Washington Tightens Restrictions on Cuban Intelligence, Security & Military Entities Profiting From Visiting Tourists 3

List of Restricted Entities and Subentities Associated With Cuba as of November 15, 2018

Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs
November 15, 2018

Below is the U.S. Department of State’s list of entities and subentities under the control of, or acting for or on behalf of, the Cuban military, intelligence, or security services or personnel with which direct financial transactions would disproportionately benefit such services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba. For information regarding the prohibition on direct financial transactions with these entities, please see the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control website and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security website. All entities and subentities were listed effective November 9, 2017, unless otherwise indicated.

*** Entities or subentities owned or controlled by another entity or subentity on this list are not treated as restricted unless also specified by name on the list. ***

Ministries
MINFAR — Ministerio de las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias
MININT — Ministerio del Interior

Holding Companies
CIMEX — Corporación CIMEX S.A.
Compañía Turística Habaguanex S.A.
GAESA — Grupo de Administración Empresarial S.A.
Gaviota — Grupo de Turismo Gaviota
UIM — Unión de Industria Militar

Hotels in Havana and Old Havana
Aparthotel Montehabana (Habaguanex)
Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski (Gaviota)
H10 Habana Panorama (Gaviota)
Hostal Valencia (Habaguanex)
Hotel Ambos Mundos (Habaguanex)
Hotel Armadores de Santander (Habaguanex)
Hotel Beltrán de Santa Cruz (Habaguanex)
Hotel Conde de Villanueva (Habaguanex)
Hotel del Tejadillo (Habaguanex)
Hotel el Bosque (Habaguanex)
Hotel el Comendador (Habaguanex)
Hotel el Mesón de la Flota (Habaguanex)
Hotel Florida (Habaguanex)
Hotel Habana 612 (Habaguanex)
Hotel Kohly (Habaguanex)
Hotel Los Frailes (Habaguanex)
Hotel Marqués de Prado Ameno (Habaguanex)
Hotel Palacio del Marqués de San Felipe y Santiago de Bejucal (Habaguanex)
Hotel Palacio O’Farrill (Habaguanex)
Hotel Park View (Habaguanex)
Hotel Raquel (Habaguanex)
Hotel San Miguel (Habaguanex)
Hotel Telégrafo (Habaguanex)
Hotel Terral (Habaguanex)
Iberostar Grand Packard Hotel (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Memories Miramar Havana (Gaviota)
Memories Miramar Montehabana (Gaviota)
SO/ Havana Paseo del Prado (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018

Hotels in Santiago de Cuba
Villa Gaviota Santiago (Gaviota)

Hotels in Varadero
Blau Marina Varadero Resort (Gaviota) (also Fiesta Americana Punta Varadero effective November 15, 2018)
Grand Memories Varadero (Gaviota)
Hotel Las Nubes (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Hotel Oasis (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Iberostar Bella Vista (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Iberostar Laguna Azul (Gaviota)
Iberostar Playa Alameda (Gaviota)
Meliá Marina Varadero (Gaviota)
Meliá Peninsula Varadero (Gaviota)
Memories Varadero (Gaviota)
Naviti Varadero (Gaviota)
Ocean Varadero El Patriarca (Gaviota)
Ocean Vista Azul (Gaviota)
Paradisus Princesa del Mar (Gaviota)
Paradisus Varadero (Gaviota)
Sol Sirenas Coral (Gaviota)

Hotels in Pinar del Rio
Hotel Villa Cabo de San Antonio (Gaviota)
Hotel Villa Maria La Gorda y Centro Internacional de Buceo (Gaviota)

Hotels in Baracoa
Hostal 1511 (Gaviota)
Hostal La Habanera (Gaviota)
Hostal La Rusa (Gaviota)
Hostal Rio Miel (Gaviota)
Hotel El Castillo (Gaviota)
Hotel Porto Santo (Gaviota)
Villa Maguana (Gaviota)

