Officials Met With Expelled Spy-Diplomat in Havana, Asking Cuba to Open a Consulate-Spy Base in St. Petersburg 3

Two weeks after a U.S. Embassy opened in Havana, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman spent last weekend there meeting with a host of government officials

Two weeks after a U.S. Embassy opened in Havana, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman spent last weekend there meeting with a host of government officials

By Chris Simmons

Last weekend, Mayor Rick Kriseman met with Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX) officials to ask them to choose St. Petersburg as the home of the first Cuban Consulate on US soil in 54 years. Expelled Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer Gustavo Machin Gomez, serving under the shallowest of “covers” as the MINREX Deputy Director for American Affairs, met with the mayor for about 90 minutes. The son of a revolutionary “hero,” Gustavo Machin was declared Persona Non Grata and expelled from the US in November 2002 in retaliation for the Ana Belen Montes spy case.

Tampa philanthropist David Straz Jr., part of the mayor’s delegation, told the Tampa Tribune the trip was an “absolute success.” Straz serves on Tampa’s Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation, the pro-normalization group sponsoring the trip. “St. Petersburg City Council Chairman Charlie Gerdes, Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin and Chief of Staff Kevin King” also made the trip to Cuba.

Local officials seek to use a consulate, in part, to profit from the global coverage of our evolving US-Cuban relations. Overlooked by city officials is the intelligence threat posed by such a consulate. Tampa, just 20 minutes from St Pete, is home to the Middle East-focused US Central Command as well as US Special Operations Command — both major targets for Cuban spies. The region’s Cuban-American population, third largest in the US, is also targeted. Allowing Havana to post spy-diplomats in the area will actually drive down the cost of its spying against the US – a key concern given the regime’s service as intelligence trafficker to the world. Cuba’s targeting of US political, economic, and military secrets occurs not for defensive purposes, but because these secrets are viewed as a precious commodity to be sold or bartered globally. According to defectors and émigrés, American information is now reportedly among Havana’s top five revenue streams. Weapons shipments from China, oil from Venezuela, cash from Russia and pro-Cuba votes at the United Nations are among the rewards harvested from its espionage. As such, its time our elected officials started taking this espionage threat seriously and stopped pandering to the apartheid dictatorship in Cuba.

 

 

3 comments

  1. This is going to be the dumbest move this administration would make if the comies are allowed to settle in St Petersburg Florida.Let think,The Cuban are notoriously known for the planning,the infiltration of illegal agents from their embassies as well as the trafficking of intelligence and intelligence gathering from their embassies. If we bring them closer to Florida we are giving them practically control of the Florida peninsula because the Cuban agents will have closer resources to exploit our universities and to try to infiltrate our military bases in Florida. Cuba is not our ally and their government does not have any interest to bring any freedom to their people. The Cuban will also infiltrate and will manipulate the Cuban exile in Florida.This is a wrong move.

  2. Pingback: St. Petersburg, Florida mayor meets with Castro spy in Cuba to lobby for Cuban spy base | Babalú Blog

  3. The University of South Florida at Tampa will also be a Cuban spy target. That’s where history professors Luis A. Perez and Alejandro de la Fuente previously taught and actively promoted the lifting of the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

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