Former Cuban Spy at Center of South African Bribery/Drug Case 1

Former Cuban spy Nelson Yester-Garrido is at the centre of the alleged payoff Picture: BONILE BAM

Former Cuban spy Nelson Yester-Garrido is at the centre of the alleged payoff

An Ex-Spy, Drugs And a Briefcase Full of Cash

By Gareth Wilson, The Herald

NPA probing claim R700 000 was paid to make prosecution go away

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is investigating allegations that a briefcase containing R700 000 was dropped off in Port Elizabeth to stop a drug prosecution in its tracks. Implicated in the alleged bribery is a former Cuban spy linked to Czech mob boss Radovan Krejcir.

Organised Crime specialist prosecutor Advocate Selvan Gounden confirmed earlier this week that an internal investigation had been launched into claims that a member of the state prosecution team was paid R700 000 to ensure that a R418-million drug case did not proceed.

The probe was launched by the NPA through its integrity management unit last month after a Herald reporter started asking questions about the allegations.

The Hawks have refused to be drawn on the matter, saying they will not comment on an ongoing investigation.

At the centre of the allegations is former Cuban spy Nelson Yester-Garrido, who was released on R600 000 bail by the Motherwell Magistrate’s Court in October 2011 after his arrest.

Yester-Garrido has had two criminal cases in Port Elizabeth withdrawn by the state.

His name surfaced in the drug-trade network trial of Krejcir, former national police boss Jackie Selebi and convicted drug dealer Glenn Agliotti.

Full article can be accessed here:  The Herald  


Former Cuban spy Nelson Yester-Garrido is at the centre of the alleged payoff



Gleijeses on the Cuban Five 3

By Miguel Fernandez

Piero Gleijeses, a professor of U.S. Foreign Policy at the Faculty of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University, has launched a far-fetched self-promotion campaign using the Cuban Five.

For selling his latest book: Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria and the Struggle for Southern Africa (University of North Carolina Press, 2013), Gleijeses has written a letter to President Obama calling for the immediate release of the Cuban Five. His point is that they are “political prisoners” sentenced by an “operetta court” for “a crime” committed by Fidel Castro: the humiliation of the U.S. You can easily guess what follows: a summary of Gleijeses’s book focused on Castro’s intervention and its impact on the survival of Angola, the independence of Namibia, and the demise of the apartheid in South Africa.

It has nothing to do with the case of the Cuban Five, but Gleijeses devoted more than three quarters of his letter to “the struggle for Southern Africa.” He simply abstains from dealing with the case beyond deeming it as a judicial misjudgment full of well-known juridical flaws. Thus, Gleijeses has wrongfully applied the so-called method of “ascending from the abstract to the concrete.”

What’s really well-known is that Castro ordered his intelligence services to infiltrate the U.S. and the Cuban Five were part of a network trying to gather intelligence from Southern Command (Miami) and the military bases at Boca Chica (Key West) and MacDill (Tampa). They were detected and their communications intercepted and deciphered. This provided the prosecution a prima-facie case of conspiracy to commit espionage.

Instead of a viable defense, the defendants attempted to justify that two unarmed small planes Cessna were lawfully shoot down over Cuban jurisdictional waters by a MiG-29 jet fighter. There wasn’t a quantum of proof and the incident had nothing to do with conspiracy to commit espionage, but two third of the time at the trial were used by the defense for such a frivolous purpose.

Only after the conviction, the counsel of Gerardo Hernandez — the only defendant charged with conspiracy to commit murder because of the shoot down — realized this charge should have deserved a separate trial. Let’s see how long would it take for Gleijeses to realize that using the Cuban Five’s agitprop is an intellectually destitute manner for promoting an academic work.

Today in History: Capture of Cuban “Mata Hari” Led to Spy-Diplomats’ Expulsion 1

October 9, 1970:  Two Diplomats from the Cuban Mission to the United Nations (CMUN), Counselor Rogelio Rodriguez Lopez and First Secretary Orlando Prendes Gutierrez, left the US.  The spies had been given 48 hours to leave based on their role in running Jennifer Miles against several US government officials.  An administrative officer at the South African Embassy in Washington, Havana had tasked Miles to establish and maintain access to influential officials and provide detailed information on their personal attitudes, strengths and weaknesses, and unique characteristics.

Following a joint South African-FBI investigation, Miles had been detained for questioning on October 4th.   She quickly confessed and cooperated fully with the FBI. Based in part upon this cooperation, she was subsequently allowed to return to South Africa.

Rodriguez and Prendes were the only Cuban diplomats expelled during the 1970s.  Rodriguez began his CMUN tour in mid-1969, while Prendes arrived that September. According to a declassified CIA report, Prendes – the DGI Centro Chief – handled Cuban sources in the Casa de Las Americas, Puerto Rican extremists, a Cuban exile group, and the Dominican Popular Movement (MPD).

This Date in History: Sloppy Tradecraft Dooms Cuba’s Mata Hari 1

July 5, 1969:  Cuban agent Jennifer Miles loaded her “dead drop” with her latest progress report.  In her case, the dead drop was a loose brick in the wall of a building.  On this occasion, however, the building superintendent found her dead drop and notified the FBI.  Based on details provided in her progress report, the FBI identified Miles as the likely spy within 48 hours.   However, the Bureau did not know for whom she was spying.  On July 9, 1969, the FBI placed her under surveillance. 

Strikingly beautiful, Miles was tall, blue-eyed, blonde, and captivating.   She used her duties as a clerk typist at the South African Embassy in Washington, DC to meet young diplomats who invited her to their embassy parties.  She then used these venues as a means to spot and assess potential American targets.  The FBI, which partnered with South African Intelligence on the investigation, monitored her activities until October 1970.  When confronted about her espionage , she quickly confessed and cooperated fully with her FBI debriefing.  Based in part upon this cooperation, she was later allowed to return home to South Africa.

Editor’s Note:  A “dead drop” allows two individuals to use a secret location to leave materials.  Its use permits a spy-handler and his agent to exchange objects and information without having to meet.