Havana Mobilizes For The Liberation of The Spy Ana Belen Montes 3

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Campaign image for the liberation of Ana Belen Montes. “Everyone is one country. In that ‘global country’ the principle of loving thy neighbor as much as thyself turns out top be an essential guide.”

(Courtesy:  Translating Cuba)

14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana 27 February 2017 – This Tuesday, a campaign launches in Cuba for the liberation of Ana Belén Montes, a former intelligence analyst for the United States Defense Intelligence Agency, condemned for espionage and considered a “prisoner of conscience” by the government of Havana. The initiative includes concerts, conversations, and publications on social networks with the hashtag #FreeAnaBelenMontes.

The governing party seeks to revitalize the case of the spy, who was not included on the list of prisoners pardoned by Barack Obama at the end of his term. Now, efforts are focused on “getting her released through diplomatic negotiations,” according to official sources consulted by this newspaper.

Montes was arrested in September 2001 in Washington and sentenced to 25 years in prison for espionage assisting the Havana government. Currently, after her cancer diagnosis and mastectomy, she remains imprisoned in the Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Carswell, located on a U.S. Navy Air Station in Fort Worth, Texas.

For many years, the analyst provided substantial information to the Cuban Intelligence Agency, including military data following a visit to El Salvador, which Havana passed on to the FMLN guerillas (Marabundo Martî Front for National Liberation). That information served to inform an attack on a barracks in 1987 in which 65 soldiers perished, including an American.

Feature continues here:  Havana Demands Montes’ Release

 

El Salvador President Meets with Two Cuban Spies Convicted in U.S. 1

Salvador Sanchez Ceren celebrates election results / AP

Salvador Sanchez Ceren celebrates election results / AP

  Experts concerned about his willingness to work with U.S. on anti-drug, anti-gang efforts

By Daniel Wiser, Washington Free Beacon

El Salvador’s purportedly moderate new president met this week with two Cuban spies convicted in the United States, raising questions about his willingness to work with U.S. officials on anti-gang and anti-drug efforts.

Salvador Sanchez Ceren met with the spies as well as Cuban President Raul Castro on the communist island, according to a Salvadoran news outlet. The two men, Fernando Gonzalez and Rene Gonzalez (no relation), were members of the “Cuban Five” that were convicted on charges of conspiracy and espionage in the United States and later released to Cuba.

The visit received scant media coverage but could be a sign that the new president will govern as more of a hardline leftist. Ceren, a former Marxist guerilla leader in El Salvador, promised to govern as a moderate before narrowly winning the presidential election in March.

The other three members of the Cuban spy ring are still serving prison terms in the United States. One of them, Gerardo Hernandez, was linked to the deaths of four Cuban exiles in 1996. The exiles were pilots in the Brothers to the Rescue group that aided thousands of Cuban rafters fleeing the island.

Roger Noriega, former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs during the George W. Bush administration, said in an interview that Sanchez Ceren’s pledge to work together with the United States as a moderate leader now appears to be “pretty hollow.”

“He’s also sort of aligning himself with a failed [Cuban] model obviously in terms of economic policy and totalitarianism, and unrelenting hostility to the United States,” Noriega said. “It bodes very ill for where he wants to take El Salvador.”

A State Department spokesperson declined to comment on Sanchez Ceren’s visit to Cuba and referred the Washington Free Beacon to the Salvadoran government. “We continue to work with the government of El Salvador on our many shared interests, including regional security,” the spokesperson said.

The direction of El Salvador’s government has important implications for U.S. security.

El Salvador is “a major transit country for illegal drugs headed to the United States from source countries in South America,” according to the State Department’s 2014 report on international narcotics control. Illicit drug shipments cost American taxpayers about $193 billion in 2007 for the health care and criminal justice systems, the latest data available.

Article continues here:  El Salvador President Meets with Convicted Cuban Spies

 

Today in History: Cuban-Supported Guerrillas Killed 65 in El Salvador, Including an American “Green Beret” 3

March 31, 1987: Sergeant First Class Gregory A. Fronius, an Army “Green Beret” in El Salvador, died organizing the defense against the unprecedented guerrilla attack on the Salvadoran headquarters of the 4th Infantry Brigade at El Paraiso, Chalatenango. The pro-communist insurgents called themselves the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).

The well-planned attack followed a visit to the camp by Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes weeks earlier. Sixty-four Salvadoran soldiers were killed and 79 wounded. Fronius, a member of the 3rd Battalion of the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne), posthumously received the Silver Star for his combat service. Many in the U.S. Intelligence Community believe Montes provided intelligence critical to the attack by the Cuba trained and armed FMLN.

Salvadorans Allegedly Rally for Cuban 5 1

Havana’s Prensa Latina (PRELA), long-known for its collaboration with Cuba’s Intelligence services, is reporting a Cuban 5 rally occurred in the Salvadoran town of Izalco (west of the capital of San Salvador). The gathering allegedly consisted of “political, religious and solidarity organizations.” According to Havana, “before the demonstration, a religious ceremony was held on the street to demand the release of the Cuban Five and pray for the health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Protesters also demanded an end to the blockade against Cuba for more than fifty years by the U.S.”

PRELA cited its information source as the “Salvadorian Coordinator of Solidarity with Cuba.” The date and time of the event was not disclosed. Likewise, a photo was not provided nor was information on the size of the crowd. In fact, the only mention of attendees was a statement that unspecified members of the local Mayor’s office attended, as did former guerillas with the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN).