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Please, Cuba, may we have our missile back?

14 January 2016

Hellfire missiles attached to a Cobra helicopter. Photo Creative Commons.

Diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States of America may have been restored. Daily flights from the US to Cuba are to be resumed. The United Nations has voted yet again against the criminal US blockade by a staggering majority.

Yet the blockade does not ease and the list of proscribed items by the US remains in force. But it doesn’t seem to be as effective as the US might like. Recently a US Hellfire laser-guided air-to-ground missile, an example of the US’s most advanced warfare technology, was shipped to Cuba on an Air France flight by the Lockheed Martin corporation in Spain, via what has been described as a tour of European airports.


The Hellfire missile was unarmed, but otherwise complete. It is so modern and so advanced that it apparently did not appear on the US’s list of proscribed items. Alert and keen Cuban Customs staff impounded the missile on its arrival at Havana airport – it’s not the norm for the tourist trade, nor had it been ordered by Cuba’s Revolutionary Armed Forces.

The US has asked for its missile back, and doubtless it will be returned in pristine condition, probably having been stripped down to every computer chip let alone nut and bolt by eager Cuban scientists keen to understand what the US may wish to deploy against Cuba if present diplomacy fails.