Russia Highlights Cuba’s Role As Most Loyal Ally in Western Hemisphere 4

Los presidenteS Raúl Castro y Vladimir Putin durante la visita del mandatario ruso a Cuba en 2014. Foto: AP.

Los presidenteS Raúl Castro y Vladimir Putin durante la visita del mandatario ruso a Cuba en 2014. Foto: AP.

[Cuba] is not only a strategic partner, but [Russia’s] most loyal and trustworthy ally in the Western Hemisphere.    

— Nikolai Sofinski, sub-director for Latin America at Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cuba Debate (see below)

Relaciones estratégicas entre Moscú y La Habana no responden a coyunturas, afirma cancillería rusa

Las relaciones estratégicas entre Rusia y Cuba pasaron por una prueba y no responden a coyunturas, afirmó este viernes en Moscú una fuente del Departamento de América Latina en la cancillería del país euroasiático.

El subdirector Nikolai Sofinski ratificó el carácter de prioridad a los vínculos con la isla en la política exterior rusa, durante un panel dedicado a una actualización sobre el desarrollo socio-económico de Cuba y a la cooperación bilateral.

Sofinski definió a la nación antillana no solo como socio estratégico, sino el aliado “más fiable y seguro en el hemisferio occidental”, y no es una definición coyuntural, puntualizó el funcionario ante un grupo de investigadores del Instituto de América Latina, de la Academia de Ciencias de Rusia.

Enfatizó que las relaciones bilaterales pasaron por una prueba, que revalida esa asociación estratégica, y tienen grandes perspectivas, aseguró.

Valoró la interacción dinámica de los dos países en la arena internacional a instancias de diversos foros y el apoyo cubano manifiesto públicamente en contra de la ampliación de la OTAN cerca de las fronteras rusas, las sanciones ilegítimas unilaterales y los intentos de glorificación del nazismo, entre otros asuntos de la agenda global.

El subdirector del Departamento de América Latina de la cancillería consideró que existen amplias posibilidades de colaboración, al identificar al sector de la salud como un área en la que Cuba podría apoyar a Rusia.

Para el embajador Emilio Lozada las premisas de esa alianza ruso-cubana descansan en los sólidos lazos de hermandad y de amistad que fueron restablecidos el 8 de mayo de 1960.

Lozada destacó la constancia de unas estrechas relaciones entre los dos pueblos y gobiernos, la cual demuestran la intensidad de los contactos bilaterales al más alto nivel, con una particular dinámica entre 2009 y 2015, puntualizó el diplomático.

Recordó el Embajador la dimensión histórica de la visita del presidente ruso, Vladimir Putin, a La Habana en julio de 2014 para los vínculos bilaterales, y la presencia del mandatario cubano, Raúl Castro, en las celebraciones en Moscú del 70 aniversario de la Victoria, el 9 de mayo de 2015, además de sus tres visitas a este país.

Cubadebate

 

 

Leftist Attorney and “Journalist” Eva Golinger Interviews Cuban Spies 1

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

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

My Country, My Love: a Conversation with Gerardo and Adriana of the Cuban Five

by Eva Golinger, Counterpunch

It was nearly nine o’clock that Wednesday December 17, 2014 when I saw a tweet by Rene Gonzalez, one of the five Cuban spies who had been imprisoned in the United States for over a decade. THEY RETURNED! I had to look twice. Could it be true? I quickly started searching in newspapers and digital media for any news about the Five, as they were known in Cuba, but all pointed to Rene’s tweet. Minutes later, in three consecutive tweets Rene presented concrete evidence to allay any doubts. The papers for the release from prison of Gerardo, Ramon and Antonio were signed. They were free.

Previously, on December 4, Gerardo was abruptly transported from the maximum security prison in Victorville, California where he had spent most of his 16 year prison term and taken to a penitentiary center in Oklahoma City. Without knowing why he was there he was put in the “hole”, another term for solitary confinement in a cell with no window or contact with other prisoners, subjected to brutal and inhumane treatment by the guards. He was left there for eleven days. On December 15, he was suddenly transferred to a prison hospital in Butner, North Carolina. He was not even given time to gather and bring the few personal possessions he had accumulated over the last 16 years in prison.

