Havana Fuels Influence Operation Marking 15th Anniversary of Spy Network’s Collapse 1

Cuban Hero Urges to Boost Initiatives for the Cuban Five

Havana, Aug 30 (Prensa Latina) The antiterrorist Rene Gonzalez, called today to boost popular initiatives during the journey of solidarity with the Cuban Five to achieve their excarceration.

The Five, as Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labañino, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero and Rene Gonzalez are known, were arrested in Miami in 1998, for aborting anti-Cuban plans organized by violent groups. The Five were given long and severe sentences including more than one life imprisonment.

Only Rene Gonzalez returned to Cuba, after renouncing his US citizenship, a requisite set by North American authorities to modify the conditions of supervised liberty he was supposed to complete after his ex carceration (sic) in October, 2011.

In a meeting with workers of the Cuban Civil Aviation Institute (IACC) González commented that the solidarity movement had to do everything for the return of the other four heroes when they are about to arrive to their 15th years in jails of the United States, reported Cuban TV news.

When Rene Gonzalez referred to this set of activities, he said it is organized by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples from September 5 thru October 6, and should be days of caring and expression of love of the people for them.

Editor’s Note: Prensa Latina (PRELA) and the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) have a long and distinguished history of collaboration with Cuban Intelligence. Use the search icon to review previous coverage of both spy ties.

The Five” remain in prison, in part, for their extensive involvement in Operation Scorpion, the premeditated murder of four Americans flying with a search-and-rescue group known as “Brothers to the Rescue.”

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The Cuban Five: 15 Years Around an Oxymoron 4

By Miguel Fernandez

Shortly after the FBI raid against the Wasp Network on September 12, 1998, Fidel Castro told CNN that his intelligence services infiltrated into the U.S. for gathering “information exclusively on terrorist activities against Cuba. [We] are interested neither in any report on the U.S. military mechanism nor in sending spies to any of the U.S. military bases.”

The conclusive evidence for refuting Castro’s claim is the very communication between his Directorate of Intelligence (DI) in Havana and the Wasp Network in Miami. The FBI deciphered specific orders from the DI and wholehearted attempts of the Wasp Network to infiltrate the South Command (Miami) and the military bases of Boca Chica (Key West) and MacDill (Tampa).

An encrypted message from the DI notified the leader of the cell, Gerardo Hernandez (Giro), that “the Center has decided to assign the South Command, which will be located in Miami soon, to a group of comrades: Mario [Joseph Santos], Julia [Amarylis Silverio], Gabriel [?] and Lorient [Antonio Guerrero], under the leadership of comrade Allan [Ramón Labañino].”

Another message ordered Lorient, who has already got a job in Boca Chica, “to keep on gathering military information [and] to achieve a broader penetration.” Lorient reported back to Giro having befriended some Brian, the son of a military chief in Guantanamo base, and “because of the military ties of this relationship, we will continue developing it (…) Brian is about to start his military service in an Air Force base in Texas [It´s] a relation that surely will provide us important information in the future.”

Thus, it doesn´t matter whether the Wasp Network never got classified military information or put the U.S. national security at risk. It is an issue from old textbooks that conspiring does not concern the outcome, but the agreement and the intention (“Developments in the Law: Criminal Conspiracy,” Harvard Law Review, Vol. 72, No. 5, March 1959, page 922). It is irrelevant even that there wouldn´t have been any intention to inflict damage to the U.S., because espionage is legally defined in a crystal clear disjunctive clause: “to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of a foreign nation” (18 U.S.C. § 794).

For being a spy it is enough to lie in wait at the service of a foreign state. The U.S. National Committee to Free the Cuban Five has simply picked up Castro´s thread to spin a yarn: that intelligence officers and agents from a certain country could infiltrate into another without being deemed as spies.

Russian TV Airs Video by Castro Apologist Saul Landau 3

Will The Real Terrorist Please Stand Up?

(RT) Award-winning director Saul Landau embarks on an in-depth exploration of Miami-Havana politics through the story of the Cuban 5, a group of spies sent by the Castro government to infiltrate right-wing terrorist organizations in Miami. When the spies turned over evidence of US-based terrorism to the FBI, they themselves were arrested, tried, and convicted in Florida courts while the confessed anti-Castro terrorists live freely in Florida.

Due to copyright restrictions, this video can only be viewed on RT’s live feed. Time of broadcast is available on RT’s schedule page

Denounced by Havana! I Must Be Doing Something Right 4

By James Bruno in DIPLO DENIZEN

Whether as a diplomat or as a writer, I don’t feel fully successful in my work unless denounced by oppressive regimes and their propaganda organs. Well, it’s happened again. Yesterday, “El Heraldo Cubano,” denounced me as a “yankee ex-intelligence officer” who helped “carry out subversive actions against the Cuban government.” The Miami Herald describes El Heraldo Cubano as “an official Cuban blog.” A Cuban intellectual and former political prisoner now residing in the United States says that the blog is an arm of Cuban intelligence.

El Heraldo Cubano’s screed is in reaction to my latest political thriller, HAVANA QUEEN, which apparently has come to the attention of both Cuban intellectuals and their government. Emails concerning my book from the former have been forwarded to me. I have no indications yet that copies, digital or print, of HAVANA QUEEN are circulating inside Cuba. My novel poses a scenario for the collapse of the Castro regime. I draw on my service in Cuba as well as copious research.

Anyway, here are highlights of the denunciation, translated into English:

“With all that information, Bruno decided to fictionalize his experiences in a kind of thiller, under the suggestive title of Havana Queen, where he distorts the internal situation and invents others, with views that were approved by the Department of State in their prior security review done as a security measure to prevent information leaks that reveal the espionage work of the American federal intelligence agencies and, in particular, the Defense Intelligence Agency.

“Unintentionally, James Bruno confirmed in Havana Queen that which Cuba has denounced repeatedly, that the United States uses its diplomatic mission in Havana as a headquarters for human and technological spying, while it selects, trains and finances counterrevolutionary elements to carry out subversive acts against the Cuban government.

“If someday this outdated policy is replaced by one that recognizes the right of Cubans to choose the political and social system they want to, allowing Americans to freely visit the island, and in the United States they detect Bruno’s absence, remember his prophecy: “If I go missing, look for me… in Cuba.”

Well, what can I say? First, thanks to El Heraldo Cubano for adding to my authorial notoriety. We writers crave attention and, the more controversial, the better. History has shown that official condemnations have done wonders for authors’ book sales. Boris Pasternak comes to mind. While by no means in his league, I can use all the denunciations I can get. Tell you what, Heraldo Cubano: should you need more fodder for your anti-Bruno propagandizing, just shoot me an email. I’ll be glad to send you more dirt on myself.

But… I can’t consider myself to be a true thriller writer success and victim of oppression unless I hit the Big Leagues. I really, really would love to be denounced by the biggest kahouna in the vast Castro propaganda machine: the official organ of the Cuban communist party, Granma! Hey, Heraldo Cubano — how about putting in a bad word for me??

“Intelligence Front” to Host Solidarity Meeting Marking the Destruction of the Wasp Network (Sep 12th) Reply

Solidarity Meeting with Cuban Five Convoked

Havana, (Prensa Latina) The Cuban Institute of Friendship with Peoples of the World (ICAP) convoked an International Meeting of Solidarity for the Release of the Cuban Five Wednesday. The meeting will be held in this capital on September 12.

The purpose of the meeting is to strengthen the world campaign for the liberation of the four Cuban heroes who are still imprisoned in US since 1998. Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando Gonzalez, Ramón Labañino and René Gonzalez were arrested and condemned to severe penal sentences for alerting Cuba on plans for actions that have been set by US extreme right groups.

René Gonzalez, after fulfilling his sentence in prison started three years of supervised prison in US national territory, but those conditions were modified by Judge Joan Lenard on May 3. Lenard accepted that Gonzalez might stay in Cuba in exchange for his resignation to his US citizenship, which was granted to him by the US authorities on May 9.

The convoking said that there is no other alternative to bet on the world solidarity to reach the people of the US.

Lenard has not pronounced on the appeals of Habeas Corpus by Gerardo, Ramon, Antonio and Fernando, the text of the document said. The court did not decide anything in relation to the requests to force Washington to reveal what it hides on the illegal operation by means of which it organized, led and paid a group of journalists and communication media, which made a campaign with hatred and threatening that turned the trial in Miami into a farce, said the document.

Gerardo keeps waiting for the granting of an audience in which he could refute the most serious and entirely false accusation for which he was condemned to die in prison. The text said the court continues without deciding regarding the US government’s unusual motion that seeks to eliminate a substantial part of his Habeas Corpus; or on the demand to Washington to show the satellite images of the incident on February 24, 1996.

Millions of US citizens remain unaware to the truth on the case of the Five and it becomes urgent to take it to the public opinion, person to person and through the new technologies of information and communication.

Different entities and people demand US President Barack Obama to make use of their prerogatives and free the antiterrorist patriots, said the document finally.

Editor’s Note: An “Intelligence Front” is an entity created, controlled, or heavily influenced by a spy service to both support its espionage missions and mask the actions of the intelligence service and its personnel.

The Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) operates under the strong influence of the Directorate of Intelligence (DI). A keyword search on this topic will list this site’s extensive coverage.

Colombia’s FARC Rebels Suspend Peace Talks In Havana 2

Fox News Latino

Havana – Due to President Juan Manuel Santos’ refusal to agree to modify the constitution if a peace pact is struck, Colombia’s largest guerrilla army temporarily walked away Friday from peace talks with the government.

It is the first time either side has broken off negotiations that began last year in Havana, other than for planned recesses. But the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, stopped short of pulling out of the peace process entirely.

The move comes after Santos announced Thursday night that he was asking Congress to consider a bill that would let a public referendum on an eventual peace deal coincide with congressional or presidential elections next year. His proposal for the referendum falls short of the constitutional convention sought by the FARC. The government and rebels have long been at odds on the issue, and Santos’ decision prompted the rebels to call a time-out to regroup. “The FARC has decided to take a pause from the discussion table to focus exclusively on analyzing the reach of the government proposal, without detriment to the internal consultation it must perform as an organization,” the rebels said in a statement read to reporters by Jorge Torres Victoria, a high-ranking leader who goes by the nom de guerre Pablo Catatumbo.

The FARC did not say how long it would stay away from the negotiations. Humberto de la Calle, Santos’ lead negotiator at the Havana talks, said “the government remains at the table. … We hope (this pause) is brief.” Speaking at a public event in the northwestern department of Choco on Friday, Santos struck an optimistic tone. “It is perfectly legitimate and valid for (the FARC) to study this proposal,” the president said, “but time passes and the Colombian people’s patience has a limit, and we have to keep moving forward in the talks.”

However he later ordered his negotiating team to return to Bogota to evaluate the guerrillas’ move, and said they would resume talks “when we consider it appropriate.”
“It is not the FARC that decrees pauses and imposes conditions,” Santos said.

On Thursday he presented Congress with a bill to lift the prohibition on referendums being held in the same vote as presidential or congressional elections. Santos is expected to run for a second term in elections next May, and legislative elections are in March.

De la Calle said the aim of the referendum bill is to encourage increased participation by linking it to an election. “The government remains at the table. … We hope (this pause) is brief,” he said.

Santos ally Simón Gaviria of the Liberal Party said holding the referendum at the same time as a scheduled election would save the nation $93.6 million. He said he was not concerned by the FARC’s suspension of talks. “It seems to us that, without a doubt, this is a process of negotiation. … It does not worry us, nor do we think we have to take the FARC into consideration to make these changes (to electoral rules).”

Opposition lawmaker Iván Cepeda of the Alternative Democratic Pole party criticized Santos for apparently making the decision unilaterally without involving the FARC negotiators. “A decision of this nature pertaining to timing should be fully agreed to by both sides,” Cepeda said.

Formed in the 1960s, the FARC is the oldest active guerrilla army in the Western Hemisphere. Before Friday’s pause, talks were focused on the second item on a six-point agenda: the rebels’ political integration in a post-conflict Colombia. Earlier this year a preliminary accord was struck on the first item, agrarian reform, a key issue at the root of the decades-old armed conflict. “We have made much progress, I must reiterate that point,” Santos said. “The agreement we reached on the first point is a transcendental agreement. Nobody, or few, imagined we would reach a deal on that first point.”

Editor’s Note: For background on Cuban Intelligence influence over the FARC, see:

Does Castro Control Colombia’s FARC?

Cuba Dupes UPI; Uses Peace Talks to Hide Decades of Support to FARC Terrorists

Cuba’s Global Network of Terrorism, Intelligence, & Warfare

September 12th: Castro Apologists to Mark 15th Anniversary of Wasp Network’s Destruction 1

Activists Call Demonstration for the Cuban Five in Washington D.C.

HAVANA, Cuba, Aug 19 (ACN) Activists in the United States will stage a vigil in front of the White House September 12, marking the 15th anniversary of the imprisonment of the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters in US jails, to urge President Barack Obama to release the heroes and allow them to return home.

The activists will stage their action bearing posters and banners with slogans reading “Its Enough,” “End the Injustice,” “Freedom of the Cuban Five Now,” as part of a monthly initiative to put pressure on the US President to use his constitutional power and free Gerardo Hernandez, Ramon Labanino, Antonio Guerrero and Fernando Gonzalez who, along Rene Gonzalez, already in Cuba, were arrested in 1998 after they monitored US-based terrorist organizations.

The call to the action was published by the International Committee for the Freedom of the Five, members of which, along other friends of Cuba, will visit Capitol Hill to continue meeting with US legislators, they originally met with in June and ask them to support the campaign for the release of the Cuban heroes.