Hotels in Cayos de Villa Clara
Angsana Cayo Santa María (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Dhawa Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Golden Tulip Aguas Claras (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Hotel Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Hotel Playa Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Iberostar Ensenachos (Gaviota)
Las Salinas Plana & Spa (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
La Salina Noreste (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
La Salina Suroeste (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Meliá Buenavista (Gaviota)
Meliá Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Meliá Las Dunas (Gaviota)
Memories Azul (Gaviota)
Memories Flamenco (Gaviota)
Memories Paraíso (Gaviota)
Ocean Casa del Mar (Gaviota)
Paradisus Los Cayos (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Royalton Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Sercotel Experience Cayo Santa María (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Sol Cayo Santa María (Gaviota)
Starfish Cayo Santa María (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Valentín Perla Blanca (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Villa Las Brujas (Gaviota)
Warwick Cayo Santa María (Gaviota) (also Labranda Cayo Santa María Hotel effective November 15, 2018)

Hotels in Holguín
Blau Costa Verde Beach & Resort (Gaviota) (also Fiesta Americana Holguín Costa Verde effective November 15, 2018)
Hotel Playa Costa Verde (Gaviota)
Hotel Playa Pesquero (Gaviota)
Memories Holguín (Gaviota)
Paradisus Río de Oro Resort & Spa (Gaviota)
Playa Costa Verde (Gaviota)
Playa Pesquero Premium Service (Gaviota)
Sol Rio de Luna y Mares (Gaviota)
Villa Cayo Naranjo (Gaviota)
Villa Cayo Saetia (Gaviota)
Villa Pinares de Mayari (Gaviota)

Hotels in Jardines del Rey
Grand Muthu Cayo Guillermo (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Hotel Playa Coco Plus (Gaviota)
Iberostar Playa Pilar (Gaviota)
Meliá Jardines del Rey (Gaviota)
Memories Caribe (Gaviota)
Pestana Cayo Coco (Gaviota)

Hotels in Topes de Collantes
Hostal Los Helechos (Gaviota)
Kurhotel Escambray (Gaviota) Effective November 15, 2018
Los Helechos (Gaviota)
Villa Caburni (Gaviota)

Tourist Agencies
Crucero del Sol
Gaviota Tours

Marinas
Marina Gaviota Cabo de San Antonio (Pinar del Rio)
Marina Gaviota Cayo Coco (Jardines del Rey)
Marina Gaviota Las Brujas (Cayos de Villa Clara)
Marina Gaviota Puerto Vita (Holguín)
Marina Gaviota Varadero (Varadero)

Stores in Old Havana
Casa del Abanico (Habaguanex)
Colección Habana (Habaguanex)
Florería Jardín Wagner (Habaguanex)
Joyería Coral Negro (CIMEX) – Additional locations throughout Cuba
La Casa del Regalo (Habaguanex)
San Ignacio 415 (Habaguanex)
Soldadito de Plomo (Habaguanex)
Tienda El Navegante (Habaguanex)
Tienda Muñecos de Leyenda (Habaguanex)
Tienda Museo El Reloj Cuervo y Sobrinos (Habaguanex)

Entities Directly Serving the Defense and Security Sectors
ACERPROT — Agencia de Certificación y Consultoría de Seguridad y Protección (alias Empresa de Certificación de Sistemas de Seguridad y Protección effective November 15, 2018)
AGROMIN — Grupo Empresarial Agropecuario del Ministerio del Interior
APCI — Agencia de Protección Contra Incendios
CAHOMA — Empresa Militar Industrial Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara
CASEG — Empresa Militar Industrial Transporte Occidente
CID NAV — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Naval
CIDAI — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Armamento de Infantería
CIDAO — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo del Armamento de Artillería e Instrumentos Ópticos y Ópticos Electrónicos
CORCEL — Empresa Militar Industrial Emilio Barcenas Pier
CUBAGRO — Empresa Comercializadora y Exportadora de Productos Agropecuarios y Agroindustriales
DATYS — Empresa Para El Desarrollo De Aplicaciones, Tecnologías Y Sistemas
DCM TRANS — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo del Transporte
DEGOR — Empresa Militar Industrial Desembarco Del Granma
DSE — Departamento de Seguridad del Estado
EMIAT — Empresa Importadora Exportadora de Abastecimientos Técnicos
Empresa Militar Industrial Astilleros Astimar
Empresa Militar Industrial Astilleros Centro
Empresa Militar Industrial Yuri Gagarin
ETASE — Empresa de Transporte y Aseguramiento
Ferretería TRASVAL
GELCOM — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo Grito de Baire
Impresos de Seguridad
MECATRONICS — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Electrónica y Mecánica
NAZCA — Empresa Militar Industrial Granma
OIBS — Organización Integración para el Bienestar Social
PLAMEC — Empresa Militar Industrial Ignacio Agramonte
PNR — Policía Nacional Revolucionaria
PROVARI — Empresa de Producciones Varias
SEPSA — Servicios Especializados de Protección
SERTOD — Servicios de Telecomunicaciones a los Órganos de la Defensa Effective November 15, 2018
SIMPRO — Centro de Investigación y Desarrollo de Simuladores
TECAL — Empresa de Tecnologías Alternativas
TECNOPRO — Empresa Militar Industrial “G.B. Francisco Cruz Bourzac”
TECNOTEX — Empresa Cubana Exportadora e Importadora de Servicios, Artículos y Productos Técnicos Especializados
TGF — Tropas de Guardafronteras
UAM — Unión Agropecuaria Militar
ULAEX — Unión Latinoamericana de Explosivos
XETID — Empresa de Tecnologías de la Información Para La Defensa
YABO — Empresa Militar Industrial Coronel Francisco Aguiar Rodríguez

Additional Subentities of CIMEX
ADESA/ASAT — Agencia Servicios Aduanales (Customs Services)
Cachito (Beverage Manufacturer)
Contex (Fashion)
Datacimex
ECUSE — Empresa Cubana de Servicios
Inmobiliaria CIMEX (Real Estate)
Inversiones CIMEX
Jupiña (Beverage Manufacturer)
La Maisón (Fashion)
Najita (Beverage Manufacturer)
Publicitaria Imagen (Advertising)
Residencial Tarara S.A. (Real Estate / Property Rental) Effective November 15, 2018
Ron Caney (Rum Production)
Ron Varadero (Rum Production)
Telecable (Satellite Television)
Tropicola (Beverage Manufacturer)
Zona Especializada de Logística y Comercio (ZELCOM)

Additional Subentities of GAESA
Almacenes Universales (AUSA)
ANTEX — Corporación Antillana Exportadora
Compañía Inmobiliaria Aurea S.A. (GAESA) Effective November 15, 2018
Dirección Integrada Proyecto Mariel (DIP)
Empresa Inmobiliaria Almest (Real Estate)
GRAFOS (Advertising)
RAFIN S.A. (Financial Services)
Sociedad Mercantin Inmobiliaria Caribe (Real Estate)
TECNOIMPORT
Terminal de Contenedores de la Habana (TCH)
Terminal de Contenedores de Mariel, S.A.
UCM — Unión de Construcciones Militares
Zona Especial de Desarrollo Mariel (ZEDM)
Zona Especial de Desarrollo y Actividades Logísticas (ZEDAL)
Additional Subentities of Gaviota
AT Comercial
Manzana de Gomez (Shopping Mall)
PhotoService
Plaza La Estrella Effective November 15, 2018
Plaza Las Dunas Effective November 15, 2018
Plaza Las Morlas Effective November 15, 2018
Plaza Las Salinas Effective November 15, 2018
Plaza Las Terrazas del Atardecer Effective November 15, 2018
Plaza Los Flamencos Effective November 15, 2018
Plaza Pesquero Effective November 15, 2018
Producciones TRIMAGEN S.A. (Tiendas Trimagen)

Additional Subentities of Habaguanex
Sociedad Mercantil Cubana Inmobiliaria Fenix S.A. (Real Estate)

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Cuban Intelligence Imprisons Activist, Threatens to Destroy Opposition Movement 3

The Cuban activist is detained despite her precarious health condition. (Twitter)

By: Karina Martín PanAm Post

Tension between Cuban activists and the island’s law enforcement spiked this week after a State Security agent allegedly threatened to destroy a prominent opposition movement.

