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Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

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Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Vie Feb 01, 2008 5:26 pm

Miami Herald
July 3, 1982
Agents seize satellite equipment bought by Cuban U.N. diplomat



By GUILLERMO MARTINEZ

Federal agents in Orlando have seized $38,000 worth of satellite monitoring equipment purchased by a top-ranking Cuban diplomat in violation of the U.S. Trading with the Enemy Act, a Customs Department spokesman announced Friday.
A Cuban diplomat at the United Nations purchased the equipment from a Florida company by mail, according to Ed Kittredge, a U.S. Customs Department spokesman in Washington.
The equipment was seized Thursday by FBI agents and the U.S. Customs Service in a United Parcel Service warehouse in Orlando.
Federal agencies are checking into the possibility that the equipment might be used for spying, said a State Department official who would talk only if his name was not used.
"It is still premature to say" if the violation of the 20-year embargo on trading with Cuba is serious enough to warrant the expulsion of the diplomat, the official added.
"After the investigation we will see what we do," he said.
The equipment, which is available commercially, can be converted to a sophisticated telecommunications monitor, according to officials at Customs. They added it did not include a receiving "dish," commonly used to pick up television signals from satellites.
Kittredge said the name of the company selling the equipment is not being divulged "because they are cooperating with us."
The incident is the first involving a Cuban diplomat since February of last year, when the Reagan Administration expelled Ricardo Escartin, first secretary in the Cuban Interests Section in Washington.
Escartin was accused of engaging in "intelligence gathering activities" and conspiring with American businessmen to violate the embargo on trade with Cuba.
Customs officials said that the Cuban diplomat involved in the latest incident could not be arrested because he is covered by diplomatic immunity.
Officials at the State Department refused to identify the diplomat Friday. Kittredge said they could not identify him because "the State Department told us not to."
An official of Cuba's Interests Section in Washington said the Cuban government had not been officially notified of the incident and thus he could not comment.
A woman who answered the phone at the Cuban mission to the United Nations in New York also declined comment saying, "Here we are not accustomed to make any statements to the press."

Miami Herald

February 27, 1982, page 1
Spies in Miami?
Castro sent 300 of them, defector testifies
By JIM McGEE
WASHINGTON - An estimated 300 Cuban intelligence agents entered South Florida during and since the Mariel boatlift, a congressional subcommittee was told Friday.
If that is true, said a former Cuban spy testifying before the subcommittee, the agents are probably here to "distract" the FBI.
"One of the objectives is to distract the counterintelligence services of the United States," said former Cuban spy Gerardo Peraza, 42, -who quit the Cuban intelligence service in 1971 and defected to the United States.
There "is no possibility of detecting the true agents. The FBI doesn't have time to detect the real agents," Peraza said through an interpreter.
The comment came after subcommittee chairman Sen. Jeremiah Denton (R., Ala.), a conservative Republican, said congressional investigators have been told "there are now 300 [Cuban intelligence[ officers and agents in the Miami area alone" who have arrived during and since Mariel.
Subcommittee investigators said their information about Florida came from the FBI and local law enforcement agencies. FBI officials declined to comment for The Herald on Peraza's testimony.
Peraza said Cuba's intelligence agency, the General Directorate for Intelligence (DGI), relied on the Soviet Union for training and equipment.
"The Soviet Union utilizes Cuba because of its great possibilities in the intelligence field against the U.S.," Peraza said, " . . . and the great possibilities of penetrating the U.S."
Later in the hearings, which focused on Peraza's experiences, Denton's staff produced a photograph of Russian-made hand grenades that he said have been linked to three Miami-area bombings. The Russian grenades were apparently stolen from a shipment of arms from Cuba to El Salvador, a Florida investigator said.
Staff investigators showed the photograph of the smooth, hand-held cylinders and said they interviewed a jailed informant who claimed the grenades were intended "to blow things up" in Miami.
"We went down there [to Miami] to talk to a guy in prison," said a member of the subcommittee staff who asked not to be named. "This guy was given the hand grenades . . . they were sent over [from Cuba] to be used by him.
"This guy was specifically told to blow things up. He was told by a guy who thought he was, or believed to be, a [Cuban agent] to do this."
State and federal law enforcement officials confirmed Friday afternoon that Russian-made devices have been used in Miami bombings.
The most recent incident occurred last Monday when an explosion rocked the neighborhood at NW 27th Ave and 16th Terrace.
"We know where they came from," said Sergio Pinon, and investigator with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. "We know how they got to the U.S. from Cuba."
Peraza, speaking in Spanish, said he left Cuba 12 years ago in protest of a requirement that intelligence officers join the Communist Party and because the Cuban agency had been placed under the control of Soviet intelligence.
He said the USSR, in taking command of the agency, was interested primarily in "the penetration of United States intelligence."
In introducing the swarthy, heavy-set former spy, Denton said he was placed in charge of the signals bureau in the DGI in 1967 to monitor counterrevolutionary activities among Cuban exiles. Denton said he was later assigned to the Cuban embassy in London with the cover title of second secretary.
Throughout his testimony, Peraza stressed that the United States was uppermost in the minds of Cuban and Soviet intelligence leaders.
Even when the DGI would try to recruit British officials, he said, the goal was to hurt America.
"It was to utilize these people in one way or another to penetrate the U.S.," Peraza said. " . . . All the other countries where they work, it is [directed] at the U.S."
Peraza said he made the decision to defect after watching Cuban intelligence become more and more a KGB operation.
He told of attending Russian training centers for spies - where he studied beside recruits from other Third World nations.
"We [the Cuban trainees] were the apple of their eyes," he said of his Soviet trainers. "The preferred ones. We had more access to information."
Peraza also said Cuba began establishing training centers - which were essentially schools for terrorism.
"Thousands of terrorists have gone through that school for special training," he said.
Shifting his focus to New York and Washington, Peraza said most of the Cuban diplomats are trained intelligence agents. He said the general orders are to gather political, economic and military information about the U.S.
He said a leftist student group in Florida, the Venceremos Brigade, performed a similar function.
"Venceremos" is Spanish for "We shall win." The pro-Castro youth brigade was made up of American college students who made annual "solidarity" visits to Cuba to cut sugar cane and work the construction industry in the 1970s.
"The Venceremos Brigade helped by sending the telephone books [of Florida communities] and [other] information, including [data] on the U.S. Senate," Peraza said.
For one period, he said, there was "and extraordinary emphasis placed on several senators of the U.S. … with some success."
He did not name the senators.
Near the end of the morning session, Sen. John East (R., N.C.) asked a final question.
"You see the Soviet-DGI connection as alive and well in the United States?"
"Yes," the ex-spy said.


The Miami Herald
April 25, 1983, page 1-D
Castro agents on Miami force, says Carollo
When Sen. Paula Hawkins and a Senate subcommittee get to Miami Saturday for a hearing on Cuba's involvement in drug smuggling, they're going to get an earful.
For one thing, Miami City Commissioner Joe Carollo is willing to tell them there are Castro agents on the Miami police force.
"I'm extremely sure there are Miami police officers working for Communist Cuba," he says. Carollo says he bases the charge on information from the turncoat agents of the Direccion General de Inteligencia (DGI), Castro's version of Russia's KGB. The agents' purpose is to harass anti-Castro activists and inhibit efforts of the President's anti-drug task force, Carollo says.
Miami Police Chief Kenneth Harms declined to comment on Carollo's charge. Carollo and Harms, it should be noted, have been feuding for years.
Saturday's hearing, at 9 a.m. at the Dade County Courthouse, was called by the U.S. Senate subcommittee on national security and terrorism, which is seeking to involve Hawkins' Senate Drug Enforcement Caucus more actively in probing the Castro-cocaine connection.


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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Vie Feb 01, 2008 5:33 pm

Chicago Tribune
August 23, 1981
CASTRO PLAN TO DESTABILIZE U.S. MAY BE BROADENING
By Daniel James
DEFECTOR REVEALS CASTRO PLAN TO DESTABILIZE THE UNITED STATES
NEW YORK.--A recent defector from Cuba's General Intelligence Directorate (DGI) says that the April, 1980, flood of 125,000 refugees from the port of Mariel was part of a plan to destablize the United States and relieve Cuba of "excess" population it could not support.In an interview, defector Genaro Perez said that this "Plan Bravo" was conceived by Cuban President Fidel Castro and the DGI. Before defecting last year, Perez operated under cover of Havanatur, a DGI-run travel agency in Miami that maintained surveillance of Cuban-Americans visiting Cuba and tried to recruit intelligence agents from among them.
In June, 1980, the CIA testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence that it had warned the State Department, National Security Council "and higher" authorities as early as Jan. 31, 1980, of Castro's intention to unload large numbers of new refugees on the U.S. The CIA added that Castro's removal of security guards from Havana's Peruvian embassy on April 4, 1980--causing thousands of Cubans to invade that embassy--"was probably calculated to precipitate a crisis and force the U.S.... to accept sizable numbers of new refugees."
Perez charges that Plan Bravo would "unleash violence in the U.S.--riots, disturbances, bombings, shootouts, assaults on banks--in an effort to terrorize the American public and government."
He adds that Puerto Rican terrorists are vital to Castro's plan and would encourage violence "in all parts of the U.S.--not only in New York or Chicago but also Washington, Miami, Los Angeles." In addition, Perez says, the plan involves the incitement of racial conflict among Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and "especially blacks."
U.S. intelligence officers express concern about the increased activities of Puerto Rican terrorists aided and abetted by the DGI. And, intentional or otherwise, Miami--where most of the Mariel refugees ended up--became the scene of riots as unemployed blacks protested not just the brutal murder of a black by white police but the refugees' alleged seizure of available jobs.These troubles discouraged tourism, contributing to a serious decline in Miami's economy while fanning blacks' and whites' resentment toward the new refugees and toward Cubans in general.
Tomas Regalado--a respected reporter whose "Cuba Today" radio program on Miami's WHRC is listened to widely in Cuba--adds another charge. Under cover of the chaotic boatlift, he says, Castro sent "hundreds" of new intelligence operatives to the U.S.
The State Department estimates that more than 200,000 Cubans hold exit visas and are ready to sail for the U.S. upon Castro's signal. However, Perez believes that Castro would prefer to succeed with another plan--the first priority "Plan Alpha." Its goal is to normalize relations with the U.S., beginning with removal of the 20year trade embargo against Cuba.
Although his failed Marxist programs made a shambles of the Cuban economy, Castro has made the embargo his whipping boy and the keystone of the U.S. policy. The embargo choked off international credit to Cuba, without which the country cannot buy the capital goods required for economic survival. Therefore, Castro is attempting to secure normalized relations while simultaneously using U.S. businessmen and DGI commercial fronts to violate the embargo and bring in forbidden products.
This and all other DGI operations in the U.S. are directed from the Cuban mission to the UN in New York. Although Cuba is among the smallest members the mission, with a staff of 50 to 80, is the second largest in the U.N. As many as 75 percent of those accredited to the mission are not diplomats, but officers of the DGI, and other Cuban intelligence agencies
Some of them are officers of the Department of State Security, or D.S.E. which controls Cuba's internal security. Others belong to the Department of America and Daniel James is the author of "Cuba: The First Soviet Satellite in the Americas, the Cuban Institute for Friendship with Peoples, or ICAP, intelligence agencies that keep visitors to Cuba under surveillance.
Not surprisingly, many of these members of the Cuban mission don't bother to show up for regular UN duties. At least two ranking members who are listed as "political counselors" are actually high intelligence officers. One is Mario Monzon 38, chief of all DGI operations in the U.S. The other is Alfredo Garcia Almeida who heads the America Department here and performs ICAP functions.
Monzon answers not only to his superiors in Havana but also to Moscow's intelligence organization, the KGB, through its station chief in New York. The KGB created the DGI in the early 1960s and, though still a satellite of the Soviet agency, is rated professionally as among the world's top five intelligence services, after the KGB, the CIA, Israel's Mossad, and Britain's M16.