Across the country in Florida, Antonio was awoken at five o’clock in the morning on Monday December 15, in his prison cell in Marianna, a medium security penitentiary. He was only told to pack his personal items, nothing more. He complied, not knowing where he was being taken or why. He was then transported in a private jet to the prison hospital in Butner. There, he thought he’d have to adapt again to a new surrounding and make his life in that prison.

That same day, Ramon, still registered under the false name he used during his intelligence mission in the United States, Luis Medina, was also taken from his cell in Georgia to the prison hospital in Butner. He wasn’t given any instructions or information about the reason for his transfer. It was not until the next day, on December 16, that all three – Gerardo, Ramon and Antonio – met face to face in the same place, and they knew from that moment on they were going home.

They found it impossible to contain their happiness. Between smiles, jokes and hugs, US officials got so nervous that when they brought the three of them to the plane on the early morning of December 17, they forced them to speak English. Perhaps the feared Castro-spies would still be conspiring against the country that had deprived them of their freedom for the past 16 years. In a final blow, as the plane approached their homeland, the authorities covered the windows of the plane. They couldn’t even see the arrival into Cuba.

Feature continues here:  Counterpunch

 

 

La nueva batalla ideológica del castrismo 2

ABM_ParisLa libertad de Ana Belén Montes se anuncia como el próximo combate

Fernando Núñez  — CUBANET

PARÍS, Francia.- La libertad de Ana Belén Montes se anuncia como el próximo combate del aparato ideológico del castrismo y de sus adláteres a nivel mundial.

El portal de la Asociación France-Cuba hacía recientemente la publicidad para el documental ‘Revolucionarios’, una serie iniciada por el activista comunista Viktor Dedaj. A la derecha del portal aparece un widget donde se reclama la liberación de la espía que purga una condena de 25 años de privación de libertad “en condiciones inhumanas”.

El documental del señor Dedaj pretende contar la historia de la Revolución cubana, por aquellos anónimos que la llevaron a cabo. Fabricado con testimonios diversos, los autores esperan que las vivencias de unos y otros consigan hacer llegar al público lo que era la realidad cubana antes de la insurrección castrista y las razones por las cuales decidieron participar y comprometerse en la lucha contra la dictadura de Batista.

El señor Dedaj anima un portal llamado La gran noche, de gran audiencia, en referencia a esa noción comunista y teleologista que anuncia el final inminente del sistema capitalista. Por su parte, la asociación Francia-Cuba trabaja desde 1961 para estrechar los lazos de amistad entre los pueblos cubano y francés e intenta por su acción, ampliar los intercambios económicos, científicos y técnicos entre las dos naciones.  De más está decir, que el pueblo cubano al que hace referencia es el que sufre “el bloqueo económico más largo del  mundo”, una situación a la que el señor Dedaj, equiparó al genocidio nazi en un reciente artículo.

Numerosos indicios apuntan a que la campaña a favor de Montes está por comenzar, sino lo ha hecho ya. En un reciente viaje a España, Silvio Rodríguez, el cantautor contestatario, cantor oficial de la dictadura, se expresó en este sentido el mes pasado durante un concierto ante unas 4.000 personas en el Coliseum de la ciudad gallega de A Coruña cuando dedicó una de sus icónicas canciones, “La Maza”, a Montes.

Artículo continúa aquí:  Ana Belén Montes

 

Interview With American Fugitive Charlie Hill — Cop Killer 1

Charles Hill, prófugo del FBI refugiado en La Habana hace más de cuarenta años / Foto: Yuris Nórido

Charles Hill, prófugo del FBI refugiado en La Habana hace más de cuarenta años / Foto: Yuris Nórido

Black on the hill, prófugo en La Habana

Por : Carlos Manuel Álvarez

Es la noche del 8 de noviembre de 1971, Albuquerque, Nuevo México, y el teniente Robert Rosenbloom va a morir. Tiene 28 años y es veterano de la US. Army. Sobre las once, el Ford Galaxie del 62, procedente de Oakland, pasa de largo por la Interestatal 40, varias millas al oeste, y Rosenbloom decide detenerlo. En el Ford, cargado con tres rifles militares, una escopeta calibre 12, literatura política, dinamita y granadas, viajan tres miembros de la República Nueva África (RNA): Masheo Sundiata, Antar Ra y Fela Olatunji.

