US Activists Call for “Cuban 5” Protest on Anniversary of Spy Arrests Reply

The California-based International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five has called for “solidarity activity” on September 12th, the 14th anniversary of the Wasp Network arrests.  According to its press release, the group hopes to update supporters on alleged new evidence in the legal case.  A special guest speaker is Puerto Rican terrorist Rafael Cancel Miranda, incarcerated for 25 years for the 1954 attack on the US Congress, which wounded five individuals.  Also appearing are attorney Jose Petierra, Tom Hayden (a founder of the influential 1960’s leftist student group, the Students for a Democratic Society), and retired Army Colonel, Lawrence Wilkerson.

This event marks the start of “Free the Cuban 5 Month,” during which affiliated groups hope to host numerous public relations events, for example:  sept12flyer

Recorded Earlier Today: Cuban Spy Communications! Reply

Havana continues to communicate with its spies aground the world using low-tech, but highly effective High Frequency (HF) radio broadcasts.  Commonly known as “shortwave radio,” Cuban agents and their spymasters receive these broadcasts on a shortwave radio and then type the numeric groups onto a laptop computer using a special disk to decrypt the HF broadcast.

To listen to a agent broadcast intercepted by a shortwave radio operator earlier today, click here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n67NBHpaDrQ

Editor’s Note:  For more on Havana’s communications techniques, see these Cuba Confidential posts:  “Cuban Agent Communications:  [The] Failure of a Perfect System, “ July 3, 2012, http://cubaconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/cuban-agent-communications-the-failure-of-a-perfect-system/ and “Numbers Station Spies on 40 Meters,”  July 1, 2012, http://cubaconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/1660/

Arturo Lopez Levy Adds San Francisco to Book Flogging Tour Reply

“Solidarity supporter” Walter Lippmann, writing in today’s edition of CubaNews, made the following announcement about doctoral candidate and Castro apologist Lopez-Levy:

Arturo Lopez-Levy, author of Raul Castro and the New Cuba will share his experiences growing-up in Cuba in the last decades of the 20th Century, and his insights about Cuba in the 21st Century.

Tuesday, September 11, 6-7:30pm, JCCSF — Gallanter Hall, 3200 California Street, San Francisco

Born in Santa Clara, Cuba in 1969, to a well-connected Cuban-Jewish family, Arturo Lopez-Levy left a privileged life in Cuba in 2001 to pursue studies in International Affairs and Political Science.  He is a citizen of both the U.S. and Cuba, currently residing in Denver, Colorado, where he is a Josef Korbel Fellow and Lecturer in International Studies at the University of Denver.  He is a sought after speaker on U.S.-Cuba relations, frequently quoted and published in the Chicago Tribune, NY Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald, and the Baltimore Sun, and blogs.  He has a Masters degree from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and a PhD from the University of Denver. Lopez-Levy was an Inter-American Fellow at the Carter Center in Atlanta, and a Fellow at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  In 2009 he lived in Taipei studying Political Liberalism.  In 2010 Lopez-Levy was one of the three Cubans (and the only non-catholic) living overseas invited to participate in the dialogue with the Catholic Church at the time of the Church’s mediation about the release of prisoners and the dialogue with the Cuban government about the current economic reforms process.  He is also an authority on Cuba and Zionism: Relationships between Cuba and Israel and wrote an article about this issue during a Vinnik visiting Fellowship at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.  The article was published by the journal of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy.  Lopez-Levy is active with “Cuban Americans for Engagement,” and can speak from the perspective of a new generation of Cuban-Americans.

Spy Surrogate to Host Yet Another “Cuban 5” Forum Reply

Cuba’s Prensa Latina (PRELA) news agency claims that over “200 activists from 33 countries” will attend the “8th International Colloquium for the Release of the Cuban Five,” to be held November 28 through December 1.  Amaury Torno, a member of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) went even further, claiming about “300 people from 50 nations are expected to attend the forum.”  He went on to note that the gathering will develop global public relations strategies supporting the convicted spies.  Thus far, the largest delegations are from Italy and Canada said Torno, but Venezuela is expected to field a sizeable group of attendees as well.  The forum’s agenda also will also include a cycling event, Peace Camp tents and meetings with relatives of the Cuban Five.

