ship like I said before into international waters set up charges on it and send it to the oceans bottom sending a message that Panama and America won't put up with this non sense from anyone!!

    July 17, 2013 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Jeez....these SAM-2 missiles were originally manufactured in the USSR in 1957. Granted, upgrades in radar systems have made them more effective at avoiding electronic Jamming. The Chinese have done most of the upgrades. They are strictly Ground-to-air and have a range of about 22 miles. 66,000 ft. About 20 nations still use em. Mostly for target practice for newer missiles. I wouldn't worry.

      July 18, 2013 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. chrissy

    Seems as though everyone wants to get on the war wagon!!

    July 17, 2013 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  3. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Just because these weapons are obsolete, doesn't mean they don't work. N. Korea only needs one workable missile to accomplish their stated goal. Good job Panama.

    July 17, 2013 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      MIG 21's are about effective for war fighting today as a crop duster. All nations have Ground-to-Air missiles
      and I assume Cuba has a few too. Except for a few Florida Cuban expats, who wanted their casinos and plantations returned, we would have normalized relations with Cuba years ago

      July 17, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    Agree @Pete@bobcat.
    However the trouble is that most powers are engaged in arms smuggling which is a multi-billion dollar industry and those on top of this 'business' rake in mullah in the black market.
    There was an attempt recently by the UN to put in a mechanism to investigate and oversee this 'trade' unfortunately US shot it down going against around 40 countries including its allies.

    July 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat


    July 17, 2013 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. saywhat

    However the trouble is that arms trade & smuggling is a multi-billion dollar 'industry' sponsored with some major powers on top and traders in the black market rake in mullah.
    There was an attempt by UN recently to put in a mechanism to investigate & oversee this 'trade' but unfortunately US shot it down going against 40 countries including its allies.

    July 17, 2013 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  7. chrissy

    So everyones gearing up for world war 3!

    July 17, 2013 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      @chrissy,saywhat,these antiques with the Russian made Sam missiles and MIG 21 just go to show how far America has advanced ...Both are great museum pieces and our F35 Raptor,Lightning would make swiss cheese in both if they were in the air against them today..Have a great day both and watch out for trolls ,I accidently stepped on one and boy they make a heck of a mess!!!

      July 18, 2013 at 9:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    Hey trollio! Having fun are you fool? You forgot i dont use caps in my name because im not prententious. Also i am not anti~gay either you moron!

    July 17, 2013 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Rascal Rabble

    hell is burpin'...hellisburpon...halliburton!

    July 18, 2013 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. saywhat

    @Pete, thanks and the jab at trolls really tickled.
    hello everyone.

    July 18, 2013 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  11. saywhat

    As a corollary to this incident.
    The arms 'trade' is a huge industry spawning a black market where profits reaped by major players are limitless. Its kind of sponsored by the the top few countries which rule this 'trade'.
    UN had recently tried to put in a mechanism to investigate & oversee this trade/smuggling but the motion was shot down by US going against 40 countries including allies.

    July 18, 2013 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. DubhBairn

    Regardless of who's the weapons are; the simple fact that the captain tried to fake a heart attack and then kill himself shows that clearly this is a MAJOR violation of the diplomatic agreements the US and other countries have made with N Korea. Big no no but "repairing" stuff in North Korea for Cuba doesn't sound like they could do that since they can't even get a missile off the ground longer than 2 minutes.. Something's a miss here.. I smell the crap a mile away.. but wait our country could care less we are more worried about Treyvon Martin and the president's speech today showed that.. What the media and govt will do to keep your mind pre-occupied on stupid crap rather than the real news.. "Divide and Rule" as the Romans said.. Seemed to work for them for a long time.. sounds like our country is basing it's model of dictatorship after the Romans.. (sigh) Will we ever wake up and learn.. I doubt it.

    July 19, 2013 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Obama has no more power than any other president before him...your doomsday wish isn't going to come true and this country will never be under a dictatorship. Get ahold of yourself, man.

      July 19, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      North Korea has about 300 SAM-2 missiles. Bought them from the Chinese. Considering they were originally designed in 1957, I'm sure they have some expertise in their repair. What you smell is the BS that you apparently thrive on! By the way, a SAM-2 is an antiaircraft missile and couldn't even hit Key West.

      July 19, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Do your homework .......These are SAM-2s. Ground to Air. Like the ones that shot down Gary Powers in 1960. This technology is so old that only the North Koreans have the parts to fix em.

      July 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. chrissy

    Lol, you go Jeff! (applause)

    July 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chrissy

    I just love those terms "diplomatic agreements" and "rules of war"! All they are are words that dont actually to any governments. Because when it gets right down to it they're gonna do whatever they can to insure they come out ahead. Some are sneakier than others. Some are more ruthless. And some (the US) suck up better!

    July 19, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  15. saywhat

    Where o where have gone those whose intellects fired this blog once and kept it humming?
    The sparring, the poignant and enlightening comments, I do miss those days.

    July 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
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