The City University of New York (CUNY) has invited José Raul Viera Linares to speak on Thursday, September 27th its Graduate Center. The espionage history of this retired Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer follows:
According to declassified CIA reports, in June 1961, the Bolivian government asked Havana to recall Chargé d’affaires Mauro Garcia Triana for interfering in Bolivia’s domestic affairs. On June 24, José Viera Linares arrived in La Paz from Santiago as the interim Chargé. He served in this position until General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) officer Ramon Aja Castro arrived in mid-March 1962. Considerable animosity developed between the two and Viera Linares was demoted to the less prestigious position of Cultural Affairs attaché. In mid-October 1963, Bolivia expelled Viera Linares for his role in an espionage operation against its Foreign Office.
In 1964, Viera Linares was assigned to run the spy service’s “Colombia Desk.” By 1968, he served as a First Secretary at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations. Little is known about his activities from the end of his CMUN tour until August 1981 when he served as the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs.
By 1986, Viera Linares was a First Vice Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affiars (MINREX). He became the Deputy Foreign Minister in 1990. He held this position through at least 2006.
Contrast this information with the “official” storyline provided in the CUNY ad:
Change to Remain Unchanged?
|José Viera Linares
Former Cuban Diplomat and Policy AdviserDate: Thursday, September 27, 12:30 PM
Location: The Graduate Center, Skylight Room
365 Fifth Avenue (@34th Street)
“Change to Remain Unchanged?”, a lunchtime conversation with José Raúl Viera Linares on the evolving process of reform in Cuba. Viera served as First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1981 to 1990, often participating in cabinet meetings, and represented Cuba at high level international conferences. He received a Law degree from Havana University, a Certificate of English studies at Lousiana State University, and a Certificate of Studies of Property Rights in Cuba from the Union of Cuban Lawyers.
After the revolution Viera served as a voluntary teacher with the Institute of Agrarian Reform and as manager of a sugar mill. His diplomatic career included postings in Spain, Honduras, Chile, Bolivia, Counselor at the Cuban Mission to the UN (1966-1970), and Deputy Minister in charge of International Organizations. He served as legal adviser to three state companies, concluding his professional work with Inmobilaria del Tourismo (Tourism Real Estate) from 1998 to 2010. Viera and his wife Maria Cecilia Bermudez have translated into Spanish for publication in Cuba two books by Dr. Louis A. Perez, Jr. of the University of North Carolina, _On Becoming Cuban. Identity, Nationality & Culture and Cuba in the American Imagination_. In his talk he will share his entirely personal perspective on Cuba today, the history of his generation, and the impact of US policy today.
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Editor’s Note: The General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) was 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).