New York Daily News Uses “Former” Cuban Spies as Unattributed Sources in “Handshake” Coverage 1

The recent article by Albor Ruiz “Obama-Castro Handshake More Than Just a Gesture” used former Cuban Intelligence Officers Jesús Arboleya and Arturo López-Levy as central sources in the feature. However, Ruiz failed to identify either man as a former spy, instead referencing Arboleya as a “Cuban writer and political analyst” and López-Levy as a “Cuba expert and Political Science professor at the University of Denver.”

Editor’s Note: Colonel Jesus Arboleya Cervera was identified by intelligence service defector Jesus Perez Mendez in 1983. Years later, Arboleya’s intelligence service was further corroborated by convicted spy Carlos Alvarez.

Arboleya served as a Second Secretary at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations in New York City before transferring to the Washington-based Cuban Interests Section. During his US tour, Arboleya was the architect of the 1970’s US-Cuba normalization drive, which almost succeeded in 1977 following the formation of a group of prominent Cuban-Americans who called themselves the Committee of 75. Although headed by respectable Cuban-Americans, including two clerics and several businessmen, the Committee was inspired by the DGI, (then) Cuba’s primary foreign intelligence service. According to Senate testimony of March 12, 1982, at the time, Arboleya may have been the longest serving DGI officer in the United States.

Arturo Lopez-Levy is a self-professed “former” Intelligence Officer in Havana’s dreaded Ministry of the Interior (MININT). He is also a relative of MININT Col. Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas, Raul Castro’s son-in-law and head of GAESA, the regime’s business monopoly.

One comment

  1. Albor Ruiz Salazar was born in Cardenas, Cuba, in 1940, where his father was a grocer who was later imprisoned by the Castro regime. He converted to Catholicism and studied to be a priest. Ruiz left Cuba in 1961 and joined the anti-Communist Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE). He was with DRE members Juan Manuel Salvat, Jose Basulto and others on August 24, 1962, when from two speed boats on the Havana coast they fired 20mm. cannon shells that hit the Sierra Maestra hotel, the Chaplin theater and residences in the Miramar neighborhood. Cuba has repeatedly denounced this as a terrorist act, but while blaming Basulto and Salvat, always omit Albor Ruiz. He later attended the University of Florida at Gainsville, studying philosophy and journalism. While there, Ruiz joined cause with leftist Cubans and with them was a founder of the pro-Castro magazine Areito in April 1974. He wrote articles in Areito until it folded a decade later. Ruiz was living in Miami Beach on January 12, 1977, when he declared his intention to become a citizen of the United States. He was teaching at Miami-Dade Community College when he joined the 140 participants of the so-called “dialogue” with Fidel Castro on December 8, 1978. In consequence, on January 11, 1979, he was appointed second vice-president of the Committee of 75, group that spawned out of the meeting with Castro and was controlled by the Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI). Two weeks later, Ruiz was promoted to executive secretary of the Committee of 75 receiving an annual salary of $25,000. By March 1979, he was the executive director of the Committee of 75, which imploded due to internal squabbling in October 1980. Earlier that year, Committee of 75 turncoat Rev. Manuel Espinosa publicly accused Ruiz of being a paid Castro agent. Espinosa also identified Ruiz as a member of the pro-Castro Antonio Maceo Brigade. Ruiz moved to New York City soon after and established frequent contact with the Cuban Mission to the United Nations and Puerto Rican and Chilean radical groups. However, DGI defector Capt. Juan Perez Mendez, in an FBI debriefing in 1983 indicated that Cuban intelligence considered the inveterate bachelor as “unstable.” Ruiz taught at Hunter College and was editorial writer and columnist for El Diario-La Prensa. In 1993 he was hired by the New York Daily News, where he started penning a column four years later that championed leftist and gay causes. Earlier this year, Ruiz was demoted at the Daily News from columnist to freelance writer.

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