Moscow Building Spy Site in Nicaragua 1

Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, attend a welcome ceremony at an airport in Managua, Nicaragua, Friday, July 11, 2014. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, attend a welcome ceremony at an airport in Managua, Nicaragua, Friday, July 11, 2014. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

Signals intelligence facility part of deal for 50 Russian tanks

By Bill Gertz, Washington Free Beacon        

The Russian government is building an electronic intelligence-gathering facility in Nicaragua as part of Moscow’s efforts to increase military and intelligence activities in the Western Hemisphere.

The signals intelligence site is part of a recent deal between Moscow and Managua involving the sale of 50 T-72 Russian tanks, said defense officials familiar with reports of the arrangement.

The tank deal and spy base have raised concerns among some officials in the Pentagon and nations in the region about a military buildup under leftist Nicaraguan leader Daniel Ortega.

Disclosure of the Russia-Nicaraguan spy base comes as three U.S. officials were expelled from Nicaragua last week. The three Department of Homeland Security officials were picked up by Nicaraguan authorities, driven to the airport, and sent to the United States without any belongings.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said the expulsion took place June 14 and was “unwarranted and inconsistent with the positive and constructive agenda that we seek with the government of Nicaragua.”

“Such treatment has the potential to negatively impact U.S. and Nicaraguan bilateral relations, particularly trade,” he said.

The action is an indication that President Obama’s recent diplomatic overture to Cuba has not led to better U.S. ties to leftist governments in the region.

State Department officials had no immediate comment on the expulsion.

The action is an indication that President Obama’s recent diplomatic overture to Cuba has not led to better U.S. ties to leftist governments in the region.

Nicaragua’s Ortega has remained close to the communist Castro regime in Cuba and the leftist regime in Venezuela. He was once part of the communist Sandinista dictatorship, and after winning election as president in 2006 has shifted Nicaragua towards socialism.

No details of the intelligence site, such as its location and when it will be completed, could be learned.

However, the site could be disguised as a Russian GLONASS satellite navigation tracking station that is said to be nearing completion. GLONASS is the Russian version of the Global Positioning System network of satellites used for precision navigation and guidance.

Article continues here:  Russian SIGINT

Editor’s Note:  While the Russians and Cubans maintain an intelligence sharing agreement, it seems Moscow isn’t satisfied with what they are receiving from the Cuban SIGINT system headquartered at Bejucal. Or perhaps Chinese Intelligence, which has had personnel embedded at Bejucal for at least 15 years, isn’t interested in seeing an expanded Havana-Moscow relationship.  

 

 

Havana Blocks Airport Visit By US Department of Homeland Security 2

Syracuse

Rep. John Katko, R-Camillus, says the Cuban government has blocked his planned congressional delegation visit to look at security at Cuban airports. Katko is shown chairing a House Homeland Security subcommittee meeting in May 2016 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Provided photo) Rep. John Katko, R-Camillus, says the Cuban government has blocked his planned congressional delegation visit to look at security at Cuban airports. Katko is shown chairing a House Homeland Security subcommittee meeting in May 2016 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington. (Provided photo)

Cuba blocks visit from Rep. John Katko, delegation from Congress

By  Mark Weiner | mweiner@syracuse.com,  The Syracuse Post-Standard

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cuba has denied visas to U.S. Rep. John Katko and a delegation from the House Homeland Security Committee that wanted to visit this weekend to inspect airport security.

Katko, chairman of a subcommittee on transportation security, said Friday that the congressional delegation visit was called off at the last minute after the Cuban government blocked the trip.

Katko, R-Camillus, and members of the congressional delegation wanted to assess security risks at Cuban airports before the start of daily commercial air service with the United States later this year.

‘We tried for over a month and a half to get visas, and we couldn’t get them,” Katko said in an interview Friday.

Katko said his delegation had planned to visit airports in Havana, smaller airports in other Cuban cities, and stop at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay.

At a hearing last month, Katko and other members of the Homeland Security Committee questioned whether proper security screening equipment and procedures will be in place before the start of more than 100 roundtrip commercial flights per day with the United States.

