By Chris Simmons
Former Dirección General de Inteligencia (DGI) officer Enrique García Diaz identified Leda Elvira Peña Hernández as a career DGI officer.
Peña Hernández, the second Cuban Ambassador to Costa Rica, died on June 26. She had served as Ambassador since September 2012. A previous “diplomatic-cover” posting included Counselor at the Cuban Embassy in Italy, which began in September 2002. According to Granma, she was born in Villa Clara on September 14, 1949 and held a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Masters in Social Science. She spoke Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.
García Diaz first met Peña Hernández (“Elvirita”) in January 1979 in what is now called Department M-II (Latin America) of the Directorate of Intelligence (DI). At that time, she had served as a member of the “Brazil Desk” in Havana for more than six years.
She was married to fellow M-II officer Javier Martinez Buduen (“Miguel Angel”). The couple had two children. In 1983 he was appointed commercial attaché at the Cuban Embassy in Ecuador. She accompanied him and served in the DGI Centro hidden within the Embassy. They returned to Cuba in 1986 and she became a member of the “Ecuador Desk” at DGI headquarters.
García Diaz observed that she held a reputation as a solid professional, while Buduen was respected as a dedicated worker. The husband-wife team joined the DGI in 1974.