This Month in History: Brazil Rebuffed Diplomatic Posting of Murderous Spy 1

August 1986:  Brazil rejected Havana’s assignment of senior intelligence officer, Colonel René Rodríguez Cruz, after a damaging O Estado de Sao Paulo story.  The newspaper ran a photograph of Rodríguez with pistol in hand, standing over the body of a just-executed male. The paper also reported that Rodríguez had served as director of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), an intelligence assignment.  Furthermore, according to the newspaper’s source, Brazil ranked second only to Mexico as the most important country for Cuban intelligence operations.

On two months earlier – in June – a year after the end of the military dictatorship, Brazil had re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba.  America Department (DA) officer Julio Sergio Cervantes Padilla, Havana’s Political Counselor to Brazil, had engaged in extensive lobbying of Brazilian government officials to facilitate the renewed ties.

Editor’s Note: 

For more on ICAP, see the July 5th posting, “Spy Surrogate to Host “Free the Five” Symposium,

For additional background on the America Department, see the August 6th article, “Cuban Role Demands More Scrutiny As Brazil Investigates Military Dictatorship’s Abuses,”

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