Cuban activist Joanna Columbié said a State Security agent threatened to “destroy” the Cuban opposition group she is associated with, “Somos +“ (We Are More). The agent, identified only as “Leandro,” said Saturday, May 27 that he would ensure the organization’s demise with the next few days.

Leader of Somos+ Eliécer Ávila said the agent told Columbié that she would be “processed” because the government is tired of the organization and its participation in #Otro18, a platform that organizes citizen proposals for new electoral laws.

Columbié, who is currently a political prisoner, undergoes frequent interrogation, according to Roxana Arias, another member of the organization. She said Columbié was taken to an infirmary last Sunday, May 28 due to pain in her kidneys. Despite the pain, she received no medical treatment.

Arias also said during her visits, she noticed that Columbié “was not eating much” and that “the heat in the prison was horrible.”

According to local media, Columbié suffers from diabetes, asthma and hypertension, and when her mother, who lives in Santiago, called the prison to verify her health, she was told that everyone had the right to have family members call “except her,” which was as a consequence of “not having educated her daughter properly.”

Somos has already released a statement saying that the regime will not be able to defeat the opposition movement building steam on the island, or crush Columbié’s spirit.

Sources: Cubanet; 14ymedio.

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.

‘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”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cuba-Russia Propaganda Returns to Cold War Roots 2

Cuban agent José Manuel Collera

Cuban agent José Manuel Collera

By Chris Simmons

Last week, the blog “Cuba Inside the World” posted a feature titled “Ex CIA double agent to RT: US AID is a front for U.S. intelligence.”  However, upon reading the story, one learns that the “ex CIA agent” is none other than admitted Cuban state security agent, José Manuel Collera. So, what we actually have is a Cuban spy making false accusations against the US and using Moscow’s propagandists to spread the story. How very ……unimaginative.

It reminds me of a Cold War joke a good friend once told me.  It goes something like this:

A race was scheduled in Moscow between a U.S.-built Ford and a Russian-built Lada. Predictably, the Ford won. The next day, “Pravda” – the official newspaper of the (then) Soviet Communist Party – proudly reported that the Lada came in second place and the Ford finished next-to-last.

 

 

Man Accuses Cuban Agents of Insidious, ‘Psychological’ Intimidation 1

Porno para Ricardo

Porno para Ricardo

A man who threw a party for a friend in a punk-rock band that has been critical of Fidel Castro says that he has been the target of a ‘psychological’ campaign of intimidation.

By Juan O. Tamayo, JTamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com

Oscar Casanella, a 35-year old cancer researcher in Havana, says he just wanted to have a party for Ciro Díaz, a close friend who plays in a punk-rock band.

Problem is, Díaz is lead guitarist for Porno Para Ricardo, a band whose expletive-filled lyrics include attacks on Cuba’s former ruler, Fidel Castro: “The Comandante wants me to applaud after he’s spoken his delirious s—.”

So Casanella’s party turned into an example of how Cuba’s communist system tries to grind down the citizens it finds objectionable, starting out with low-level threats and ratcheting up the pressure if the targets refuse to change their behavior.

Cuban police and State Security agents can beat dissidents, arrest them for brief periods to harass or intimidate them, search their homes, seize their phones and computers, listen in on their conversations, and throw them out of school.

“But they also have psychological pressures, like anonymous phone calls in the middle of the night, a car that comes too close, an agent who stands there just to make sure you know he’s watching you,” dissident Guillermo Fariñas told a Miami audience last year.

Casanella said Díaz, a friend since high school, called him at the end of a trip to Europe to say that he was returning to Havana on Dec. 6, 2013, a Friday. Casanella promised him a welcome-back party at his own home that Saturday.

“That’s where the Kafka-esque machinery started,” wrote Lilian Ruiz, who first reported the case July 4 on Cubanet, a Miami-based portal for news on Cuba.

On the Thursday before the party, four elderly men and women he did not know approached him as he left his home in the Plaza neighborhood of Havana and threatened him, Casanella told el Nuevo Herald on Thursday.

“They said, ‘You cannot have any activities or parties these days,’ that other people could harm me, and they also could harm me,” he said. He asked what right they had to threaten him, but they refused to identify themselves and walked away.

