How a Miami playboy, a Russian Gangster and a Cuban Spy Plotted to Buy a Soviet Submarine and Sell it to a Colombian Drug Cartel Reply

Exotic car dealer Juan Almeida, left, Cuban spy Nelson ‘Tony’ Yester, center, and Russian strip club owner and former mob enforcer Ludwig ‘Tarzan’ Fainberg, right, conspired to buy a submarine and sell it to the Cali cartel of Colombia


  • Former mob enforcer and strip club owner Ludwig ‘Tarzan’ Fainberg,  exotic car importer Juan Almeida and Cuban immigrant Nelson ‘Tony’ Yester conspired
  • The trio planned to buy a Soviet submarine for the Cali drug cartel of Colombia for the purposes of trafficking cocaine
  • Tarzan and Tony even toured a Russian naval base and posed near a submarine with Russian military officers to show the cartel evidence the deal could be done
  • Tony told the Cali cartel that he needed money in installments to broker the deal but absconded with $10million – and remains on the run
  • Tarzan, a Russian immigrant, testified against Juan but recanted after he was deported to Israel – meaning none of the three remained behind bars
  • Tarzan, Juan and fugitive Tony – as well as members of the law enforcement task force who tracked them – agreed to be interviewed for a new documentary
  • The film is named for the task force, Operation Odessa, which was set up to monitor collaborations between Russian criminals and Colombian cartels
  • Director Tiller Russell smuggled himself into a Panamanian prison and followed Tony to an undisclosed location in Africa during the making of the film
  • Russell says he hopes the film is a ‘rock’n’roll thrill ride into the underworld, where you get a passport to a life and lifestyle and characters that you didn’t even imagine existed – much less having a ringside seat with them’

By Sheila Flynn For

A large Russian man called Tarzan sits in an armchair against the backdrop of a cracked and stained wall, a pack of cigarettes, lighter and an ash tray on a table to his left, and he shrugs as he talks about a deal he tried to broker more than 20 years ago.

‘I had a friend of mine living in St. Petersburg, and I said, “Misha, tell me something,”’ Tarzan – real name Ludwig Fainberg – says in a heavy Russian accent. ‘”I know it’s gonna be a strange question. Is this possible, to buy a military submarine – used one?” And he said, “What a question! Let me check.”

‘He called me in two days and he asked me, do we want the submarine with missiles or without missiles?’ says Tarzan.

He raises his eyebrows and looks upwards to the left to emphasize just how flabbergasted he was with Misha’s counter question. But Tarzan – a seasoned wheeler-dealer, strip club owner and former mob enforcer – took it in his stride and went back to his partners with the response.

He was, after all, working with an American playboy in Miami and a fugitive Cuban spy to procure this submarine. And they were doing it on behalf of the notorious Cali drug cartel in Colombia, who planned to use the underwater vessel to smuggle cocaine undetected.

The entire situation sounds like something dreamed up for a Miami Vice-inspired action thriller, but it actually happened in the 1990s – and the trio came very close to pulling it off before one of them pocketed the cartel’s millions and went on the run.

Now the stranger-than-fiction story is brought to life in new documentary Operation Odessa, a film that’s closer to a roller-coaster ride than anything else and premieres on Showtime March 31.

Feature continues here:  Operation Odessa



The Spy Who Loved Fidel Castro Reply

Castro with Marita Lorenz

By Nathalia Ortiz

Marita Lorenz was just 19 when she met and fell in love with Fidel Castro.

It was February 27, 1959. The Cuban revolution had just taken over. She sailed into Havana Harbor aboard the German ship her father captained.

“I didn’t even know he was in power. He could have been a mechanic somewhere,” she said. “I fell for him hook, line and sinker.”

Almost six decades later, Fidel Castro’s former lover lives in an assisted living facility in New York City, yet can recount her story of love and lies in full detail.

What to Know

  • Fidel Castro’s alleged former lover described Castro as “very into himself, narcissistic.”
  • She said she was recruited by the CIA to work as a spy in New York.
  • She claims to have met Lee Harvey Oswald in Miami shortly before the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

She’s German American and is not fluent in Spanish. But she says she picked up a few words because of her time with Castro.

She says Castro came aboard her father’s ship looking for her dad. But she says her father was napping, so she greeted Castro and the others.

“I told Fidel, ‘Okay, you can come on board on the steps outside of the ship and he just looked at me,” she recalled. “He was the tallest of them and I said, ‘Put your guns off, no guns. This is Germany.” She says his response, “But I am Cuba.”

She says after meeting him, she returned home to New York but got a call that he wanted her by his side. So, she returned to Havana and stayed with him for eight and a half months living in the Havana Hilton Hotel, renamed the Havana Libre after Castro took power and turned it into his headquarters. She says it was there in Room 2408 that their love affair began.

Lorenz, 79, describes Castro as “very into himself, narcissistic.” She concedes she was “very submissive and stupid in staying there waiting for him and believing him.”

Lorenz says she soon became pregnant with Castro’s child, but says it didn’t end well. Over the years, she’s given conflicting versions of what happened to her pregnancy. She told NBC 6 that the last thing she remembers is being given a glass of milk to drink at eight months pregnant.

“I was totally out of it. Drugged,” she said. “I woke up in a room with lights like that, and in severe pain, and that’s all I remember. I don’t know if the baby died or lived.”

Story continues here:  Castro’s Lover


Media Fact Check: Cuba Found to Have Targeted U.S. Tourists and Canadians More Frequently Than Alleged CIA Spies Reply

Cuba apologist Peter Kornbluh, who rarely misses an opportunity to blame the United States for events in Latin America, has struck again! In last week’s issue of the progressive weekly, The Nation, Kornbluh published “What the US Government Is Not Telling You About Those ‘Sonic Attacks’ in Cuba.” His scintillating subtitle makes the incredulous statement: “The key victims were CIA agents. Not a single tourist was affected….”  We are fortunate Kornbluh wrote that, since his complete disregard for the facts saves us from wasting any further time on this inaccurate and poorly-researched diatribe.

For example, the Miami Herald reported on 1-29-18 that 19 American tourists reported symptoms similar to those suffered by diplomats after they returned from Cuba. However, Kornbluh dismisses these reports because he apparently sees their complaints as inadequately investigated. Additionally, it does not appear he attempted to contact those tourists to get their first-hand accounts. Similarly, Kornbluh appears blissfully ignorant of the Associated Press report of 10-19-17 entitled “U.S. tourist, FBI agent may have been victims of Cuba sonic attacks.

Meanwhile, the Canadian media has recounted that 10 of the 20 Canadian diplomatic households in Havana reported at least one household member with unusual symptoms. A National Post article on 1-4-18 found that children were among those targeted. Shortly thereafter, Global News announced on 1-10-18 that eight Canadian diplomats had fallen ill. It’s information came from a Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation.

So, in reality, at least 19 American tourists and members of 10 Canadian diplomatic families fell victim to Havana’s unexplained sonic attacks. In contrast, 24 American diplomats and family members became sick from the same occurrences. So perhaps Kornbluh’s headline should have read:  “Cuba Targets U.S. Tourists and Canadians More Frequently Than Alleged CIA Spies.”


TV Marti: Inteligencia cubana tiene mas de 200 espias en EEUU 6