Today in History: Cuba Established Spy Center in Washington, DC Reply

September 1, 1977:  The US and Cuba re-established diplomatic missions in Havana and Washington, DC.  The first chief of the Cuban Interests Section was Ramon Sanchez-Parodi.  This career intelligence officer subsequently served in Washington for 12 consecutive years Experts remain undecided as to whether he belonged to the General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) or the America Department (DA).  Also serving at the new Interest Section was Teofilo Acosta, whom the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) immediately identified as a senior Cuban Intelligence Officer.

In testimony before the US Senate, Dr Daniel James charged Sanchez-Parodi with targeting the Congressional Black Caucus to foment  opposition to existing US policies towards Cuba. According to the New York Times, Sanchez-Parodi was extremely well connected to the US academic, civic, cultural, and business communities.  He was promoted to Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs immediately following his US tour.  His portfolio was the Western Hemisphere.

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).

General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI):  The name previously used by the foreign intelligence wing of the Ministry of the Interior.  Following a 1989 “scandal” and reorganization, this service was reorganized and given a new name –the Directorate of Intelligence (DI).


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