Kudos to CFR and NY Daily News For Covering Governor Cuomo’s Meeting With Expelled Cuban Spies 3

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, right, talks with Cuba’s Josefina Vidal, director general of the U.S. division at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, left, and Gustavo Machin, Cuba’s deputy chief of North American affairs, center, before a meeting with Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade Rodrigo Malmierca at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba, Monday, April 20, 2015. (Ramon Espinosa/Courtesy: Reuters)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, right, talks with Cuba’s Josefina Vidal, director general of the U.S. division at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, left, and Gustavo Machin, Cuba’s deputy chief of North American affairs, center, before a meeting with Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade Rodrigo Malmierca at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba, Monday, April 20, 2015. (Ramon Espinosa/Courtesy: Reuters)

Congratulations to NY Daily News journalist Glenn Blain and Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Elliott Abrams for having the courage to highlight Cuomo’s recent meetings with senior Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officers Gustavo Machin Gomez and Josefina Vidal. Well done!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Film Tells Story of Argentine Who Spied for Cuba, U.S. Reply

el crazyLatin American Herald Tribune

BUENOS AIRES – Just like his hero, revolutionary icon Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Guillermo Gaede wanted to travel to Cuba in his teen years, but he could not obtain a visa. Years later, as a Silicon Valley engineer, he found another way to collaborate with Fidel Castro: he became a spy.

In the documentary “El Crazy Che,” Pablo Chehebar and Nicolas Iacouzzi follow Gaede’s unlikely path from a Buenos Aires suburb to service as a secret agent, first for Cuba and then for the United States, and to his time in prison for industrial espionage.

The filmmakers say they stumbled onto Gaede’s story by chance.

“We wanted to film a documentary about Argentine scientists working abroad,” Chehebar told Efe. The search led them to Gaede in Germany, where he has been teaching physics for more than a decade.

After investigating Gaede’s story, the filmmakers abandoned the original project and focused on recounting the story of “this ‘self-made’ man who wanted, in his half-crazy fashion, to be a spy, doing things nobody would imagine,” Chehebar said.

Gaede’s unorthodox approach is reflected in his initial attempts to offer his services to Havana, which involved showing up unannounced at the Cuban Embassy in Buenos Aires and, later, at the Czechoslovakia’s mission in Washington.

On both occasions, he offered to deliver – free of charge – the secret technology for the manufacture of integrated circuits produced by Advanced Micro Devices, his then-employer.

Gaede finally established a link with Cuban intelligence and the data he passed on eventually earned an invitation for him and his wife to visit Cuba for a two-week vacation that would include a meeting with Fidel Castro.

“Bill,” as he is known, tells in the documentary that the visit dealt him “a great disappointment” and demolished his idealistic vision of socialism, prompting him to approach U.S. intelligence services with an offer of assistance to topple Castro.

Article continues here:  Crazy Bill Gaede

 

Expelled Spies Welcome Governor Andrew Cuomo & Business Executives to Cuba 3

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo toasts with a mojito during a meeting at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba, Monday, April 20, 2015. Cuomo is the first U.S. governor to visit Cuba since the Dec. 17 declaration of detente. At right is Gustavo Machin, Cuba's deputy chief of North American affairs.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa,Pool) The Associated Press

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo toasts with a mojito during a meeting at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, Cuba, Monday, April 20, 2015. Cuomo is the first U.S. governor to visit Cuba since the Dec. 17 declaration of detente. At right is Gustavo Machin, Cuba’s deputy chief of North American affairs.(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa,Pool) The Associated Press

By Chris Simmons

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and executives from Jetblue, Chobani Greek Yogurt, Pfizer and other New York-based companies spent today meeting with Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officers Josefina de la C. Vidal Ferreiro and Gustavo Machin Gomez. Both officers serve under the shallowest of covers in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINREX), since they were thrown out of the US for espionage in 2003 and 2002, respectively

Unknown to the governor and executives, they fall into a category of politically-important visitors known as “useful idiots.”

More narrowly, for Vidal, Machin, and the rest of their DI brethren, the New Yorkers are simply known as “targets.”  Ever the opportunists, the DI seized upon Cuomo’s outreach to conduct an Influence Operation. This type of intelligence mission subtly and skillfully uses agents, collaborators, sympathizers, and the media to promote a nation’s objectives in ways either un-attributable or marginally attributable to that power.

