Cuba Awards Medals to US “Cuban Five” Activists Reply

Alicia Jrapko and Bill Hackwell

Alicia Jrapko and Bill Hackwell

By Chris Simmons

Argentine-born activist Alicia Jrapko and her life partner, Bill Hackwell, were awarded the Cuban Friendship Medal by the Cuban State Council late last week. The dubious honor was initiated by the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples of the World (ICAP). Both activists work for the International Committee for the Release of the Cuban Five. Jrapko later spoke at a press conference with reporters at ICAP, where she lavished praise on the incarcerated spies. ICAP’s role in these honorifics is undoubtedly tied to long-term collaboration with the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), which dates back over 30 years. That said, ICAP is not a DI entity per se, but is believed to be roughly 90% DI-affiliated due to a large pool of collaborators who serve the small team of ICAP-embedded DI officers.

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