Labour Election Candidate Mark McDonald Helped Cuban Spy Overturn a Visa Ban And Come to the UK to Visit Parliament Reply

A hard-Left Labour candidate helped a Cuban spy overturn a visa ban and visit Parliament after he was invited by Jeremy Corbyn (pictured)

• Barrister Mark McDonald won court battle to get intelligence officer Rene Gonzalez into Britain
• Mr McDonald is now standing in Stoke-on-Trent South after winning backing
• While a backbench MP, Mr Corbyn attended vigils in support of the jailed Cubans

By Martin Beckford For The Daily Mail

A hard-Left Labour candidate helped a Cuban spy overturn a visa ban and visit Parliament after he was invited by Jeremy Corbyn.

Barrister Mark McDonald won a court battle to get intelligence officer Rene Gonzalez into Britain on human rights grounds after Theresa May blocked him because of his conviction in the US for espionage.

He then attended the Westminster reception for Mr Gonzalez and his spy cell leader along with Mr Corbyn, who had campaigned for their release from prison in America and joined in their legal battle.

Mr McDonald is now standing in Stoke-on-Trent South after winning the backing of the Corbynite campaign group Momentum, ahead of two prominent local hopefuls.

In an article in 2016, he also dismissed widespread claims of anti-Semitism in Labour as ‘wholly without foundation’, although he admitted last night that it had since ‘become clear to me there are significant problems of anti-Semitism within the party’.

While still a backbench MP, Mr Corbyn regularly attended vigils in support of the jailed Cubans, who he finally met with the help of Mr McDonald.

The spies were part of a cell known as the ‘Wasp Network‘ who were caught by the FBI in Florida while trying to infiltrate Cuban exile groups hostile to Fidel Castro.

They were jailed in 2001 for espionage and their leader was also convicted of conspiracy to murder over the shooting down by the Cuban military of two planes belonging to an anti-Castro group, in which four pilots died.

Feature continues here: Cuban Spy’s UK Friend

DGI Defector: Cuban Intelligence Behind Chile Protests 1

Written by Christian Gomez, New American

A former Cuban intelligence officer affirms that Cuba’s intelligence service is carrying out destabilization efforts in Chile and that they are being directed out of the Cuban embassy in Santiago.

For 11 years, Enrique García Diaz served as an officer in the General Intelligence Directorate (DGI) — Cuba’s primary intelligence agency under the supervision of Cuba’s Ministry of Interior. During his years of active duty, García Diaz served as a vice consul in Bolivia and as a foreign trade representative in Ecuador. At the same time, however, he was actually an undercover agent for the DGI, in charge of surveillance operations in seven Latin American countries, including Chile.

García Diaz defected to Ecuador in 1989 and now lives in the United States. In an interview with the Chile-based, Spanish-language, online news publication El Líbero, he claims that the DGI (since renamed the Directorate of Intelligence, DI) retains much of the experience and training that it received from two KGB-run institutes located in the outskirts of Moscow. According to García Diaz, these KGB-run academies conducting training for Cuban intelligence in 1981-82 and another one for the chiefs of Cuban intelligence in 1985-86.

Throughout the Cold War, the leadership of the Soviet Union steadfastly encouraged and supported Marxist revolutions in non-communist countries. By the mid-1960s, the Soviet Union, through its espionage and intelligence service the KGB (now renamed FSB), had established special training centers for fomenting revolution at the Lenin Institute and Patrice Lumumba University, both in Moscow. The KGB also set up additional centers throughout Eastern Europe, the Baltic, North Korea, and in Cuba.

At these centers, recruits from all over the world received special training in how to disseminate propaganda, handle small arms, make improvised explosives, and carry out asymmetrical warfare. Historically, under the direction of the Soviet Union, Cuba has played an instrumental role in inciting communist revolutions throughout Latin America.

Article continues here: Cuban Manipulation

 

The Cuban Empire 2

Ana Belen Montes

The threat few see

By Toby Westerman, Renew America

October 30, 2019

In America there is some awareness of the military threat posed by Russia and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). There have been warnings from the U.S. military concerning the PRC’s growing challenge to the U.S. in the Pacific. Russian ballistic missile and land forces are a reality to most Americans, a legacy from the Cold War, but all perspective relating to Moscow’s strategies and tactics are lost to millions in the U.S. on account of unsubstantiated charges of some effective interference in U.S. elections and the presence of Russian “agents.” While these assertions have been made loudly and received much media attention, solid proof has been lacking.