The DGI has special value for the KGB because its officers, accredited diplomats, are allowed complete freedom of movement in this country, while Soviet and other Soviet-bloc emissaries are restricted to a 25-mile radius around New York and Washington.
"The Soviets parcel out the intelligence pie," said a State department official, "giving all kinds of functions to the DGI."
U.S. business is a central target of the DGI's Washington activities, with agents encouraging businessmen to circumvent the trade embargo. After Carter's February, 1977, announcement that he would lift the embargo if Castro withdrew his troops from Angola, U.S. businessmen flocked to Cuba in search of trade and investment opportunities.
Cuba's push for circumvention of the embargo was so aggressive that it upset even the generally sympathetic Carter administration, which threatened to expel the DGI officer in charge of the operation.
Undeterred, the DGI continues to flout the embargo. Last summer it incorporated in Panama a front that smuggles U.S, auto parts, radios, TV sets, and heavy equipment into Cuba. The DGI also uses scheduled airlines to smuggle desperately needed items like sugarmill parts to Panama and Nicaragua, from which they are shipped to Cuba.
The DGI has a special interest in tourism as a source of dollars and intelligence agents. Havanatur was the DGI's most important tourism agency in Miami until agent Genaro Perez, posing as a Havanatur executive, broke with it and exposed it last year.
Perez claims that the agency fleeced Cuban-Americans anxious to visit relatives in Cuba of $100 million in surcharges and "commissions." But more sinister, he said, was agents' secret videotaping of the tourists' Havana hotel rooms to learn whether they could be blackmailed into working for the DGI. Agents would threaten to harm Cuban relatives if the tourists did not "cooperate" with the Castro regime upon returning home.
The DGI's normalization drive was nearly successful in 1977, when a group of prominent Cuban-Americans formed the Committee of 75 to initiate a "dialog" with Cuba and to secure the release of some 3,000 political prisoners in Castro's jails.
The Committee of 75, which soon grew to 100 or more, was actually run by DGI officers. Bernardo Benes, vice president of Miami's Continental National Bank, went to Havana at the head of a six-man commission of the Committee of 75 to negotiate with Fidel Castro. He had several meetings with the prisoners, which made their families and the Carter administration happy.
Normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations seemed well on the way to becoming a reality until Benes' personal dealings with Castro made anti-Castro Cuban exiles suspect that he was an intelligence agent. Soon after breaking with the DGI, Manuel Espinosa charged him publicly with being a DGI operative.
But Benes had conducted the negotiations with Castro with the knowledge of the FBI, to which he reported his activities almost every step of the way, and of the State Department. The State Department seems to have tacitly approved of his role and later Cyrus Vance, then secretary of state wrote Benes and thanked him for his "services." In short, Benes had functioned virutally as an extra-official, one-man State Department. This might merit investigation because, in the course of it Benes, a private U.S. citizen, concluded an agreement with a foreign state, with the U.S. government's tacit agreement, that led to 3,000 foreigners' immigration to the U.S.
Athough the DGI and committee of 75 failed to achieve "normalization," they did attain another desirable objective: the breakup of the hitherto-solid anti-Castro bloc presented by the Cuban-American community. Until now, no administration has dared normalize relations, fearing that the increasing Cuban-American vote in south Florida might turn against it--as happened to Carter in November, 1980.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Vie Feb 01, 2008 5:40 pm

San Juan Star
July 24, 1983
Cuban defected?
MIAMI (UPI) - A high-ranking Cuban government official defected to the United States during a trip to New York City last week, a Spanish language radio station reported.
Jesus Raul Perez Mendez, a member of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), has requested political asylum, the station said Friday.
U.S. officials would neither confirm nor deny the report.
According to Central Intelligence Agency documents, Perez is chief of the Overseas Community Department at ICAP. The department specializes in relations between Cuba and Cuban exiles.
WRHC news director Tomas Regalado said Perez was on an "official mission to New York" when he decided to defect. Regalado quoted unidentified U.S. intelligence sources as saying Perez held the rank of captain in the Directorio General de Inteligencia, the Cuban intelligence organization.

The Washington Post
July 7, 1982, page 5
Cuban Diplomats Expelled for Trade Violations
United Press International
The State Department said yesterday it has ordered two Cuban diplomats at the United Nations expelled "expeditiously" on charges of violating U.S. statutes by buying and trying to purchase high technology electronics equipment.
Spokesman Dean Fischer, at the department's daily news briefing, said the U.S. mission to the United Nations on Monday "informed the Cuban mission to the United Nations that we have decided to expel two members of the Cuban mission and that they must depart the United States expeditiously."
The diplomats were identified as Mario Monzon Barata, a second secretary, and Jose Rodriguez Rodriguez, an attache.
They were charged with violating the Trading With the Enemy Act "by buying and trying to buy large quantities of high technology electronics equipment, much of it subject to strategic trade controls."
"Mr. Monzon had been involved in such violations for over a year," Fischer said in a statement. "Were it not for their diplomatic status, Mr. Monzon and Mr. Rodriguez would be subject to prosecution for violating and conspiring to violate the Trading With the Enemy Acct."
Fischer said the action was triggered July 1 when special agents of the U.S. Customs Service and the FBI in Florida seized "parts of a TV satellite monitoring system purchased by Mr. Monzon."
"Ongoing FBI counterintelligence investigations have determined that Mr. Monzon has been engaged in intelligence gathering," the statement said. He was said to be chief of the Center of the Cuban Director General of Intelligence in New York. Rodriguez was his secretary.
It was the first expulsion of a Cuban diplomat since the first secretary of the Cuban interests section in Washington was declared persona non grata Feb. 11, 1981, on charges he was an agent engaged in intelligence activities.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Vie Feb 01, 2008 5:43 pm

The Miami Herald

February 12, 1981


Cuban envoy expelled for luring illicit trade

By Tom Fiedler

And R.A. Zaldivar

Herald Staff Writers
WASHINGTON - The State Department Wednesday expelled the second-ranking Cuban diplomat in the United States for engaging in "intelligence-gathering activities" and conspiring with American businessmen to violate the embargo on U.S. trade with Cuba.
Ricardo Escartin, first secretary in the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, was given a week to leave the country. He is the first Cuban diplomat to be expelled from the United States since 1970, when two members of the Cuban mission at the United Nations were forced to leave.
Escartin, according to State Department spokesman William Dyess, had traveled extensively in the United States in the past two years, making contacts with American businessmen interested in trading with Cuba despite the 20-year-old trade embargo.
It is believed that at least some of the businesses involved are based in South Florida.
In fact, the U.S. attorney's office in Miami said Wednesday that it, too, is investigating numerous individuals and businesses in South Florida for possible violations of the "Trading With the Enemy Act."
At this point, there is no direct link between the Washington and Miami investigations except that both involve allegations of illegal commerce between American businesses and Cuba.
One source close to the Miami investigation said, "Beyond a doubt, it [the illegal trade] is going on right now. People in the Cuban government are using their connections here to get a generator or tires or whatever."
The Miami probe originated with last year's Mariel-to-Key West boatlift.
Under the "Trading With the Enemy Act," commerce with Cuba is forbidden unless specifically authorized by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control. Last May, the office made virtually all transactions related to the boatlift violations of the act.
The State Department said that, in the investigation of Escartin, it learned that many of the American businessmen contacted by the diplomat subsequently visited Cuba and arranged to engage in trade through dummy corporations controlled by the Cuban government but located in other countries.
"Were it not for his diplomatic immunity, Mr. Escartin could be prosecuted" for conspiring to violate the trade ban, spokesman Dyess said.
He said that some of the American businessmen apparently didn't know that the products they sold to these dummy corporations were destined for Cuba. But, he added, "Unfortunately, some U.S. entities knowingly collaborated with Cuba in this illegal trade."
The State Department acknowledged that indictments are possible in the Washington investigation, which is being conducted by the FBI, the U.S. Customs Service and the Treasury Department.
Escartin's activities were monitored by the FBI, which concluded that the diplomat was "an intelligence agent" for Cuba. No details were released to explain the espionage allegation.
The Cuban Foreign Ministry, in a statement issued through the Interests Section, flatly reject the "false accusations" of the State Department.
It said the expulsion order "reflects the intention of U.S. authorities to continue the policy of hostility toward Cuba and of antagonism toward its representatives in the United States."
The United States imposed the trade embargo on Cuba in October 1960 in an effort to undermine the government of its then-newly installed premier, Fidel Castro.
The embargo was partially relaxed in 1975 - primarily because of pressure from powerful American businesses - to allow overseas subsidiaries of U.S. companies to trade consumer products with Cuba as long as the goods weren't manufactured in the United States.
The result has been that most multinational corporations have gotten around the embargo, according to critics of the policy.
Sources in Washington said Escartin's role was "childishly simple." He would travel around the country contacting businessmen and trying to persuade them to violate the embargo by selling their products to Cuban-controlled fronts in third countries, the sources said.
These dummy corporations have been identified publicly by the Treasury Department as Cuban agents, thus putting American businesses on notice that trading with them would be a criminal violation of the embargo. Such offenses are punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and 10 years in prison.
The Cuban agents' list includes seven firms and three individuals in Canada, Panama, Jamaica, and Czechoslovakia. Among companies involved directly with Escartin, sources said, are Moonex International of Kingston, Jamaica, and CIMEX, Servimpex, Servinaves, Leybda Corp. and Havanatur, all of Panama.
A Hialeah-based firm, Travel Services Inc., also is listed as a Cuban agent. But Travel Services, which arranges tourist trips to Cuba, is licensed by the State Department to do business with the Cuban government.
The sources said the American firms engaged in the illegal trade included small and medium-sized companies that sell such goods as small appliances, auto parts, machinery, tires, batteries and record players. Those goods are hard to get in Cuba.
State Department officials said the investigation that led to Escartin's expulsion was begun several months ago by the Carter Administration.
Although the action is apt to appear as a signal form President Reagan that he will follow a tougher line against Communist diplomats, a department source said the change in administration had nothing to do with it.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Vie Feb 01, 2008 5:48 pm

Christian Science Monitor
January 6, 1986
Cuban Intelligence has finger in many pies - but record is mixed
By Chattes Waterman
When four Cuban Embassy employees tried to kidnap a Cuban political refugee in Madrid last month, there could be little doubt that Cuban intelligence and security officials were behind the affair.
Bystanders foiled the kidnapping. Spain expelled the Cubans. Later Cuba requested extradition-of the refugee charging that he had "committed serious financial irregularities," and tried to steal $499,000 from a Madrid bank account.
Whether or not Cuba had a case against the defecting official is unclear but what is clear is that Cuban intelligence and security officials were prepared to use violent means to influence events.
Just how unsavory is Cuban intelligence?
Western propaganda services have labeled it as similar to third-world services, such as Libya, which regularly flaunt normal standards of international behavior. But the truth is more complex.
The structure of Cuban intelligence is complicated, and consists of six separate organizations. Three of these are most prominent:
The Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI) under the Ministry of Interior, responsible for counterintelligence as well eliminating dissent.
The Americas Department under the Cuban Communist Party's Central Committee, which along with DGI supports revolutionary covert operations in the Western Hemisphere.
The Department of State Security (DSE) under the Ministry of the Interior. DSE operates in areas where exiles militate against the Castro regime. Although difficult to ascertain, the DSE may be responsible for the Madrid operation cited above. One news agency cited "G-2" -DSE's predecessor group - as the responsible organization.
Western intelligence sources assert that Cuban operatives in larger Western capitals are particularly aggressive against their own exiles. But beyond this, Cuban intelligence gives extensive support to revolutionary organizations that use the tools of terrorism. Training for such insurgents has occurred regularly in Cuba. Some 300 Palestinian guerrillas were in Cuban camps as of 1979, and links with groups such as the African National Congress and South-West African People's Organization are well documented.
Most experts agree that, by the early 1970s, President Fidel Castro's for revolutionary internationalism had diminished. He had retreated from a commitment to armed struggle, stopped attacks on Latin American Communist Parties, and acknowledged Moscow's leading role in the world communist movement.
But a review of Cuba's intelligence record is less clear on this point.
In South America: In 1974, an umbrella organization called the Junta of Revolutionary Coordination (JCR), comprised of leftist groups from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Uruguay was formed. Its members received arms and training in techniques of clandestine warfare -- mostly arranged by Cuban intelligence. In 1977, 13 of 14 Latin American terrorist groups then existing had an extreme leftist ideology. And the Venezuelan terrorist "Carlos" (Illich Ramirez Sanchez), responsible for kidnapping ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Export Countries in Vienna in December 1975, had received guerrilla training in Havana under DGI auspices. He also engaged in a terrorist raid in Venezuela.
In Central America: As of 1979, terrorism in South America was on the wane because of harsh repression. But in Central America it was increasing. Besides the ruling Sandinistas in Nicaragua, Cuban intelligence has maintained supportive links with El Salvador's left-wing guerrillas of the Popular Liberation Forces (FPL) and Armed Forces of National Resistance (FALN), as well as groups in Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica.
In the United States of the 1960s and early 1970s: Cuban intelligence support to the radical Weather Underground organization included guerrilla training for certain leaders, clandestine communications support via the Cuban Embassy in Canada, and the printing of propaganda materials in Cuba. DGI officials of the Cuban United Nations mission were also involved in funding black militant groups of the era. Explosive material to be placed at the Statue of-Liberty was supplied to the Revolutionary Action Movement, a black militant group, in 1965 by an employee of the Cuban Embassy in Canada.
In the US of the '80s: DGI support to the violence prone Puerto Rican Armed Forces of National Liberation has included training and operational assistance. Operations by "Los Machateros," a Puerto Rican terrorist group, have included a $7.2 million robbery in Connecticut and destruction of military aircraft in Puerto Rico.
On narcotics: US government sources report a continuing Cuban intelligence role in facilitating narcotics trafficking in the Caribbean. Testimony in 1983 by the Assistant Secretary of State of inter-American Affairs alleges that "in exchange for Colombian drug runners smuggling arms to Cuban-backed insurgents (M-19), Cuba offered safe passage for ships carrying narcotics to the US through Cuban waters."
A key element in understanding Cuban intelligence, in particular the DGI, is the unusual degree of influence wielded by the Soviets. DGI defector Gerardo Peraza, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in
1982, stated that Cuba's intelligence service was "under the direct orders of a Soviet general since 1970."
And as observed by noted British expert Brian Crozier: Since 1964, 60 Cubans a year have received 10 months intelligence training near Moscow - half military and half DGI.
In summary, the more flamboyant manifestations of Cuban intelligence activities run in three categories:
- Policing of their own community and its exiles.
- Joint Cuban/Soviet anti-US intelligence operations.
- Support of various revolutionary groups which often utilize terrorist methods.
The first category is not dissimilar from those of other third-world countries, and results in activities similar to the event cited at the beginning of this article. The success met in the second category, although potentially damaging, is unknown. It is in the third category that the most notorious Cuban intelligence activity has occurred.
It is worth noting that Cuban support to revolution has not been particularly successful. Only in Angola and Nicaragua have Cuban-supported revolutionaries been victorious, and both are under counterattack at the moment. In 25 years of support to revolutionary groups, this record is not enviable.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Vie Feb 01, 2008 5:52 pm

