Cuba’s Top Spy Ana Belen Montes Gets Ready To Walk Out Of Federal Prison 4

BY HANK TESTER, CBS4 Miami

MIAMI – After 20 years, Cuba’s top spy will walk out of a Texas federal lockup. 

Author and former spy catcher for the Defense Intelligence Agency Chris Simmons does not mince words, “I wish we could have kept her in there longer.”

In the 1990s Ana Belen Montes was the Defense Intelligence Agency’s top Cuban analyst. 

At the same time, she was undermining U.S. Operations in Central America, distorting the U.S. Government’s views on Cuba, burning about 450 U.S. operatives, and leaking U.S.  military information, which accusers say led to the death in El Salvador of Green Beret Sergeant Gregory A. Fronius. 

On February 24, 1996, over the straits of Florida in international air space, Cuba shot down two U.S. registered humanitarian aircraft operated by Cuban exile organization Brothers to the Rescue.

Four pilots and volunteers died. 

Eventually, in 1998, the FBI rolls up and the feds try members of a huge Cuba spy ring based in South Florida.

Members of the group were accused of aiding Cuba in the shootdown. 

According to Simmons, “The Wasp Network was the largest foreign spy network to operate in the United States and Montes was one of Havana’s top ten assets.”

In his book, “Castro’s Nemesis,” Chris Simmons knits together the Ana Belen Montes story with the Cuban Wasp Spy network. 

Simmons was on the team that rooted out Montes and is quick to say, “I have never seen someone so heartless in all my life.”

In the aftermath of the Brothers to the Rescue shootdown, Montes was on the team that was evaluating a U.S. response and at the same time was reporting that information to her Cuban handlers. 

The Cubans knew every move the U.S. was contemplating. 

“Just the idea she was leaving the Pentagon and immediately going to a surveillance detection route and meeting with her handlers and presenting what at the time was the Pentagon’s preferred response was a cruise missile attack on Cuba,” Simmons told CBS4 News.

Montes was arrested and escorted out of DIA headquarters just ahead of the Iraq War because she was involved with Cuba’s stealing of American Secrets and selling them to unfriendly foreign actors. 

In the process of the Montes’ investigation, Simmons says the team realized there was a second spy operating within the agency. 

Feature continues here: America’s Deadliest Spy

Book Reveals Pentagon Searched For Second Cuban Spy While Investigating Ana  Belén Montes 3

By Nora Gamez Torres, Miami Herald

In the course of the investigation that led to the shocking 2001 arrest of Ana Belén Montes, the Pentagon’s top Cuban military analyst who was caught spying for Havana, the Defense Intelligence Agency opened a second inquiry on the suspicion that another Cuban mole was embedded in the U.S. intelligence community.

More than 20 years later, the previously unknown investigation, code-named Wrong Spirit, is revealed in a new book written by Chris Simmons, a retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Army and former career counterintelligence officer. Simmons was a central figure in identifying Montes as the Havana spy that the FBI had been trying to find for three years.

According to Simmons’ book, “Castro’s Nemesis: True Stories of a Master Spy-Catcher,” the second suspected spy was another senior official at the Defense Intelligence Agency, or DIA. Charges were never brought against the man, who was allowed to retire. The book, published this week, does not name the official, whose identity remains classified.

While Montes and the alleged mole worked together at times, he “had a more rounded career because [Montes] was doing analysis the whole time, whereas he was doing human intelligence operations, and then he switched over to another field,” Simmons told the Miami Herald.

The search for the second mole started as a theory: if Havana thought the DIA was an agency worth penetrating, that “demanded the redundancy of several agents,” Simmons discussed with his counterintelligence colleagues at the time, according to the book.

While trying to pin Montes as the possible spy working for Cuba, other names caught Simmons’ team’s attention.

“Anytime you’re doing an investigation, you always do what we call a link analysis, connecting them with all their associates, friends, family, looking for a pattern,” Simmons said. “Who else could know, who might be aware of certain things? And in her case, a couple of names did come up a lot.”

One former official was cleared of any wrongdoing, Simmons said, but “the other gentleman, he fit the pattern, and there was a lot of circumstantial evidence.”