Thus, Vidal and Machin get to cultivate a relationship with Cuomo, the governor of the state that hosts the largest Cuban spy base in the United States:  the Cuban Mission to the United Nations. Concurrently, the executives will also be the focus of traditional espionage targeting as – according to US government records – Havana is second only to Beijing in the conduct of economic espionage against the United States.

It’s truly frightening how easy we make it for the Cubans to spy against us.

PHOTO: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, right, walks with Cuba's Josefina Vidal, director general of the U.S. division at Cuba's Foreign Ministry, as he arrives to the Jose Marti airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, April 20, 2015. Cuomo is the first U.S. governor to visit Cuba since the Dec. 17 declaration of detente. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)The Associated Press

PHOTO:
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, right, walks with Cuba’s Josefina Vidal, director general of the U.S. division at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, as he arrives to the Jose Marti airport in Havana, Cuba, Monday, April 20, 2015. Cuomo is the first U.S. governor to visit Cuba since the Dec. 17 declaration of detente. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)The Associated Press

Editor’s Note:  According to knowledgeable defectors and émigrés, the Hotel Nacional – where important foreign visitors stay  is wired for video and audio surveillance on the 7th floor and above.

As U.S. And Cuba Explore a Renewal Of Diplomacy, What Becomes Of Victor Gerena, Other Notorious Fugitives? 2

(Courtesy:  Hartford Courant)

(Courtesy: Hartford Courant)

By Edmund H. Mahony, Hartford Courant

There is probably no one with a greater interest than Victor M. Gerena in the talks underway between the U.S. and Cuba about re-establishing diplomatic relations.

In 1983, he and other members of a group of Puerto Rican nationalists — a group armed, advised and financed by the Cuban government — stole $7 million from a West Hartford armored car depot in what was then the biggest cash robbery in U.S. history.

The Cubans sneaked Gerena into Mexico City. They stashed him in a safe house, lightened the color of his hair and gave him a phony diplomatic identity. Eventually, they put him and much of the money on a plane to Havana, where Gerena disappeared into the shadowy community of murderers, bombers, robbers and hijackers Cuba has sheltered from prosecution in the U.S and other countries since the 1960s.

For decades, the U.S. fugitives hiding in Cuba have been of little interest to anyone beyond a handful of journalists, law enforcement agencies and the families of their victims. But as President Obama presses an effort to reopen embassies and lift credit and trade restrictions, the fugitives have been discovered by critics and are emerging as a potential impediment to normalization.

Last week, Obama said he intends to remove Cuba from the government’s list of nations that sponsor terrorism, effectively opening Havana to commercial lenders. Cuba has been on the list for 30 years, with Iran, Syria and Sudan. The last time the state department reviewed the list, in 2013, it decided against Cuba’s removal because of its continued willingness to provide safe haven to fugitives wanted on terror charges.

Congress has 45 days to challenge the decision to remove Cuba from the list and opponents were lining up last week within Congress and among law enforcement agencies, Cuban exiles and families of victims killed by fugitives who have lived comfortably in Cuba for decades

“In the midst of our global war on terrorism, simply put, how can Obama and this administration remove a state that sponsors terrorists from the State Sponsor of Terror list?” said Joseph Connor, whose father died in a 1975 bomb attack at Fraunces Tavern in New York by a Puerto Rican nationalist group supported by Cuba. “This action shows Obama’s utter disregard for Americans like my father, who was murdered by Castro’s clients and it tells the world we condone terrorism.”

Others want return of the fugitives to be a condition of normalization or, at a minimum, that the fugitives be used to leverage other concessions.

Article continues here:  Terrorist Victor Gerena

The Laughable Duplicity of “Former” Cuban Spy Arturo Lopez-Levy 9

Former Spy Arturo López-Levy, now believed to be in his 8th year as a doctorate candidate.....

“Former” Spy Arturo López-Levy

By Chris Simmons

The Huffington Post disgraced itself again yesterday with another propaganda piece by admitted “former” Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer, Arturo Lopez-Levy. His feature, Why Senator Rubio’s Lies Matter,” condemned the Senator for a lack of ethics. Lopez-Levy attacked Rubio for having lied when he claimed his family fled the left-wing dictatorship of Fidel Castro when in reality they fled the right-wing dictatorship of General Fulgencio Batista. The “former” spy said this deception “shined a spotlight on the senator’s moral character.” Lopez-Levy then proceeded to make the outrageous claim that conservative Cuban-Americans (including Rubio) are former Batista supporters.