Not only has the Russian threat become a punch line in some political and media circles, but the very real danger coming from Russia and one of its most active client states seems to be ignored. The Communist gulag state of Cuba, an ally of Moscow for more than 60 years, poses an immediate threat to the United States both as a base for spying against the U.S. as well as a military danger to nations in the Western Hemisphere friendly to the U.S.

Within the U.S., Cuban espionage has been working to guide U.S. foreign policy, gather information on the readiness of the American military, and disrupt – even to the point of murdering – Cubans opposed to the Communist regime in Cuba. The arrest in 2001 of Ana Belen Montes, a former senior analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, provided a shocking example as to how effective Cuban intelligence could be.

Montes was the “go to” person on all things relating to Cuba, and her opinions helped mold U.S. policy toward Havana. While performing her top secret duties, she also informed her Cuban handlers of all the restricted information to which she was privy as a high ranking DIA advisor. (Montes is due to be released in 2027).

Earlier, in 1998, the FBI broke a spy ring referred to as the Wasp Network (La Red Avispa). Five of the ring were tried and convicted of charges ranging from being agents of a foreign power to conspiracy to commit murder. Sentences ranged from 15 years to two life terms for one individual. The U.S. Southern Command, which had recently moved from Panama to Florida, was a major target. [It should be noted that two served their sentences and three were released as part of a de facto prisoner swap.]

The reader should also be aware that the newly released spy-thriller, “Wasp Network,” by Oliver Assayas, has little in common with the actual activities of “La Red Avispa.” An editorial note on Cuba Confidential, which carries a September 2, 2019 review of the film, states “Any similarities between this movie and the real Wasp Network are purely coincidental…the real Wasp Network played a central role in the premeditated murder of four Americans, influenced the U.S. political system at the local, state and Federal levels; spied on numerous military targets including SOUTHCOM, CENTCOM, SOCOM, NAS Key West and Barksdale Air Force Base; intimidated American media outlets, manipulated the Cuban American community, etc.”

Article continues here: The Cuban Empire

 

Rep. Omar to Commemorate Cuban Spy at Far-Left DC “Think Tank” 1

Congresswoman Omar

By Trevor Loudon, The Epoch Times

Controversial Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) is about to associate herself with one of the most subversive organizations in this country.

On Oct. 3, Omar will present the annual Letelier-Moffitt Awards at the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). The IPS is a center of both far-left policy formation and support for the Palestinian socialist cause. The Letelier-Moffitt Award is named after the late Orlando Letelier, a paid Cuban intelligence agent.

With Omar’s strong ties to radical groups such as the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Palestinian socialist cause, she is a perfect fit for the IPS—whose columnists have been defending her regular outrageous statements since her election to Congress.

Story continues here: Letelier award

 

The Dangers of Monday-Morning Quarterbacks: A Contractor’s Flawed “Ana Montes Case Study” Reply

Ana Montes and the Cuban Flag (Credit: FBI/CSO staff illustration)

By Chris Simmons

Earlier this week, the cyber-security firm Haystax published a misleading and self-serving article called “Finding Ana Montes: A Haystax Use Case.”

This is an extract from their “assessment:”

{QUOTE} Below is a list of events taken from the DoD report that could have been paired with conventional computer and network monitoring systems data:

  • Montes’ nickname at the office translated to “The Outsider,” and she had few social relationships.
  • She found reasons to travel to Cuba for work.
  • She requested the results of her clearance, to send back to her Cuban handlers.
  • She was compassionate, empathetic and sympathetic to Cuba, but very quiet about it.
  • Prior to her post-graduate education she was politically inactive, became politically active at Johns Hopkins and then went quiet after graduating.
  • She was involved with academic groups, including CDI, that supported Cuba.

With the Haystax for Insider Threat solution, we would have captured all the normal indicators that alert DIA analysts, but we additionally could have given top analysts and investigators (with the appropriate permissions) the ability to capture more qualitative events like those listed above and feed them back as structured data into the probabilistic model that underlies our analytics platform. {ENDQUOTE}

The DoD Inspector General Report they cite was written years AFTER the Montes investigation ended and benefitted from tens of thousands of hours of investigative work.

But let’s take a deeper look:

Bullet #1: Point of fact, most analysts are introverts and thus have fewer relationships than extroverts. Bullet is irrelevant.

Bullet #2: Montes’s DIA work trips to Cuba were few and more importantly, almost every DIA analyst travels to the country or countries in their portfolio. Bullet is irrelevant.

Bullet #3: For a government employee to request a copy of their clearance investigation is only marginally different than a person requesting their credit report. You do it to ensure no erroneous information is in it. Bullet is irrelevant.

Bullet #4: Some Americans sympathize with Cuba’s dictatorship. This point alone is inadequate to open an investigation.

Bullet #5: Montes was politically active during her undergraduate years, a fact well documented during her summer in Madrid. The Haystax comment is incorrect.

Bullet #6:  Montes had been active in the Cuba Study Group, as were other analysts, until ordered to stop attending by DIA Security. Furthermore, she only attended one meeting hosted by the Center for Defense Information (CDI). The Haystax comment is partially correct.

Most importantly, Haystax’s conclusion that the Haystax for Insider Threat solution “would have been the only way the DIA could have caught Montes sooner” is false.

For example, Montes’ cited behavior on the Brothers to the Rescue Task Force was investigated and the allegations refuted or otherwise explained. The inquiry was closed by DIA because there was no credible information to open a case. Montes’ behavior in this episode had no bearing whatsoever on the investigation. This myth lives on largely due to a “based on actual events” DIA training video scripted to protect key aspects of the investigation.

Databases fed incorrect information by inexperienced analysts result in the proverbial “garbage in, garbage out” solution. Investigative tools, like databases, do aid professional, experienced intelligence officers. That said, these personnel must be qualified, respected and sufficiently trusted that other agencies are willing to share those diverse bits of intelligence that ultimately lead to the creation of an Unidentified Subject (“UNSUB”) case. That is precisely what happened with the Montes investigation as the DoD Inspector General found, calling it a model of interagency cooperation. The right people in the right place at the right time with the right information always generate amazing results.

U.S. Expels Two of Cuba’s U.N. Diplomats, Citing ‘Influence Operations’ 3

The Cuban Mission to the United Nation (MINREX photo)

Matt Spetalnick

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Thursday ordered the expulsion from the United States of two members of Cuba’s delegation to the United Nations and restricted travel of the remaining mission members to Manhattan, drawing strong condemnation from Havana.

In an announcement just days before world leaders gather for the annual U.N. General Assembly, the U.S. State Department accused the two Cuban diplomats of trying to “conduct influence operations” harmful to U.S. national security but did not elaborate on the accusations or release their names.

It was the latest sign of deteriorating U.S. relations with communist-ruled Cuba, focusing especially on Havana’s support for Venezuela’s socialist President Nicolas Maduro, since U.S. President Donald Trump took office in January 2017.

“The Department of State today notified the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the United States requires the imminent departure of two members of Cuba’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations for abusing their privileges of residence,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in statement.

“This is due to their attempts to conduct influence operations against the United States,” she said.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez rejected the U.S. actions as “unjustified,” saying on Twitter: “The imputation that they might have carried out actions incompatible with their diplomatic status is a vulgar slander.”

“The expulsion … has the aim of provoking a diplomatic spiral that would lead to the closure of bilateral embassies, further tightening of the (U.S.) blockade and creation of tensions between both countries,” he said.

Ortagus said the movements of other members of the Cuban delegation would “essentially” be limited to the island of Manhattan.

“We take any and all attempts against the national security of the United States seriously, and will continue to investigate any additional personnel who may be manipulating their privileges of residence.”

Feature continues here: Cuban Spy-Diplomats Expelled 

Editor’s Note: An “influence operation” is a tailored espionage mission subtly and skillfully using agents, collaborators, and the media to promote a nation’s objectives in ways either unattributable or marginally attributable to that power.

Cuban Spy Ring the Focus in Political Thriller ‘Wasp Network’ 1

A scene from director Olivier Assayas’ thriller, ‘Wasp Network,’ which stars Penélope Cruz.

Marie-Louise Gumuchian

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) – A ring of Cuban operatives seeking to infiltrate anti-government groups exiled in Miami in the early 1990s is the focus of French director Olivier Assayas’ “Wasp Network”, a star-studded political thriller based on a true story.

Starring Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez, Gael Garcia Bernal and Wagner Moura, the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday, where it is competing with 20 others for the top Golden Lion prize.

The action begins in Havana with Cuban pilot Rene Gonzalez, played by Ramirez, flying off to the United States to defect, leaving his wife, Cruz’ Olga, and their daughter behind in the Communist state led by Fidel Castro.

While it appears at first that he wants to start a new life in Florida, he joins other exiled Cubans there as part of a ring known as the Wasp Network, a pro-Castro group.
Led by Garcia Bernal’s undercover operative Manuel Viramontez, they infiltrate Cuban-American groups that want to topple the Castro regime.

“I liked the idea of leading the audience in one direction and then twist it and then we see the other side of the game,” Assayas told a news conference.

Garcia Bernal described the key characters as “spies that are trying to stop violence”.

“There’s something very unique about this story that highlights the act of love that actually made them do this, and the people they left behind support them,” he said.

