Spy Wars: A Wilderness of Mirrors in U.S.-Cuba Swap 2

Jose Cohen, pictured at Little Havana’s Versailles Restaurant in 2000 (Al Diaz, Miami Herald Staff)

Jose Cohen, pictured at Little Havana’s Versailles Restaurant in 2000 (Al Diaz, Miami Herald Staff)

By Glenn Garvin, Juan O. Tamayo and Patricia Mazzei


More than two weeks have passed since the White House announced that it had traded three imprisoned Cuban intelligence officers — including one convicted of conspiracy to murder — for a super spy held in a Havana prison whom President Barack Obama labeled “one of the most important intelligence agents that the United States has ever had in Cuba.”

But since the president’s announcement, there’s been only silence. Nothing more has been said of the spy or his accomplishments. Of the people released from prison as part of the deal between Washington and Havana, the three Cuban spies and U.S. Agency for International Development contractor Alan Gross have all appeared on television to talk exultantly about their release.

Yet Washington’s master spy has remained anonymous and incommunicado. The only man who seems to fit the handful of clues the White House provided about the spy’s identity — former Cuban Interior Ministry Lt. Rolando Sarraff, jailed since his arrest in 1995 — has disappeared from the Havana prison where he was being held, and his family members say they’ve neither heard from him nor been told his whereabouts.

The Obama administration won’t confirm Sarraff’s name, much less why he could be out of reach.

But a man who claims he is a former member of Sarraff’s spy ring speculates there’s a good reason for Sarraff’s disappearance: that Sarraff was a fake, feeding the CIA false or trivial information as part of a Cuban scheme to disrupt U.S. intelligence.

“They were acting on behalf of Fidel Castro,” insists Bill Gaede, an Argentine engineer who says he carried information to the CIA from Sarraff and other Cuban intelligence officers. “They weren’t genuine. They were full of caca.”

What’s more, Gaede contends, the CIA and FBI suspected that Sarraff was a fake — a “dangle,” in intelligence parlance — right from the start, and never believed anything the ring of putative spies passed along. U.S. officials, he says, are calling him a valuable agent now only to make the Gross-for-Cuban-spies swap more palatable to U.S. conservatives. “It’s just public relations,” sniffs Gaede.


But Gaede’s claim is hotly disputed by another member of the spy ring — Jose Cohen, also a former lieutenant in the Cuban Interior Ministry, who defected from Cuba in 1994. “Bill Gaede is not a [credible] source. He was an enemy of the United States. He’s at Cuba’s service,” says Cohen, now living in southwest Miami-Dade, where he’s a highly successful Amway salesman.

“I think what Bill is looking for is publicity. … He’s mocking the press, he’s mocking the government.”

Article continues here: Spy Wars




  1. Below each spanish paragraph is a translation into English by Peter Martori

    Dr. Eduardo Prida is an ex-political prisoner who was brought out of the cuban jails by Bill Richardson a political personality during the administration by Bill Clinton and later became Governor of New Mexico.

    The following are the words and story of the ex-prisoner Ed. Prida himself.
    By reading his article, I just can’t get more surprised and appalled because of the lack of true,honest and deep journalistic work that the american and the world public are missing.
    Be it because desired omissions or plain ignorance and the arrogance of believing that they know all about what is going on in that poor island. These remarks are mine : P.M.

    Subject : Several friend have asked me what do I think.. and I laugh … now I will write because
    I have the time to do so. ( about the news on the opening of relations with Castro)

    Es injusto que Allan Gross estuviese en Cuba preso por lo que dicen que hizo y en las condiciones que su propio cuerpo y en especial su boca reflejan, creo que es necesario recordar por que el Senor Allan Gross estuvo preso injustamente.
    It is not fair or just what they did to Mr. Alan Gross and that he had been jailed for what they claimed that he did and in the dire miserable conditions of that prison which reflect in his own lack of teeth and his body conditions. I don’t think that it is necessary to recall why Mr. Alan Gross was unfairly in jail…
    Posiblemente por una accion no tipificada como delito en leyes de paises con civilizacion y exista el Derecho sacratisimo a la Informacion; Repartir gratis telefonos que pueden comunicarse por medio de la Internet, no recuerdo si el Codigo de los Delitos Contra La Seguridad del Estado en Cuba tenga previsto que comunicarse por la Internet sea delito.
    It was for a non typified activity as illegal and not registered in the laws of any civilized nations
    where exist the holiest Right to the Information, tyo distribute for free telephones that can use the internet to communicate with. I do not remember if the Legal Codes for delictive or infringements of the law against the Security of the State in Cuba has anything providing that to use the internet to communicate with others be a delictive illegal act.
    Me gustaria saber por que no le han preguntado al Senor Allan Gross por que perdio tantas libras y los dientes en la prision cubana, que sin lugar a dudas por ser un preso americano, no ha sufrido ni la milesima parte que sufrimos los presos politicos en Cuba por mas de 54 anos. Por que Allan Gros se reunio con su abogado y una especialista en comunicacion social antes de hacer declaraciones?
    I would like to know why there has not been any questions asked to Mr. Alan Gross about the state of his health, his lost teeth and why he lost so many pounds inside the cuban prison.?
    Who ,without any doubts, for being an american ,did not suffered even a thousandth part of what we cuban political prisoners have to endure and this for the last 54 years.
    Why did Alan Gross had a meeting with his lawyer and a specialist in social communications BEFORE to make his declarations ?

    Yo fui preso y llegue aqui con el Representante Bill Richardson, directo del Combinado del Este al avion, despues de estar en 7 meses en estado comatoso, sin atencion medica a consecuencia de las torturas sistematica, infrahumano malos tratos y ausencia de alimentos y atencion medica, y declare ante decenas de periodistas y nadie me alecciono que tenia que decir, claro excepto en Cuba que el Coronel Nelson me alecciono que no invitara a mas nadie a matar a Fidel Castro, ni a rebelarse en Cuba, claro fue lo primero que dije cuando llegue “aquello se acaba con el ultimo latido de Fidel Castro”
    I was a prisoner and I arrived here ( the USA) with the Representative Bill Richardson. Directly from that prison Combinado del Este to the airplane, after seven months in which I was in a comatose condition,without medical assistance as a consequence to the systemic tortures, the infra-human mistreatments and lack of food .
    I , however ,did declare before the dozens of journalists about whatever questions they posed without any imposed conditions by anyone on what I had to say or not to say.
    Of course, except in Cuba where the colonel Nelson had lectured me ,that I do not invite never more anyone to kill Castro or to rebel inside Cuba,of course that was the first thing when I arrived in the USA : ” That that thing ( the regime) would end with the last beat of Fidel Castro heart.”
    Tambien quisiera saber, que razonamiento puede dar luz a que pueda ser cambiado un inocente por los ultimos tres bandidos de un grupo de 21 y quizas mas, que amenazaron muy seriamente la vida de todos los residentes de la Florida, porque lei el expediente del FBI, (derecho que tenemos todos los residentes de Estados UNidos), y pude leer las instrucciones recibidas de Cuba de hacer explotar la central nuclear del sur de la Florida, pero no solo Castro queria matar unos miles con la explosion nuclear, queria Fidel Castro ademas, que con las armas depositada por ellos en la costa los franco tiradores dispararan a los choferes para crear multiples accidentes y bloquear las salidas para que la contaminacion radioactiva aniquilara desesperadamente a los que trataban de escaparse con sus familias, por los Express Way
    huyendo para salvarse del desastre nuclear que ellos llevarian a cabo, este Plan y esta orden no lo hizo ningun coronelito de la CIM ni de la DGI, eso fue orden del asesino mayor Fidel Castro.
    Also, I would like to know what kind of reasoning can shed light in the actionswhereas an innocent man can be exchanged for the last three bandits ( of the gang of five) of a group totalling about 20 spies or agents ?Those agents that menaced very seriously the lives of all the residents of the State of Florida. I did read the records and reports of the FBI on this issue ( as we all, in the USA, have the rights to the Information). I could read the instructions that those criminal agents had received from Cuba. Among which :
    Make explose the Nuclear Plant in South Florida. But Castro not only wished to kill a few thousnads with that nuclear explosion , Fidel Castro wanted also , with the weapons deposited or infiltrated in the coast of the state that snipers deployed along highways, shoot at the drivers to cause chaos ,accidents and block the exits so that the radioactive contamination kill thos e tried to escape with their families via the Express Way.
    This plan and this orders was not designed by any low graded in the CIM or the DGI, these orders came down directly from the maximum assassin Fidel Castro
    Ademas la esposa de uno de ellos era maestra de una escuela privada donde asistian los hijos de los oficiales del Comando Sur, ninos que tenian planificados asesinar, secuestrando los omnibus y despues degollarlos, en el expediente esta lista de puno y letra de esa senora con el nombre y direccion de los ninos destinados a matar por ella y no toco el punto de los muertos de Hermanos al Rescate que fueron derribados por la Fuerza Aerea mas genocida del planeta que solo en Angola, ha dejado mucho mas un millon de cadaveres.
    On top of all this, the wife of one of them, worked as a teacher in a private school, precisely where the children of the officers of the South Command, children that they had planned to kidnap overtaking the school busses and afterward kill them( beheading them).
    In the records it shows,the list of the children, written by her own hand, the names and addresses fo those children that were to be assassinated by her. Here I don’t wish to touch on the issue of the death of the HAR (Brothers to the Rescue) that were downed by the most genocidal air force in the planet, which ony in Angola left more than a million deaths
    Pero Cuba para balancear la cuenta del canje y hacer la pildora mas apetitosa, nos inflaron un globo, despacio, primero no querian decir el nombre, lo cual no tenia sentido alguno, porque si trabajo para la CIA, Estados Unidos debio saber quien era y en Cuba ni se diga, entonces era secreto al estilo Cuba, solo ellos podian identificarlo, si ambos conocian quien era, entonces de quien lo escondian, pero no era solo pintar un aura de misterio e intriga, poco despues la familia de Rolando Sharraf lo identificaba, pobre de Rolando Sharraf que fue traicionado por Jose Cohen y cumplio 20 anos.

    But Cuba to balance the account with that exchange and to sweeten even more the pill, has inflated a balloon,first slowly. At first they didn’t want to tell the name of the person, which had no sense at all. Because if the subject worked for the CISA,the uSA should have known who was this man.But in Cuba ,don’t mention it.It was a Stete secret cuban style. Only they ,cubans ,could identify the guy. But if both parties knew it, then why they were hiding his identity. It was not only to scenify or paint it with an aura of mystery or intrigacy, a little after, Rolando Sarraf own family identified him.Poor Rolando Sarraf who was betrayed by Jose Cohen
    and whose betrayal cost him 20 years in prison.

    Claro no querian que supieran quien era Rolando Sharfaf porque nunca trabajo en Codigo y Clave, ni es matematico, ni especialista en comunicacion, estudio Periodismo pero cronologicamente tampoco Ana Belen y los Avispas fueron identificados por el agente Rolly, habian sido detectados mucho antes que Bil Gaedes fuera a Cuba.
    It is clear that they didn’t want that his identity were known, or who was Rolando Sarraf, simply because he never worked the section of Codes and Criptography. Also he was not mathematician or a specialist in communications. He studied journalism
    but chronologically speaking , neither Ana Belen Montes or the Avispas Network were identified by agent Rolly, they had been detected much before that Bill Gaedes went to Cuba

    Conozco personalmente a dos que trabajaban con Ana Belen en la DIA, Cordova y Juan Carlos ambos se sentaban muy cerca de ella en la Oficina y todos los alli presentes sabien como pensaba Ana Belen porque nunca ella nego su simpatia por Fidel Castro y eran muy notorios sus comentarios e informes desde hacia mucho tiempo tapando y obstruyendo todo su trabajo en favor de Cuba, asi los organos de Contra Inteligencia de la DIA, la trabaron con la mano en la masa.

    I know personally two of the persons that worked with Ana Belen in the DIA,Cordova and Juan Carlos,both had places near her place in the office and all the people there knew what were Ana Belen thought or ideas who never denied her sympathies for Fidel Castro, and it were very remarkables her comments and reports or information, since quite a long time, in which she
    did covered up and sabotage with her favoritism toward Cuba, so this was why the Counter Intelligence in the DIA caught her with all the evidences gathered.

    Es bueno saber que especificamente Viramontes dejo en la base aerea de Homestead un nicho en una estructura de concreto fundida para eventualmente colocar en el nicho un artefacto nuclear de 1,6 megatones “Nuclear Back Pack” y desde inmediato el lugar fue vigilado por la DIA, mas de dos anos antes de ser detenidos, al menos gran parte de la red.

    It is good to make it known that Viramontes left , in the Homestead Air base, in a cement structure a niche or cavity in which eventually it could be placed a nuclear artifact of 1,6 megatones Nuclear Back Pack , and since that very moment the place was under scrutine and surveillance by the DIA, this was two or more years before the cuban spies
    or agents were arrested

    Pero la Red Avispa tenia una sucursal en Puerto Rico, con el biologo marino de jefe Alfonso Silva Lee en la finca Las Delicias, en Ponce, alli Cuba monto clandestinamente un Laboratorio de Armas Biologica con 5 cientificos traidos de la Academia de Ciencias de Cuba para contaminar, en principio la base de Vieques,y pasar la epidemia para exterminar a todos los puertoriquenos y no se sabe a cuantos mas..preguntenle al Capitan Fisherman del FBI, cuando esto tomo cuerpo Silva Lee se fue para Cuba y esta de director del
    Acuarium de Miramar, cuidandole a Fidel la foca Silvia, segun el periodico Granma..

    But the network had a branch in Puerto Rico, with a marine biologist as chief, Alfonso Silva Lee, in a farm named “las Delicias” , in Ponce .There tCuba mounted a clandestine lab of Biological Weapons. Five members from cuban Academy of Sciences were brought to contaminate or intended to do so, the Vieques Marines base.
    Then pass the epidemy to exterminate the portorricans and who knows who else…Ask the captain Fisherman from the FBI , that when this was taking form Silva Lee escape to Cuba and act now as director of the Aquarium in Miramar.Taking care of Fidel’s seal “Silvia” as per the Granma newspaper.
    La “super guava bomb” es que Sarraf nunca envio ningun codigo de Cuba y se lo llevaron para Espana y debe estar muy bien aleccionado y amenazado para que no se salga del libreto.


    La super guva bomb is that Rolando Sarraf never sent any codes de Cuba and was whisked to Spain where he is well lectured and instructed or under menace, not to get out of the script. libreto

    Si alguien tiene dudas por que conozco todo esto, es encillo porque tres agentes cubanos de la Red Avispas, entre ellos el Coronel Juanico que se escapo eran amigos y conocidos mios de la DAAFAR y visitaron mi casa, y por supuesto quise saber para que me contactaron y que planes tenian conmigo, pero tambien lei algo que la prensa nunca ha mencionado otros super espias de Cuba como Manuel de Armas Bauta y su esposa y Nestor Yester Rodriguez que compro por medio de Cuba un submarino tipo Tango para el cartel de Cali e introdujo mas de 100000 kilos de cocaina en Estados Unidos, miembro tambien de la DAAFAR y piloto
    de helicopteros.
    If anyone has any doubts on all this,I clarify that I know all of these facts, simply because, three of the members of the Avispas network — among them colonel Juanico who escaped too were friends of mine in the DAAFAR and they usually visited my home. I wanted , of course , to know what for they contacted me and what were the plans they have for me.
    I also read something that the press has never mentioned, that other spies like Manuel de Armas Bauta y su esposa, Nestor Yester Rodriguez who bought –with cuban govmt. money — a submarine type Tango for the Cartel of Cali, Colombia and that introduced more than 100,000 kilos of cacaine in the USA, he was also a member of the DAAFAR
    and helicopter pilot.

    Invito a los periodistas que busquen al senor ex agente de la CIA (de verdad) Bill Gaedes y para que ademas conozcan los expedientes de los espias cubanos y en los materiales hecho publico de la CIA encuentren los nombres de Quintin Pino Machado, Carlos Lechuga, Victor Pina Cardoso aka Eusebio Lopez Ascue, tambien estan en el libro de los archivos de la KGB de Mitrokin en detalle los sabotajes llevados a cabo en Estados Unidos y Panama por Cuba por orden de la KGB, pero los senores periodistas con ojos miopes y bolsillos grandes parece que no leen, no interpetan y no aprenden que todo lo que hacen los comunistas con
    experiencia y aprendices, como Obama, son estafas y mas estafas..
    I invite the journalists in the mas medias to search or look for the ex-agent of the CIA ( the true agent ) Bill Gaedes and that besides this they search for the records on the cuban spies, the material made public from the CIS and that they search for the names of : Quintin Pino Machado,Carlos Lechuga,Victor Pina Cardoso aka Eusebio \lopez Ascue
    Also in the book of the KGB archives de Mitrokin, the detailed , the sabotages applied or executed in the USA and Panama by Cuba under the orders or commanded by the KGB.
    But the Ladies and genlemen journalists with their myopic eyes and big pockets do not seem interested to read, investigate and debunk the myths about that regime. And they do not learn that all what the commies do either those with experience or their apprentices like Obama are nothing else that scams, rip offs and destruction of societies

    Dr. Ed Prida

  2. This is very strange that the Cuban repressive government kept Sarraf who was a traitor alive when usually a prisoner is executed for treason right after their kangaroo court session.This is really an strange situation that needs to be analyze.The Cuba government is always kin to execute their traitors right away without delay.

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