No Sign of Release For The Last Cuban Spy in a US Jail 1

Despite thaw in relations, Ana Belén Montes looks set to serve last nine years of quarter-century sentence

Pablo de Llano, El Pais Corresponsal en Miami

On February 28, in her cell at a maximum security prison in Fort Worth, Texas, Ana Belén Montes turned 60 years of age. Once regarded as one of the Pentagon’s top analysts and an expert on Cuba’s military, the so-called “Queen of Cuba” was arrested in 2001 when her 17-year career as Cuban spy was discovered and she was sentenced to 25 years in jail.

Despite the thaw in relations between Havana and Washington under Barack Obama, which saw three of the last Cuban spies returned home in 2014, Montes remains behind bars in a facility reserved for some of the most dangerous and mentally ill prisoners in the United States.

In 2016, a family member revealed that Montes had undergone surgery for breast cancer, although there has been no official confirmation of this.

Her release is currently scheduled for 2026, by which point she will be 69 years old.

Unlike the three prisoners released in 2014, the Cuban government has never officially campaigned for Montes’ freedom. In June 2016, Miami Spanish-language daily El Nuevo Herald reported that Cuban officials had asked after her during a meeting in the United States. A few months earlier, Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez had called for her release at a concert in Spain. The request was repeated a few days ago at one of his concerts in Puerto Rico. Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuba’s President Raúl Castro, posted a report from Venezuela’s official news agency mentioning that a campaign for Montes’ freedom had been organized in Cuba.

Writing in his blog on Montes’ birthday about her treatment by the regime, Cuban journalist Harold Cárdenas said: “The Cuban Foreign Ministry’s discretion is understandable. In contrast, the silence in the national media is shameful.”

There has been speculation that the United States and Cuba are negotiating Montes’ exchange for Assata Shakur, the Black Panther leader accused of shooting a police officer who managed to escape to Cuba in 1984, claiming political asylum. But a 2016 US State Department internal document rejects the option.

Montes is considered to be the Cuban agent who most deeply penetrated US intelligence. An analyst at the Pentagon, she was recruited by Havana in 1984, and after undergoing training, would report each night to her handlers via shortwave radio without ever having to make copies of documents, thanks to her remarkable memory.

Article continues here: Ana B Montes

Editor’s Note:  The El Pais claim that “The Cuban government has never officially campaigned for Montes’ freedom” is false. The current regime has been very public in its efforts to develop and sustain an international movement to force the U.S. to free this convicted spy. Cuba’s effort is led by Colonel (retired) Nestor Garcia Iturbe – believed to be the longest serving Castro spy to have ever operated in the United States. Additionally, Montes was not a “Cuban spy,” but rather an American citizen spying for Havana.

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Cuba Intensifying Campaign To Free Jailed Spy Ana Belen Montes 7

Convicted spy Ana Belén Montes -- formerly the Defense Intelligence Agency's lead analyst on Cuban affairs.

Convicted spy Ana Belén Montes — formerly the Defense Intelligence Agency’s lead analyst on Cuban affairs.

14 years of complete isolation in a US prison. Why did Ana Belén Montes cooperate with Cuba?

Solidarity with Cuba and Cuban solidarity with the peoples of the world is one of the core values ​​against which the enemies of the Cuban Revolution are shattered. It is one of our main strengths.

By Néstor García Iturbe

Many people living in countries with vast wealth and high technological advancement, would want their government to lead their nation’s foreign policy differently, not as an instrument of the wealthy to increase their own profits, but to use all those resources for the benefit and improvement of the living conditions of those who have less money, both in their own country and in the world.

They want their country, rather than being feared, to be loved. That war is not the main feature of its foreign policy, it is the peaceful resolution of differences. That the billions intended to cause death, are instead intended to avoid it and improve living conditions. That instead of organizing actions to wipe out the industry and agriculture of other nations, they were dedicated to promote industry and increase agricultural production as a way of fighting hunger suffered by many countries.

They want to feel proud to be citizens of that country, instead of feeling embarrassed. That their flags will be respected, not burned. And instead of listening “go home” they hear “you are home.”

These surely are the reflections of millions of Americans. That fifty percent of the population who do not attend the polls to vote, not to give legitimacy to a system on which they do not have confidence or hope. Among this mass of people, we can include comrade Ana Belén Montes.