The Miami Herald
December 3, 1980, p. 2-B.
Cubans Admit to Visa Lies
By ZITA AROCHA
Three Cuban-born pilots suspected of spying for the Castro government pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to lying on a U.S. visa application, said their attorney, Ira Kurzban.
In exchange for the guilty plea, charges that they entered the United States illegally were dropped, Kurzban said.
The three were arrested at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport by the FBI in September, carrying Nicaraguan passports while attempting to board a Nicaraguan-registered Learjet.
The FBI arrested the men "as a result of information developed as an outgrowth of investigations into Cuban intelligence matters."
"They are Nicaraguan citizens. That's never been contested," Kurzban said Tuesday. "The FBI has never accused them of being spies."
KURZBAN SAID his clients, Simon Delfin Espinosa Alvarez, 36, Luis Leonardo Herrera Altuna, 34, and Jorge Hermenegildo Toledo Infante, 35, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to lying on a visa application they filled out at the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua, in April of this year. The visa was granted a few days later.
The men falsely stated on the application that they had never filed for U.S. visas before and also lied about the number of years they had lived in Nicaragua, Kurzban said.
U.S. District Judge James W. Kehoe sentenced all three men to 90 days in jail and two years' probation.
The FBI had no immediate comment on the case.
After they serve the sentence, Espinosa, Herrera and Toledo will be turned over to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for deportation proceedings, Kurzban said.
THE THREE MEN, who also held Cuban passports, were able to obtain U.S. tourist visas after presenting U.S. Embassy officials in Managua with passports issued by the Nicaraguan Ministry of the Interior on Feb. 5.
They had traveled to the United States on at least three prior occasions with visas obtained at the U.S. Embassy in Nicaragua.
Kurzban said right before being arrested, the men flew the Learjet to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International to fix a broken fuel computer.
They flew out of Fort Lauderdale Sept. 4, but had to return to the airport when the fuel computer again broke down. They were arrested two days later as they prepared to board the airplane.
The jet, Kurzban said, is Panamanian-registered and is leased to Aerotaxi, a private air service company in Managua.
The FBI discovered travel expense vouchers and fuel receipts belonging to Cubana de Aviacion, the Cuban national airline, inside the Learjet.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Vie Feb 01, 2008 5:59 pm

The New York Times
October 9, 1983, page 14
Cubans' Arrest in Mexico May Strain Close Ties
By Marlise Simons
Special to the New York Times
MEXICO CITY, Oct. 8 - Two Cuban diplomats were arrested last month by the Mexican authorities and held incommunicado for a week after they were apparently lured to a secret meeting with two Cuban exiles here, according to Mexican and diplomatic sources.
The Cuban diplomats were said to have been beaten and threatened while in custody.
It is the first incident of its kind known to have involved the two countries, and diplomats here say it has caused deep concern in Havana. Despite their conflicting ideologies, the two nations have long kept close ties and Mexico has always actively opposed Washington's attempts to isolate Cuban in the region.
The two diplomats were informally accused of preparing to deliver explosives to the exiles when they were detained by Mexican security agents in a bus station in this city on Sept. 1. A week later, the two men were given to Cuban officials here and flown to Havana, the sources said.

Cuban Exiles Expelled
The two exiles, anti-Castro Cubans, who, the sources said were United States citizens, were reportedly detained at the same time and expelled to the United States. [Duney Perez Alamo and Raul Varandela Estevez].
The sources said that the Cuban Embassy here had denied the existence of explosives and said the two officials were entrapped by political groups interested in disturbing warm Cuban-Mexican relations.
The reported incident has raised questions here about the two countries' future relations, including whether Mexico has entered a phase of aggressiveness toward Cuba or whether Cuba has lowered its guard and become less meticulous in its normally cautious activities in Mexico.
To date, officials on all sides who are parties to the incident appear anxious to maintain secrecy. Only a passing reference to the "disappearance" of two Cuban officials was made in Mexican newspapers. A Cuban Embassy spokesman here referred all questions to the Mexican authorities.

No Official Comments
A spokesman for Mexico's Interior Ministry, whose federal security agents made the arrests, denied any knowledge of the case. Similarly, a senior official at the Foreign Ministry said he knew nothing of the event. At the United States Embassy here, a spokesman had "no comment," although sources close to the embassy said embassy officials had been informed of the deportation of the two United Stated citizens.
But the details that have become known in Mexican diplomatic and political circles offer some insight into intelligence operations in this capital, whish has long been known as a center for Central American and Caribbean political intrigue.
The secret meeting between the two Cuban officials, José Ramón Pérez Ayala and Arturo Guzmán Nolasco and the two exiles, whose names could not be obtained, was apparently arranged some time before Sept. 1.
Mr. Pérez, 30 years old, had been in Mexico City for two years, accredited as a diplomat to the Cuban Embassy. Mr. Guzmán, 27, who is believed to he a Cuban security agent, arrived from Havana carrying a diplomatic passport, while the two Cuban exiles traveled from Miami for the meeting, the sources said.

Offer to Sell Information
The exiles, whom the sources described as members of an anti-Castro terrorist organization [Cuba Independiente y Democratica (CID)], had offered to sell information to the Cuban Government, the sources said, and the time and the place of the meeting was apparently confirmed once the four men were in Mexico.
The two Cuban officials, the sources went on, took elaborate security precautions, traveling first by embassy car to a place close to Xochimilco, a southern suburb, then by taxi and finally via different subway trains to the rendevous at the suburban Terminal del Norte bus station.
At the moment the Mexican officials met the exiles, all four men were arrested by agents of the Federal Security Bureau who were also waiting, with or without the exiles' knowledge.
The two Cuban-Americans, the sources said, were deported to the United States "within 24 hours" but the Cuban officials, who have diplomatic immunity, were jailed, threatened and beaten while under interrogation by Mexican federal agents.

Possession of a Bomb
Only on Sept. 4, the sources continued, was Cuba's Ambassador to Mexico, Dr. Fernando López Muíño, called in by Mexico's Foreign Minister, Bernardo Sepúlveda Amor, and informed of the detention of the diplomats on charges of possessing a bomb which was to be delivered to the anti-Castro exiles. The diplomats were also said to be carrying a small revolver each.
A Mexican military report, the sources said, had described the Cubans' device as a "highly refined explosive," consisting of explosive disks and phosphorus.
According to the sources, the Cuban Embassy said that the "bomb" was nothing more than a small handbag with a built-in device for destroying its contents. Such a devise, the sources quoted Cuban Embassy officials as saying, is commonly used by couriers carrying secret documents.
On Sept. 7 the two detained officials were taken from the jail where they were being held, which was not identified, to a Mexican Government hangar, and left on a Cuban plane.
Key Questions Unanswered
The accounts leave a number of key questions unanswered. Mexican sources said that some senior government officials here said they believed the incident was a provocation arranged by the United States Central Intelligence Agency to disrupt a planned trip of a Mexican mission to Cuba.
On Sept. 5 in Havana, Mexico's Ministers of Finance and Foreign Trade, Jesús Silva Herzog and Hector Hernández, signed a much-publicized agreement to extend $55 million in Mexican credit to Cuba. The sources said President Miguel de la Madrid Hurtado, after learning on the Sept. 1 arrest, decided that the mission should go to Havana anyway.
But foreign diplomats here said that even if Mexican agents were merely reacting to a tipoff and cooperating unwittingly, this does not explain why senior Government officials let the two Cuban-Americans go while holding the Cuban officials for one week, or why the Cuban officials were interrogated and beaten.

Cubans Worried by Incident
Sources close the Cuban Embassy here said that Cuban officials were less concerned by the possibility of an entrapment prepared by the C.I.A., which it would regard as more normal business, but that they were worried about Mexico's handling of the diplomats and Mexico's insistence that they had a bomb.
In the view of some foreign diplomats here, the current Mexican Administration, which is less supportive of, and more neutral toward, the Central American left than was its predecessor, may have been sending a message to Havana.
Mexico has long offered international support for Cuba, while Cuba does not interfere in Mexican domestic politics. By most accounts, Cuba, which has one of its largest embassies in Mexico, has closely adhered to this arrangement. Mexico has apparently not regarded Cuba's intelligence-gathering and other activities in Mexico as harmful to its own interests.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Vie Feb 01, 2008 6:07 pm

The Miami Herald
February 8, 1987, page 29


Dead 'exile' was my spy, Castro says


From herald staff and wire reports

A former sugar industry labor leader reported to have died in 1983 while escaping to the United States aboard a small boat was actually a spy whose mission was to infiltrate Miami's Cuban exile community, the Cuban government says.
The Cuban daily newspaper Granma, official voice of the Cuban Communist Party, identified the dead spy as Rogelio Iglesias Patiño, 56, also known by his nickname of "Pao" Iglesias, a former official of the Cuban Confederation of Workers (CTC) had been considered a traitor in Cuba until the announcement of his role as a spy. No independent confirmation of the report could be obtained immediately.
Granma, according to a dispatch from Havana by the Spanish news agency EFE, said Iglesias had infiltrated Miami's Cuban exile community and had secretly provided information to the Castro government about exile affairs until his death in 1983 "while fulfilling a mission behind enemy lines." It said Iglesias' role as a spy had not been known even by his children, who live in Havana with Iglesias' widow, Gladys Junosa.
The Granma report said Iglesias was awarded a posthumous decoration and promoted to the rank of major in Cuban security apparatus by the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Gen. Jose Abrantes. It identified Orestes Hernandez, a Cuban security official, as having been Iglesias' liaison officer during his secret life as a member of Cuba's intelligence services.
Iglesias' widow, Gladys Junosa, was quoted by Granma as saying: "I had hoped that some day Pao's true life would be known....I suffered for my children, I suffered for his physical loss, I knew I would never see him again, and I suffered because, knowing he was a dedicated combatant who had died for the father land, the people the neighbors, his comrades, believed him a traitor."
Granma quoted security official Hernandez as saying: "Inside the country he [Patiño] fulfilled important missions which earned the trust of the worms [anti-Castro exiles] in Miami. The enemy never discovered Pao's role as an agent. He won his credibility through his intelligence, tenacity and conspiratorial experience and within the most absolute silence."
On Feb. 16, 1983, a U.S. Navy destroyer had carried to safety in Charleston, S.C., two Cubans who said they had drifted for more than a week through stormy weather in a 16-foot motorboat after fleeing Havana. The two men, Orlando Otero Hernandez and Pedro Julio Garcia Cepeda, said then that Iglesias, who was escaping with them in the boat, had been washed overboard in the high seas on Valentine's Day.
Neither Otero nor Garcia could be contacted Saturday night.
When the rescue occurred, Garcia had said Iglesias had spent four years in prison for his role in an attempt to overthrow Castro in 1965.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Vie Feb 01, 2008 6:09 pm

The Miami Herald
March 2, 1981
Did Learjet plan illegal Cuba sales?


