Today in History: Senior Spy Targeted California University Students 1

October 22, 1997:  Felix Wilson Hernandez, a Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer under cover as the Acting Head of the Cuban Interests Section, visited the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) for a meeting entitled “Ernesto Che Guevara and Cuba: Past, Present, and Future.” The forum, sponsored by an array of student groups, marked the 30th anniversary of Che’s failed mission in Bolivia. Wilson was also scheduled to speak at a UCLA class on the morning of October 23rd.  That evening, he addressed two classes at California State University Los Angeles. Wilson concluded his visit following his presentation to a class at California State University Long Beach on the morning of October 24th.  Analysis of Wilson’s modus operandi during his US tour indicates he served with the DI’s elite Department M-I, “US Targets.”

One comment

  1. Universities are classical recruiting grounds for Cuban intelligence and such events as commemorating Che Guevara are golden opportunities for DI recruiters or ” talent spotters”. In the view of Cuban intelligence, which is not at all original, but was passed on by the Soviet KGB, it is in the universities where the future leaders and people with an intelligence potential are educated and if such a person is properly cultivated throughout his or her undergraduate years, guided and assisted in his or her search for meaningful employment, in the end the reward will be a mine gold of information when the sympathizer lands a job with the government, a political party, a research center , the press or any other position where he or she can promote the interests of the Cuban government.

    In the early 1930s Soviet intelligence started looking for “progressives” and “antifascists” at Cambridge University and recruited the famous “spy ring of five” headed by Kim Philby, which caused considerable damage to Great Britain, British Intelligence, the US and its western allies. In addition, other dangerous Soviet spies were recruited in British universities and this search for potential ideological recruits has been going on ever since.

    Cuban Intelligence prefers ideological recruits as they think that someone who spies for money is always willing to change masters for a larger sum. In addition, they are always short of cash as proved by the disclosures of Red Avispa agents and therefore, other inducements as sex or offers of advantageous opportunities for investment in Cuban economy are used.

    The presence of a Cuban “compañero” from the Cuban Interests Section, a classical cover for espionage activities in the US, is a further indication of the great hopes for talent spotting pinned on the Che Guevara event. Before the compañero’s arrival, DI talent spotters in the campus of UCLA received instructions, they befriended Che Guevara sympathizers in order to find out more about their personalities, drew their personal profiles, discussed these profiles with their DI handlers, received additional instructions on what information to probe for and in the end made the a “proposal for collaboration”, usually under a “false flag”, that is, leading the recruit to believe he or she iwas working for someone else, not the Cubans.

    Sergio Klein
    Jerusalem
    Oct.23, 2012

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