This Day in History: First US Crackdown on Cuban Espionage Reply

Mid-June 1960:  The US expelled two Cuban diplomats:  Carlos Manuel Lazaro Felix Sanchez y Basquet and Dr. Berta Louisa Pla y Badia.

Sanchez served as a consular officer in Miami, while Pla served as the cultural attaché at Havana’s consulate in New York.  The State Department claimed Sanchez was “the principal Cuban Intelligence agent in the Miami area” and engaged in running a spy network in South Florida.  The State Department also accused Sanchez of attempting to illegally smuggle arms. Washington said Pla was engaged in propaganda and influence operations, to include fomenting racial dissent. When expelled, Pla had lived in the US for eight years.  She joined the Cuban Consulate in April 1959.  A few months later, Jose Paz Novas defected to the US and claimed he was the chief of the G-2’s Miami operations.

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