WICHITA, Kan. - (UPI) -Gates Learjet Corp. reportedly tried to sell $10 million worth of aircraft to persons the firm suspected of being Cuban agents, despite an embargo on U.S.-Cuban trade.
However, The Wichita Eagle-Beacon reported in its Sunday edition that the deal was called off after another aircraft piloted by the suspected Cubans was impounded by the U.S. government, causing the Latin Americans to become concerned that the attempted sale would be thwarted.
The instigator of the deal with Learjet six months ago was Oscar Domingo Vazquez, who had claimed to be a Nicaraguan but was identified by the Treasury Department as a Cuban government official.
The Eagle-Beacon reported that Learjet, despite earlier warnings by the Treasury Department that Vazquez might be a Cuban, still received an export license for the deal from the Commerce Department.
Learjet then proceeded with plans to sell three aircraft to the group although Learjet's vice president of international sales, Finn Hedlund, warned other company officials that the firm might be violating the embargo.
On Sept. 5, 1980, three members of the "Nicaraguan" delegation were arrested in Florida by U.S. Immigration and Naturalization agents. They were found to carry passports recognizing them as citizens of both Nicaragua and Cuba.
Their plane was impounded and Vazquez, who was not among those arrested, reportedly called off the $10-million deal with Learjet because he was afraid those aircraft would also be impounded.
The Eagle-Beacon reported that Learjet later received a letter from the Treasury Department forbidding the firm from doing future business with Vazquez because he was a Cuban agent.
Vazquez's three cohorts were also found to be Cuban agents and were deported.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Vie Feb 01, 2008 6:16 pm

The Miami Herald
May 8, 1980, page 1
FBI Identifies Cubans as Spies
By ANDY ROSENBLATT
Herald Staff Writer
The FBI has identified at least 20 Cuban spies who have entered Florida since the boatlift of Cuban refugees began two weeks ago.
Hundreds of other boatlift refugees have been scheduled by the FBI for intensive, follow-up interviews to determine if they, too, are spies or have information that may be valuable to the U.S. government.
Refugees are also being interviewed by CIA agents stationed at refugee processing centers at Tamiami Park in west Dade and Eglin Air Force Base in the Panhandle.
"An extremely small percentage of refugees have been identified as Cuban intelligence officers," Arthur F. Nehrbass, head of the Miami FBI office said Wednesday.
Nehrbass refused to specify how many Cubans had been located. Sources said that at least 20 had been identified and the number is expected to grow.
Most of the spies are thought to be here for the purpose of infiltrating the anti-Castro movement although others have been identified as political intelligence officers.
None of the spies has been detained to date or deported.
"Our first objective," Nehrbass said, "is to neutralize them and turn them to our advantage."
The FBI lacks the authority to deport or detain suspected spies unless they are caught actually engaging in espionage.
Scores of Spanish-speaking agents from the FBI's counter-intelligence section have been involved in the screening and processing of Cuban refugees since the first boats began arriving from the Cuban port of Mariel.
The agents are primarily interested in identifying spies, potential spies and gathering information about conditions in Cuba.
Nehrbass refused to say how Cuban spies are being identified. Sources said that the FBI has developed a physical and psychological profile of Cuban spies similar to the agency's successful profile of airplane hijackers. Suspected spies also have been identified by Cuban exiles here and by other boatlift refugees.
John Aaronshon, head of the CIA's Miami office, refused to discuss the agency's involvement in the screening of refugees.
Dale Peterson, a CIA press spokesman, said the presence of CIA agents was requested by officials of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which has over-all responsibility for all refugee processing efforts.
"We got a call for agents with linguistic abilities," Peterson said, suggesting that the CIA had sent agents here simply to work as translators.
However, the CIA's intense interest in the refugees was underscored by the presence here of Robert J. Lavey, the CIA's chief of domestic operations. Lavey flew to Miami last week to attend several meetings with government agencies planning the processing and eventual resettlement of the refugees.
CIA agents are reportedly seeking a wide rang of information about the activities of Russian troops and technicians as well as economic conditions and public attitudes in Cuba. They are also reportedly seeking specific information about persons remaining in Cuba who may be willing to serve as U.S. spies.
"There's nothing better than first-hand information," said on ex-CIA agent. "There are lots of things a [spy] satellite can't tell you -- from certain activities at military bases to, say, the structure of the Ministry of Education. When you're gathering intelligence, you take everything you can get."
Initially the CIA was hesitant to acknowledge its presence at processing centers here and at the Eglin base. However, maps of two refugee processing areas list CIA work areas.
CIA representatives have also been paged over the Eglin public address system.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por jose gonzalez el Vie Feb 01, 2008 10:55 pm

really good stuff cuba4free....priceless....thanks...

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 11:00 am

Joe,

It be continued. All these articles testify and denounce the cuban intelligence dirty jobs against The U.S. in the last 30 years. You have noted that on them apear a lot of names related with the Cuban government undercover work against The U.S. and others countries. Today a day, many of these persons could be active agents in Cuba or in another country.

Cuba4free.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 11:05 am

San Diego Union
March 5, 1990
FBI suspends agent in spy case


NEW YORK - A decorated Miami FBI counterintelligence agent was suspended and lost his security clearance as a result of a three-year investigation involving allegations of spying for Cuba, a published report said today.
The New York Times reported that many of the agent's colleagues have rallied to his defense, saying he appears to be a victim of retaliation because of his crucial role in a landmark discrimination suit against the FBI by Hispanic employees.
The Times, citing government officials and friends of the 15-year FBI veteran, Fernando Mata, reported that the investigation has sparked a bitter battle within the bureau.
Few details of the investigation were available and an FBI spokesman in Washington would only confirm that Mata, 48, had been placed on indefinite administrative leave, refusing to say why.
"We have nothing to say on the matter," the spokesman, Robert Davenport, told the newspaper.
But the Cuban-American agent's lawyer, Hugo Rodriguez, told the newspaper Mata has been repeatedly questioned by the FBI about the possibility of contacts several years ago with Cuban intelligence agents.
Rodriguez told the Times his client's security clearance was lifted several days after his suspension about a month ago.
Government officials and friends of the agent confirmed the lawyer's statements, and one friend told the newspaper that the FBI claimed to have information Cuban agents approached Mata in a bid to enlist him as a spy, the report said.
Several current and former agent who have worked with Mata called the allegations against him old and unreliable and contended that he was being harassed because he spoke out against the FBI's treatment of Hispanic employees.
"What the bureau is doing to Fernando Mata is unspeakable," Leo Gonzales, an agent who retired last December after 19 years with the FBI, told the Times. "There is no doubt in my mind that Fernando is a patriot and loyal American."
In the 1988 discrimination suit brought by Hispanic agents, a federal judge in Texas ordered the FBI to make sweeping changes in its promotion policies.
Mata, one of 300 plaintiffs, testified against the FBI at the trial and was frequently quoted in news stories about the case.
An FBI official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, rejected suggestions that Mata was a target of harassment by the bureau.
"No matter what you think of the FBI, it's ridiculous to think" that the bureau would raise such a serious matter out of a desire for retaliation, the official told the Times.
Mata has been involved in several major investigations to counter spying by foreign counties, and colleagues say he risked his life in covert FBI assignments abroad, the Times said.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 11:11 am

The Miami Herald
June 19, 1983, page 17
Informants scuttle plots against Cuba
By JIM McGEE
Herald Staff Writer
Miami's tenacious anti-Castro movement is in disarray. It is crippled by internal dissension and discredited by failure. It is riddled with Castro informants.
The same exile groups that loudly and sometimes violently express their hatred of Castro are closely monitored - and in some cases manipulated - by Castro spies. The spies have been in place for years.
Long ago, Castro boasted about his intelligence network.
His spies, posing as "anti-Castroites," slip into "the ranks of the enemy" and sabotage the exiles, he declared in a 1965 speech.
Castro wasn't just blowing smoke - from his cigar or otherwise.
"The Cubans have all the exile organizations and even the terrorist organizations ... thoroughly penetrated," said Wayne Smith, once a State Department specialist on Cuban affairs.
"I can only say they [Cuban agents] have infiltrated most, if not all, anti-Castro organizations," said Arthur Nehrbass, former head of the FBI office in Miami, now chief of the Metro-Dade Organized Crime Bureau.
This is no big surprise to the exile groups: Brigade 2506, Alpha 66 and Abdala. They've all had bad experiences.
Carlos Rivero-Collado's credentials in the anti-Castro movement were impeccable. He was an original member of Brigade 2506 and a close associate of the Cuban Nationalist Movement.
In 1972, Rivero helped organize the Pragmatistas, a vicious exile group. They were linked to terrorist attacks and extortions in Little Havana that angered both the Cuban and non-Cuban communities.
Unworried, unscathed - perhaps amused - was the Castro government.
Rivero returned voluntarily to Cuba in 1975. He told Castro's intelligence officers what he knew about Miami's terrorist underground - and the friends he deceived.
"They [the Pragmatistas] were so thoroughly infiltrated, " said David Nye, a Miami police specialist in Cuban terrorism, that they were "...more an arm of the Cuban government than an anti-Castro group."
Alpha 66 had its infiltration problems, too.
Mario Estevez, a Castro spy who arrived here in the Mariel boatlift, got into Alpha 66 because a relative belonged.
Alpha 66 liked him. It put him in charge of its attack boats. And Estevez managed to sink two of them.
One reason Castro spies have such an easy time is the absence of retaliation by U.S. authorities. No Little Havana infiltrator has ever been prosecuted for espionage.
That's because infiltrators rarely jeopardize U.S. security.
"The presence of Cuban agents in anti-Castro organizations is not among the highest priorities of things this FBI has to do," said Jim Freeman, second-in-command of the Miami FBI office.
"You have to balance these things, " said ex-FBI agent Nehrbass. "...If the target is not an espionage one against the U.S., then they are really not doing a large amount of damage to U.S. security."
The FBI considers Miami's anti-Castro terrorist bombings a more pressing problem.
Interestingly enough, that sometimes leads to an unspoken symbiosis between the FBI and Cuban intelligence. They share the same goal: Neutralize the terrorists.
"There is a certain degree of convergence of interest," Nehrbass said.
Miami FBI agents identify many of the Cuban spies in Miami, but, as often as not, try to recruit them as informants.
A still-secret FBI memorandum explains why: "These informants are in a position to develop information regarding anti-Castro terrorist activities, as this is an objective of the Cuban intelligence service."
The 1980 Mariel boatlift gave Cuban intelligence a golden opportunity to inundate Miami with infiltrators.
The exact number of Mariel spies is unknown. Uncorroborated congressional testimony fluctuates wildly, with estimates from 300 to 3,000.
The FBI won't cite any figure. It doesn't want to tell the Castro government what it knows.
Mario Estevez spoke candidly about how easily he infiltrated Alpha 66.
"This is a very free country," he said. "The don't ask you for anything here."

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 11:15 am

The Miami News
April 21, 1982
Man held in grenade attack linked to alleged Cuban spy
MANUEL MENDOZA
Miami News Reporter
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement found itself in a dilemma when deciding whether to charge a Miami man suspected of bombing a Little Havana car dealership with a Russian-made hand grenade.
The man, identified as Lazaro Visuna, 28, was about to be released from prison on unrelated charges. State agents were afraid he might flee the country.
But charging Visuna with the bombing also created a problem: It meant revealing his name. The FDLE agents, who had been protecting his identity, feared his life would be in danger.
The FDLE decided to charge him.
"You're damned if you do and damned if you don't," said an investigator close to the case yesterday. The investigator provided details of the FDLE's dilemma on the condition that he not be identified.
Visuna, who is being held at the Federal Correctional Institute in South Dade, was accused of throwing the grenade at a green Buick parked at Eloy Motors, 1479 SW 6th St. on Oct. 2, 1980, according to the FDLE. He was charged Friday with possessing, throwing, placing or discharging a destructive device, a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Visuna, who was informed of the new charge yesterday, is being held in a dormitory-style cell with dozens of other prisoners, according to a jail official.
The investigator didn't know if Visuna would be put in protective custody now that his name has been revealed.
The Russian-made RGD-5 anti-personnel hand grenade is one of 240 brought to Miami by a suspected Cuban spy, the investigator said. They have been used in at least two other Miami bombings. The investigator declined to say how Visuna got the grenade.
The FDLE first learned of the Cuban spy on Jan. 13 when his former bodyguard showed two of the grenades to FDLE agents and a Drug Enforcement Administration investigator.
The FDLE agents said the bodyguard, who has since been jailed, decided to turn himself in after refusing his boss' order to toss one of the grenades into a crowd of elderly men at Domino Park in Little Havana.
The grenades, which hold nine ounces of TNT, were made by the Russians in 1976, according to the agents. They were given to the Cuban spy by the government of Fidel Castro for use in El Salvador, but the spy brought them to the U.S. instead.
The agents said they know who the Cuban spy is "but we can't connect him with anything. We even know where the grenades are probably hidden, but we can't get at them."
Besides the Eloy Motors bombing, the grenades were used Sept, 29,1981 at the El Morocco bar at 2898 NW 7th Ave., where one man was injured and several pieces of furniture were destroyed, and on Feb. 22, 1982 at the home of Manuel Lorenzo at 2470 NW 16th Ter., where several windows were broken and a car was damaged.
The agents said the bodyguard told them of another bombing, but they have been unable to confirm it.
The bodyguard told them he didn't know the reason for the bombings. He said he just did what he was told.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 11:54 am

