On Monday, the Washington Post ran an opinion piece titled “Cuba’s 11 Refusniks.” This OPED condemned the State Department for preventing 11 Cuban officials from attending the 30th Conference of the Latin American Studies Association, to be held this week in San Francisco. Sixty representatives of the Castro regime have already been approved and another six are pending.
The Post bemoaned the 11 denied officials, claiming “the rejections are mysterious and mystifying. Of the 11, many are well known and internationally respected academics with long-standing ties to top American scholars.” Continuing, the commentary asked “Does the United States feel threatened by Milagros Martinez, vice rector of the University of Havana, who has relentlessly pushed scholarly exchanges with American universities?”
Well, since they asked, yes — we do feel threatened. The declassified June 2005 FBI interrogation of convicted Cuban spy, Carlos Alvarez cited Milagros Martinez as his counterpart at the University of Havana’s Center for the Study of Alternative Policies (CEAP). Alvarez worked with her extensively and told the FBI she worked for Cuban Intelligence. He also told the FBI his spy handler once brought Rafael de la Guardia to one of their meetings. De la Guardia is the husband of Milagros Martinez. According to Alvarez, she knew of her husband’s intelligence ties and told Alvarez “talk to them,” meaning her husband and his colleagues.
Amplifying information is found in the book, In the Land of Mirrors: Cuban Exile Politics in the United States, where author Maria de la Angeles Torres, stated: “In 1989 the center at the University of Havana that studied U.S.-Cuban relations spawned another office called the Centro de Estudios de Alternativas Politicos (CEAP, Center for the Study of Alternative Policies, and Arce became its head.” [emphasis added]
“Arce” refers to Mercedes Arce, a staff psychologist assigned to the Cuban Mission to the United Nations. Alvarez was told that Arce could arrange a visit to the University of Havana for him. He subsequently met with Arce repeatedly in New York. During his interrogation, the FBI confirmed for Alvarez that Arce was a Cuban agent.
The final piece of this puzzle comes together with the revelation that the parent organization mentioned above by Angeles Torres is The Center for North American Studies (CEA). Library of Congress Scholar Rex Hudson long ago identified the CEA as a front organization for the intelligence wing of the Cuban Communist Party. Hudson’s research found that this intelligence services used this “front” to conceal and facilitate its activities in the academic and diplomatic fields. [For additional details, see Rex A. Hudson, Castro’s America Department: Coordinating Cuba’s Support for Marxist-Leninist Violence in the Americas].
A link to the syndicated copy of the Washington Post feature follows: