Peace activist Cindy Sheehan to Join Wife of Cuban 5 Spy at Mexico Conference 1

On Friday August 17, Rosa Aurora Freijanes, wife of convicted spy Fernando Gonzalez, will speak on the “Cuban 5” in Tijuana Mexico. American activist Cindy Sheehan will join her in “denouncing the injustice.”  Attendees will also be updated on other activities intended to help “bring the Cuban 5 back to their homeland.”

Time & Location:  Friday August 17, 6pm at the Hotel Palacio Azteca, Blvd. Cuauhtémoc Sur # 213, Colonia Dávila, Tijuana México

This event is part of the U.S./Cuba/Mexico/Latin America Labor Conference from August 15-19, 2012.  For more information for the Cuban 5 event, call: 510-219-0092.

In Spanish:

This Date in History: Legendary Spymaster in Chile to Advise Salvador Allede 1

July 30, 1973:  As resistance to Allende increased during 1973, Castro wrote and told him he was secretly dispatching Manuel “Redbeard” Pineiro to assess the situation and offer his professional opinion. At the time, Pineiro lead the National Liberation Directorate (DLN), a 400-man element, previously assigned to the General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI), which oversaw support to foreign revolutionary movements.

Pineiro and Vice Prime Minister Carlos Rafael Rodriguez arrived on July 30th under the pretext of discussing the agenda for the forthcoming meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).  After Rafael Rodriguez publicly claimed that Chile was the only nation in the Americas where a non-violent road to socialism was possible, Pineiro delivered Castro’s letter to Allende.  The two Cuban officials made confidential recommendations to Allende and then left at the end of their five-day stay. Castro’s advice to Allende to consolidate his gains and eliminate his opposition was repeated in August and again rejected by Allende.

This Month in History: Cuban Intelligence in Argentina Since At Least 1964 Reply

July 1964:  According to two declassified CIA documents, Oreste Varela led the “Argentina Desk,” which made him responsible for all operations in Argentina led by the DGI’s National Liberation Section.

Editor’s Note:   The Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI) was the name used by the foreign intelligence wing of the Ministry of the Interior until 1989.  At that time, it was reorganized and renamed the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) following a “corruption scandal.”     

This Date in History: Cuba Unleashed Full Court Press Against Youth Festival Attendees (Exclusive!) Reply

July 28 – August 5, 1997:  Cuba hosted the XIV World Students and Youth Festival, during which it provided a team of 21 interpreters to the 750-member US delegation.  According to a highly reliable former Cuban spy who served on team, all but one member were officers in the Directorate of Intelligence (DI).  The English teacher assigned to the DI’s “Illegals” Department — Pedro Serrat — led half of the DI participants. “US Targets” Officer Alejandro Pila Alonso, who served as one of the escorts for Elian Gonzalez’s father, also served as a US “interpreter” at the Youth Festival.  However, his operational effectiveness appeared largely negated by his pursuit of a beautiful female delegate.

The Latin American delegations; especially Brazil, were targeted by the DI’s Latin America Department, while the European delegates were exploited by the service’s European Department.  The festival was seen as such a rare and potentially enormous intelligence windfall that the DI Director personally addressed the participating officers to ensure they understood the importance of this mission.  The Directorate of Military Intelligence (DIM) also operated against festival attendees, but more using its extensive role in the tourism industry.  It is likely the DIM sought to capitalize upon a low-cost and benign environment to sharpen the operational skills of its small cadre of Human Intelligence (HUMINT) officers.  Ernesto Perez DeCardenas was among the DIM contingent at the festival.

Russia’s Pravda Reaffirms Spy Roots of Cuban Blogger Percy Francisco Alvarado Godoy 1

Venezuela: Imperialist and Zionist threats

Extracts (emphasis  added):

Percy Francisco Alvarado Godoy, a retired Cuban Intelligence Officer who also trained Venezuelan Intelligence agents, wrote a series of articles for Patria Grande about the CIA in Venezuela. “

“In June 2011, the Venezuelan right wing students organized a large destabilization campaign with the methods they had learned from the CIA and Miami gangsters, targeting the National Experimental University Francisco de Miranda, the Technological Institute in Coro and the University of Falcón. Furthermore, they assaulted the seat of CORPOELEC in Coro, state of Falcón. All in all, the retired Cuban Intelligence Officer records 31 destabilizing activities of the Venezuelan right wing youth in 2011.”

This Date in History: Spy Outreaches in Chicago and Nicaragua 2

27 July 1996:  Intelligence officer and Interests Section Third Secretary Johanna Tablada spoke at a bookstore in Chicago.  The next day she spoke at a Chicago picnic honoring the Cuban Revolution hosted by the Venceramos Brigade.

July 27, 1979:  Manuel “Redbeard” Pineiro attending the meeting restoring relations between Cuba & the Sandinista-led Nicaragua.  The presence of this legendary spymaster demonstrated the significance afforded the relationship.   Pineiro remained in Nicaragua during the first several months of the Sandinista regime.  According to the New York Times, Sandinista officials privately characterized Pineiro’s role in the Sandinista victory as “indispensable.”

This Date in History: Spy Celebrated Anniversary of Cuban Revolution With US Peace Activists Reply

July 26, 1995:  Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer Hugo Ernesto Yedra Diaz was the featured speaker at a party commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the “start” of the Cuban Revolution.  Sponsored by the Washington, DC “Hands Off Cuba Coalition,” the event was held at Washington Peace Center.  Yedra discussed the attack on the Moncada Barracks before transitioning to a call for Americans to oppose the Helms-Burton legislation.  At the time, Yedra was assigned to the Cuban Interests Section in Washington DC.

Pastors for Peace Members Meet Relatives of the Cuban 5 1

The Cuban News Agency (ACN) reports that members of the 23rd “US-Cuba Friendship Caravan” spoke to relatives of the Cuban 5 in Havana on Tuesday.  The five spies:  Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino, Antonio Guerrero (Tony) and Fernando Gonzalez, were arrested in 1998.  This group of intelligence officers and agents were ultimately convicted of numerous charges, including conspiracy to commit murder and espionage-associated crimes. 

According to ACN, the Pastors for Peace group was briefed on the Castro regime’s perspective of the spy case.  Elizabeth Palmeiro, Ramon’s wife, expressed her gratitude to the group for their support to “The Five.”  Palmeiro claimed the case is entirely political and demands international support if they are ever to be released from prison.  On a related note, the use of social networks and the internet was emphasized by Antonio Guerrero Cabrera, eldest son of convict Antonio Guerrero.

The 60-plus Pastors for Peace activists, coming from the US, Canada, Mexico and Europe, arrived in Havana on Saturday with approximately 100 tons of humanitarian aid.

Editor’s Note:  According to several former members of the Directorate of Intelligence, Cuba’s foreign intelligence service, Pastors for Peace has been a key religious target for decades.

Senior Spy-Diplomat Condemns Florida Congressman David Rivera 2

The Cuban News Agency (ACN) reports that expelled spy Josefina Vidal, who continues her years-long posting as director of the North America Division in the Foreign Ministry (MINREX), has condemned Congressman David Rivera for promoting actions detrimental to Cuba’s foreign interests..

In statements to ACN,  Vidal attacked the Florida Republican for pushing a modification of the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act which could deprive Cuban immigrants from their benefit over other emigrants if they travel to the island before getting their US citizenship.  According to Vidal, the initiative intends to coercively turn Cuban immigrants into hostages. Rivera’s project has not yet been submitted to the vote of Congress.

ACN reports that another proposal by Rivera is an amendment to the draft bill of the National Defence Authorisation Act for fiscal 2013 which intends to impose new penalties on entities from third countries with links to Cuba.  Vidal claims the “real purpose” of Rivera’s proposal could be to have an ally in the US Senate to have it passed into law.

Despite its actions to the contrary, Vidal also maintained that Havana continues to favor dialog, but warned that Cuba would not stop rejecting and denouncing US policy.

Editor’s Note:  Vidal departed Washington in May 2003 after her husband and 13 other Cuban spies serving under diplomatic cover in the US were declared Persona Non Grata.

Cuba Arrests Human Rights Activists, Including Members of the “Ladies in White” 1

From Frontline Defenders:

On 18 July 2012, Ms Tatiana López Blanco, Ms Leonor Reinó Borge, Ms Mirta Gómez Colás and Ms Niurkis Rivero Despaigne were detained by Department of State Security agents in Havana.  The aforementioned human rights defenders are all members of the prominent human rights organisation Damas de Blanco Laura Pollán (Ladies in White), which advocates for the release of political prisoners in Cuba.

On 18 July 2012, agents of the Department of State Security went to the homes of Tatiana López Blanco, Leonor Reinó Borge, Mirta Gómez Colás and Niurkis Rivero Despaigne and arrested them in order to prevent them from participating in the monthly Té Literario (literary tea party) organised by the Damas de Blanco which takes place at the home of their deceased leader Ms Laura Pollán.

Previously on 16 July 2012 it was reported that an agent had visited the homes of other members of the human rights organisation, including Ms Ivonne Malleza Galano, nominee for the 2012 Front Line Defenders Award for human rights defenders at risk, Magaly Norvis Otero, Mercedes Fresneda Castillo, Belkis Jorrín Morfa, Belkis Nuñez Fajardo, Raquel Castillo, Zahira Castro and Mayra Morejón, to inform them that the Té Literario would not be permitted to take place and that should they attempt to attend it they would be arrested and held for three days. Ms Omaglis Gonzaléz Leiva and Ms María Elena Matos were detained in Palmarito de Cauto, in the municipality of Santiago de Cuba as they attempted to hold a parallel event.

Front Line Defenders believes that the arrests of the aforementioned human rights defenders, as well as the threats of arrest, are directly related to their legitimate work in defence of human rights. The regular prevention of the peaceful monthly Té Literario by police, who block off access to the home of Laura Pollán on the date of the planned event, constitutes a clear denial of the right to freedom of assembly in Cuba. Members of the Damas de Blanco continue to face harassment and physical attacks from police around the island as they attempt to carry out their legitimate and peaceful human rights activities.