The Miami Herald
Saturday, October 19, 1985, page 3-B
Mystery Cuban found in Keys classified 'top secret'
By FABIOLA SANTIAGO
The story was strange from the beginning: A Cuban man rescued by the Coast Guard on Sept. 25 from a disabled boat near the Florida Keys said he wanted to return to Cuba.
Now it's stranger still. It's top secret, in fact.
When he first arrived, immigration and Naturalization Service officials discussed the case openly. They stopped talking, however, once they saw his file.
Since then, the FBI has dropped into the Krome Avenue detention camp to talk to the bearded Cuban. Agents won't comment on their visit. And the State Department isn't talking at all.
All the Cuban says is that he wants to go back to running a Polynesian restaurant in Havana - a story that INS officials just don't believe.
Even so, he is to be released today from Krome, according to the INS.
For three weeks now, immigration officers have been trying to figure out just who is the Cuban who says he has never been to the United States, but whose business cards are in English and whose clothes were made in America.
His file is kept in a safe at Krome, where only personnel with top security clearance from the government are allowed to see it.
"His file is classified," Immigration and Naturalization Service Deputy District Director Dwayne Peterson said.
According to what INS official can say about the file, the 39-year-old man actually entered the United States through Guantanamo in 1973, identifying himself as William Prado Matos. A federal source said the 12-year-old file was stamped "politically suspicious" and put away.
But the man at Krome insists that he shouldn't have a record in this country at all.
He says he is William Matos Prado, the manager of Havana's Restaurante Polinesio, a Polynesian-style eatery in the touristy Havana Libre complex. And despite the old INS file, he says he has never before been in the United States.
Matos isn't talking anymore. He declined to be interviewed by The Herald.
INS agents first grew suspicious because his belongings didn't fit his story, according to Miami INS District Director Perry Rivkind.
The only document he carried was a card with a name, William Matos Prado, which he said was his, and an address he said was his home in Havana. But the card was in English.
His pants and shirts also had American labels.
INS computers revealed that a William Prado Matos, born Sept. 20, 1946, had come to the United States in 1973. His status was indefinite "parole," and his file was stored in Boston.
Under questioning about the discrepancies in his identity, "he got a little belligerent," Rivkind said. "He appears well-educated."
For days, INS officials themselves weren't sure of the Cuban's identity, they said.
The pictures in the file and the man at Krome were not easy to match, they said. The clean-shaven. Prado in the files had a scar on his chin: The Matos at Krome has a beard, and INS hasn't asked him to shave.
"I don't think we have the legal right to do that," Assistant District Director George Waldroup said.
Still suspicious, INS compared the signatures and fingerprints from in the file.
"We are convinced," said Peterson, now certain the man was lying. Apparently, though, they are still uncertain why.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 11:57 am

Miami Herald
June 24, 1989, page 18
Smuggling network ships hi-tech to Levis
By PAUL SHUKOVSKY
The disclosure by the Cuban Communist Party newspaper Thursday that the government has a department dedicated to recruiting Americans to smuggle products to Cuba in violation of the U.S. trade embargo comes as no surprise to American intelligence agents and criminal investigators.
And the smuggling operation is not solely dedicated to high technology equipment. Now we know where the spare parts come from that keep all those ancient Pontiacs plying the streets of Havana.
"Cuba has been blockade-running for years," said an intelligence analyst with expertise in technology transfer. "The only people that are better than the Cubans are the Russians themselves."
The United States placed a total economic and trade embargo on Cuba in 1963 to cripple the nation's Communist government. Since then, the Cubans have developed an organization designed to get around the embargo, said Pat O'Brien, the special agent in charge of U.S. Customs in Miami.
"They recruit people here," O'Brien said. "Cuban Americans are recruited and smuggle to Cuba. We try to counteract it. But it's difficult. Key West is 90 miles away [from Cuba].
"We've had a lot of indications of boats going from Key West to Cuba loaded with high technology computers," O'Brien said.
But the Cubans need more than just U.S. high technology to keep their economy running.
"We've heard about auto parts, Levi jeans and IBM-compatible PCs," said Keith Prager, a Miami customs agent in charge of Operation Exodus, the program designed to stem the flow of high technology and weapons to restricted nations.
Here's how a typical smuggling operation works: A few years ago, a purchasing agent for the Cuban government put in a massive order to an American company for spare automobile and truck parts, the intelligence analyst said. He said the parts were for a friendly African nation. The unsuspecting company shipped the parts to Benin, a country on the west coast of Africa. As soon as they arrived, the parts were put into boxes marked "Product of Benin" and shipped to Cuba.
The U.S. Treasury Department's office of Foreign Assets Control has identified 180 front companies for smuggling operations since 1985. The office also has uncovered 32 merchant shipping companies that were fronting for Cuba, said Art Siddon, a Treasury Department spokesman.
In 1987, a Fort Lauderdale businessman was charged with selling more than $1 million worth of IBM products to the Cuban government through a Panamanian company.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 12:00 pm

Miami Herald
September 6, 1980
3 Cuban Nationals Suspected of Spying Are Arrested by FBI
By ANDY ROSENBLATT
Three Cuban nationals, suspected of spying for the Castro government, were arrested at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Friday carrying Nicaraguan passports and preparing to board a Nicaraguan-registered jet.
The three men, identified by the FBI as employees of Cubana Airlines, the official airline of Cuba, were charged at the direction of FBI counterintelligence agents with violating U.S. immigration laws.
The trio's sleek orange-and-white Lear jet was seized at a private airplane hangar in Fort Lauderdale until FBI agents can determine if the aircraft is, as they suspect, owned by the Cuban government.
The agents expect to obtain court permission to search the plane today.
The three men - Simon Delfin Espinosa Alvarez, 36; Luis Leonardo Herrera Altuna, 34; and Jorge Hermenegildo Toledo Infante, 35 -were transported to Dade County Jail and ordered held on separate $500,000 bonds.
An unidentified fourth man who accompanied the Cubans was questioned but not arrested.
The three Cubans, all pilots, have entered the U.S. at least three times since obtaining tourist visas through the U.S. Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua.
They were able to obtain the visas after presenting U.S. Embassy officials with passports issued by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Interior on Feb. 5.
Only Nicaraguan citizens are legally eligible for Nicaraguan passports.
U.S. Officials here already have asked Nicaraguan Consul General Mario Gonzalez to explain how the Cubans were able to get Nicaraguan Passports. Gonzalez did not return The Herald's calls Friday night.
According to their passports, the trio has made several trips to the United States, entering the country at different locations, since June 21.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Arthur F. Nehrbass refused to say where the three Cubans were headed as they prepared to board their jet Friday afternoon. Other individuals said they were apparently planning to fly to another destination within the U.S.
But a Federal Aviation Administration official said that the Cubans actually took off from Fort Lauderdale Thursday en route to Managua but developed engine troubles and returned to the Broward County airport for repairs.
An employee of Graf Jets, a private airplane hanger in Fort Lauderdale, called the Cubans "regular customers."
He did not elaborate.
At an evening press conference, Nehrbass tried to avoid specifically identifying the three men as Cuban intelligence agents or discussing what they were doing here.
He did say that the Cubans were arrested "as a result of information we developed as an outgrowth of investigations into Cuban intelligence matters."
Nehrbass emphasized that the Cubans were carrying passports issued by the Sandinista-controlled Nicaraguan government, which seized control of that Central American nation last year.
U.S. officials believe that Cuban intelligence agencies have, for years, maintained a continuing interest in obtaining military secrets here and monitoring the activities of the Cuban exile community.




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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 12:04 pm

Los Angeles Times
October 20, 1983
2 Cuban Diplomats Expelled From Mexico
MEXICO CITY-Two Cuban diplomats were detained for a week and then expelled from the country last month for violating Mexican security regulations, government sources have disclosed.
Mexican officials said the two diplomats were arrested as they handed explosives to two men the Mexicans described as anti-Castro activists from the United States. They did not explain why Cuban officials would be supplying enemies of Cuban President Fidel Castro.
The case has been kept out of the Mexican press. "To release information publicly would simply play into the hands of those who would like to see Mexican-Cuban relations suffer," one government official said.
This view reflects the notion, widespread in official circles, that the case was a "provocation" - that the Cuban diplomats may have been the victims of a trap designed by opponents of Castro to embarrass Cuba.
The incident represents a serious violation of an informal but usually scrupulously observed agreement between Cuba and Mexico not to engage in this sort of clandestine activity on each other's soil, according to Mexican officials. The agreement has helped to cement the friendship between the two countries, Mexican authorities said.
Envoy 'Crestfallen'
Fernando Lopez Muino, Cuba's longtime ambassador in Mexico, was described by one official as "crestfallen" and "deeply embarrassed" when he was presented with evidence in the case.
The ambassador insisted earlier that the police turn the diplomats over to him, and he had defended their activities in the apparent belief that they could not be engaged in any breach of Mexican security. He was reportedly not informed of their arrest until the fourth day of their detention.
Officially, neither Mexican nor Cuban officials will comment on the incident, though Mexican sources spoke privately and guardedly about it and a U.S. source provided confirmation.
The incident reportedly is being taken seriously by government officials and is said to have been brought to the attention of President Miguel de la Madrid, who is described as profoundly displeased.
At the moment of the exchange, the four men were arrested by agents of the Federal Security Directorate. The accounts indicate that Mexican security agents had foreknowledge of the planned exchange.
The arrests took place on Sept. 1, the day on which the Mexican president customarily rides in an open car from his residence to the National Palace in the center of the city. The city is converted into a virtual garrison, a Mexican official said, by the presence of thousands of extra uniformed and plainclothes agents guarding against the possibility of a disturbance.
"It's the worst possible day to try something, because the streets are so heavily guarded," the official said. "It's stupid, and the Cubans do not have a reputation for being stupid in these matters."
According to several accounts, the two Cuban diplomats left the apartment they shared early on the morning of Sept. 1 and drove aimlessly around the city. At some point, they got out and took a subway train, then changed trains to avoid being followed.
They ended up at a bus station on the north side of the city, where they attempted to hand over a quantity of explosives in a small leather case to two other men.
"It's not the amount of explosive that counts," a Mexican source familiar with the case said, "but the fact that it was highly refined explosive material."
One official said the arrests provoked a dispute between the Foreign Relations Ministry, which pointed out that the Cubans held diplomatic immunity, and the Ministry of Government, which is responsible for internal security and wanted the men held indefinitely.
One of the Cubans was described as a courier who had arrived in Mexico only the day before and thus was not accredited as a diplomat here. Both men carried Cuban diplomatic passports.
Mexican officials believe that Vie courier brought the explosive material into the country.
The two men, whose names could not be learned, were released on the night of Sept. 7 on the insistence of Mexican Foreign Minister Bernardo Sepulveda.
"They were taken straight from jail to the airport, not even given a chance to grab their personal belongings, as a way for us to show our displeasure over the entire matter," a Mexican official said. "This sort of thing is considered very serious."
The two were put aboard a Soviet-made Antonov airplane from Havana at a private hangar at Benito Juarez International Airport.
It was also not clear when and under what circumstances the two men described as anti-Castro activists were released, but they were sent back to the United States, according to Mexican authorities.
According to diplomatic sources, Cuba attaches great importance to its relations with Mexico. Cuba's embassy here, a modern building in the fashionable neighborhood of Polanco, is one of the largest Cuba maintains anywhere in the world.
U.S. diplomats consider the embassy one of the main outposts of Cuban espionage activity in Latin America and an important connection for Cuban involvement in Central America.
However, the Cubans maintain a low profile in connection with Mexico's internal affairs, hoping to court favor with the Mexican government.
An important example of the two nations' good relations is Central America, where Mexico has generally been in accord with the Cuban view that the conflict in the region arises from internal conditions rather than Cuban- or Soviet-inspired subversion.
The diplomatic affinity between the two countries extends to the economic field. On Sept. 5, when the two Cuban diplomats were in jail here, Mexican Treasury Secretary Jews Silva Herzog was in Havana to sign an agreement opening up two lines of credit totaling $55 million to allow Cuba to increase its imports of Mexican goods.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 12:07 pm