As part of actions, Canadian author Stephen Kimber is expected to speak in seven rallies that will take place in eastern United States about his most recent book on the Cuban Five. Kimber will be joined by US philosopher and political analyst Noam Chomsky in Boston, Massachusetts, and by lawyer Martin Garbus, who is part of the defense team for the Cuban Five.

Experts have agreed that the sentences given to the five Cubans were irrational as Gerardo Hernandez was sentenced to two life terms plus 15 years, Ramon Labanino was given 30 years, Antonio Guerrero 21 years plus 10 months and a five-year probation, and Fernando Gonzalez was sentenced to 17 years plus nine months.

Rene Gonzalez met 85 percent of his original 15-year prison sentence in 2011 and he managed to have his parole conditions modified in order to stay in Cuba, by renouncing his American citizenship.

The International Committee for the Freedom of the Five has repeatedly called for increasing actions in favor of the anti-terrorist Cubans by stressing that there is no point in waiting for them to be released from prison after meeting their sentences, because one of them, Gerardo Hernandez has no date on the calendar.

A UN panel questioned, in 2005, the illegal and arbitrary arrest of the Cuban Five and concluded that analysis by suggesting the immediate solution to the case; however, the US administration has done nothing in that respect.

Latest Cuban Police Tactic: Freeing Detained Dissidents in Remote Areas Far From Their Homes 3

By Juan O. Tamayo, jtamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com

Cuban dissident Ana Celia Rodríguez Torres says police arrested her, punched her and kept her all day in a scorching hot bus, then freed her the next morning in a remote farming area 20 miles from her home. Another dissident in the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba reports similar treatment. Yasnay Ferrer Santos says she was yanked violently out of a car, held in a patrol car all day and all night and then freed on a rural road 10 miles from her home.

Dissidents and human rights leaders say those incidents are part of a recent shift in tactics that Cuban security forces are using against domestic opponents. Increasingly, they are resorting to physical force and dumping dissidents in isolated areas to harass and intimidate them, say human rights leaders. “It’s been happening dozens of time, too many times to count, hundreds just with UNPACU” members, said José Daniel Ferrer, head of the opposition Patriotic Union of Cuba. Its Spanish-language acronym is UNPACU.
Ferrer and Elizardo Sánchez Santa Cruz, head of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation in Havana, say the shift began in May.

On May 1, the United Nations’ Human Rights Council in Switzerland issued a report criticizing the Cuban government’s record — specifically expressing concern over a spike in the number of short-term detentions of dissidents. Such detentions, usually in police stations, soared from 2,074 in 2010 to 6,602 last year. The rise was perceived as the result of an effort by Cuba’s leader, Raúl Castro, to move away from the notoriously long prison sentences common under his brother Fidel Castro while keeping up the pressure on dissidents. The short-term detentions have now slowed significantly, with 2,376 reported in the first seven months of this year, compared to 4,051 in the same period last year, according to the latest report by Sánchez’s group.

But now the state security apparatus in the Western Hemisphere’s only communist-ruled nation is increasingly resorting to other tactics, Ferrer and Sánchez agreed. In addition to physical violence and the drop-offs in remote areas, they reported vandalism of dissidents’ homes and “acts of repudiation” by government-organized mobs. Three UNPACU members have been mugged at night by young men in civilian clothes, Ferrer said. In one case the attackers were known employees of government sports centers apparently acting on orders of state security agents, he added. State Security officers watching some of the arrests have been heard ordering their men to punch dissidents who lead the protests or shout the loudest, Ferrer added, and dissidents are reporting more injuries during their arrests.

Sanchez concurred and said his commission also has been receiving reports of attacks on the homes of dissidents with rocks, paint and feces and pro-government demonstrations in front of the homes.

But the most significant change ….

Read more here: Latest Cuban Police Tactic: Freeing Detained Dissidents in Remote Areas Far From Their Homes

Interview with Leticia Ramos in Regards to State Security Tactics, Kidnapping and Persecution 1

by Pedazos de la Isla

On Sunday, August 18th, the Cuban regime once again attacked the Ladies in White and various dissidents in the province of Matanzas through arrests, beatings and acts of repudiation. There were also cases of repression in the province of Santiago de Cuba, where paramilitary mobs repudiated and attacked a number of women inside a house. Despite the violence, more than 200 members of the Ladies in White were able to march and arrive at Mass, according to this article published by ‘Marti Noticias’. In this blog, we will publish a series of interviews with various Cubans who have been repressed in these past days but continue expressing their ideas in favor of change and freedom.

Story continues here: Interview with Leticia Ramos in regards to State Security tactics, kidnapping and persecution