WEST NILE VIRUS AND THE DRAGON’S TAIL
By Humberto (Bert) Corzo*
Since the early nineties Castro’s tyranny has spent $3.5 billion in the development of facilities to be used in the “Bacteriological Warfare.” Castro’s regime started its biological program in 1982, and since then has done extensive research and development in the field of bioterrorism. This research is conducted, among others, in the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), the most important one, created in 1986, La Habana, at a cost of $150 million. The CIA believes that this facility is used for developing biological weapons. Cuba has been classified by the State Department as a terrorist nation. Castro’s hatred and hostility to the United States represents, without any doubt, a very serious threat due to Cuba’s proximity, only 90 miles from Key West.
Fidel Castro, on January 28, 1998, in a threat of potential use of germ warfare against the U.S. said: "This lamb can never be devoured -not with planes nor smart bombs- because this lamb is smarter than you, and in its blood there is, and always will be, poison for you."
Dr. Luis Roberto Hernandez, a Cuban entomologist who defected in 1995, in an interview to El Nuevo Herald on October 18, 1999, asserted that he worked in the Institute of Zoology where the laboratories for the Biological Front were established and that "those were laboratories to identify and produce viruses to be used in birds as ‘hosts’ for their dissemination." According to Hernandez, the project continued at a farm outside Havana, where a vast nesting program had been established to study the routes and habits of migratory birds. These viruses are suitable for inoculating migratory birds that fly to the U.S. in the spring. Obviously it is possible to introduce biological agents like the West Nile Virus (WNV) into the U.S. by way of migratory birds that will transmit it to mosquitoes, and they will spread it to horses, people and other mammals.
According to Carlos Wotzkow, former researcher and ornithologist at the Cuban Institute of Zoology, in exile in Switzerland since 1992, the migratory birds project was proposed by Castro himself and led to the creation of what was called the Biological Front: "An idea to undertake biological warfare against the United States territory through the introduction of viruses of infectious diseases inoculated in migratory birds."  Wotzkow claim that the Smithsonian Institution, along with the University of Pennsylvania and the Canadian Wildlife Service, collaborated with Castro by providing funds and technology for the study of migratory birds.
The WNV first appears in New York in July 1999, after the birds’ spring migration. This virus had never been present in North America. John Roehrig of the CDC said, "It is not yet clear how the virus got to New York, but it could be from bird migration or from virus-carrying imported birds that infected the area’s mosquito population."
During the year 1999, 7 deaths and 59 severe cases of the WNV disease were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in New York State. In the year 2000, only 2 deaths and 19 severe cases of the WNV disease were reported to the CDC in 3 states.
According to Ernesto F. Betancourt there is enough circumstantial evidence of the possibility to select birds to "host" the introduction of viruses, such as the West Nile, in the US, to justify its investigation. One of the important pieces of evidence introduced by Betancourt is this one, “It so happens that Dr. Rosa Elena Simeon is the person responsible for the Frente Biologico that is developing the capability to wage biological warfare directly under Castro's oversight. She attended the UN General Assembly in 1999, the year of the encephalitis outbreak, a strange diplomatic assignment for an official responsible for science, technology and the environment. More so, upon her return with the delegation to Cuba they were welcomed in person by Castro in an unusual event at Havana University during which Castro made reference "to their historic and victorious battle in the heart of the Empire." Could this battle have been the encephalitis outbreak? Was this a battle won by t!
he Biological Front? Strange wording, indeed.” 
Fidel Castro, in an address during the dedication of a social workers school in Villa Clara province on October 16, 2001, warned that, “Today this country has more options than ever, is stronger than ever, and has more weapons than ever to wage the ideological battle -and let's not forget the other (weapons) we have stored away and the very clear idea on how we will use them.”
A total of 64 severe human cases, including 9 deaths of WNV were reported to CDC from January to December 2001. The disease had spread to 10 states, and had been found in about 80 bird species and nine mammalian species.
During the year 2002, the CDC confirmed 284 deaths and 2946 severe cases of the WNV disease in 40 states. The spread and number of casualties kept growing, and at the same time the coverage by the main stream news media has been practically nil.
Close to 200 species of birds, reptiles and mammals fell ill from West Nile in 2002. The WNV has decimated bird populations. Crows, owls, hawks and blue jays have been hardest hit, with the number of dead birds easily in the thousands, estimate state and federal wildlife officials.
"It's the most unbelievable situation confronting public health in a long time. I'm shocked by how quickly it has spread," says Wayne Rowley, Iowa State University entomology professor, as he talks about the WNV in the Wallaces Farmer, October 22, 2002.
"In my years of working, I've never seen a mosquito-borne virus spread so quickly," said Robert McLean of the Agriculture Department's National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colo. In North American wildlife, the virus has proven to be unusually aggressive and capable of infecting a surprisingly diverse array of animals, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Dec 29, 2002.