The film is based on the true story of The Cuban Five intelligence officers who were arrested in Florida in 1998, convicted of espionage and other activities and jailed, before eventually being released after lengthy jail terms as part of a prisoner swap between the two countries.

Assayas, known for “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Personal Shopper”, said shooting in Cuba was “what allowed this film to happen.”

“I thought there would be conditions, strings attached, the reality there was not. We were completely free to make the film as wanted. We were monitored to put it mildly, but there were no consequences on the film,” he said.

Article continues here: Hollywood Fiction

Editor’s Note: Any similarities between this movie and the real Wasp Network are purely coincidental. After all, the real Wasp Network played a central role in the premeditated murder of four Americans, influenced the U.S. political system at the local, state and Federal levels; spied on numerous military targets including SOUTHCOM, CENTCOM, SOCOM, NAS Key West and Barksdale Air Force Base; indimidated American media outlets, manipulated the Cuban American community, etc.  

How Informers Prolong Agony Under The Cuban Dictatorship 1

The communist dictatorship is still in power in Cuba thanks, in large part, to the informer system. (Facebook)

7.6 million of the 12 million Cubans are members of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution. The regime rewards them or exposing its opponents.

By Mamela Fiallo Flor, PanAm Post

The longest dictatorship on the American continent is still in control after 60 years, thanks mainly to its job of infiltration in civil society that “purges” the streets of dissidents.

Its latest target was a 77-year-old woman who sells peanuts in the streets out of necessity, thus dismantling the propaganda of a welfare state that supposedly guarantees the care of all its inhabitants.

The visibly malnourished state of the lady, as well as her testimony, makes it clear that Cuba is not the utopia that its defenders claim.

The informers serving the regime, or “chivatones” as the opposition refers to them, reported this “counter-revolutionary” to the police because she exposes to the tourists the fact that the Cubans are suffering without necessities.

Two women, who claimed to work in the education sector, rebuked the older woman for not asking the government for help and instead receiving clothes and money from tourists. They screamed at her, saying that 5% of their salary went to the service of older people like her and questioned her for speaking ill about the government.

The allocation of funds that the regime steals from state employees is not public information because publishing official statistics is a mandate of the dictatorship.

The old lady had hand-wrapped peanut packages. She testified before cameras that she had been selling them for 30 years. She maintains that she does not harm anyone. Apparently, she is damaging the image of the regime, and her action was reason enough to be reported to the police.

According to the logic of state employees, it was reprehensible for a woman to work autonomously, rather than being dependent on the state and therefore on the taxpayer. Meanwhile, they think it is respectable to live at the expense of others, as they do working for the regime.

Feature continues here: Snitch-Nation

 

Special Report: How Cuba Taught Venezuela to Quash Military Dissent 1


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (R) with Cuban President Fidel Castro.

By Angus Berwick, Reuters

CARACAS (Reuters) – In December 2007, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez suffered his first defeat at the polls.

Although still wildly popular among the working class that had propelled him to power nearly a decade earlier, voters rejected a referendum that would have enabled him to run for re-election repeatedly.

Stung, Chavez turned to a close confidant, according to three former advisors: Fidel Castro. The aging Cuban leader had mentored Chavez years before the Venezuelan became president, when he was still best known for leading a failed coup.

Now, deepening economic ties were making Cuba ever more reliant on oil-rich Venezuela, and Castro was eager to help Chavez stay in power, these advisors say. Castro’s advice: Ensure absolute control of the military.

Easier said than done.

Venezuela’s military had a history of uprisings, sometimes leading to coups of the sort that Chavez, when a lieutenant colonel in the army, had staged in 1992. A decade later, rivals waged a short-lived putsch against Chavez himself.

But if Chavez took the right steps, the Cuban instructed, he could hang on as long as Castro himself had, the advisors recalled. Cuba’s military, with Castro’s brother at the helm, controlled everything from security to key sectors of the economy.

Within months, the countries drew up two agreements, recently reviewed by Reuters, that gave Cuba deep access to Venezuela’s military – and wide latitude to spy on it and revamp it.

The agreements, specifics of which are reported here for the first time, led to the imposing of strict surveillance of Venezuelan troops through a Venezuelan intelligence service now known as the Directorate General of Military Counterintelligence, or DGCIM.

Under Cuban military advisors, Venezuela refashioned the intelligence unit into a service that spies on its own armed forces, instilling fear and paranoia and quashing dissent.

Now known for its repressive tactics, the DGCIM is accused by soldiers, opposition lawmakers, human rights groups and many foreign governments of abuses including torture and the recent death of a detained Navy captain.

Feature continues here: Crushing Opposition