“Our job is to look at last point of departure airports around the world, and they’re not letting us do it,” Katko said Friday. “Some experts believe Cuba could become a gateway to the U.S. for terror suspects from Europe. But they’re not even letting us take a look at their airports”

Katko and House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul, R-Texas, have said they felt stonewalled by U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials who declined to answer questions about the security capabilities of Cuban airports.

The House members wanted to know if Cuba had adequate body scanners, explosive detection equipment, and the ability to screen for fraudulent passports or IDs. The committee also wanted to know if federal air marshals would be allowed on flights to and from Cuba.

Feature continues here:  Security Visit Blocked

Obama Invites Top Communist Military-Intelligence Officials to Inspect Vital U.S. Defense Facilities 3

ObamaBy Humberto Fontova, Townhall

In 2001 a group of Castroite spies in south Florida known as the Wasp Network were convicted of charges ranging from espionage to conspiracy to commit murder (of U.S. citizens.) They were sentenced to terms ranging from 15 years to two life sentences. According to the FBI’s affidavit, the charges against these KGB-trained Communist spies included:

  • Compiling the names, home addresses, and medical files of the U.S. Southern Command’s top officers and that of hundreds of officers stationed at Boca Chica Naval Station in Key West.
  • Infiltrating the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command.

This past April, on Obama’s orders, some of the U.S. Southern Command’s top officers gave an in-depth tour of the Southern Command’s most vital facilities to some of Cuba’s top Military and Intelligence officials—probably to some of the very ones who earlier got this vital information from their WASP charges via “encrypted software, high-frequency radio transmissions and coded electronic phone messages,” as the FBI affidavit showed.

Cuba’s KGB-founded and mentored spy agency carefully trains their people to stifle guffaws, and even snickers—to maintain a poker-face through even the most hilarious provocations. Little did they dream how valuable such training would prove during the Obama administration.

Sorry, but Peter Sellers, the Marx Brothers, Maxwell Smart and Austin Powers are all somehow absent from this fascinating story. It’s all true. Here’s “just the facts ma’am” from The Miami Herald.

Oh, and never mind the convicted Cuban spies, some of whom helped murder four U.S. citizens. They’re all living like celebrities in Cuba now after Obama gifted them back to Castro in December 2014, upon commencing his smoochfest with the terror-sponsoring drug-runner who came closest to nuking the U.S.

It gets better:

Coincidently (perhaps) the vital U.S. defense facilities that Obama invited the eager Communist drug-runners to carefully inspect serve as the U.S. Defense Department’s “command center on the war on drugs.”

Coincidently, (perhaps) on top of serving as a base for terrorist group Hezbollah and probably laundering funds for Al-Qaeda as late as two years ago, the Castro-Family-Crime-Syndicate also help facilitate much of world’s cocaine smuggling. The dots are not overly difficult to connect. Let’s have a look:

*The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) attributes half the world’s cocaine supply to the Colombian Terror group FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.)

*The FARC itself gives credit where credit is due, attributing their rollicking success to the Castro regime:

Feature continues here:  Fontova

 

CNN Debuts New Original Series, “Declassified: Untold Stories of American Spies” tonight at 10pm Eastern 1

DeclassifiedExplore the true stories of America’s covert operations told firsthand by the agents who lived it, while getting unprecedented access to the riveting and secret world of espionage. Hosted by former U.S. Congressman, former House Intelligence Committee chair and current CNN national security contributor Mike Rogers.

The tentative season schedule is:

Trigon: The KGB Chess Game (6/19)

The Hunt for Saddam (6/26)

Zarqawi: The Father of ISIS (7/3)

Cuba: Traitor on the Inside (7/10)

Cross International: The Billion Dollar Black Market (8/14)

The Taliban’s Double Agent (8/21)

Red Storm Rising: Naval Secrets Exposed (8/28)

Hexagon: The Secret Satellite (9/4)

US Fugitives Say Cuba Has Reassured Them They Are Safe 3

Cop-Killer Charles Hill

Cop-Killer Charles Hill

By The Associated Press

HAVANA — Two American fugitives who fled to Cuba after they were accused of killing police officers said Friday that Cuban officials have assured them that détente with the United States will not lead to their extradition.

