August 12, 1994: America Department (DA) officer German Sanchez Otero, who had been serving undercover as a sociologist at the University of Havana, was appointed ambassador to Venezuela. His arrival followed the March 1994 release of Hugo Chavez, who had been imprisoned for his role in a 1992 coup attempt. Sanchez remained Havana’s Ambassador until August 2009.
Editor’s Note: The America Department (DA) was the name used by the intelligence wing of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party from 1974 to the late 1980s or early 1990s. The DA was heavily involved in supporting revolutionaries and terrorists, but has since become more focused on political intelligence operations. This service is now called the America Area of the International Department of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC/ID/AA).