As ludicrous as Lopez-Levy’s statements are, the real hypocrisy is the layers of lies in which he has encased his own persona. The real name of this perpetual doctoral candidate (now believed to be in his 8th year of studies) is Arturo Lopez-Callejas. After all, this is the name he lived by for over 30 years in Cuba. The faux scholar also now denies his spy career, although he acknowledged his patriotic service to Fidel in his book, Raul Castro and the New Cuba: A Close-Up View of Change.

He also – innocently I’m sure – forgot to tell readers he is Raul Castro’s nephew-in-law. More specifically, he is the first cousin of Castro’s son-in-law, Brigadier General Luis Alberto Rodriguez Primo Lopez-Callejas. Rodriguez leads the Enterprise Administration Group (GAESA), placing him in command of Cuba’s entire tourism industry. According to the Miami Herald, “Rodriguez, married to Castro’s oldest daughter, Deborah Castro Espín, is widely viewed as one of the most powerful and ambitious men in Cuba — smart, arrogant, frugal and a highly effective administrator of GAESA.”  Herald reporter Juan Tamayo also noted that Deborah Castro’s brother is Alejandro Castro Espín, Castro’s chief intelligence advisor.

So to recap, the man who lies about his true name, his career, his family ties, and the privileged life he led in Cuba now has the cojones to question the integrity of another person?  Seriously????

Updated High-Frequency (HF) Broadcast Schedule for Cuban Spies Worldwide 1

numbers stationsCuban “Numbers Station” HM01 with new start/end of transmissions: 

By Bulgarian DX Blog    

xx54-xx18 broadcasts 24 minutes; xx18-xx28 open carrier/dead air;

xx28-xx48 broadcasts 20 minutes; xx48-xx54 change of frequencies.

0454-0548 on  5855 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri0

454-0548 on 12120 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri, not active

0454-0548 on 11462 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

0454-0548 on 14375 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat, not active

0554-0648 on 10345 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0554-0648 on ????? secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat, ex 9330

0654-0748 on  9330 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0654-0748 on 13435 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

0754-0848 on  9065 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0754-0848 on 11635 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

0854-0948 on  9240 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0854-0948 on 11462 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

0854-0948 on 12120 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat, not active

0954-1048 on  5855 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0954-1048 on  9155 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

0954-1048 on 11635 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

0954-1048 on 12180 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat, not active

1554-1648 on 11435 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Daily

1654-1748 on 11530 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Daily

1754-1848 on 11635 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Daily

2054-2148 on 11635 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

2054-2148 on 16180 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

2154-2248 on 10715 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

2154-2248 on 17480 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

2254-2348 on 11530 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Sun/Mon/Wed/Fri

2254-2348 on 17540 secret/hidden tx Bauta?-Cuba Spanish Tue/Thu/Sat

Editor’s Note:  According to reliable defectors and émigrés, most Cuban spies have moved from HF to internet-based communications. Those still on HF (or morse code in some cases) are technology dinosaurs whom Havana is unwilling or unable to move into the 21st Century.

Cuba Welcomes Removal From U.S. List of States Sponsoring Terrorism 1

DI Officer Josefina Vidal

DI Officer Josefina Vidal

By Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times

Cuba welcomed President Obama’s decision to remove the island nation from the list of states that sponsor terrorism — a list on which “Cuba never should have been included,” a senior Cuban official said.

Josefina Vidal, head of the North American section of the Cuban Foreign Ministry and Havana’s leader of negotiations to renew diplomatic ties with the United States, praised Obama’s “just decision” and said Cuba condemns rather than supports terrorism.

“Cuba rejects and condemns all acts of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, as well as any action that has as its objective the encouraging, supporting, financing or covering up terrorist acts,” Vidal said in a statement released late Tuesday.

She said her nation had been the victim of terrorism rather than its promoter. She was alluding to efforts by U.S. and Cuban opponents of the Castro governments to overthrow or destabilize the regime, including the U.S.-backed attempted invasion at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961, which she said claimed the lives of hundreds of Cubans.

“The government of Cuba recognizes the just decision taken by the president of the United States to eliminate Cuba from a list on which it never should have been included,” Vidal said.

Cuba’s position on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, with Iran, North Korea and others, had been a major obstacle in the improving of diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana, announced by Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro in December.