The Miami Herald
July 7, 1982, page 1

Two Cuban diplomats ordered out of U.S.
BY ALFONSO CHARDY
Herald Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The U.S. government has ordered the expulsion of two Cuban diplomats at the United Nations, one of them the head of Cuba's intelligence service in New York, the State Department said Tuesday.
The Cuban mission's second secretary, Mario Monzon Barata, and his assistant, Jose Rodriguez, "must depart the United States expeditiously," State Department spokesman Dean Fischer said.
Fischer's official announcement accused the two Cubans of violating the Trading With the Enemy Act, "by buying, and trying to buy, large quantities of high-technology electronic equipment, much of it subject to strategic trade controls.
The expulsion, said Fischer, stems from the confiscation last Thursday in Orlando of $38,000 worth television satellite monitoring equipment. Fischer said the U.S. Customs Service and the FBI had linked the equipment to a mail-order purchase by Monzon Barata.
Fischer identified Monzon Barata as the New York chief of Cuba's Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI), and said that FBI "counterintelligence investigations" had established that the Cuban had "been engaged in intelligence gathering."
A State Department official said Monzon Barata had violated the Trading With the Enemy Act "for over a year" by purchasing other pieces of electronic equipment.
The official said all of this equipment already had been shipped to Havana. He added that U.S. intelligence officials were "reasonably sure that some of it was later shipped to the Soviet Union.
In New York, the Cuban Mission to the U.N. declined comment and in Washington the Cuban Interest Section said its chief, Ramon Sanchez Parodi, still had not been officially notified of the expulsion order.
But diplomatic sources close to the mission said that "even if the equipment was bought, it was not sent to the Soviet Union or was not bought to spy."
"Anybody in this country is allowed to buy this type of equipment," one of the sources said.
The expulsion order was communicated Monday to the Cuban mission at the United Nations, Fischer said. He gave no date for the departure of the diplomats.
An FBI spokesman said Tuesday that he knew of specific purpose for the satellite equipment, adding that the main charge against the Cubans was the violation of the Trading With the Enemy Act. He added that even if the FBI knew the specific intelligence use of the gear, "we would not discuss it, because it would be classified."
It was the second expulsion of Cuban diplomats from the United States since the Reagan Administration came to power in January 1981.
On Feb. 11, 1981, the State Department expelled the second-ranking Cuban diplomat in the country - Ricardo Escartin, first secretary of the Cuban Interest Section in Washington - who was accused of engaging in intelligence activities and conspiring with U.S. businessmen to violate the embargo on U.S. trade with Cuba.
The 1981 Cuban expulsion was the first since 1970, when two members of the Cuban mission to the United Nations were ordered to leave.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 12:09 pm

San Juan Star
April 20, 1983
U.S. charges espionage, boots 2 Cuba diplomats
UNITED NATIONS (UPI) - The United States Tuesday ordered two Cuban diplomats at the United Nations expelled within 48 hours for espionage and banned them for life from the country
"I expect these two cats to go in the next 48 hours," said Joel Blocker, press counselor to the U.S. mission to the United Nations.
He declined to detail the alleged espionage activities of the two men.
The two diplomats - Rolando Salup Canto, a third secretary, and Joaquin Penton Cejas, an attaché - were the fourth and fifth Cuban envoys at the United Nations to be expelled in less than 10 months.
Cuban Ambassador Raul Roa Kouri defended his two staff members in a note to the U.S. Mission in which he said he "firmly rejects" the expulsion order.
A diplomatic source close to the Cuban mission said that Roa Kouri would contest the expulsions until evidence of spying was produced by U.S. authorities.
In serving the original notice Monday, the U.S. mission gave Roa Kouri 24 hours to prove the charges wrong and Tuesday sent the final expulsion order requesting "arrangements be made for their expeditious departure from the United States.
"Further, the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations is hereby informed that Messrs. Salup and Penton will not be allowed to re-enter the United States."

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 12:14 pm

The Washington Post
5 March 1981
U.S. Concerned About Castro Spymaster

By: Jack Anderson

The Reagan administration’s announced determination to combat flow of
Soviet arms to El Salvador’s leftist guerrillas has stirred intense controversy. Some
Latin American countries—notably Mexico---tend to discount the importance of the
Salvadoran leftists’ connection with the Cuban and Nicaraguan regimes.
But while others may pooh-pooh the Reagan advisers’ concern over Cuban
help to the Salvadoran guerillas, U.S. intelligence experts point to the intermittent
presence of a dangerous Cuban official in Nicaragua, the primary transit point for
Soviet aid.
The man our intelligence people are worried about is Fernando Vecino
Alegret, a 47-year-old major general in Fidel Castro’s clandestine service, DGI.
He
travels under the cover of Castro’s minister of higher education.
Here’s what intelligence sources have told my associate Dale Van Atta about
Vecino’s career:
Born in Havana, Vecino was an early associate of Castro and became an
influential member of the inner circle that took control of Cuba after the ouster
of Fulgencio Batista.
Vecino was initially put in charge of a Cuban province, but in 1962 was made
director of the National Institute of Agricultural Reform.
In 1966, while nominally in charge of the Union of Cuban Communist Youth,
Vecino performed a secret—and successful---espionage mission in France.
Later in 1966, Vecino was given overall command of Cuban missile forces—a
post that required close connections with the Russians.
From 1967 to 1974, Vecino performed a number of missions for Castro’s secret
police, including a period as military attache in North Vietnam.
Intelligence
sources say he took part in interrogation---and torture----of American prisoners
of war.
Promoted to vice minister of the armed forces in 1975 and made a member of
the Cuban Communist Party’s central committee, Vecino supervised Castro’s
adventures in Angola and Ethiopia.
In 1978, Vecino was named minister of higher education, a post that allowed him
to send large numbers of paramilitary agents into various Central American
countries under cover of educational assistance.
In 1979, Vecino set up headquarters in Costa Rica, where he was able to keep
in constant touch with the Sandinitsa rebels while they were fighting Anastasio
Somoza’s Nicaraguan dictatorship. When the Sandinista’s won, Vecino and a
sidekick who was also a Cuban general moved to Managua for a time.

Since then, according to intelligence sources, Vecino has been close to the
more leftist elements of the Nicaraguan government, making regular visits to
Managua. Among his services to the Nicaraguan regime was arranging the
shipment of 100 captured American 105mm howitzers from Vietnam to
Nicaragua. The artillery pieces were shipped to Nicaragua in a vessel operated
under Lebanese registry by the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Vecino’s role as Castro’s spymaster and general troublemaker is well known
in Latin America. In fact, his presence anywhere in the area is enough to panic
military and intelligence circles.
For example, his visit to the Dominican Republic
in 1979 with two Cuban transport planes, supposedly to offer humanitarian
assistance in the wake of a devastating hurricane, produced a cold rebuff from
President Antonio Guzman.
In Nicaragua, meanwhile, Vecino has tried to cash in on the Cubans’ military
aid to the Sandinistas. Intelligence sources say his DGI cohorts were allowed
to prepare the guest list for the rebels’ first anniversary celebration last year, and
the guests were reportedly frisked by the Cuban police agents. The Cubans
also are reported to have a training camp in Nicaragua.
In addition, sources disclosed that Vecino’s Cuban agents have maintained
two guerilla training camps in Mexico---one run by the PLO, the other by a
Cuban army major whose second-in-command is an Argentine Montonero
terrorist.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 12:18 pm

The Miami News
August 4, 1983, page 1
U.S.: Defection forces shakeup of Cuba's spies
CHERYL BROWNSTEIN-SANTIAGO
Miami News Reporter
The recent defection of a Cuban intelligence chief has sparked a shakeup of Cuban personnel and agents operating in the United States, according to U.S. intelligence sources in Washington and Miami.
The defection last month of Jesús Raúl Pérez Méndez, an operations chief of Cuban intelligence, has prompted a shuffle of personnel at the Cuban Interests Section in Washington and Cuba's mission to the United Nations in New York, an intelligence source in Miami said.
The Washington source said the shakeup of Cuban officials and agents in the U.S. probably would involve up to a dozen people.
"They are already moving personnel from the section in Washington in order to avoid the embarrassment of having them expelled," said the source in Miami.
Pérez Méndez has already provided the FBI and CIA with information "on the network of DGI agents who operate in Miami and Key West," the Miami source said. "He is talking about the narcotics traffic with Cuba. He has access to a group (of smugglers) who worked with him."
The Miami source offered details of the defection and its consequences, along with indications of intramural rivalry between the CIA and the FBI over who deserves the credit for the Pérez Méndez defection.
Though the defection was widely reported to have occurred in New York, the Miami source said it happened here -- and that it spread uncertainty among Cuban intelligence agents in other parts of the United States, including Florida.
"Right now, they have a lot of confusion," he said. "From what we know from our contacts, they are going to change personnel."
He said the departing agents are not assigned to Florida, "but there are many who have gone (to Cuba) to get instructions."
Defections and movements of intelligence personnel are classified matters that are not divulged as a matter of U.S. policy. The State Department, the FBI in Washington and Miami, the CIA and a spokesman for the U.S. delegation to the United Nations refused comment on Pérez Méndez and the changing of the Cuban guard in the U.S.
The Miami source described Pérez Méndez, 37, as one of Cuba's chiefs of intelligence operations. Several media have reported Pérez Méndez to have been a captain in Cuba's General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) and a high-level official in the Cuban Institute of Friendship With the People, know by its Spanish acronym, ICAP.
"This man was mostly in charge of Cubans off the island, controlling what was done abroad" by state-side groups that sympathize with the Cuban government, the Miami source said.
Pérez Méndez, he added, was involved with smoothing the way through Cuban waters for drug smugglers, who, according to congressional testimony, have used Cuban docking facilities, gunboat escorts, and mechanics to repair boats.
"Right now, the interviewing (of Pérez Méndez) is being done by the CIA," the Miami source said.
He said the CIA had contacted Pérez Méndez about eight months ago while he was in the United States after he expressed a desire to stay in this country permanently.
U.S. agents "first tried to get the individual to work (as a double agent), but it didn't happen," apparently because Pérez Méndez did not want to risk it, the Miami source said.
The focus was then changed to getting him to defect, but Pérez Méndez was unable to let U.S. officials know when he would be traveling to this country on official business.
The chance arose July 14 when Pérez Méndez was working on the security detail for the Cuban salsa group Orquesta Aragón, which performed July 11 and 16 at two New York City nightspots.
When he arrived at Miami International Airport, Pérez Méndez told Customs agents of his desire to defect. They immediately called the FBI, which took him into custody, the Miami source said.
The FBI's spokesman in Miami Chris Mazzella, would not confirm or deny the scenario.
Although the FBI and CIA work jointly with defectors, the CIA did not find out about the Pérez Méndez defection until Cuban officials in Washington advised a double agent to be careful about subsequent contacts with Pérez Méndez, the Miami intelligence source said.
The double agent then told the CIA that Pérez Méndez had defected.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 12:19 pm

The Hudson (N.J.) Dispatch
April 20, 1983, page 23
US expels 2 Cuban diplomats
UNITED NATIONS (UPI) -- The United States yesterday ordered two Cuban diplomats at the United Nations expelled within 48 hours for espionage and banned them from the country for life.
"I expect these two cats to go in the next 48 hours," said Joel Blocker, press counsellor to the U.S. mission to the United Nations.
He declined to detail the alleged espionage activities of the two men.
The two diplomats -- Rolando Salup Canto, a third secretary, and Joaquin Penton Cejas, an attache -- were the fourth and fifth Cuban envoys at the United Nations to be expelled in less than 10 months.
Cuban Ambassador Raul Roa Kouri defended his two staff members in a note to the U.S. Mission, in which he said he "firmly rejects" the expulsion order.
A diplomatic source close to the Cuban mission said Roa Kouri would contest the expulsions until evidence of spying was produced by U.S. authorities.
In serving the original notice Monday, the U.S. mission gave Roa Kouri 24 hours to prove the charges wrong and yesterday sent the final expulsion order requesting "arrangements be made for their expeditious departure from the United States.
"Further, the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations is hereby informed that Messrs. Salup and Penton will not be allowed to re-enter the United Stated." The notice said.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 12:24 pm

The Miami Herald
May 9, 1999
Accused leader in shootdown ran Cuban drug probe
JUAN O. TAMAYO
Herald Staff Writer
The Cuban spy master who allegedly ran the plot to ambush two Brothers to the
Rescue airplanes is the same intelligence veteran who was chief investigator in
the notorious 1989 trial of Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa, exiles say.

A federal indictment Friday of 14 accused Cuban spies in Miami used only the
code ``MX for the Havana chief who directed the spies to gather information that
helped MiG warplanes kill four Brothers pilots in 1996.

But knowledgeable exiles identified him as Eduardo Delgado Rodriguez, a general
in his mid-50s who has headed the Interior Ministry's Directorate of Intelligence
(DI), Cuba's main foreign espionage agency, for about six years.

Delgado made his mark as lead investigator in the highly publicized trial of
Ochoa, an army general accused of drug trafficking along with several top Interior
Ministry officers, said Miami author Norberto Fuentes.

Ochoa, an army hero of the Angola war, and three other officers were convicted
and executed amid reports that Ochoa's only real fault had been to criticize
President Fidel Castro.

Monitored military brass
Delgado was then a lieutenant colonel in charge of the section within the armed
forces' counterintelligence agency that watched senior military officers, said
Fuentes, author of a book on Ochoa, In the Jaws of the Wolf, to be published this
summer.

Armed Forces chief Raul Castro, brother of the president, ordered a major purge
of the Interior Ministry just weeks after the trial and appointed military officers to
run both domestic and foreign intelligence branches.

