A rusty North Korean ship hides 2 MiGs, munitions and radar systems — 240 tons of contraband weapons in all — under tons of sacks of Cuban sugar then gets stopped going through the Panama Canal.

A former Cuban Interior Ministry colonel accused of abusing prisoners of conscience retires in Miami, then flees to Cuba when former prisoners spot him on South Florida streets, only to return again, this time to New Jersey, and, get this, apply for U.S. aid.

A growing number of Medicare fraudsters owing the U.S. government millions of dollars for fake claims exit stage left and head to the communist island, living the high life with impunity.

Meanwhile, Cuban officials keep decrying the U.S. “imperialist” government for an embargo that has so many loopholes — allowing food, medicine and even high-tech communications to reach Cubans — that it’s turned into a paper tiger without a Cold War roar.

What’s going on? Are U.S. officials paying attention?

The question begs: If Cuba is on the State Department’s “terror” list, why would the regime’s former officials be able to obtain U.S. visas and go back and forth to the island in their “retirement”?

Cuba is not a postcard of rum and dance. It should give U.S. officials pause that the 54-year dictatorship run by the Castro brothers has been securing friends in all the wrong places: from North Korea to Iran. Nothing good can come of it.

— The Miami Herald, Aug. 11