Like Montes, who was hired in 1985, Simmons said the official under investigation had a similarly long career at the agency and was active in the mid-1980s. “The WRONG SPIRIT agent, who had a large regional portfolio, was likely able to provide Cuba with transnational information of interest to numerous U.S. adversaries,” Simmons said in a press release promoting the book.

While it was previously reported that Montes passed the identities of four U.S. undercover intelligence agents and details of U.S. military exercises and plans to Cuba, she also probably caused extensive damage to U.S. efforts to gather intelligence on the Cuban government.

It is believed she compromised the CIA’s entire human intelligence collection program in Cuba because she participated in a three-day conference attended by most Cuba case officers, according to a conversation reproduced in the book between Simmons and a CIA official on a team targeting Cuban intelligence.

“She probably learned what sites they operated out of, got good descriptions of them, phone numbers and great insights into who, what, and where we’re running or targeting assets,” the official told Simmons, according to the book.

WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE SUSPECTED SPY

While “Castro’s Nemesis” is short on details of the danger posed by the possible second mole, it suggests he might have leaked to his spymasters in Havana the names of Cuban officials included in a secret DIA assessment of Cuba’s involvement in narcotrafficking in the late 1980s. That, in turn, the book speculates, might have led to high-profile arrests on the island and trials that ended with the execution of Gen. Arnaldo Ochoa, Col. Antonio de la Guardia and another two military officials, and the imprisonment of several others under Fidel Castro’s order in 1989.

Not much else is known about the Wrong Spirit suspect, who was never arrested. The mysterious case appears to be mentioned only twice in the book. At least one sentence with information about the case appears redacted because the U.S. government would not allow Simmons to print it. The book manuscript was cleared for publication by the Pentagon after an 18-month review.

“Although a massive investigative file of circumstantial evidence was assembled against Wrong Spirit, the case never went to trial,” Simmons wrote in the book. “Instead, the senior DIA official — himself a former case officer — was allowed to quietly retire.”

Montes, on the contrary, was sentenced to 25 years in prison and is set to be released next January.

If Wrong Spirit was such a damaging spy, as Simmons suspected, why would the agency let him off the hook?

The counterintelligence expert provided several explanations for what essentially was the same issue: lack of resources.

“The problem at the time was that we wrapped up Montes [investigation], her debriefing was going on, so my team is closely tied up doing the debriefing, and I had to provide people to the damage-assessment team, so we had essentially no one left to support the Wrong Spirit investigation,” he said.

The agency also shifted its focus to counterterrorism after the 9/11 attacks, he added, “to the extent that it really, in my opinion, jeopardized our national security by leaving the back door open to our enemies.”

But if Wrong Spirit was indeed a Cuban asset and was at some point aware that he was under an espionage investigation, Simmons believes that that would have put an end to his activities, and Cuban intelligence would have dropped him, meaning that there was little chance he continued spying even if he remained free.

“Even though I gotta choose my words carefully because the Pentagon so far is okay with this, I’m confident that the case was spot on,” Simmons said. “But unfortunately, a lot of cases don’t go to trial, they just end their careers, and they quietly go away, and he falls into the latter category.

“The reality is that spy-catching is all about limited resources,” he said.

 

Ex-espía Juan Pablo Roque Crítica Película y Libro Sobre Red Avispa 1

Ex-espia Juan Pablo Roque

Por Carlos Cabrera Perez, CiberCuba

El exespía Juan Pablo Roque afirmó que se siente excluido en la película Wasp Network y calificó de “mierda” el libro Los últimos soldados de la Guerra Fría, que recoge la versión oficial del gobierno castrista sobre los hechos en los que participó durante su misión en Miami.

Roque, de 64 años, quien trabajó como agente doble para la Inteligencia cubana y el FBI, ofreció una entrevista exclusiva a CiberCuba tras ver esta semana en La Habana la película del realizador francés Olivier Assayas, basada en el libro del escritor brasileño Fernando Morais.

“Varios compañeros recomendaron al escritor y el cineasta que hablaran conmigo, pero a mí nadie me vino a ver y, aunque la película es más fiel a la verdad que ‘ese libro de mierda’, no deja de ser un filme comercial que se aleja bastante de la realidad porque cuenta las cosas como no fueron”, sostiene Roque.

