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.
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.