Respected Defector Exposes Cuba’s Intelligence Presence in Cold War Ecuador 4

Legendary Cuban Spy-Master, Manuel Pineiro Losada

Legendary Cuban Spy-Master, Manuel Pineiro Losada

By Chris Simmons

Former Dirección General De Inteligencia (DGI) officer Enrique García Diaz reports that prior to the 1979 re-establishment of diplomatic ties, Cuban intelligence maintained three positions in Quito. DGI officer Boris Castillo Barroso held a position in the Latin America Energy Organization (OLADE), while Luis Enrique Benites Montero “Enrique” and Javier Buduen Martinez “Miguel Angel” served undercover with the Centro Internacional de Estudios Superiores de Comunicación para América Latina (CIESPAL).

When official ties between the two nations warmed, the Cuban Embassy was allowed to re-open on August 24, 1979. Thereafter, Castillo established the DGI Centro within the safety of Havana’s diplomatic facility. He would later be assisted by Commercial Attaché and fellow DGI officer Roberto Oliva, whom the CIA took note of in December 1981.

Oliva is a likely match for Roberto Oliva Ibarra, a Cuban official assigned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) who served as a representative to the United Nation’s Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) during the latter half of the 1970s.

García Diaz said another spy assigned to the very small Embassy was Prensa Latina Correspondent and Departamento America (DA) asset Oscar Perdomo Marin, first posted to Ecuador in June 1974. Perdomo’s DA affiliation meant he worked targets and responsibilities outside the control of the DGI Centro. The Venezuelan asset was a friend of legendary Cuban spymaster Manuel Piñeiro Losada. During the early 1980s, Perdomo’s boss in Havana was the DA’s South America Section Chief, Jose Miguel Guerra Diaz, who also personally directed DA operations in Ecuador.

Relations between Quito and Havana were downgraded to a Chargé d’affaires in April 1981. A Chargé is the lowest rank of diplomatic representative recognized under international law. José Francisco Ross Paz arrived that July as the Chargé, only to be identified by the Washington Times as a DA officer on August 25, 1983.

The second DGI Centro Chief in Ecuador was Hermes Cachon Gacita noted García Diaz. He reportedly arrived in Quito in 1983 for a three year posting using a non-traditional cover assignment. Roughly concurrent with the change in Centro Chiefs was the return of Javier Buduen Martinez, this time as Commercial Attaché. Other newcomers included Buduen’s wife “Elvirita” and Luis Enrique Benites Montero, who took Castillo’s former position in OLADE.

Ambassadorial-level relations were re-established on January 24, 1984 and DGI Officer Carlos Rafael Zamora Rodriguez was immediately assigned as ambassador.  He was accompanied by his spy-wife, Maura Juan Perez. Shortly thereafter, Guerra Diaz, the former DA Section Chief for South America, arrived in Ecuador as the new First Secretary. Two years later, the DGI Centro welcomed Nelson Quesada (Carlos Alfonso) and Ricardo Cruz Fernandez (Max).

Ambassador Zamora and his wife remained in Ecuador until 1989. Public records show by the year 2000, he was Havana’s Ambassador to Panama and several years later became the regime’s Ambassador to Brazil, a position he held until 2013.


  1. Thank you Mr .Simmons, if you ever get the opportunity and think that it is
    appropriate, elaborate on a
    1961, Ireneo Leon and what happened to him? Also on Domingo Calabaza, and
    Carlos Candelario, as for my father, I know he is no longer alive, and the
    others are probably also.
    Thank you for the fascinated information you write in your column.

  2. Pingback: Cuban defector exposes Castro regime’s intelligence operations in Ecuador during Cold War | Babalú Blog

  3. Now a days,the Russian “President’ Vladimir Putin is trying to increase his country’s sphere of influence in Latin America and
    he is instigating the South American countries to form a coalition against the US.Putin appears to be very frustrated with the Set back in Ukraine and he is trying to make the US Policy makers paid for their decision to support Ukraine.
    Cuba is trying to get back the countries they used to support,In Nicaragua a leftist government is in place and the same situation is in El Salvador.We must expect a greater Cuban interference in Latin America as a proxy nation working for the
    Russians.Raul Castro this alcoholic evil is trying to revive the cold war with the help of a Thug named Putin.
    Cuba as we all know was instrumental in the coming to power if Ayende in Chile and the support of the Farabundo Marti
    guerrillas in El Salvador and the Montoneros of Argentina.Cuba was also a right arm in Hugo Chavez coup attempt and his
    Government take over of Venezuela.

  4. Manuel Pineiro Losada was murdered by Castro regime,he died in an automobile accident???The same way that Abrahantes
    and the officers in charge of the massacre of the passengers of the tug boat 13 de Marzo died.It is coincidental that all of them died of Heart attacks?Interesting.

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