El exagente aventura que las omisiones que contiene el filme podrían ser objeto de una demanda judicial, aunque no concretó si la emprenderá o es solo un deseo en voz alta.

“En la ficción aparezco nadando hasta la Base Naval de Guantánamo como si fuera un SEAL americano, con traje de neopreno, y la verdad es que yo nadé durante horas con una trusa remendada que había comprado cuando estudié en la Unión Soviética, unas patas de rana cosidas con alambre y una careta y snorkel inservibles”, aseguró Roque, que critica la omisión de los interrogatorios con detectores de mentira a los que fue sometido en la instalación norteamericana.

Antes de nadar, estuve escondido en el maletero de un jeep soviético GAZ-69 que estaba lleno de tornillos, tuercas y arandelas, que se me incrustaron en el cuerpo, y ya en el mar, un pez me hirió en un costado y tuve que estar hospitalizado en la base, recuerda el expiloto que fingió su deserción en 1992.

Morais, autor del libro que sirvió de base al guión de la película, “ofreció confianza a Cuba” para hacer un volumen que contribuyera a la causa de los 5 espías cubanos presos en Estados Unidos, pero encargaron de ese trabajo a Miguel Álvarez Sánchez, que “está preso aquí por ser agente de la CIA” y fue ese señor quien facilitó copia de fragmentos de expedientes al escritor brasileño.

El artículo continúa aquí: Avispa

Labour Election Candidate Mark McDonald Helped Cuban Spy Overturn a Visa Ban And Come to the UK to Visit Parliament 1

A hard-Left Labour candidate helped a Cuban spy overturn a visa ban and visit Parliament after he was invited by Jeremy Corbyn (pictured)

• Barrister Mark McDonald won court battle to get intelligence officer Rene Gonzalez into Britain
• Mr McDonald is now standing in Stoke-on-Trent South after winning backing
• While a backbench MP, Mr Corbyn attended vigils in support of the jailed Cubans

By Martin Beckford For The Daily Mail

A hard-Left Labour candidate helped a Cuban spy overturn a visa ban and visit Parliament after he was invited by Jeremy Corbyn.

Barrister Mark McDonald won a court battle to get intelligence officer Rene Gonzalez into Britain on human rights grounds after Theresa May blocked him because of his conviction in the US for espionage.

He then attended the Westminster reception for Mr Gonzalez and his spy cell leader along with Mr Corbyn, who had campaigned for their release from prison in America and joined in their legal battle.

Mr McDonald is now standing in Stoke-on-Trent South after winning the backing of the Corbynite campaign group Momentum, ahead of two prominent local hopefuls.

In an article in 2016, he also dismissed widespread claims of anti-Semitism in Labour as ‘wholly without foundation’, although he admitted last night that it had since ‘become clear to me there are significant problems of anti-Semitism within the party’.

While still a backbench MP, Mr Corbyn regularly attended vigils in support of the jailed Cubans, who he finally met with the help of Mr McDonald.

The spies were part of a cell known as the ‘Wasp Network‘ who were caught by the FBI in Florida while trying to infiltrate Cuban exile groups hostile to Fidel Castro.

They were jailed in 2001 for espionage and their leader was also convicted of conspiracy to murder over the shooting down by the Cuban military of two planes belonging to an anti-Castro group, in which four pilots died.

Feature continues here: Cuban Spy’s UK Friend

The Cuban Empire 2

Ana Belen Montes

The threat few see

By Toby Westerman, Renew America

October 30, 2019

In America there is some awareness of the military threat posed by Russia and the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). There have been warnings from the U.S. military concerning the PRC’s growing challenge to the U.S. in the Pacific. Russian ballistic missile and land forces are a reality to most Americans, a legacy from the Cold War, but all perspective relating to Moscow’s strategies and tactics are lost to millions in the U.S. on account of unsubstantiated charges of some effective interference in U.S. elections and the presence of Russian “agents.” While these assertions have been made loudly and received much media attention, solid proof has been lacking.

Not only has the Russian threat become a punch line in some political and media circles, but the very real danger coming from Russia and one of its most active client states seems to be ignored. The Communist gulag state of Cuba, an ally of Moscow for more than 60 years, poses an immediate threat to the United States both as a base for spying against the U.S. as well as a military danger to nations in the Western Hemisphere friendly to the U.S.

Within the U.S., Cuban espionage has been working to guide U.S. foreign policy, gather information on the readiness of the American military, and disrupt – even to the point of murdering – Cubans opposed to the Communist regime in Cuba. The arrest in 2001 of Ana Belen Montes, a former senior analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, provided a shocking example as to how effective Cuban intelligence could be.

Montes was the “go to” person on all things relating to Cuba, and her opinions helped mold U.S. policy toward Havana. While performing her top secret duties, she also informed her Cuban handlers of all the restricted information to which she was privy as a high ranking DIA advisor. (Montes is due to be released in 2027).

Earlier, in 1998, the FBI broke a spy ring referred to as the Wasp Network (La Red Avispa). Five of the ring were tried and convicted of charges ranging from being agents of a foreign power to conspiracy to commit murder. Sentences ranged from 15 years to two life terms for one individual. The U.S. Southern Command, which had recently moved from Panama to Florida, was a major target. [It should be noted that two served their sentences and three were released as part of a de facto prisoner swap.]

The reader should also be aware that the newly released spy-thriller, “Wasp Network,” by Oliver Assayas, has little in common with the actual activities of “La Red Avispa.” An editorial note on Cuba Confidential, which carries a September 2, 2019 review of the film, states “Any similarities between this movie and the real Wasp Network are purely coincidental…the real Wasp Network played a central role in the premeditated murder of four Americans, influenced the U.S. political system at the local, state and Federal levels; spied on numerous military targets including SOUTHCOM, CENTCOM, SOCOM, NAS Key West and Barksdale Air Force Base; intimidated American media outlets, manipulated the Cuban American community, etc.”

Article continues here: The Cuban Empire

 

Cuban Spy Ring the Focus in Political Thriller ‘Wasp Network’ 1

A scene from director Olivier Assayas’ thriller, ‘Wasp Network,’ which stars Penélope Cruz.

Marie-Louise Gumuchian

VENICE, Italy (Reuters) – A ring of Cuban operatives seeking to infiltrate anti-government groups exiled in Miami in the early 1990s is the focus of French director Olivier Assayas’ “Wasp Network”, a star-studded political thriller based on a true story.

Starring Penelope Cruz, Edgar Ramirez, Gael Garcia Bernal and Wagner Moura, the film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday, where it is competing with 20 others for the top Golden Lion prize.

The action begins in Havana with Cuban pilot Rene Gonzalez, played by Ramirez, flying off to the United States to defect, leaving his wife, Cruz’ Olga, and their daughter behind in the Communist state led by Fidel Castro.

While it appears at first that he wants to start a new life in Florida, he joins other exiled Cubans there as part of a ring known as the Wasp Network, a pro-Castro group.
Led by Garcia Bernal’s undercover operative Manuel Viramontez, they infiltrate Cuban-American groups that want to topple the Castro regime.

“I liked the idea of leading the audience in one direction and then twist it and then we see the other side of the game,” Assayas told a news conference.

Garcia Bernal described the key characters as “spies that are trying to stop violence”.

“There’s something very unique about this story that highlights the act of love that actually made them do this, and the people they left behind support them,” he said.

The film is based on the true story of The Cuban Five intelligence officers who were arrested in Florida in 1998, convicted of espionage and other activities and jailed, before eventually being released after lengthy jail terms as part of a prisoner swap between the two countries.

Assayas, known for “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Personal Shopper”, said shooting in Cuba was “what allowed this film to happen.”

“I thought there would be conditions, strings attached, the reality there was not. We were completely free to make the film as wanted. We were monitored to put it mildly, but there were no consequences on the film,” he said.

Article continues here: Hollywood Fiction

Editor’s Note: Any similarities between this movie and the real Wasp Network are purely coincidental. After all, the real Wasp Network played a central role in the premeditated murder of four Americans, influenced the U.S. political system at the local, state and Federal levels; spied on numerous military targets including SOUTHCOM, CENTCOM, SOCOM, NAS Key West and Barksdale Air Force Base; indimidated American media outlets, manipulated the Cuban American community, etc.  