The United States and Cuba held a second round of law-enforcement talks last month dedicated partly to resolving the fate of scores of fugitives after more than a half century with almost no cooperation. The talks are part of a series of U.S.-Cuba negotiations aimed at normalizing relations after the two countries declared an official end to Cold War hostilities on Dec. 17, 2014.

The discussions have raised U.S. law enforcement hopes that fugitives living in Cuba for decades will return to the United States to face trial or serve prison under plea deals.

Charles Hill, a black militant wanted in the 1971 slaying of a New Mexico state policeman, told The Associated Press that Cuban government contacts had recently reassured him he was at no risk of extradition. Nehanda Abiodun, another black militant wanted in a 1981 armored car robbery that left two police offers and a security guard dead, told the AP she had recently received a similar promise.

Cuba is home to dozens of people wanted in the United States on charges ranging from Medicare fraud to killings committed in the name of black and Puerto Rican revolution movements in the 1970s and ’80s. Cuba has asked the United States to return a smaller number of people, including Luis Posada Carriles, the alleged mastermind of a series of terror attacks against Cuba, including the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner that killed all 73 people on board.

Cuba’s head of U.S. affairs told the AP shortly after the declaration of détente that Cuba was entitled to grant asylum to U.S. fugitives, a sign that people the country once saw as fellow revolutionary fighters will remain safe. The most prominent is Assata Shakur, who is on the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists. She broke out of a prison where she was serving a conviction for murdering a New Jersey state trooper. She was regularly spotted in Havana after fleeing to Cuba but has not been seen here in public in recent years.

Hill said he had contacted his Cuban government handlers about three weeks ago after seeing reports that progress was being made in negotiations that could lead to his extradition.

“My people assured me that no, that’s not going to take place,” Hill said. “I said what’s the status and they said there’s no problem.

“The future is very difficult,” he said. “I don’t know, but I think the Cuban government is going to maintain their position. I feel very tranquil.”

Feature continues here:  Cuba to Remain Terrorist Safe Haven

 

 

 

Swapping Cuban Spy For American Cop Killer A Non-Starter 1

Senator Marco Rubio

Senator Marco Rubio

By Marco Rubio, Sunshine State News

With reports that the U.S. government and Cuban regime have discussed the possibility of releasing convicted Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes in exchange for Joanne Chesimard, who killed a New Jersey police officer and has been living in Cuba for decades, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., expressed his firm opposition to the idea this week:

‎Ana Belen Montes is one of the most hardened and unrepentant spies ever captured and convicted by the United States government. Over an extended period of time, Belen Montes repeatedly compromised our national security and endangered American lives.

Were it not for the courageous actions of federal law enforcement and counter-espionage agents, there is no telling how much damage Belen Montes could have wrought on our national security. Releasing her from prison for any reason is a non-starter, but the notion that she would be given her freedom in exchange for a convicted cop killer would be an even greater outrage to the victims of both Ana Belen Montes and Joanne Chesimard.

The Obama administration at every level should unequivocally take this possibility off the negotiating table and make clear to the Castro regime that it will never happen.

It is crazy that something like this even needs to be said, but as we have seen with the Obama administration time and time again, nothing is outside the realm of possibility. Whether releasing terrorists from GITMO or the Cuban spies it has already released, the Obama administration has shown a reckless approach to one-sided prisoner swaps that endanger America’s security and send a message that our justice system can be circumvented for the right price or the right short-sighted political goal.

Ana Belen Montes deserves to serve every single day of her sentence in a federal prison, and Joanne Chesimard should join her soon, and the Obama administration should restate their commitment to both of these goals and they should do it soon.

U.S. Sen .Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was first elected to the Senate in 2010

Cuba Denies US Reports of Prisoner Exchange 4

Telesur archive.jpg_1718483346

Cop Killer Assata Shakur

US Media Claim Cuba Could Extradite Assata Shakur, Despite All Evidence to the Contrary

Published 6 June 2016, TeleSUR English

Assata Shakur, the first woman to be put on the FBI’s most wanted terrorist list, is falsely claimed to be included in a prisoner swap program between the U.S. and Cuba.