Editor’s Note: For a concise summary of ICAP’s collaboration with Cuban Intelligence, see the July 5th posting, “Spy Surrogate to Host “Free the Five” Symposium:”  http://cubaconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/spy-surrogate-to-host-free-the-five-symposium/

Colombia Nears Possible FARC Peace Talks Reply

By Andres Schipani in Lima, Financial Times

Colombia’s government and representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, agreed to begin peace talks during a meeting in communist-led Cuba, local media reported on Monday.  President Juan Manuel Santos’ government was to meet with emissaries of the Marxist guerrilla group first in Oslo and then Havana in October to end the Andean country’s 48-year old armed conflict, local radio station RCN reported.  Officially confirming part of the speculation, Mr Santos said in a statement on Monday evening that “there have been exploratory talks with the FARC to seek an end to conflict … In the coming days the results will be announced. Colombians can rest assured that the government is acting with prudence, seriousness and firmness.”  “The negotiations will start October 5 in Oslo and will then move to Havana where they will discuss justice, demobilisation, impunity, drug-trafficking, agrarian issues, among others,” said Francisco Santos, the president’s cousin and a former vice-president. “It will be a complex agenda.”

Colombia has experienced a dramatic turnround in the past 10 years, but the guerrillas are still a menace. After a recent uptick in violence, senior government representatives have reportedly met in Cuba’s capital with members of the rebel group to negotiate conditions for formal peace.  A source familiar with Colombia’s peace process told the Financial Times the deal will happen and will be announced soon. “This will be an exit accord, what the FARC are negotiating is their dignity. Time is running against them, the guerrilla is not eternal any more as we once thought it was,” explained Jorge Restrepo, a security analyst with the Javeriana University in Bogotá. “This is the first time after previous attempts that I see we are moving towards something.”

Since taking office two years ago, Mr Santos has been signaling his willingness to participate in peace talks, yet he had also led some of the most crushing military strikes against the FARC – the region’s longest-running rebel group which still has an estimated force of 8,000 fighters. Its current leader, Timoleón Jiménez – known as ‘Timochenko’ – said in March it was it was “worth breaking the vicious circle and betting on peace.”  “This will be an agreement with a very fragmented FARC sitting at one end of the table and a very strong Colombia, military as well as economically, at the other end,” said Mr Restrepo. An anonymous intelligence source cited by Reuters said Colombia’s government has agreed that FARC leaders would not be extradited to another country to stand trial.

Colombia’s second-largest rebel group, the National Liberation Army, or ELN, said on Monday it would also be willing to hold unconditional peace talks.  “We are open; it’s exactly our proposal, to seek room for open dialogue without conditions and start to discuss the nation’s biggest problems,” the group’s leader Nicolás Rodríguez told Reuters. However, he stressed his group refuses to end its practices of kidnapping, bomb attacks and extortion of foreign oil and mining companies before negotiations officially start.

While the majority of political parties in Colombia’s Congress support the possible negotiations, Mr Santos’ predecessor and former ally, Álvaro Uribe, has openly rejected the peace talks.  Last Wednesday, in a surprise move, Mr Santos asked for all 16 ministers to resign as part of a cabinet reshuffle to shore up his slumping approval ratings. Analysts believe he is now focused on building “a cabinet for peace” looking at his potential re-election in two years.  Local media reports that when Colombia’s president met with his Venezuelan counterpart, leftist Hugo Chávez, in northern Colombia in 2010 Mr Santos requested his assistance to mediate the preliminary talks.   “This is good timing for both presidents,” explained Francisco Santos, the former vice-president; “this might also help them securing re-elections, Chávez in October and Santos in two years.”

Editor’s Note:  The Castro regime has a long history of using its intelligence services to subvert peace negotiations involving allied guerrilla groups.  For a detailed case study of one example, see:  Manipulating the Contadora Peace Process

Ambassador-Spy Oversees Outreach to Nicaraguan Religious Leaders Reply

Source:  Havana Times

Last week, the president of the Council of Churches of Cuba, Joel Ortega, participated in a dialogue with religious leaders, academics and social activists at Nicaragua’s Universidad Evangelica Martin Luther King, reported the Prensa Latina news agency.

Cuban Ambassador Eduardo Martinez Borbonet described the Nicaraguan evangelical churches as playing an “active” role in the solidarity movement with the island.  The meeting was also attended by Nicaraguan pastor Sixto Ulloa, who is the human rights ombudsman; and Freddy Franco, the national coordinator of the solidarity with Cuba movement there.