Ana Belen’s attitude in the trial to which she was subjected can be described as honest. She expressed her criteria for how the government should conduct US foreign policy.

Ana Belen said: “There is an Italian proverb which is perhaps the best way to describe what I think: ‘The whole world is one country.’ In this ‘country world,’the principle of loving your neighbor as much as you love yourself is an essential rule for harmonious relations among all of our neighboring countries.

“This principle implies tolerance and understanding towards the different ways of doing things of others. It states that we should treat other nations in the way we want to be treated —with respect and consideration. It is a principle which, unfortunately, I think we have never applied to Cuba.”

Feature continues here: “Free Montes” Campaign Intensifying

Editor’s Note: Retired Directorate of Intelligence (DI) Colonel Néstor García Iturbe is one of the regime’s top experts in the targeting of Americans. He culminated his official espionage career as the Director of the Superior Institute of Intelligence (ISI), where Havana’s civilian intelligence officers are trained.

Retired Directorate of Intelligence (DI) Colonel Néstor García Iturbe

Retired Directorate of Intelligence (DI) Colonel Néstor García Iturbe

Néstor García Iturbe: A Castroit Brian Latell 1

By Miguel Fernandez

Retired Colonel Néstor García Iturbe has launched a theory on the Kennedy assassination in the leftwing blogosphere. The hard core argument is that the assasination was a plot by the CIA and the Pentagon with some carefully selected members of the anti-Castro groups. However, García Iturbe moves away from the Castroit official line by asserting that Lee Harvey Oswald was a case of “false flag” recruitment. Oswald would have been recruited “for Cuba” by an FBI agent, who had infiltrated the Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC). Oswald was actually used as decoy in the assassination, but he aimed his rifle on the belief he was working for Castro. Thus, ex-DGI spymaster García Iturbe concurs with the view of ex-CIA desk analyst Brian Latell, who wrote in Castro´s Secrets (2013) that intelligence officers were winding Oswald up at the Cuban Consulate in México City and turned him into “a fully primed soldier of Fidel” (page 227).

False Flag

García Iturbe seems to be unaware of the classic article “Leftist Lee at Work” (The Third Decade, Vol. 2, No. 5, July 1986, pp. 1-6), where Philp H. Malenson demonstrated that Oswald was working against FPCC, id est, against the very flag under which he had been recruited. For instance, Oswald engaged in a radio debate (“Conversation Carte Blanche,” WDSU, New Orleans, August 21, 1963) versus Cuban exile Carlos Bringuier and American anticommunist militant Ed Butler on the U.S. policy toward Cuba. They revealed Oswald’s defection to the Soviet Union in 1959, but Oswald replied that FPCC had absolutely nothing to do either with the URSS or the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA). This message was repeatedly delivered by Oswald, who also exaggerated his one-man FPCC chapter in New Orleans. On August 28, Oswald wrote to the CPUSA asking for advice “upon a problem of personal tactics:” whether or not to go underground. He established on paper the very linkage he had denied on the air: “Frankly, I have used my position [in the FPCC] to foster communist ideals.” He never informed the FPCC he had placed such a risky paper-trial linkage (Commission Exhibit 1145) tying the pro Castro group to the CPSUA and, through his background as re-defector, to Moscow.

Crass Ignorance

García Iturbe thinks the job Oswald got at the Texas Book School Book Depository (TSBD), facing Dealey Plaza in Dallas, “deserves an analysis.” From his very first question emerges he does not know what he is talking about: “¿Who provided this job to Oswald?” On August 25, 2013, C-SPAN3 broadcasted an interview with Buell Wesley Frazier, the co-worker who gave Oswald the last lift to the TBSD. Frazier reiterated some well-known data available in the Mary Ferrell Chronologies, apparently an alien bibliography for García Iturbe.

Since September 23, 1963, Oswald´s wife had moved with her friend Ruth Paine to Irving, around 21 kilometers of Dallas, for the birth of her second baby. On October 14, Marina and Ruth went to a neighbor´s house (Mrs. Roberts) for coffee. Another neighbor, Linnie Randle, was there. When Paine mentioned that Oswald was looking for work, Randle said there might be a job opening at TBSD, because her brother Frazier had been hired a month ago. Pain called the TBSD and talked with Superintendent Roy Truly, who told her to have Oswald make an application. Paine immediately called Oswald. The next day he went to the TBSD and got a job for $10 daily, from 8 AM a 4:45 PM, with 12 to 12:45 PM for lunch.

García Iturbe confirms his lack of knowledge with this tirade: “What a coincidence that the TBSD was located precisely at a street on the route of the presidential motorcade! Who knew it would go along this street by that time? Usually this is a ‘Top Secret’ in order to protect the President; however, Oswald had foreknowledge and could get his rifle inside the bulding.” García Iturbe has not got even a clue about the fact that all the people in Dallas must know in advance the route of the motorcade for greeting the President on the streets. Both The Dallas Morning News and The Dallas Times Herald described it in detail on November 19, 1963. The latter even ran a large map of the motorcade route in the evening edition of November 21.

Coda

As Dr. Latell, García Iturbe tries to connect the dots for making theories, but the crux of the matter is finding facts instead of bringing more factoids, like Oswald being recruited under a “false flag” by the FBI or having not a single unforeseen incident during the days prior to the assassination.

COMMENTARY: “Power Play” Would Prompt Cuba to Quickly Release Alan Gross 2

By Chris Simmons

For some time, the Castro regime has offered to exchange imprisoned American Alan Gross for a group of its spies known as the “Cuban Five.”    At least one official, retired Colonel Néstor García Iturbe, the former head of Cuba’s intelligence school, is urging Havana to hold out for the Cuban Five and Ana Montes – the highest-ranking Cuban agent ever imprisoned by the United States.

Cuba’s call for an exchange has received a warm welcome from Gross’ Jewish family, the Jewish community and other well-intentioned but misguided supporters.  No trade should ever be considered.  The Cuban Five, as well as Ana Montes, are directly or indirectly responsible for the premeditated murders of several Americans.  In contrast, Alan Gross – who isn’t even a spy – has hurt no one.

The Castro regime has long viewed America as an impatient and hapless giant.  As such, it arrested Gross to use as leverage against the United States.  In its mind, the idea that the US would exchange the Cuban Five for an imprisoned American was a forgone conclusion.  The only questions in the minds of Havana’s despots are “how long will it take?” and “will we get all five/six?”

The Castro brothers and their aging cabal of leaders understand and respect only two things – power and the willingness to use it.  Negotiating with them is a fool’s errand.  However, the surgical application of force against one of Havana’s critical weaknesses would quickly lead to Alan Gross’s unconditional release.

The proposed “power play” is brilliant in its simplicity.  Currently, officials assigned to the Cuban Mission to the United Nations (CMUN) are allowed to travel freely only within a 25-mile radius from the center of New York City.  Similarly, Cuban officials in Washington DC are allowed to travel at will within a 25-mile radius of the White House.  Travel outside this zone requires advance approval from the State Department.  US officials in Havana face a similar 25-mile restriction.

The US should tell Havana to release Alan Gross within 48 hours or it will shrink the 25-mile radius by one mile every day until he is freed.   If Gross isn’t free within 25 days, Havana’s diplomats would be confined to the CMUN and their Interests Section.   While this may seem little more than an inconvenience to Cuba’s officials, in reality, it would bring the regime to its knees.

The safety and security of the Cuban Interests Section and the CMUN are central to Havana’s ability to commit espionage in the United States.  More importantly, it requires an uninterrupted US presence to maintain its role as “intelligence trafficker to the world.”  Over the years, the selling of US secrets has become a major revenue stream in sustaining the regime.  According to defectors and émigrés, Havana’s trafficking generates hundreds of millions of dollars annually.  While Cuba would still be able to sell the information it intercepts from the airwaves, the loss of the secrets stolen by its US-based spy networks would have an immediate and significant impact.  The value of its intelligence “commodity” would plummet.   Additionally, its intelligence services, part of whose budgets are based on the sale of its US secrets, would be further crippled by this economic downturn.

In contrast, the risk to the US for undertaking this “power play” is largely irrelevant.  Cuba would, no doubt, restrict US diplomats to our Interests Section in Havana.  But who cares?  The US doesn’t earn hundreds of millions of dollars by selling Cuban secrets to its allies.  The US economy is not based on intelligence trafficking, as is Havana’s.  If the US is serious about wanting Alan Gross returned, it’s time for a “squeeze play.”  The smart money is betting that Havana blinks first.