Spy Surrogate to Host Yet Another “Cuban 5” Forum 1

Cuba’s Prensa Latina (PRELA) news agency claims that over “200 activists from 33 countries” will attend the “8th International Colloquium for the Release of the Cuban Five,” to be held November 28 through December 1.  Amaury Torno, a member of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) went even further, claiming about “300 people from 50 nations are expected to attend the forum.”  He went on to note that the gathering will develop global public relations strategies supporting the convicted spies.  Thus far, the largest delegations are from Italy and Canada said Torno, but Venezuela is expected to field a sizeable group of attendees as well.  The forum’s agenda also will also include a cycling event, Peace Camp tents and meetings with relatives of the Cuban Five.

Editor’s Note: For a concise summary of ICAP’s collaboration with Cuban Intelligence, see the July 5th posting, “Spy Surrogate to Host “Free the Five” Symposium:”  https://cubaconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/spy-surrogate-to-host-free-the-five-symposium/

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This Month in History: Brazil Rebuffed Diplomatic Posting of Murderous Spy 1

August 1986:  Brazil rejected Havana’s assignment of senior intelligence officer, Colonel René Rodríguez Cruz, after a damaging O Estado de Sao Paulo story.  The newspaper ran a photograph of Rodríguez with pistol in hand, standing over the body of a just-executed male. The paper also reported that Rodríguez had served as director of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), an intelligence assignment.  Furthermore, according to the newspaper’s source, Brazil ranked second only to Mexico as the most important country for Cuban intelligence operations.

On two months earlier – in June – a year after the end of the military dictatorship, Brazil had re-established diplomatic relations with Cuba.  America Department (DA) officer Julio Sergio Cervantes Padilla, Havana’s Political Counselor to Brazil, had engaged in extensive lobbying of Brazilian government officials to facilitate the renewed ties.

Editor’s Note: 

For more on ICAP, see the July 5th posting, “Spy Surrogate to Host “Free the Five” Symposium, https://cubaconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/spy-surrogate-to-host-free-the-five-symposium/

For additional background on the America Department, see the August 6th article, “Cuban Role Demands More Scrutiny As Brazil Investigates Military Dictatorship’s Abuses,” https://cubaconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/cuban-role-demands-more-scrutiny-as-brazil-investigates-military-dictatorships-abuses/

Spy Surrogate Hosts Another “Free the Five” Event Reply

The Cuban News Agency (ACN) reported yesterday that Members of Spain’s Medicuba Solidarity Brigade met with the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) where they reiterated their commitment to increase actions supporting the Cuban Five.  During the session, the Spanish activists met with relatives of convicted spies Antonio Guerrero, Gerardo Hernandez, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labañino and Fernando Gonzalez.

Rosa Aurora Freijales, wife of Fernando Gonzalez, maintained Havana’s position that the espionage was committed by the regime in self-defense.  No mention was made of the spies’ role in the February 1996 murder of four members of the American humanitarian group, Brothers to the Rescue.  Meanwhile, Elizabeth Palmeiro, wife of Ramon Labañino, complained that the world’s mainstream media ignored the plight of the five spies to the benefit of the United States.

Francisco Hernandez, Vice President of the Spanish brigade, claimed they conduct monthly rallies in Madrid’s Puerta del Sol areas and in front of the US embassy.  The goal, according to ACN, was “raising a wave of solidarity from Europe to the United States, since solidarity is the main way to bring the Cuban five back home…”

Editor’s Note: For a concise summary of ICAP’s collaboration with Cuban Intelligence, see the July 5th posting, “Spy Surrogate to Host “Free the Five” Symposium,:”  https://cubaconfidential.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/spy-surrogate-to-host-free-the-five-symposium/

Spy Surrogate to Host “Free the Five” Symposium 2

The Cuban News agency, Prensa Latina, has reported that the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) will hold the 8th International Colloquium for the Release of The Cuban Five on November 28th – December 1st.  Held in the city of Holguin in eastern Cuba, the forum will focus on coordinating new actions for the release of the five spies, according to the invitation made to solidarity activists and organizations worldwide.  The colloquium will begin with a cycling tour.  The schedule also includes meetings with relatives of the Cuban 5, as well as discussions and cultural exchanges.

According to PRELA, attendees are also expected to review the implementation of agreements reached in last year’s 7th Colloquium, when they agreed on strategies to strengthen solidarity with the Cuban Five, including better use of social media.  Activists from 50 countries attended the meeting in 2011.

See the PRELA release here:  http://www.plenglish.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=522903&Itemid=1

Editor’s Note:  DGI officer Jesus Raul Perez Mendez was director of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP) before his July 1983 defection.  According to the New York Times, ICAP “arranges and supervises visits by Americans to Cuba and maintains contacts with native-born Cubans in other countries.”  The Times also cited a State Department spokesman who claimed ICAP was suspected of having an intelligence collection mission in support of the DGI. 

The Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI) was the foreign intelligence wing of the Ministry of the Interior.  Following a 1989 reorganization, this service became known as the Directorate of Intelligence (DI). 

More recently, a former DI officer reportedly that ICAP is not a DI entity per se, but that it was overwhelmingly influenced by the intelligence service. The highly-reliable émigré claimed ICAP was penetrated by a small cadre of bona fide DI officers, aided by a large staff of agents (i.e., collaborators). As a result, roughly 90% of ICAP was thought to be DI-affiliated.