Casanella said he presumed the four knew about the party from State Security monitors of Diaz’s telephone calls or perhaps his own. He has attended meetings of the dissident group Estado de SATS but said he does not consider himself to be a dissident.

Read more here:  State Security tactics

 

Porno para Ricardo

Cuban ‘Dissident’ Says He Was Really an Infiltrator 3

State Security collaborator Ernesto Vera

State Security collaborator Ernesto Vera

Lawyer Ernesto Vera said his main task was to attack and sow discord within two key Cuban opposition groups on the island.

By Juan O. Tamayo, JTamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com

A Cuban lawyer has confessed that he was a State Security collaborator for the four years he spent portraying himself as a dissident and harshly attacking two of the country’s most active opposition groups.

Ernesto Vera, 34, had been accused of being a collaborator last year, but his confession cast a rare spotlight on how State Security agents recruit informants and pay them thousands of dollars to discredit dissidents and generate rivalries among them.

Vera also pointed a finger at five other Cubans who in his view have been suspiciously critical of the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) and the Ladies in White, the largest and most aggressive dissident groups on the communist-ruled island.

“My mission within State Security was to disparage and discredit UNPACU, especially its leader, José Daniel Ferrer, and the Ladies in White,” Vera told el Nuevo Herald by phone Wednesday from his home in the eastern city of Santiago De Cuba.

But he said he sat for a 44-minute video taped confession to Ferrer earlier this month because he was “disgusted with so many lies, the double life and faking a friendly relationship with people I hated so much.”

The two men shook hands at the end of the video.

State Security began the slow work of recruiting him as “Agent Jorge” after he was fired as a law professor at a medical school in Santiago, he said. Until then, he had been only on the periphery of dissident groups.

People who identified themselves as dissidents arranged to meet him in public places. But they were State Security agents and their meetings were videotaped — recordings then used to blackmail him into becoming an informant in 2010, Vera said. They also threatened to kill his mother and make it look like an accident unless he cooperated.

“I am ashamed to say I was a coward,” he told el Nuevo Herald, confirming that he had recorded the talk with Ferrer and written a three-page confession dated July 5 and published Tuesday by UNPACU.

“All of my attacks on José Daniel Ferrer and the Ladies in White were ordered by State Security,” he said. They were part of a one-two punch, “to discredit the dissidents and lessen the impact of the repression when it came.”

The lawyer said he falsely accused Ferrer of stealing money sent by supporters abroad and abusing his wife. He and another infiltrator also sparked the biggest schism within the Ladies in White, causing about 30 members in Santiago to break with the main group.

Vera said he wrote the attacks with information and photos provided by State Security Col. Ernesto Samper. He was paid several thousand dollars over four years so he could send his columns abroad via the Internet, which costs $6 to $10 per hour in Cuba.

Read more here: State Security agent Ernesto Vera

Editor’s Note:  For additional background, also see Cuban Dissidents Plant a Hoax to Trap Government Spies and Ladies in White Resign Over Alleged State Security Infiltrator

 

 

How Cuba’s State Security Welcomed Me on Returning to Havana Reply

Terminal 2 of the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. (Courtesy:  Havana Times)

Terminal 2 of the Jose Marti International Airport in Havana. (Courtesy: Havana Times)

By Isbel Diaz

HAVANA TIMES – After participating in the congress of the Association of Latin American Studies in Chicago, I returned home to Cuba this past June 20th, following a one-month stay in the United States. I arrived at terminal 2 of Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport to be received by Cuban State Security agents. Customs officers then proceeded to take away my cell phone and other belongings.

I was detained at the airport for three hours and all of my personal belongings were meticulously inspected. The officials were chiefly interested in all of the documents I carried with me and all electronic devices that could store information.

As such, in addition to my phone (which stored all of my personal contacts and private notes), two external hard disks and their cables, two cell phones I had brought my nephew and my boyfriend as gifts and an SD memory with family videos were confiscated, even though the authorities didn’t know what their contents were and didn’t even take the trouble of asking.

All of these devices were classified as items for personal use by the customs authorities themselves – the number of items didn’t exceed the limit established by Resolution 320 / 2011, which establishes what imports are of a commercial nature, nor did their respective prices surpass the limits established in the Value List published under Resolution 312 / 2011.

