'World News' on Raul Castro: 'Economic Reforms' or Drug Running?

With the symbolic passing of the torch - from Fidel Castro to Raul Castro - comes hope of changes in Cuba, well at least among some in the media.

Even though no one is predicting Cuba to usher in a new wave of Adam Smith-style capitalism, there might be some changes according to ABC's "World News with Charles Gibson."

"[H]e's talking about significant reforms - liberalizing trade, economic reforms designed to ease poverty in a country where the average person earned $19 a month in the hope of consolidating his own power," ABC correspondent Jeffrey Kofman said on the Feb.19, 2008, ABC "World News with Charles Gibson."

But they're forgetting their own reporting. Raul Castro hasn't exactly donned the white hat and played the role of good guy in the past. An August 2006 ABC report indicated the younger Castro allowed Colombian drug lords to stage smuggling runs into the United States.

"Federal prosecutors in Miami were prepared to indict Raul Castro as the head of a major cocaine smuggling conspiracy in 1993, but the Clinton Administration Justice Department overruled them, current and former Justice Department officials tell ABC News," ABC's Brian Ross and Vic Walter reported on August 14, 2006.

"The officials say Castro, as Cuban Defense Minister, permitted Colombian drug lords to pay for the use of Cuban waters and airstrips as staging grounds for smuggling runs into the United States in the 1980s and early 1990s," the journalists reported in "The Blotter," an ABC News blog.

Economy Cuba Latin America ABC ABCNews.com World News Tonight Video Jeffrey Kofman Raul Castro

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