News outlets in the United States have published speculative reports over the past couple of days suggesting Cuba is willing to exchange Assata Shakur in a prison swap deal with the U.S.

Assata Shakur, formerly called Joanne Chesimard, is a Queens-born activist who belonged to the Black Liberation Army.

She escaped prison two years after being convicted of the alleged murder of state trooper Werner Foerster in 1977 during a gunfight – a crime she has always denied.

In the mid-1980s, then Cuban President Fidel Castro granted her asylum on the island.

Shortly after Washington announced its normalization of relations with Cuba, state authorities in New Jersey expressed their hope that Havana would extradite the former Black Panther to U.S. soil. 

“We view any changes in relations with Cuba as an opportunity to bring her back to the United States to finish her sentence for the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973,” said Col. Rick Fuentes, head of the state’s largest law enforcement agency.

However, the Cuban government has repeatedly refused to extradite the aunt of Tupac Shakur, angering U.S. conservatives.

Article continues here:  TeleSUR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Will Obama Trade Deadly Spy Ana Montes (Who Aided in the Deaths of at Least 65 Solders) For Cop Killer Assata Shakur? 7

Assata Shakur - the former Joanne Chesimard.

Assata Shakur – the former Joanne Chesimard.

US and Cuba in talks to bring cop-killer back to America

By Joe Tacopino

US and Cuban officials are reportedly discussing an exchange that could bring New Jersey cop killer Joanne Chesimard back to American soil.

The talks between the two countries, which have normalized diplomatic relations, could also send notorious Cuban spy Ana Montes back to the Caribbean nation, according to NBC.

“Cuba has been a haven for US fugitives,” a federal law-enforcement official told NBC.

Chesimard, a former Black Panther and an aunt of hip hop legend Tupac Shakur, escaped prison in 1979 after she was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper. She has been hiding out in Havana since the mid-1980s.

Chesimard, also known as Assata Shakur, is the only woman on the FBI’s list of most-wanted terrorists.

Montes had been a senior analyst for Cuban affairs with the Defense Intelligence Agency.

On Sept. 21, 2001, Montes was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage for Cuba.

She was sentenced to 25 years in prison and is scheduled to be sprung in 2023.

Editor’s Note:  Cuban-Supported FMLN guerrillas killed 65 soldiers, including American “Green Beret” Gregory A. Fronius, in a single three-hour battle. The surprise attack on the El Paraiso camp occurred on April 1, 1987 – shortly after Castro spy Ana Montes visited the camp as part of a five-week familiarization visit to the (then) war-torn nation. Montes then shared numerous U.S. secrets with her handler – to include the precise time to attack — on a date she knew 75% of El Paraiso’s garrison would be away conducting counter-insurgency operations.

Intelligence & Security Experts Concerned Over Increased Openness With Castro Regime 4

Cuba's Ministry  of the Interior -- home to its security and intelligence services

Cuba’s Ministry of the Interior — home to its security and intelligence services

Obama Administration Hosts Cuban Border Guard Visits

By Bill Gertz, The Washington Free Beacon

Trips to Coast Guard facilities raise security concerns

The Obama administration is hosting visits to U.S. Coast Guard facilities by Cuban Border Guard officials as part of its policy of seeking closer ties with the communist government in Havana.

The visits are raising concerns among officials and security analysts that closer ties with Cuba will benefit aggressive Cuban intelligence operations in the United States that have been underway for decades.

A delegation of Cuban officials arrives this week for visits to Coast Guard bases in Florida and Alabama following an earlier visit two months ago.

The Department of Homeland Security, which arranged the visits, refused to provide details of the Cuban delegation. But a spokeswoman said they are part of an exchange program.

“These visits represent professional exchanges between the U.S. Coast Guard and the Cuban Border Guard to discuss issues of mutual interest such as at-sea rescue operations,” DHS spokeswoman Gillian Christensen told the Washington Free Beacon, without elaborating.

