Cuban Spies Operate Inside the US Using “Sophisticated Espionage and Tradecraft,” Says Rep. Ros Lehtinen 2

“Every day these brutal thugs continue to repress 11 million Cubans who yearn for freedom and the respect of their basic human rights. But the regime isn’t just a threat to the people of Cuba. They also operate within the United States, with sophisticated espionage, tradecraft, and are allies of our worst enemies”, says Rep. Ros-Lehtinen.

“Every day these brutal thugs continue to repress 11 million Cubans who yearn for freedom and the respect of their basic human rights. But the regime isn’t just a threat to the people of Cuba. They also operate within the United States, with sophisticated espionage, tradecraft, and are allies of our worst enemies”, says Rep. Ros-Lehtinen.

On December 9, 2014 Rep. ROS-LEHTINEN of Flordia asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for 5 minutes regarding Cuba. There she blasted the regime for human rights abuses and espionage:

“Mr. Speaker, just 90 miles from U.S. shores the most repressive human rights abuses in our hemisphere are being perpetrated by a regime that has shown no respect for human life and that will never change as long as the Castro brothers and their kind remain in power in Cuba.

Every day these brutal thugs continue to repress 11 million Cubans who yearn for freedom and the respect of their basic human rights. But the regime isn’t just a threat to the people of Cuba. They also operate within the United States, with sophisticated espionage, tradecraft, and are allies of our worst enemies.

We have but to remember the story of Ana Belen Montes. A senior analyst in our Defense Intelligence Agency, Ana Belen Montes was one of the masterminds of Cuba intelligence in the U.S. She was the top spy for the Castro regime and undermined U.S. foreign policy efforts throughout the world due to her nefarious espionage activities. She is certainly serving a long sentence in Texas.

But Castro also harbors fugitives from U.S. law, such as Joanne Chesimard. She is a New Jersey cop killer and earned the terrible distinction of being the first woman on the FBI’s most wanted list of terrorists.

In 2001, Fidel Castro went to Iran and met with Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei, and Castro said at that time: Together, Cuba and Iran will bring America to its knees.

These are just a few of the examples of why it is imperative for the Obama administration to get tough with Castro, not only to protect our U.S. national security interests, but also to extend a helpful hand to the pro-democracy leaders on the island who are struggling for freedom.

The Cuban regime continues to repress independent journalists, human rights activists, and commits arbitrary detentions every day, all to thwart any attempt at the exercise of freedom of expression. I will show you just a few of the names and faces of the voices of those opposition leaders in the push for freedom on the island, and each deserves the attention of this body.

Mr. Speaker, this is Berta Soler. Berta Soler is the leader of a movement called Ladies in White, Las Damas de Blanco, a group of women tirelessly advocating for the release of political prisoners in Cuba. These courageous women walk to mass peacefully holding up flowers and are met with brutal attacks by Castro’s state security. Berta Soler became the leader of this organization after the death of her predecessor, Laura Pollan.

Laura Pollan started this movement in Cuba. She died under mysterious causes in October 2011. Many people in the island and outside have blamed the Castro regime for the unfortunate and suspicious circumstances of her passing.

We also have many pro-democracy leaders who are still languishing in Cuban jails, and these are some of their faces. This first young man, his name is Angel Yunier Remon. He is also known as El Critico. He is another face of repression on the island. Angel was arrested in March for criticizing the Castro regime’s brutal human rights abuses and the oppression of 11 million of his fellow countrymen. To this day, El Critico remains in prison for the mere crime of simply expressing his right to address grievances through rhyme.

Then there is the face of Sonia Garro. Sonia is another member of the Ladies in White. Sonia and her husband were arrested 2 years ago in a violent raid. Her trial has been suspended four times without an explanation or any reason being given.

Along with Sonia, fighting for the causes of freedom and liberty is this young man, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, better known as Antunez, who has been in prison in Castro’s gulag for nearly 17 years. Antunez and his wife, Yris, have repeatedly been assaulted and beaten by state security forces, and their scars tell a story of resilience and commitment to the cause of freedom on the island. They are free now, but one does not know for how long.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, there is the case of Juan Carlos Gonzalez, another freedom fighter I would like to highlight. He is a lawyer who is blind. He has spent years defending the human rights of the Cuban people.

These are just a few of the faces of the pro-human rights activists in Cuba, Mr. Speaker. I could not possibly cover the face of every single dissident on the island, but these faces are representative of the horrors of the Cuban regime and the horrors that liberty fighters face there every day; and that is why, Mr. Speaker, it is our moral obligation to stand in solidarity with these pro-democracy activists and to be a voice for 11 million people who are being oppressed and silenced in Cuba.”

Source: Congressional Record via Common Ground

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2 comments

  1. On December 9, 2014 Rep. ROS-LEHTINEN of Florida asked for and was granted permission to address the United States House of Representatives for 5 minutes regarding Cuba. There she blasted the regime for human rights abuses and espionage:

    Iliana Ros-Lethinen stated:

    “Mr. Speaker, just 90 miles from U.S. shores the most repressive human rights abuses in our hemisphere are being perpetrated by a regime that has shown no respect for human life and that will never change as long as the Castro brothers and their kind remain in power in Cuba.”

    Reply by Jorge Garrido:

    “Mr. Speaker, contrary to what Ileana Ros-Lethinen states and as you well know, the United States’ economic embargo of Cuba, in place for more than half a century, continues to impose extreme indiscriminate hardship, inhumanely, on the people of Cuba and has done nothing to improve the country’s advancement of human rights. This is fact. But instead, the U.S. imposed trade embargo against Cuba, has become the major cause of further human rights restrictions being implemented by the governing body of that nation, to maintain law and order within its civil society to prevent any menace to its form of government. The U.S. is no different, after the passage of the U.S. Patriot Act, seemed by many U.S. citizens as restrictive measures of law and a menace to the resulting reduced American freedoms, but deemed necessary by the U.S. government to prevent domestic turmoil. The United Nations General Assembly in October, 188 of the 192 member countries voted for a resolution condemning the US embargo.”

    Iliana Ros-Lethinen stated:

    Every day these brutal thugs continue to repress 11 million Cubans who yearn for freedom and the respect of their basic human rights. But the regime isn’t just a threat to the people of Cuba. They also operate within the United States, with sophisticated espionage, tradecraft, and are allies of our worst enemies.

    Reply by Jorge Garrido:

    “Mr. Speaker, you just read Iliana Ros-Lethinen´s claim of 11 million people yearning in Cuba for freedom. The reality is, Cuba has approximately 3.4 million households with 30% (thirty percent) of the population between the ages of 0 to 24 years of age, and 23% (twenty three percent) of the population over 55+ years of age. These two dominant demographic groups comprise more than half of the total population in Cuba or 53% (fifty three percent) of the population in Cuba. That population is unaffected from such claims, because this population is either in school or retired. Therefore, 11 million Cubans do not yearn for what Ms. Ros-Lethinen alleged is freedom, but instead they—as well as the balance of the population of Cuba, yearn for better living economic conditions, that will result from the lowering of the U.S. trade embargo. And as you–also–well know, Mr. Speaker, human behavior regardless of the country on the planet as commuted throughout its civil citizenry will tend to react to produce a display of civil comportment in similar fashion as when the basic primary human life´s necessities, such as food, clothing and shelter are threatened by lower standard of living conditions.

    Such is what has been predicated from an outward economic imprisonment of the people of Cuba created by the U.S. trade embargo. Cuba is no different. People in Cuba need to eat, clothe, educate themselves, remain healthy, have leisure time available and have the ability to get along well with its neighbors. This is a necessity of every country. Therefore, Mr. Speaker, 11 million Cubans who live in 3.4 million households, a population cluster the size of Fort Lauderdale/Miami market need the U.S. trade embargo lowered to advance their opportunities of better living conditions and a better way of life, as U.S. citizens desire too. All of this created from the freedom to conduct trade and commerce between the two nations, the United States and Cuba. Anything else is pure cheap electoral demagoguery that ironically will soon find itself in a diminished percentage of the total voting population of South Florida.

    In fact the part of that community which Iliana Ros-Lethinen represent composed mostly of the Cuban exile radical posture fast disappearing, confirms what I say here by their statements in the media and in general in South Florida that the new Cubans arriving from Cuba are economic exiles.

    That is a perfect confirmation of what I state here for the record and for history. Anyone advocating for the promulgation of personal economic hardships for the people of Cuba, in my opinion, is not a good Cuban but a good politician trying to maintain the voting viability from a South Florida voting constituency that will never go back to Cuba and that have a personal ax to grind wit Fidel Castro as a bigger objective than creating better living conditions in the island. Sad but true.

    I would rather see the people of my homeland country of origin under better living conditions even if it meant I didn´t agree with governmental policies. People have a right to make their own choices, Cuba and its people do too.

    Iliana Ros-Lethinen:

    We have but to remember the story of Ana Belen Montes. A senior analyst in our Defense Intelligence Agency, Ana Belen Montes was one of the masterminds of Cuba intelligence in the U.S. She was the top spy for the Castro regime and undermined U.S. foreign policy efforts throughout the world due to her nefarious espionage activities. She is certainly serving a long sentence in Texas.

    But Castro also harbors fugitives from U.S. law, such as Joanne Chesimard. She is a New Jersey cop killer and earned the terrible distinction of being the first woman on the FBI’s most wanted list of terrorists.

    Reply by Jorge Garrido:

    Mr. Speaker, I´m sure you will also remember our government also harbored fugitives and killers of Jews, on United States soil, after second world war and not just one but over two hundred murderers and fugitives. You will recall Mr. Speaker, officers from the Hitler´s SS where part of “Operation Paperclip” which was from the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) program in which over 1,500 German scientists, technicians, and engineers from Nazi Germany and other foreign countries were brought to the United States for employment in the aftermath of World War II. It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA), and in the context of the burgeoning Cold War. One purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific expertise and knowledge to the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom, as well as inhibiting post-war Germany from redeveloping its military research capabilities.

    You will remember Mr. Speaker, although the JIOA’s recruitment of German scientists began after the Allied victory in Europe on May 8, 1945, U.S. President Harry Truman did not formally order the execution of Operation Paperclip until August 1945. Truman’s order expressly excluded anyone found “to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazi militarism”. However, those restrictions would have rendered ineligible most of the leading scientists the JIOA had identified for recruitment, among them rocket scientists Wernher Von Braun, Kurt H. Debus and Arthur Rudolph, and the physician Hubertus Strughold, each earlier classified as a “menace to the security of the Allied Forces”. The Allied Forces lost thousands of lives at the hands of the Nazi enemy. To circumvent President Truman’s anti-Nazi order and the Allied Potsdam and Yalta agreements, the JIOA worked independently to create false employment and political biographies for the scientists. The JIOA also expunged from the public record the scientists’ Nazi Party memberships and regime affiliations. Once “bleached” of their Nazism, the scientists were granted security clearances by the U.S. government to work in the United States. Paperclip, the project’s operational name, derived from the paperclips used to attach the scientists’ new political personae to their “US Government Scientist” JIOA personnel files.

    Iliana Ros-Lethinen:

    In 2001, Fidel Castro went to Iran and met with Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei, and Castro said at that time: Together, Cuba and Iran will bring America to its knees.

    These are just a few of the examples of why it is imperative for the Obama administration to get tough with Castro, not only to protect our U.S. national security interests, but also to extend a helpful hand to the pro-democracy leaders on the island who are struggling for freedom.

    The Cuban regime continues to repress independent journalists, human rights activists, and commits arbitrary detentions every day, all to thwart any attempt at the exercise of freedom of expression. I will show you just a few of the names and faces of the voices of those opposition leaders in the push for freedom on the island, and each deserves the attention of this body.

    Mr. Speaker, this is Berta Soler. Berta Soler is the leader of a movement called Ladies in White, Las Damas de Blanco, a group of women tirelessly advocating for the release of political prisoners in Cuba. These courageous women walk to mass peacefully holding up flowers and are met with brutal attacks by Castro’s state security. Berta Soler became the leader of this organization after the death of her predecessor, Laura Pollan. Laura Pollan started this movement in Cuba. She died under mysterious causes in October 2011. Many people in the island and outside have blamed the Castro regime for the unfortunate and suspicious circumstances of her passing.

    We also have many pro-democracy leaders who are still languishing in Cuban jails, and these are some of their faces. This first young man, his name is Angel Yunier Remon. He is also known as El Critico. He is another face of repression on the island. Angel was arrested in March for criticizing the Castro regime’s brutal human rights abuses and the oppression of 11 million of his fellow countrymen. To this day, El Critico remains in prison for the mere crime of simply expressing his right to address grievances through rhyme.

    Then there is the face of Sonia Garro. Sonia is another member of the Ladies in White. Sonia and her husband were arrested 2 years ago in a violent raid. Her trial has been suspended four times without an explanation or any reason being given.
    Along with Sonia, fighting for the causes of freedom and liberty is this young man,

    Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, better known as Antunez, who has been in prison in Castro’s gulag for nearly 17 years. Antunez and his wife, Yris, have repeatedly been assaulted and beaten by state security forces, and their scars tell a story of resilience and commitment to the cause of freedom on the island. They are free now, but one does not know for how long.

    Lastly, Mr. Speaker, there is the case of Juan Carlos Gonzalez, another freedom fighter I would like to highlight. He is a lawyer who is blind. He has spent years defending the human rights of the Cuban people.

    Reply by Jorge Garrido:

    The United States and Cuba have very similar laws—almost exacting laws—regarding the dilution of any kind or in any way of its form of government by any individual groups who may want to advocate the overthrow of the U.S. government or the Cuban government, although we have very different forms of governments between Cuba and the U.S.

    How can a congressperson not know this and ask for five minutes to talk before the U.S. government body on something that is equal under the law in both countries; Cuba and the United States. Euclid the father of Geometry created a tested axiom: “Two things equal to another third are equal amongst themselves.”

    I suggest this be the plateau starting point to re-understand our different forms of governments between Cuba and the United States, but also to look deeper into how we are similar, in many ways, and perhaps in many ways not, but can cooperate with each other as good neighbor nations in an ever changing more dangerous world (the latter is another subject for later).

    Here´s what the U.S. law strictly dictates and is precisely what Cuba is enforcing in its own laws:

    1.) 18 U.S.C. § 2385: US Code Section 2385: Advocating Overthrow of Government

    a.) Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government;

    b.) Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or

    c.) Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof – Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction. If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction. As used in this section, the terms “organizes” and “organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the re-grouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.

    2.) 18 U.S.C. § 2384: US Code – Section 2384: Seditious conspiracy

    If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.

    3.) 18 U.S.C. § 2383: US Code – Section 2383: Rebellion or insurrection

    a.) Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.

    Iliana Ros-Lethinen stated:

    These are just a few of the faces of the pro-human rights activists in Cuba, Mr. Speaker. I could not possibly cover the face of every single dissident on the island, but these faces are representative of the horrors of the Cuban regime and the horrors that liberty fighters face there every day; and that is why, Mr. Speaker, it is our moral obligation to stand in solidarity with these pro-democracy activists and to be a voice for 11 million people who are being oppressed and silenced in Cuba.”

    Reply by Jorge Garrido:

    You have read and learned as many Americans have about the Great Depression in the United States. It began in 1929 when, in a period of ten weeks, stocks on the New York Stock Exchange lost 50 percent of their value. As stocks continued to fall during the early 1930s, businesses failed, and unemployment rose dramatically. By 1932, one of every four workers was unemployed. Banks failed and life savings were lost, leaving many Americans destitute. With no job and no savings, thousands of Americans lost their homes. The poor congregated in cardboard shacks in so-called Hoovervilles on the edges of cities across the nation; hundreds of thousands of the unemployed roamed the country on foot and in boxcars in futile search of jobs. Although few starved, hunger and malnutrition affected many.

    In a country with abundant resources, the largest force of skilled labor, and the most productive industry in the world, many found it hard to understand why the depression had occurred and why it could not be resolved. Moreover, it was difficult for many to understand why people should go hungry in a country possessing huge food surpluses. Blaming Wall Street speculators, bankers, and the Hoover administration, the rumblings of discontent grew mightily in the early 1930s. By 1932, hunger marches and small riots were common throughout the nation.

    While, not all citizens in the United States were caught up in the social eruptions and widespread rioting that took place, the U.S. burst into a scenario of constant rioting and civil disturbances. Many were too downtrodden or busy surviving day to day to get involved in public displays of discontent.

    Now compare the great damage the United States economy suffered in the 1920´s, similar to the overall damage caused by the U.S. trade embargo upon the Cuban economy. Also compare the rioting that took place in the United States, as the potential rioting that can take place in Cuba, from the existence of such economic conditions as an objective of such U.S. trade embargo, while thereby restricting the freedom for Cuba to exercise its right as a U.S. neighboring nation.

    It is an affront to the free enterprise system of this nation to not be able to do business more directly with other businesses or with Cuba, in the case in point, which would certainly profit—as the United States presently profits from doing business with China—although we may not have similar interests and policies with Cuba or China—we would certainly economically benefit from the economic activity between our nations. Cuba and the United States are not at war, it is time to end the trade embargo against Cuba and move-on.

    If anyone has any doubts about the capacity to putting history and historical facts into correct and appropriate timely accurate perspective please take a quick look at the visual images of the historical film of such rioting that occurred in the United States during the Great Depression.

    Please follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exuGv3HsV-U

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