Editor’s Note:  In December 1998, First Secretary Eduardo Martinez Borbonet,  Third Secretary Roberto Azanza Paez and Attaché Gonzalo Fernandez Garay were expelled from the United States for their role as “Wasp Network” Case Officers.   All three Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officers had been serving under diplomatic cover at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations (CMUN). 

Propaganda Sets Off Wild Goose Chase 1

Source:  Capitol Hill Cubans

On August 17th, the Castro regime’s media announced a new legal maneuver seeking to overturn the conviction in U.S. federal court of convicted Cuban spy Gerardo Hernandez (of the so-called “Cuban Five“).

According to the report, reproduced on August 20th by The Miami Herald, Hernandez’s lawyers “had filed” an affidavit alleging that Radio and TV Marti somehow paid journalists to “influence” jury members.

Note there were no Cuban-Americans in the jury that convicted Hernandez.

Yet, as Along the Malecon’s Tracy Eaton has discovered, more than a full week later, no affidavit of this kind has actually been filed in U.S. federal court.

Thus, once again, the Castro regime’s propaganda sent everyone on a wild goose chase.

You’d think the media would generally fact-check anything that comes out of a regime and its apologists who have spent over five decades deceiving its people and the world.

This Month in History: Senior Cuban Spy Helped Shape Panama’s Future Reply

August 1972:  America Department (DA) officer Alfredo Garcia Almeida visited Panama in August 1972 under cover as the Panama specialist for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX), according to declassified Army Intelligence reports.  Under this guise, he handled travel to Cuba by Panamanians as well as Cuban travel to Panama. During his visit, Garcia met with Colonel Omar Torrijos and Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Antonio Noriega Morena.  The Guardia Nacional (National Guard)(GN) consisted of both the Panamanian Army and the civilian police force, so Torrijos, as the GN Commandant, was the de facto head of the Panamanian government. Noriega was the GN’s G-2 (senior intelligence officer).

August 1974:  Cuba reestablished diplomatic relations with Panama.  Havana’s first ambassador was DA officer Alfredo Garcia Almeida.  In November 1975, legendary spy master Manuel “Redbeard” Pineiro led a high-level Cuban delegation, which met with the Panamanian leadership.  Noriega, now the Panama Defense Force (PDF) G-2, was among the officials met.  The same year, Pineiro advised Torrijos during negotiations of the Panama Canal Treaties.  Now self-promoted to General, Torrijos developed into one of Castro’s closest supporters and sympathized with Cuba’s anti-US themes but became restrained as Havana’s subsequent interventions in Central America threatened regional stability.

Bolivian President Met With Spy-Wife Adriana Perez Reply

The wife of Wasp Network leader Gerardo Hernandez “met yesterday with President Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia’s Senate, Gabriela Montaño, and most members of the Legislative Assembly”  according to Havana’s Prensa Latina (PRELA).   On Wednesday, her first day in Bolivia, Perez focused on media interviews, as well as and meetings with diplomats and various Bolivian officials.  PRELA reports that today Perez will meet with “Bolivian intellectuals and media directors.”

See related postings:

“Lone Peruvian Official Met With Cuban Spy,” August 20, 2012, http://cubaconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/lone-peruvian-official-met-with-cuban-spy/

“Spy-Wife in Peru Lobbying For Cuban Five,” August 15, 2012, http://cubaconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/spy-wife-in-peru-lobbying-for-cuban-five/

“Wife of Jailed Cuban Spy-Master to Visit Bolivia,” August 8, 2012, http://cubaconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/wife-of-jailed-cuban-spy-master-to-visit-bolivia/

This Date in History: Cuba Targeted Visiting Panamanian Delegation Reply

August 23 – September 5, 1972:  The University of Panama sent a cultural and scientific delegation to visit Cuba.  Operating in alias under Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) cover, DGI officer Norberto Hernandez Curbelo served as an delegation escort.  Without providing details, Hernandez told the delegates he had been in Panama on several occasions.  According to declassified US government records, Hernandez visited Panama with a Cuban sports delegation from late May through early June 1972.

Editor’s Note:  The Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI) was the name previously used by the foreign intelligence wing of the Ministry of the Interior. Following a 1989 “scandal” and reorganization, this service was reorganized and given a new name– the Directorate of Intelligence (DI).