Cuban officials on March 18 visited three Coast Guard port facilities in the south, including one near Mobile, Alabama. The group also toured an oil refinery in Alabama, according to a Coast Guard spokeswoman.

A State Department official said the Cuban Border Guard tours of Coast Guard bases are an outgrowth of the president’s pro-Havana tilt. “‎The administration’s new policy of engagement has enabled U.S. agencies to discuss and coordinate on topics of mutual interest as we work to normalize relations.”

The official referred further questions to the Cuban government. A Cuban Embassy official did not respond to email requests for comment.

President Obama traveled to Cuba in March as part of what the White House has called his rejection of “the failed, Cold War-era policy” of isolating the communist regime in Havana.

Alexandria Preston, a Coast Guard spokeswoman, said the March visit was arranged by Coast Guard headquarters as part of the International Port Security program.

The Cubans were given public information briefings and presentations about Coast Guard operations in Mobile followed by a question and answer session on the Maritime Transportation Security Act, she said. At the refinery, the Cubans were given a briefing and tour by the refinery’s security officer.

Cuba’s Border Guard troops are part of the Cuban Interior Ministry that directs the Intelligence Directorate, the political police, and an intelligence service modeled after the Soviet-era KGB intelligence service. The Border Guard in the past has been involved in liaisons with the U.S. Coast Guard.

Cuba’s intelligence services also cooperate with Russian intelligence services.

Feature continues here:  Security Concerns

 

 

 

Havana Wants Prisoner Swap For American Spy Who Helped FMLN Guerrillas Kill 65 in El Salvador, including an American “Green Beret” 1

“Green Beret” Gregory A. Fronius

“Green Beret” Gregory A. Fronius

Cuba Wants Convicted Spy Released in U.S. Prisoner Swap

by Pete Williams and William M. Arkin

Cuba and the United States are discussing possible exchanges of prisoners, including the release of a woman considered one of the most damaging spies in recent history, U.S. officials told NBC News.

The discussions, said to be in their early stages, are part of efforts by the two countries toward normalization of diplomatic relations.

Among the names floated by Cuban leaders, officials say, is Ana Montes, convicted in 2002 of spying for the Cuban government for nearly two decades while working for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.

Her espionage compromised many aspects of America’s efforts to spy on Cuba, “calling into question the reliability of all U.S. intelligence collected against Cuba,” according to Michelle Van Cleave, a former national counterintelligence executive.

While at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Montes became the top Cuban analyst. Investigators said she memorized classified information on the job, typed it on a laptop computer in the evenings at her apartment, stored it in coded form on disks, and passed the information to her Cuban handlers.

Montes was sentenced to 25 years in prison and is due to be released in 2023. For their part, American officials say the U.S. is interested in getting back Americans who sought refuge in Cuba from U.S. prosecution.

“Cuba has been a haven for U.S. fugitives,” said one federal law enforcement official.

Among those U.S. officials would like back is Joanne Chesimard, who escaped from a New Jersey prison in 1979 where she was serving a life sentence for killing a state trooper by shooting him with his own gun at a traffic stop.

The State Department declined to discuss specifics. But a spokesman said, “The United States continues to seek the return from Cuba of fugitives from U.S. justice. The Department repeatedly raises fugitive cases with the Cuban government and will continue to do so at every appropriate opportunity.”

“I don’t think the idea of a prisoner exchange is surprising,” author David Wise, who has written several books about espionage cases, said. “We’ve swapped with the Russians since the early days of the Cold War. It’s by no means unprecedented.”

Editor’s Note:  Cuban-Supported FMLN guerrillas killed 65 soldiers, including American “Green Beret” Gregory A. Fronius, in a single three-hour battle. The surprise attack on the El Paraiso camp occurred on April 1, 1987 – shortly after Castro spy Ana Montes visited the camp as part of a five-week familiarization visit to the (then) war-torn nation. Montes then shared numerous U.S. secrets with her handler – to include the precise time to attack — on a date she knew 75% of El Paraiso’s garrison would be away conducting counter-insurgency operations.