Senator Pat Leahy is the first government official to sound the alarm that the recent outbreak of WNV looks suspiciously like the work of terrorists:
“Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy, D-VT., said that he suspects the recent outbreak of West Nile virus that has killed more than 30 Americans across the nation this summer is the work of terrorists.
I think we have to ask ourselves, is it a coincidence that we're seeing such an increase in West Nile virus. Or is that something that is being tested as a biological weapon by the terrorists?" Leahy said in an interview with WKDR (Burlington, Vt.) radio host Mark Johnson. 
Dr. Ken Alibek, arguably the world's foremost expert on bioweapons and former head of the old Soviet Union's bioweapons program, offers some chilling insights in his recent confidential briefing for NewsMax readers on a new tape: "Off the Record with Dr. Ken Alibek", NewsMax.com, Sept. 28, 2002.
Dr. Alibek reveals in "Off the Record" that the spread of West Nile is "one of the most puzzling" matters he has ever witnessed in studying diseases and their epidemiology.
Alibek notes that nowhere on the planet is West Nile spreading to the degree it is here.
"Why it's spreading so fast throughout the United States?" he asks. Alibek has strong suspicions West Nile is indeed a bio-weapon employed against the U.S.
This is Carlos Wotzkow’s description of how the birds are used as carriers of viral infectious diseases, “There are new ICBMs in Cuba. They are new-age Inter-Continental Bird Missiles! There have been hundreds, perhaps millions of thousands of secret, quiet, test launches. Castro learned that he needed a new weapon that could not be seen in spy photos, so now there are no rocket launchers…
These new missiles are very small, have feathers and flap their wings. They have beating hearts and carry deadly, living, biological warheads. They travel unnoticed, in flight paths programmed by nature to chosen targets…
As migrating birds arrive in Cuba, some are found with identification leg bands installed by scientists in the United States. These coded leg bands let military bio-weapon scientists know which birds have come from which geographic location, such as New York. When that bird and the birds of that flock return to the United States they will return to New York. Infecting that flock with a disease just before releasing them at migration time in Cuba will result in delivery of the warhead to New York, or somewhere else in route if blown off course…
Today it is quite possible to use birds as ICBMs and West Nile Virus as one type of warhead. What could be coming next? How about a genetically altered form of a common disease that would be much more deadly? This is a likely development in the cycle since weapons systems are flight tested before widespread deployment.” 
Because birds are the primary carriers of the virus, there is nothing to really stop its spread to other states, and the WNV epidemic has been spreading like wildfire.
The fast spread of the virus and number of casualties strongly point to bioterrorism.
During the year 2003, 264 deaths and 2860 severe cases of WNV were reported to the CDC in 46 states.
These figures contrast with the estimates that the smallpox vaccination of the entire nation could lead to nearly 3,000 life-threatening complications and at least 170 deaths, and the five people who died of anthrax attack. Ironically these two have received wide coverage by the news media.
Up to May 8, 2003, 224 deaths and 4,698 cases of SARS were reported in China. The SARS epidemic received widespread coverage by the news media, but not the WNV epidemic. Any clue why the news media has behaved in this manner?
A total of 1142 severe cases and 100 deaths due to WNV have been reported to the CDC in 2004. Aside from the change in the number of people afflicted, fewer dead and ill people, other aspects of the disease this year were generally consistent with past years.
The number of WNV cases rebounded in 2005 after a drop in 2004, signaling that the disease is here to stay, according to figures released by the CDC. A total of 1294 severe cases, including 119 deaths have been reported to the CDC in 2005.
The virus has been found in more than 300 species of birds since it first surfaced in North America in 1999, the CDC reports.
So far for the year 2006, and as of February 06, 2007, these are the cases of WNV that have been reported to the CDC: 161 deaths and 1433 severe cases of WNV disease in 44 states. The numbers signal a bigger epidemic than in 2005.
A total of 9,817 of severe human cases, including 946 deaths have been reported to the CDC from July 1999 up to Feb 06, 2007.The case-fatality rate average associated with WNV is at 9.6% since the virus was introduced on the United States. This is an unusually high percentage since normally it shall be below 3%. The epidemic has all the characteristics of a bioterrorism attack.
A total of 23,925 human cases, including mild and severe cases, have been reported to CDC from July 1999 up to Feb 06, 2007.
Since these statistics have received little coverage, it looks like a deliberate effort by most of the main stream media to conceal this information from the public, due to their sympathy with Castro’s regime.
The most serious manifestation of the WNV infection is a deadly inflammation of the brain in humans and horses. The young and elderly are especially at risk. There is a vaccine for horses but not people. Mosquitoes can spread the virus from infected birds to horses, people and other mammals. Among the birds, crows, ravens and blue jays are the most susceptible to the virus.
Ongoing studies of neuroinvasive cases show some patients suffer "lingering neurologic problems months or even years after the initial disease." Persons over 50 years of age have the highest risk of severe disease.
Experts believe WNV is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall.
First there was the silence of the crows. Skies are getting quieter and bird feeders lonelier.