La RNA es una organización política que básicamente pretende fundar una nación afroamericana en cinco estados del sur estadounidense: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia y Carolina del Sur. Rosenbloom probablemente pretenda algo menos ambicioso: asegurarse una detención exitosa.

Alrededor todo es desierto: algún que otro arbusto, alguna que otra sombra. Los tres hombres, que vienen huyendo de las autoridades, bajan del auto. Rosenbloom les pide que abran el maletero y Olatunji le dice que el maletero solo se abre en la estación. Rosenbloom les dice que lo sigan. Pero, evidente, nadie lo va a seguir. Alguien desenfunda un revolver calibre 45. Alguien jala el gatillo y la bala, letal, atraviesa la garganta del teniente. Olatunji se acerca, observa el elegante sombrero de Patrolman en el suelo, cómo crece el charco viscoso de sangre, y comprueba que no haya pulso. No lo hay.

Rosenbloom tiene dos hijos. Tammy, de tres años, y Robert, de dos recién cumplidos.

***

–Ahora tendrán unos cuarenta y tantos.

–Sí, yo estaba pensando el otro día en el varón. Pero si él no vino con veinte o con treinta, y se vistió de ranger y me mató, difícil que lo haga ahora.

Cuando Charles Hill conversa, lo hace con acento extraño. Confunde el género de los sustantivos y los adjetivos y tuerce las palabras, las marea, como si su lengua fuera un tornillo de banco que le doblara los eslabones al castellano.

–Quizás no lo haga él.

–Quizás. Hace poco, después de que subieran el precio por la cabeza de Assata, leí algunas conversaciones entre cazadores de recompensas, valorando la posibilidad de buscarla.

–¿Cómo leyó eso?

–No. No.

–¿Y usted tiene contacto con Assata?

artículo continúa aquí:  Black on the hill

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: President Obama Posed In Front of The Ministry of the Interior, From Where All Repression in Cuba is Orchestrated 2

President Obama Enjoys a Photo Op in front the Ministry of the Interior (MININT)

President Obama Enjoys a Photo Op in front the Ministry of the Interior (MININT)

Obama’s Photo Op With Che Guevara Wasn’t The Worst Thing About The Picture

By Hank Berrien, The Daily Wire

After President Obama posed for a picture in Cuba in front of a giant mural honoring the murderous Che Guevara, outrage erupted in the Twittersphere.

But it’s worse than that.

As Ethan Epstein of The Weekly Standard points out, the mural in the Plaza de la Revolucion is painted on the wall of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior, which runs the National Revolutionary Police, Cuba’s version of the secret police. Britannica.com writes, “The Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT), which was modeled on the Soviet KGB, rivaled the East German Stasi for effectiveness and ruthlessness.”

Former Cuban Interior Minister Abelardo Colomé Ibarra has been described by the Miami Herald as “one of the island’s most powerful and feared figures.” As Yoani Sanchez, the publisher of 14ymedio, an independent newspaper in Cuba, wrote in The Huffington Post, “How can a citizen protect himself from a State that has the police, the courts, the rapid response brigades, the mass media, the capacity to defame and lie, the power to socially lynch him and turn him into someone defeated and apologetic?” Sanchez has written that she has been kidnaped and beaten by plainclothes State Security agents.

Human Rights Watch offered a report on the Cuban government’s repression. It stated:

The Interior Ministry has principal responsibility for monitoring the Cuban population for signs of dissent. Reportedly, the ministry employs two central offices for this purpose: the General Directorate of Counter-Intelligence (sic) and the General Directorate of Internal Order. The former supervises ……

Feature Continues Here:  How to Crush a Dissent’s Hope With One Photo

 

‘A Series of Razors Waiting to Cut You’: The High Cost of Doing Business in Cuba 2

The Hotel Inglaterra in Havana, one of the hotels in which Starwood is investing. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Hotel Inglaterra in Havana, one of the hotels in which Starwood is investing. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Justin Rohrlich, Vice News

March 25, 2016 | 11:50 am

Sarkis Yacoubian swore he was just a businessman, but the state security agents holding him in a Havana interrogation room called him a spy.

It was July 2011, and Yacoubian, then 51, had been working in Cuba for nearly two decades. An Armenian-Canadian born in Beirut, he owned a trading company called Tri-Star Caribbean, which imported emergency vehicles, mining equipment, and auto parts for Cuba’s state-run industries.

About eight months before his arrest, Yacoubian says, a regime official visited Tri-Star’s Havana offices a handful of times — “Let’s call him ‘the Colonel,'” says Yacoubian, who claims not to recall the man’s name. The Colonel said that Cuba wanted to buy a fleet of BMWs, and asked Yacoubian to arrange it. The government’s wish list: sixteen 5-series sedans for the rental market and diplomatic use, and an armored X5 SUV for Cuban president Raul Castro’s personal motorcade. Yacoubian, knowing the contract could lead to many more, agreed to deliver the cars to Tecnotex, a state-owned conglomerate under the purview of the military run by Castro’s son-in-law, Colonel Luis Alberto Rodriguez.

The problems, however, started almost immediately. The government had previously been working with Eric Soulavy, a BMW dealer based in Venezuela who had run into financing problems. Yacoubian says a BMW rep got in touch with him and said that he needed to buy out Soulavy’s contract with BMW, which still had one year remaining. (A spokeswoman for the auto company said it does not comment “on the behavior of third parties as a matter of principle.”)

Yacoubian says he was at that point contractually obligated to deliver the vehicles to the Cubans, so with his “back to the wall,” he began negotiating with Soulavy. Yacoubian says they agreed to $800,000, with an initial transfer of $100,000. Soulavy, who is now a real-estate developer in Key Biscayne, Florida, says he doesn’t recall the exact amount he received from Yacoubian, but remembers charging him “something for the tools and parts we had invested in that business.”

Yacoubian says the buyers at Tecnotex were also asking him to take a $1,000 loss on each car, but “you don’t tell Raul Castro no.” Still, Yacoubian wasn’t doing the deal out of fear — he estimated the foothold the deal was gaining him could one day be worth up to $250 million.

Instead, he was accused of plotting to kill Castro.

Feature continues here: “A Series of Razors”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Unauthorized Biography of Cuban Spy-Diplomat Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz 3

Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz

Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz  (Photo courtesy of ProgressoWeekly.US)

March 2009 – Present: Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment (MINCEX) (cover assignment)

Dates not recorded: Central Committee member and Deputy to the National Assembly. Licenciado en Economía.

2005: Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations (cover assignment)

2002 to 2005: Ambassador to Belgium, the European Union and Luxembourg (cover assignment)

1998 – 2002: Deputy Minister — Ministry of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation (cover assignment)

1997-1998: Director, European and North American Division — Ministry of Foreign Investment and Economic Cooperation (cover assignment)

1992-1997: Economic Counselor in charge of economic and trade affairs at the Cuban Embassy in Brazil (cover assignment)

1982 – 1992: Specialist on Cooperation in the Division of Economic International Institutions of the State Committee for Economic Cooperation in Havana (cover assignment)

1981: Project Manager with the ECIMETAL Enterprise (cover assignment)

@1981 – Present day: Entered Cuba’s primary foreign intelligence service, the Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI) as an officer in the Q-2 Department, which conducted operations against Cuban exiles. Following a 1989 restructuring, the DGI was renamed the Directorate of Intelligence (DI).

1980: Graduated from the University of Havana with a degree in Economics

Born in Havana, Cuba, on 10/14/56, Malmierca Díaz is married to Grisell Guadalupe Castano-Rey and has two children. His languages include Spanish, English, French & Portuguese.

Editor’s Note: A “cover assignment” is the purported occupation or purpose of an intelligence officer or agent and is intended to explain one’s duties or presence in an area.