Delgado was named Deputy Interior Minister in charge of the counter-intelligence
section, known as the Directorate for State Security, with the rank of colonel, said
Fuentes, who defected in 1994.

Command of the intelligence branch, the DI, initially went to Gen. Jesus
Bermudez Cutiño
, then the head of military counterintelligence, Fuentes and other
exiles reported.

The DI, headquartered in a former Havana apartment complex known to
employees simply as ``El Edificio, or The Building, is Cuba's main foreign
intelligence arm and has long been considered as one of the best in the world.

Its main targets in the United States have always been exile groups viewed by
Havana as dominating U.S. policy toward Castro and often planning or launching
armed attacks against his government.

But Bermudez Cutiño was dismissed as DI chief around 1993 under mysterious
circumstances, said Fuentes and two former Cuban intelligence officers who now
live in Miami and asked for anonymity.

Fuentes said Bermudez was discovered pilfering money from a fund for foreign
diplomatic couriers, and was blamed for several security foul-ups during a Castro
visit to Spain in 1992.

One of the intelligence officers said Bermudez was dismissed for operational
foul-ups -- including the filming of a Cuban spy meeting with one of his agents in a
New York hotel room in 1992 by Miami's Channel 23.

He was immediately replaced by Delgado, described by Fuentes as a
tough-looking man, ``blond and always well combed. Fuentes said Delgado was
still in charge of DI just a few weeks ago.

In turn, Delgado's job at counterintelligence went to Gen. Carlos Fernandez
Gondin,
about 56 years old, who now also has the title of deputy minister of the
interior, Fuentes said.

Counterintelligence maintains domestic security by monitoring dissidents as well
as Cuban government officials for signs of corruption or recruitment by foreign
intelligence services.

Delgado, Bermudez and Fernandez are said to be protégés of Interior Minister
Abelardo Colome Ibarra, a long-time Raul Castro aide who is Cuba's only
three-star general and a member of the ruling Communist Party's inner circle, the
politburo.

Colorful names dismissed
Fuentes dismissed the Miami indictment's mention of code names such as
``Operation Scorpion and the ``Wasp Network as ``typical Castro mocking of
Cuban exiles and U.S. authorities.

But he said the indictment's mention of the ``MX code for the DI chief was in line
with Cuba's long-time use of the letter ``M as the first part of the two-letter codes
assigned to all intelligence departments -- just as Great Britain used MI5 and MI6
for its spy and spy-catching agencies.

Cuba changes the codes frequently to confuse foreign intelligence agencies trying
to track its structures, Fuentes added. He said ``MX was once the code for the
DI's communications department.

``They can change the code all they want, said Fuentes, ``but it's Delgado and his
employer Castro who ordered the murder of those four Brothers pilots.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 12:29 pm

The Miami Herald
September 16, 1998

Alleged Cuban spies did little damage, Pentagon says
By MANNY GARCIA, CAROL ROSENBERG and CYNTHIA CORZO
Herald Staff Writers
The 10 suspected Cuban spies did not steal any critical U.S. military secrets,
federal authorities said Tuesday, but the FBI arrested them last weekend because
agents feared the group would flee the country following the theft of a computer
allegedly used in espionage.

``They did not succeed in breaking into the bases as I understand it,'' Pentagon
spokesman Ken Bacon told The Herald. ``One of them worked in a military base,
obviously. But there are no indications that they had access to classified
information or access to sensitive areas.''

This morning, eight of the defendants are scheduled to appear for a bond hearing
in federal court in Miami. Two others are scheduled for court Thursday.

The goal now for prosecutors is to persuade the alleged agents to cooperate, two
sources familiar with the case said. Investigators want to know how involved
Cuban government officials were. Investigators also hope to determine whether the
alleged spies participated in the downing of two Brothers to the Rescue planes by
Cuban MiGs in February 1996.

The arrests also revealed some disturbing questions -- like how much of a spy ring
it really was. Manuel Viramontes, the alleged ringleader who used an alias,
sometimes missed his rent payments. Another alleged spy worked two unrelated
jobs to make ends meet. Some of their scanners, radios and laptop computers
were old.

The FBI in Miami said Tuesday that the alleged spy ring failed to penetrate military
bases during its two years under federal surveillance. ``They had no successes,''
FBI spokesman Mike Fabregas said.

But in Washington, senior FBI investigators called the group ``an extremely
sophisticated ring'' and, on a scale of 1 to 10, rated the ring an 8.5. The FBI told
staffers that some parts of the operation were basic, but other operations --
technology and encryption -- were sophisticated.

On Monday, federal prosecutors charged the 10 South Floridians, alleging the
organization sought to infiltrate U.S. military bases in South Florida and sow
discord among exile groups in Miami.

Those arrested are: Viramontes, Luis Medina, Rene Gonzalez-Sehweret, Antonio
Guerrero Jr., Ruben Campa, Alejandro Alonso, Nilo Hernandez-Mederos, Linda
Hernandez, Joseph Santos and Amarylis Silverio.

A complaint to Havana
State Department spokesman James P. Rubin issued a tough complaint to Havana
at his daily briefing in Washington.

``We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Cuban government's attempts to
exploit the very openness of our society, while continuing to deny the Cuban
people fundamental freedoms and human rights,'' Rubin said. ``The great irony
here is that here is the Cuban government trying to exploit our openness while
denying their very people any modicum of democracy for so long.''

Calls to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington were not returned.
In Miami, the arrests brought cheers in the Cuban exile community. Many exiles
said the government was aiming at the right target. Earlier this month, scores of
exiles complained that federal prosecutors focused on members of the Cuban
American National Foundation in an alleged plot to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Rubin sought to dispel any notion that the arrests of the Cubans was an attempt to
appease the exile community.

``There have been some suggestions that, you know, there are some quid pro
quos going on, or many different conspiracy theories generated by some, and let
me say this: There is no basis to any such allegation,'' Rubin said.

Reaction to arrests
On Tuesday, reaction to the arrests generally played well from the
Spanish-language radio stations in Miami to Congress and the White House.

Said White House spokesman Mike McCurry: ``It doesn't change our view that,
as the lone communist holdout in this hemisphere, they pose a threat to the values
and to the ideals that we in this democracy hold very dear.''

Also Tuesday, Bill Doherty, the FBI's chief for counterintelligence, gave
congressional staffers a synopsis of the case.

The FBI said Medina recently had his computer equipment and diskettes stolen
and agents feared the group would flee and all would be lost.

At one point, the FBI considered arresting only group members who were
attempting to penetrate exile groups while continuing to watch those spies involved
in military intelligence gathering. The FBI hoped to gather more evidence but
quashed the idea after the computer theft.

Praise and criticism
In Miami, Jose Basulto, founder of Brothers to the Rescue, called a press
conference at La Ermita de la Caridad, the most sacred exile gathering place. He
initially praised the FBI for making the arrests, but then criticized federal
investigators for waiting so long to make the arrests -- or not tipping the Brothers
off that they had an alleged spy among them.

Basulto said the arrests confirmed that Gonzalez-Sehweret participated in the
downing of the Brothers' planes. Basulto said Gonzalez-Sehweret was a close
friend of Juan Pablo Roque, a former Brothers pilot who defected to the United
States then returned to Cuba shortly before the shooting.

The U.S. attorney's office declined to respond to Basulto's comments or to answer
any questions about the timing of the arrests. But law enforcement authorities
pointed out that they did not know about the infiltration of Brothers to the Rescue
until six months after the February 1996 shoot-down.

They noted that according to the complaint they filed Monday against the alleged
spies, the FBI did not obtain access to information that appeared on seized
computer diskettes until August 1996. Those diskettes showed that one of the
defendants, Gonzalez-Sehweret, had been directed by the Cuban government to
infiltrate and report on the Brothers, the Democracy Movement and four other
exile organizations.

Seeking cooperation
The government apparently is trying to persuade the alleged spies to cooperate
with investigators.

Miami lawyer Richard Diaz, who, with an associate, Vincent Farina, represents
Nilo and Linda Hernandez, said agents invited his clients' cooperation after they
were arrested Saturday.

``I met with my clients today and the other day, and they did tell me that at the
time of their arrest that the agents put a lot of pressure on them, tried to get them
to make post-arrest confessions and tried to get them to cooperate,'' Diaz said.

``I'm certain in this case they will try to flip one, if not more,'' he added.
Diaz said neither Hernandez is prepared to cooperate. He said both deny the
charges against them and he believes there is a compelling case for their release on
bail.

``They have no criminal history,'' Diaz said. ``It will be very interesting to find out
what information the government alleges these two people provided that went to
the Cuban government.''

Herald staff writer David Lyons contributed to this report.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Dom Feb 03, 2008 12:30 pm

CNN
September 17, 1998


Alleged Cuban spies had escape plan, attorneys say





MIAMI (Reuters) -- A judge denied bond for two alleged Cuban spies
Wednesday, after government attorneys said the men were living under false
identities and had already made plans to flee the country if their network was
uncovered.
The alleged leader of the spy ring, charged under the name Manuel
Viramontes
, had also discussed a sabotage campaign in coded
communications with Cuban agencies, government attorney Caroline Miller
said at a bond hearing.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Garber said he believed it was likely
Viramontes and his alleged lieutenant, Luis Medina, would try to flee if they
were granted bond.
"Each represents a danger to the community," he said.
Alleged spies reportedly followed orders from Havana
The two men and eight other people are accused of belonging to a spy
network with orders from the communist government in Havana to infiltrate
U.S. military bases and anti-Castro Cuban exile organizations in Miami.
The 10 were leading apparently ordinary lives in South Florida's Hispanic
community. U.S. authorities believe it is the largest roundup of alleged
Cuban agents since President Fidel Castro's 1959 revolution.
Viramontes has described himself as a self-employed graphic artist but is said to
be a Cuban military captain with the code name
"Giro."
But, said Miller: "That is not his true identity ... the name belongs to someone
who is dead."
Coded documents on computer diskettes seized from his apartment showed
the identity and three other covers had been prepared for him.
The profiles
included personal histories, details of schools and jobs and names of
relatives,
she said.
Diskettes reveal possible sabotage campaign
An "arrest alibi plan" laid out four escape routes, two through Mexico, one
through Canada and one to Nicaragua.
FBI agent Mark de Almeida said the secret documents, contained on
"hundreds and hundreds" of diskettes, referred to Cuban agencies and also
mentioned "el comandante," which they assumed to be a reference to
Castro.
They also discussed a possible sabotage campaign called Operation Picada
against buildings and planes in Florida.
One scenario was the sabotage of an aircraft hangar, but the FBI agent was
unable to give details.
Viramontes, a slim man with receding hair and a goatee beard, sat
impassively throughout the proceedings.
Although he claimed to be separated from a wife who lived in Mexico, he
had a wife in Cuba, whom he addressed by the code name Bonsai in secret
messages, Miller said.
One letter said, "I am writing five days before our eighth anniversary."
Briefcase contains 'espionage paraphernalia'
Attorney Guy Lewis said Medina was a Cuban army major who also was
living under a false identity.
He was assigned to infiltrate the Southern
Command, the U.S. military headquarters for Latin America and
the Caribbean in Miami.
Before his arrest, Medina had planned to flee the United States on
Thursday, after a laptop computer was stolen while he was in Los Angeles
last week, Lewis said.
A briefcase seized from his apartment held "all kinds of espionage
paraphernalia" as well as school diplomas, a birth certificate, $5,000 in cash
and videos shot in Cuba. Medina was in Cuba as recently as July, Lewis
said.
The FBI search of the apartment he shared with fellow defendant Ruben
Campa turned up, among other things, 15 to 20 death certificates and a
shortwave radio set up for communication with Cuba.
Medina has a wife and three daughters in Cuba, although he said on a
passport application he was not married, Lewis said.
Change of venue needed?