While the high proportion of human toll had dominated the nation's attention, the effects of WNV on wildlife were far worse. It has decimated bird populations across the U.S., with the number of dead birds easily in the millions. The birds have been dying at such a rate that wildlife officials can't test them fast enough and can't say how many birds have been stricken.
Indeed, the epidemic has so resembled a bioterrorism attack that the nation's zoos, which spearheaded an effort to track West Nile's march and mount emergency vaccinations, could end up with potentially important roles in the emerging arena of homeland security.
The release of the WNV, besides the loss of human life and public health impact, had a substantial ecological and economical impact.
Bioterrorism expert Mark Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease
Research and Policy (CIDRAP), told NBC’s "Today Show" on September 24, 2001, that
the United States is unprepared to deal with attacks from biological weapons.
"We live in a new world order, biological weapons have been developed and will be delivered," he said.
"We’re talking about the difference between what we saw in New York City, where it was a horrible situation with more than 3,000 fatalities but the [medical] system wasn’t overwhelmed because there were only 4,000 or 5,000 wounded people," he said. "Imagine now 100,000, 200,000, 300,000 people presenting for medical care in the New York medical system. That’s what biological weapons can do and that’s what we as a nation are largely unprepared to deal with."
Dr. Manuel Cereijo describes this feasible scenario: “A biological attack, such as with small pox, so as to infect some 50,000 primary cases (and 150,000 secondary within two weeks, 450,000 within 4 weeks, and so on) results in almost everyone here being exposed and 30% dying among the infected. This would threaten the survival of the United States and even of world civilization.” 
Dr. Cereijo, with respect to the ongoing epidemic of the WNV, states that: “Until 1999, the virus had never been present in the western hemisphere. The appearance and the epidemic sprout that took place in that date in the United States are one of the most important biological events that had happened in connection to viruses in the 20th century…
The virus in the United States is encountering a whole new ecosystem. Everything is unfamiliar to the virus-the weather, the climate, many of the birds, and in spite of that, it has spread over the country. The virus displays a variety more resistant than the original virus, giving rise to think that it has been genetically altered.” 
Castro’s regime will use any means at its disposal like lethal force, kidnapping, blatant blackmail, providing safe haven to terrorists and U.S. fugitives, maintaining ties to other state sponsors of terrorism, traffic of illegal drugs and money laundering to achieve his
objective against the United States and its way of live.
On a press release from Agence France-Press in Iran on May 10, 2001, Castro made it clear his objective when said, “Iran and Cuba, in cooperation with each other, can bring America to its knees. The U.S. regime is very weak, and we are witnessing this weakness from close up." This is a serious threat, and it would be tragic for the people of the United States if Castro is not stopped in his tracks very soon. Castro’s regime is an asymmetric military threat to the security of the United States.
The collections of the dots and their subsequent connection provide conclusive evidence, the famous smoking gun, of the introduction of a low level biological weapon, the WNV, to test the delivered system and the impact in human, animals, ecology and economy, by a terrorist nation. After the system has become operational, it will be stored away. This will be follow, in due time, by a surprise strike with the introduction of a more deadly biological weapon that will cause high human fatalities and severe disruption of the economy.
Now that Castro’s regime is near its end, we have to take into account what the late Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante, in an interview given to Contacto Magazine in 1997, said: “The worse of the dragon is in the tail”, alluding to the fact that in its agony can whip around and smack us at any moment.
The American way of life has survived many challenges and has emerged as one of the most powerful and symbolic in the world. The time has arrived to cut out and obliterate the cancer of terrorism. Our way of life will survive and will be victorious in this just cause one more time. Let it be clear that Castro’s tyranny is one of the governments that encourage, provide safe haven and train a number of terrorist organizations that commit these evil acts.
This menace shall not motivate fear, nor discourage us due to the apprehension of an attack; on the contrary it shall be seriously considered by the Executive Power, the Congress, the news media and the American people, in order to take the appropriate measures to eradicate this threat.
 Carlos Wotzkow, Natumaleza Cubana, Miami: Ediciones Universal, 1998.
 Ernesto F. Betancourt, West Nile Virus: Is Castro's bioterrorism threat being ignored? Guaracabuya, September 2001.
 Carl Limbacher, Sen. Leahy: West Nile Outbreak Could Be Terrorism, News Max.com, and Sept. 12, 2002.
 Carlos Wotzkow and JAKemp, ICBMs in Cuba: Today’s Threat, La Nueva Cuba, October 24, 2002.
 Manuel Cereijo, Are We Safe Yet? Net For Cuba International, September 19, 2003.
 Manuel Cereijo, El virus del occidente del Nilo: ¿naturaleza o bioterrorismo?, El Nuevo Herald, Jul. 26, 2004.
*Humberto (Bert) Corzo was born in Cuba. In 1962 he graduated from University of Havana with a degree in Civil Engineering. Since coming to the United States in 1969, he established his residence in Los Angeles, California, where in 1972 he obtained the registration as a Professional Engineer. He has over forty five years of experience in the field of Structural Engineering. He is a Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.