Blowback? SF Chronicle: CIA Introduced Swine Flu in Cuba to Weaken Castro

April 29, 2009

An interesting piece titled, "Swine Flu, the CIA and Fidel Castro," from a San Francisco alternative news site:

Everyone is terrified about the current outbreak of swine flu. Daily photos of Mexican citizens with medical face masks highlight the enormous danger of a pandemic. The terms “swine flu” and “swine fever” are often used interchangeably, and it appears that medically they are one and the same. What’s scary about this outbreak is the crossover of a virus from animal to human – something supposed to be “rare.” According to Monday’s SF Chronicle, swine flu is “a form of influenza type A that typically is very infectious - but not deadly - in pigs and is rarely passed on to humans … The new strain is an unusual combination of viruses that typically infect birds, pigs and humans separately. It’s a form of influenza, known as H1N1, that humans have been exposed to before, but never this particular strain.”

  Yet few are aware that the United States government, acting through the CIA and anti-communist exile operatives, once was involved in deliberately introducing exactly such a disease into Cuba for the purposes of destabilizing the Cuban economy and encouraging domestic opposition to Fidel Castro.

  The story first appeared January 10, 1977 on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle. Sourced from Newsday, the headline was “1971 Mystery - CIA Link to Cuban Pig Virus Reported.” Note the assertion that such diseases cannot cross over to humans: “With at least the tacit backing of U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officials, operatives linked to anti-Castro terrorists introduced African swine fever virus into Cuba in 1971." ....  

Nobody is claiming that the CIA or anti-Castro folks tried to kill people with the swine flu, but it shows how the consequences of biological warfare can be very unpredictable… Diseases that scientists assure us cannot be spread to humans sometimes can—with deadly consequences.

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