Viramontes' lawyer Paul McKenna contended the FBI had no evidence that
his client was the "Giro" mentioned in the secret documents.
De Almeida said the link was established from the disks, surveillance and
wiretaps over a three-year period.
The case has caused a sensation among Miami's predominant
Cuban-American community, which is obsessed with Castro and dreams of
his downfall.
McKenna told reporters later he hoped the defendants could get a fair trial
in Miami, but it might be necessary to request that it be moved.
"This is a very, very unpopular case," he said.
Bond hearings for the other eight defendants were put off until Friday, next
Tuesday and September 28.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Lun Feb 11, 2008 4:47 pm

The Miami Herald
May 8, 1999
Castro agents in Miami cited by U.S. grand jury



Brothers founder Jose Basulto, left, with spies Roque, right, and Gonzalez


By DAVID LYONS
Herald Staff Writer
A federal grand jury in Miami indicted an alleged Cuban spy Friday on charges of conspiracy to
commit murder in the 1996 shootdowns of four Brothers to the Rescue fliers.
The charge, disclosed in a revised indictment against 14 defendants in U.S. District Court in
Miami, is the first time that the federal government has formally linked the fliers' deaths
to Cuban agents who were rounded up in Miami by the FBI last fall.
The new allegations stop short of charging high-ranking members of Cuba's government.
But it does allude to Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who, in his capacity as ''commander in chief,'' is
described as hailing the fliers' deaths as ''a hard blow to the Miami right.''
Providing what prosecutors say are details about how events unfolded on the Cuban side,
the indictment charges that Cuba's intelligence agency actively worked to provoke a violent
incident with the Brothers organization through its spies in Miami.
Symbolically, the new charges represent a breakthrough for the victims' relatives, who for
three years have implored U.S. authorities to seek criminal indictments for what a Miami
federal judge has called a ''murderous, terrorist act.''
''Today's news gives us hope that we can reach some justice, not only with those
who are here, but with those who are in Cuba,'' said Mirta Costa, whose son,
Carlos, piloted one of the doomed planes.
''It's a step in the right direction,'' agreed Miami lawyer Francisco Angones, one of
several attorneys who represents families of the victims, Armando Alejandre,
Costa, Mario de la Pena and Pablo Morales. Except for the relatives of Morales,
who is not a U.S. citizen, the families hold a $187.5 million civil judgment against
the Republic of Cuba and the Cuban Air Force.
But Brothers leader Jose Basulto said the new charges do not go far enough.
''This is just the beginning of what I've been saying all along,'' he said. ''Castro has
to be indicted in the Florida courts, too.''
Defendant used alias
The indictment charges Gerardo Hernandez -- who was among those arrested on
spy-related charges by the FBI last year -- with conspiracy to commit murder.
Hernandez, called ''John Doe No. 1'' in the original indictment, used the alias
Manuel Viramontes.
Five of the accused spies have pleaded guilty. Arrest warrants have been issued
for several fugitives. A trial is scheduled for September.
The grand jury also named Juan Pablo Roque, the agent who fled the U.S. and
surfaced in Havana after the shootdowns. Roque is accused of acting as a foreign
agent without registering with the U.S. attorney general.
While working to infiltrate
the Brothers, Roque married a Miami woman, whom he left behind when he
returned to Cuba. A warrant is out for his arrest.
Three others facing new charges are Luis Medina III, Ruben Campa and Albert
Ruiz,
all of whom are accused of using bogus names on identity documents.
Medina and Campa are in custody in the spy case; Ruiz is not, and an arrest
warrant has been issued.
Although he does not face new charges, accused spy Rene Gonzalez is named
as a player in the events leading up to the shootdown. The indictment says
Hernandez and Ruiz ordered Roque and Gonzalez to gather information on
Brothers' flights.
Also named in the superseding indictment are two alleged agents who have left
the U.S.
-- Ricardo Villareal and Remijio Luna. They are charged with being
unregistered agents of the Cuban government.
Links to Brothers incident

It remained unclear Friday how the U.S. government knows that Cuban
intelligence orchestrated an airborne ambush. But after the FBI arrested the
accused agents last fall, federal prosecutors moved to link what was then
perceived as a ragtag ring of alleged spies to an incident that stunned the
international community.
In November, sources close to the case disclosed that FBI agents spent hours
debriefing the spies who pleaded guilty and who turned government informants.
Moreover, FBI documents showed that investigators baited the alleged ringleader
into making comments about how his ''main objective was to work against groups
that continously threaten the Cuban people.''
The indictment's ambush accusation appears to be at odds with a track record of
warnings by the Castro government to stop the Brothers from flying in and around
the island's airspace. A multinational panel of investigators concluded that the
shootdowns occurred in international waters, a conclusion that the Cuban
government hotly contested.
Castro regarded the flights to be a provocation, particularly one that saw Basulto
shower leaflets from a plane onto downtown Havana.
As he has in the past, Basulto, the Brothers leader, claimed Friday that the U.S.
government bears responsibility for the incident by failing to warn his compatriots
of the potential trouble that awaited them. Government officials deny any
complicity.
One day before the Miami fliers were killed by missiles fired by Cuban MiG fighter
jets, Richard Nuccio, then President Clinton's advisor on Cuba, wrote an e-mail to
the White House national security deputy, Sandy Berger. He warned of a possible
tragedy, not out of any knowledge of a plot, but because he had failed to
persuade the Federal Aviation Administration to stop Basulto from flying.
Berger did not read the memo until after the shooting.
Operación Escorpión
According to the indictment, the Cuban Directorate of Intelligence set in motion a
plan in January 1996 dubbed ''Operación Escorpión,'' which was designed to
confront the Brothers in an airborne incident. The Directorate is said to have
instructed its agents in Miami to collect flight information on the Brothers' planes.
In early February, the indictment says, the Directorate instructed Hernandez and
Ruiz that the agents in Miami should make ''Escorpión'' a priority, and start
generating flight data.
One week before the confrontation, Hernandez and Ruiz were warned by the
Directorate that no agent who had infiltrated the Brothers was to fly aboard any of
the group's planes between Feb. 24-27, 1996, the indictment says.
On Feb. 23, Roque departed Miami to return to Cuba.
A day later, the pilots were dead.
Suggestion of Castro's role

Although the indictment does not name any members of the Cuban government, it
suggests that Castro closely monitored the operation.

Two days after the Brothers' two Cessnas plunged into the sea, the indictment
says, the chief of intelligence noted that ''the commander in chief had visited twice
to analyze steps to follow up on the operation; and declared that [the participants]
had dealt a hard blow to the Miami right, in which their role had been decisive.''
On June 6, the indictment says, the Directorate recognized Hernandez for the role
he played, and announced his promotion to captain.
Herald staff writers Elaine de Valle and Juan Tamayo contributed to this article.

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Mensaje por cuba4free el Lun Feb 11, 2008 4:54 pm

The New York Times
March 1, 1996, page 4

Castro's Moles Dig Deep, Not Just Into Exiles
By Tim Weiner
WASHINGTON, Feb. 29 - No one should have been shocked when a trusted pilot for Brothers to the Rescue, the anti-Castro organization whose planes were shot down last week, showed up on Cuban television denouncing the group as a tool of the Central Intelligence Agency.
Cuba's spy service has infiltrated the exile groups of Miami for more than 30 years, compromising and sometimes controlling their work. The chief of operations of one of the most militant groups secretly reported to Fidel Castro for a decade. Dozens of Cubans recruited by the CIA during the cold war were double agents in the pay of Havana and Moscow. Some may still be.
Cuba might be a poor, politically isolated island whose people scrape by on rice, beans and slogans. But its spy service is "one of the most sophisticated, agile and effective" in the world, in the words of Juan Armando Montes, a retired United States Army special-forces colonel. It is a particularly sharp thorn in the side of the CIA, which has been bedeviled and bamboozled by Mr. Castro, his agents and double agents ever since the Bay of the Pigs fiasco in 1961 - an operation fatally compromised by infiltrators.
Hundreds of spies from Cuba's Direccion General de Inteligencia, the D.G.I, live and work in the United States, according to former members of the Cuban service who have defected. They operate as diplomats and cab drivers, dealers of guns and drugs and information. They thrive in embassies - a sizable contingent of the Cuban delegation to the United Nations do cloak-and-dagger work, United States officials say - and in the bars and restaurants of the Little Havana section of Miami.
Among their ranks, United States officials believe, was Juan Pablo Roque, the dashing pilot who defected - or rather, re-defected - to Cuba from the ranks of Brothers to the Rescue.
"One has to assume that he is a Cuban agent," Under Secretary of State Peter Tarnoff said of Mr. Roque. He was also an informer for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which paid him $6,720 for inside information on Cuban exiles. In this classic double agent scheme, Cuban intelligence used Mr. Roque to manipulate the F.B.I, to try to gain insight into the bureau's operations and to undermine the exile groups. Incidentally, the CIA flatly denies any present-day ties to the members of Brothers to the Rescue.
Mr. Roque is far from the first member of a Cuban exile group to suddenly reveal his links to Havana. The Cuban intelligence service, which reports to Defense Minister Raul Castro, Fidel's brother, has infiltrated the exile groups and United States Government agencies with notable success.
Take the case of Jose Rafael Fernandez Brenes, who jumped ship from a Cuba merchant vessel in 1988 and quickly landed a Federal job. From 1988 to 1991, he helped set up and run TV Marti, the United States Government-financed station that beams anti-Castro information and propaganda at Cuba. The Cuba Government jammed TV Marti's signal the moment it went to the air in March 1990 - thanks in no small part to the frequencies and technical data supplied by Mr. Fernandez Brenes.
Then there was Francisco Avila Azcuy, who ran operations for Alpha 66, one of the most violent anti-Castro exile groups, all the while reporting secretly to the FBI and Cuban intelligence. Mr. Avila planned a 1981 raid on Cuba, telling both the FBI and the D.G.I. all about it. His information helped convict seven members of Alpha 66 for violating the Neutrality Act by planning an attack on a foreign nation from United States soil. He also informed on the personal lives and tastes of 40 top anti-Castro leaders.
The most disturbing news about Cuban spies came from Maj. Florentino Aspillaga, a D.G.I. officer who defected to the United States in 1987. He contended that most, if not all, of the Cuban agents recruited by the CIA from the mid-1960's onward were doubles - pretending to be loyal to the United States while working in secret for Havana. Four years later, CIA analysts and counterintelligence officers glumly concluded the major was telling the truth.
This meant not only that much of what the agency knew about Cuba was wrong, but also that a great deal of what Cuba knew about the CIA was right.
The agency long ago cut its ties to most of the Cuban exiles in Miami. But the legacy of the Bay of Pigs, when the agency sent thousands of Cubans off in a doomed plot to overthrow Mr. Castro, lives on in the exile groups still trying to finish that mission.

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Re: Cuban intelligence activities in The U.S. and other countries. Art.

Mensaje por cuba4free el Lun Feb 11, 2008 5:00 pm

The Miami Herald
October 22, 1998


Couple admit role in Cuban spy ring
By CAROL ROSENBERG
Herald Staff Writer
A husband and wife pleaded guilty Wednesday to being part of a Cuban spy ring,
bringing to five the number of people who have admitted roles in the case.
Prosecutors promised Joseph Santos, 37, and his wife, Amarylis Silverio Santos,
37,
that in return for the pleas they would argue against any effort to deport Mrs.
Santos to her native Cuba. Her husband was born in the United States.
A portion of the agreement was kept secret until an unspecified ``personal security
issue'' is resolved. U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard whispered the secret clause to
the couple out of public earshot. Defense attorneys Gary Kollin and Alvin Entin
and Assistant U.S. Attorney Caroline Heck Miller declined to comment.
Five more defendants, including three whose real identities are unknown, still face
trial. Miller would not say whether she expects more guilty pleas.
The Santoses pleaded guilty to charges they conspired to become unregistered
agents of a foreign government. They could face five years in jail, one year
probation and a $250,000 fine.
Miller said the couple was recruited as intelligence agents in Cuba and dispatched
to New Jersey in ``a nonactive capacity.''
Sometime in 1995, another ring
member, Nilo Hernandez, 44, visited them and ordered them to move to Miami.
Hernandez also has pleaded guilty.
The Santoses' main mission: To snoop around SouthCom, the Pentagon's Southern
Command headquarters, which directs U.S. military operations in Latin America
and the Caribbean.
They were also told to get jobs at SouthCom, which moved to
Miami-Dade from Panama over a year ago. They failed in that assignment.
Instead, Miller said the couple filled computer diskettes with ``voluminous
reporting'' about the military headquarters, including descriptions of the industrial
park area where SouthCom is located.

The Santoses stood somberly in court as they heard the government case through
an interpreter. Under painstaking questioning by Judge Lenard, they admitted their
guilt and signed a cooperation agreement that said they could get their sentences
reduced in exchange for ``substantial assistance'' to the U.S. government.
The agreement also included a promise by federal authorities to recommend
against Mrs. Santos' deportation if the Immigration and Naturalization Service --
another branch of the Justice Department -- decides to deport her. Mrs. Santos is
a green-card holder, but a felony conviction could cause her to lose it.
Prosecutors allege the ring was divided between three ``officers'' and seven
``sub-agents,'' including the Santos couple, who were known by the code names
Mario and Julia.
The officers came to this country from Cuba and took the identities of Americans
who died as infants, the prosecution claims. They are identified in court complaints
as John Does but lived in South Florida as Manuel Viramontes, 31, Luis Medina
III, 30, and Ruben Campa, 33.
They still face trial, as do Rene Gonzalez, former Brothers to the Rescue pilot, and
Antonio Guerrero, who allegedly used his civilian job at the U.S. Naval Air Station
at Boca Chica to gather information.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors are still dueling over what documents will be
released through discovery in the case. A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 2.
In addition to the Santoses and Hernandez, those who have pleaded guilty are
Hernandez's wife, Linda, 42, and Alejandro Alonso, 39.

Of the 10 people charged in the case, at least five were born in the United States
and another obtained U.S. citizenship more than 20 years ago.

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