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Report: Castro tied to drugs

Drug traffickers captured in a massive cocaine bust in January told U.S. drug agents they smuggled the drugs through Cuba with the personal approval of President Fidel Castro, the Miami Herald reported Thursday.

The newspaper, citing those close to the investigation, said agents searched a trafficker's car at the time of the 5,828-pound bust and found several recent photographs of the suspect posing with Castro while the cocaine shipment was being planned.

The Herald said agents came across Cuba's alleged connection to the cocaine when they raided a warehouse in Dade County that contained smuggled Cuban cigars and cocaine from Colombia. It said the Justice and State departments and Clinton administration national security officials had been notified.

The Herald quoted Cuban authorities as saying the allegations were "an outrageous lie."

Cuba has waged a campaign in recent months to stress it is playing an active role in combating drug trafficking, with frequent media reports on drugs seized.

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