The Stupidly Simple Spy Messages No Computer Could Decode 1

Numbers station_The Daily BeastEvery day, hour after hour, the world’s spies send top secret information you can easily listen in on.

By Shan Harris, The Daily Beast

When I was 10 years old, I found a shortwave radio in a crumbling old leather trunk where we kept family photos and other memorabilia. As I spun the dial, tinny, modulating noises, like the song of an electronic slide whistle, emanated from the radio’s small speaker. Staticky cracks and pops competed for airtime. The sounds swished and swirled, unintelligible and unremarkable. But then, emerging through the clamor, was a voice.

I might have run right over it with the dial, but the voice’s rhythmic, steady pacing caught me up short. It wasn’t a deejay. Nor a commercial. And he wasn’t singing. He was just speaking. The same line, over and over again.

“7…6…7…4…3.” Pause. “7…6…7…4…3.”

I don’t remember if those were the exact numbers. But they were numbers. A repeated sequence which had no obvious meaning, and was entirely devoid of context. To find him here, amidst the screeches and howls of the shortwave frequencies, was like coming upon a man standing in the middle of a forest, talking out loud to no one.

How long had he been here? Who was he talking to? He had that officious tone of the recorded telephone operators who chastised you for dialing a wrong number. “Please hang up, check the number, and dial again.” And the same distracting static I’d heard in those messages filled the background. I wasn’t sure if he was speaking live, or if he’d been recorded and set loose to play into the air.

But there was an urgency to his tone. And a purpose. As if he were talking to me. Imploring. Listen. Hear me now. 7…6…7…4…3. Did you get that? 7…6…7…4…3.

I was simultaneously terrified and captivated.

I never touched the radio again. My curiosity was suppressed by a feeling of dread that I had heard something not meant for me. But I never stopped thinking about it. The voice became a character I passed around with friends during late-night ghost stories. The Bell Witch. The Killer in the Back Seat. The Numbers Man.

Article continues here: Numbers Stations

 

Will Spy Wars Between Cuba and the U.S. End with Restored Relations? 3

spy_vs_spyHIGHLIGHTS

Since Fidel Castro seized power in January 1959, and over the next five decades, Havana built one of the world’s most active intelligence services

Some of the biggest crises in U.S.-Cuba relations can be traced to the involvement of Cuban spies and agents

Cuban espionage against the United States intensified in the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan stepped up rhetoric against Cuba at the height of the Cold War

By Alfonso Chardy, Miami Herald    achardy@elnuevoherald.com

Though the United States has restored relations with Cuba, and President Barack Obama is planning to visit the island later this month, it’s unclear if the two countries have declared a truce in the spy wars they have waged for more than 50 years.

Lawmakers in Congress have warned the Obama administration that allowing Cuba to operate an embassy in Washington and consulates throughout the country will only make it easier for Havana to deploy spies and agents in the United States.

“We are all too familiar with the Castro regime’s efforts to utilize their diplomats as intelligence agents tasked with the goal of committing espionage against the host countries,’’ according to a letter sent in 2015 to the U.S. Department of State by five Cuban-American lawmakers including Miami Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart and Carlos Curbelo, as well as presidential candidate and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and New Jersey Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J.

Since Fidel Castro seized power in January 1959, and over the next five decades, Havana built one of the world’s most active intelligence services — one that dispatched spies and agents to penetrate the highest levels of the American government and some of the leading Cuban exile organizations.

In fact, some of the biggest crises in U.S.-Cuba relations can be traced to the involvement of Cuban spies and agents — from the downing of two Brothers to the Rescue planes to the theft of U.S. military secrets at the Defense Intelligence Agency and the spying of U.S. military facilities in South Florida and infiltration of leading Cuban exile organizations in Miami by members of the now-defunct Wasp Network.

Story continues here: Miami Herald

Editors Note: It seems the Miami Herald didn’t pay attention during last month’s testimony by Director of National Intelligence, General James R. Clapper, who told Congress Russia, China, Iran & Cuba pose the greatest threat to the United States.