It is therefore quite evident that these confiscations are the result of the arbitrariness and excessive monitoring that all Cubans with free-thinking postures that are critical of the country’s socio-political reality are subjected to.

The fact that Lt. Colonel Omar, a well-known State Security officer, came in and out of the premises, reveals that the reasons behind this incident are clearly political.

I was given absolutely no explanation as to why my belongings were being confiscated. I was only referred to the customs resolution that empowers these officials to retain what they see fit. The contents and scope of the said resolution were not explained to me either.

What was explained to me were the reasons they confiscated several of the documents I carried with me. According to the Confiscation and Notification document, they “tarnish the country’s morals and customs.” The documents in question were:

–  Historian Frank Fernandez’ classic El anarquismo en Cuba (“Anarchism in Cuba”), a book the author had sent to the Cuban Anthropology Institute (as the dedication he had handwritten attested to). Fernandez had learned that a group was studying the issue at the institute and he wanted to contribute to the work with his research on Cuba’s workers’ and anarcho-syndicalist movements.

Article continues here:  State Security   

 

Citing “Former” Cuban Spy, AFP Reports Dissident Influence Waning 1

In a feature worthy of Granma or Russia’s Pravda, the AFP reported that Cuban dissidents now travel freely, but their on-island influence has diminished. Curiously, the AFP conceded that Cuba’s apartheid regime censors dissident messages, but failed to report that foreign travel is allowed only when approved by Havana’s pervasive security and intelligence services. Likewise, it omitted State Security’s long-term, repressive targeting of the internationally-known Ladies in White and less famous protesters.

The piece then quoted “former” Cuban spy Arturo Lopez-Levy as saying dissidents do not provide “viable alternatives to the country’s main problems.” In reality, Lopez-Levy is a self-professed “former” Intelligence Officer in Havana’s dreaded Ministry of the Interior (MININT). He is also a relative of MININT Col. Luis Alberto Rodriguez Lopez-Callejas, Raul Castro’s son-in-law and head of GAESA, the regime’s business monopoly. Now living comfortably in Colorado, Lopez-Levy (aka Lopez-Callejas) is in his eighth year as a doctoral student in Denver.

Cuban Pastor Says He Was Denied Permission To Travel Abroad 1

By Juan O. Tamayo, JTamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com

A Cuban pastor who has been harshly critical of the government says he was denied permission to travel abroad last month for a religious gathering even though his passport and visa were all in order. Bernardo de Quesada Salomón said he was checking in at the Havana airport Nov. 27 for a flight to the Dominican Republic when immigration officials told him his computer records showed he had a “limitation” and could not leave the island. Authorities never told him the reasons for the block, de Quesada said, but State Security officials in his hometown of Camagüey told neighbors that it was because he had illegally added a bathroom to a house he was turning into a church.

Cuba’s government lifted a widely hated requirement for an exit permit on Jan. 14, but retained the power to block any travel abroad for a blanket “national interest” that has never been detailed. Others blocked from traveling abroad have included another pastor in de Quesada’s Apostolic Movement Fire and Dynamics, Mario May Medina, and a dozen former political prisoners paroled before completing their long sentences.

The London-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), an organization that advocates religious freedom and human rights and was sponsoring the conference in the Dominican Republic, urged the Cuban government to lift the “limitation.” De Quesada’s participation in the conference “cannot seriously be considered a threat to national security,” Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said in a statement Thursday. “CSW is concerned that this may open the door to the Cuban government arbitrarily banning other religious leaders from traveling out of the country.”

De Quesada, 48, an Evangelical pastor, said he was arrested, harassed and blocked from traveling abroad several times from 2003 to this year because of his work with the Apostolic Movement Fire and Dynamics and the New Apostolic Reform in Cuba. He is not a dissident, he said, but his efforts to “preach the biblical truth have put me against this communist government,” he told El Nuevo Herald on Thursday in a phone interview from Camagüey. De Quesada said he made two trips abroad this year, the last one in October, but apparently angered State Security officials in Camagüey when scores of his supporters greeted him at the city’s airport on this last return.