MIAMI, JUNE 23 -- The Cuban government is willing to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors and turn over tape recordings of meetings between Fidel Castro and Manuel Antonio Noriega for use in the ousted Panamanian leader's U.S. drug trial, a top official has said.
In one meeting, the Cuban president and Noriega discussed the 1984 destruction of a cocaine laboratory established by Colombian drug lords in Panama, said Ramiro Abreu, a Cuban official in charge of relations with Central America.
Noriega told Castro about the destruction of the lab as an example of Panamanian efforts to fight drug smuggling, Abreu told reporters in Havana. His remarks were carried by Spain's national news agency EFE.
Federal prosecutors have said Castro was acting as an intermediary between Noriega and leaders of Colombia's notorious Medellin cocaine cartel, who were angered by the loss of the lab.
"It is not good to specify what is contained in those conversations of Noriega with Cuban officials because they are evidence that could be used at the trial, but we are willing to collaborate," Abreu said.
Noriega is imprisoned in Miami awaiting trial on charges that he protected U.S.-bound cocaine shipments from Colombia that passed through Panama.