The Castro governments consistently demanded their nation be removed from the list — along with insisting that the U.S. embargo on Cuba be lifted, something that only Congress can do.

Editor’s Note:  Directorate of Intelligence (DI) officer Josefina Vidal left the US in May 2003 as part of the expulsion of 16 Cuban diplomat spies. However, she and another DI spouse were not “officially” declared Persona Non Grata since the expulsion of their husbands made their departure a fait accompli.

Additionally, Cuba’s decades-long support to terrorist groups is irrefutable and well documented. In fact — from 1959 until September 11, 2001 — Cuban supported groups conducted more attacks and killed more Americans than any other terrorist groups in the United States.

Obama Says Would Move Fast to Take Cuba Off Terrorism Sponsor List 5

Obama(Reuters) – President Barack Obama vowed on Tuesday to act quickly once he receives a State Department recommendation on whether to remove Cuba from the U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring countries, a remaining obstacle to the restoration of relations between Washington and Havana.

With just days to go before a hemispheric summit in Panama where Obama will come face-to-face with Cuban President Raul Castro, he offered no clear sign of how he was leaning or the timeframe for his decision. He ordered the review immediately after announcing a diplomatic breakthrough with Havana on Dec. 17.

Obama, in a Reuters interview in early March, said he hoped the United States would be able to open an embassy in Cuba by the time of the April 10-11 Summit of the Americas, and U.S. officials have since said the review was being expedited.

But the lack of a decision so far on taking Cuba off the terrorism blacklist – something Havana has steadfastly demanded – has raised strong doubts about whether the review will be finished in time to make further strides toward normalization before the summit.

“As soon as I get a recommendation, I’ll be in a position to act on it,” Obama said in an interview with National Public Radio.

Obama gave no sense of where the administration is heading on the issue but made clear that his decision would be based not on “whether they engage in repressive or authoritarian activities in their own country” but on the “current activities of the Cuban government” with regard to terrorism.

Cuba was added to the list of terrorism sponsors in 1982, when it was aiding Marxist insurgencies. But it is currently aiding a peace process with Colombia’s left-wing FARC guerrillas.

“I think there’s a real opportunity here, and we are going to continue to make – move forward on it,” Obama said. “Our hope is to be in a position where we can open an embassy there, that we can start having more regular contacts and consultations around a whole host of issues, some of which we have interests in common.”

He added: “What I’m saying is, I’m going to be taking a very close look at what the State Department recommends.”

(Reporting by Eric Walsh and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by Ken Wills)

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Alan Gross Appeal in Lawsuit Against U.S. Government 1

Alan Gross speaks on the phone with President Barack Obama after his release from Cuban prison on Dec. 17, 2014. (White House, public domain)

Alan Gross speaks on the phone with President Barack Obama after his release from Cuban prison on Dec. 17, 2014. (White House, public domain)

by Dusty Christensen, Latin America News Dispatch

NEW YORK — The U.S. Supreme Court denied an appeal on Monday by former government subcontractor Alan Gross, who filed a $60 million lawsuit in 2012 alleging negligence on the part of the U.S. government over the five years he spent in a Cuban prison.

The decision upholds a November 2014 ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which dismissed the case on the grounds that the United States is not liable for “claims arising in a foreign country.”

“We are certainly disappointed, but not surprised by the court’s decision,” said Gross’ lawyer Scott Gilbert in a statement to Latin America News Dispatch.

In 2009, Gross was arrested while working as a government subcontractor in Cuba, where he was distributing satellite phones and computer equipment to the island’s Jewish community as part of a USAID democracy promotion program. Cuban authorities

accused him of being a U.S. intelligence agent, and sentenced him to 15 years in prison for participating in “a subversive project of the U.S. government that aimed to destroy the Revolution through the use of communications systems out of the control of authorities.”

In the lawsuit, Gross and his wife Judy say that Gross wasn’t properly informed of the perils of his work, which the “United States negligently directed, organized, and oversaw.” The case was dismissed in federal court, however, just one month before Gross was released from prison in December as part of the thawing of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Gross received $3.2 million in a separate case in December, when USAID reached a settlement with the subcontractor he was working with in Cuba, Development Alternatives, Inc.

As in the most recent ruling, however, the U.S. government denied any liability for Gross’ imprisonment. In a statement released in December, USAID said, “The settlement avoids the cost, delay and risks of further proceedings, and does not constitute an admission of liability by either party.”