Failed Spy Turns Politician Reply

Editor’s Note: In 2014, Fernando González-Llort became Vice President of the Cuban Institute for Friendship with the Peoples, better known by its Spanish acronym ICAP. While not technically a component of the Directorate of Intelligence (DI), ICAP is an intelligence front with a long history since its creation in 1960. It consists of a large cadre of collaborators who are overseen by a small team of embedded DI officers. González-Llort is now the ICAP President and a member of Cuba’s one-party Parliament.

During his years as a spy in America, he served in the Wasp Network – the largest espionage ring ever known to have operated against the United States. This network targeted the U.S. military; U.S. politicians at the local, state and Federal level, Cuban-American exiles and played a central role in the 1996 shootdown of two Brothers to the Rescue aircraft flying a humanitarian mission in international airspace.

Below readers will find an alternative version of this failed spy’s life from India’s “The Telegraph:

 

Fernando González Llort outside the CPM central committe office in New Delhi Picture by Pheroze L Vincent

One of Cuban Five: Soldier, Spy and now a Politician

‘If big business funds you, who are you going to serve after getting elected?’

By Pheroze L. Vincent in New Delhi

From 1998 to 2014, Left groups across the world usually greeted visiting American delegations with slogans demanding the release of the Cuban Five.

The five spies had infiltrated anti-communist militias of Cuban exiles in Florida and were arrested for espionage by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1998.

The last of the five was released in December 2014 in exchange for a Cuban national in jail for spying for the US. One of them, Fernando González Llort, released in February 2014, went on to become a member of Cuba’s parliament last year. He is also president of the Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (abbreviated in Spanish as ICAP) — the island nation’s international solidarity front.

Speaking to reporters here on Wednesday, González Llort, on a solidarity tour with Che Guevara’s daughter Aleida to mark 60 years of the Cuban revolution, said US President Donald Trump’s activation of Title III of the Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act, 1996, in addition to the existing economic blockade, was “asphyxiating the Cuban economy”, especially its famed health sector.

Article continues here: Failed Spy Turns Politician

 

 

 

Bad Math:  Tampa Newspaper Erroneously Claims Just 5 People Served in Massive Cuban Spy Network 1

By Chris Simmons

The article in yesterday’s Tampa Bay Times, “Florida’s Worst Spies,” is certain to have delighted intelligence officials in Havana. In this poorly researched feature, the Wasp Network – the largest spy ring ever known to have operated on U.S. soil, is never mentioned. Instead, the two journalists focused on five of its failed spies – the ring’s hardcore leaders whom Havana later lionized as the “Cuban Five.” In reality, the Wasp Network consisted of over 40 officers and agents, most of whom fled or made plea agreements when arrested. Led by a Cuban Military Intelligence officer, the spy ring stretched from Key West (Florida) to New York City, southwest to Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana (B-52s are stationed here) and then south to Mexico City. Significantly, two military commands based in Tampa – CENTCOM and SOCOM – were major Wasp targets.

How is it possible that this paper, a self-professed winner of 12 Pulitzer Prizes, doesn’t know of key events that occurred in its own city?

 

 

 

French Director to Make Pro-Castro Film Showcasing Murderous Spies as Heroes 2

Director Olivier Assayas (Lionel Cironneau /AP/REX/Shutterstock)

‘Personal Shopper’ Director Olivier Assayas Boards Cuban Spy Thriller ‘Wasp Network’

Dave McNary, Film Reporter – Variety

Olivier Assayas, who directed Kristen Stewart’s “Personal Shopper” and “Clouds of Sils Maria,” has come on board to helm the Cuban spy thriller “Wasp Network” from his own script.

Wasp Network” is based on Fernando Morais’ book “The Last Soldiers of the Cold War.” RT Features’ Rodrigo Teixeira will produce alongside CG Cinema’s Charles Gillibert. RT’s Lourenço Sant’Anna and Sophie Mas will executive produce.

 Wasp Network” centers on Cuban spies in American territory during the 1990s when anti-Castro groups based in Florida carried out military attacks on Cuba, and the Cuban government struck back with the Wasp Network to infiltrate those organizations.

Assayas most recently wrote and directed “Personal Shopper,” which world premiered at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, where Assayas was awarded best director. IFC Films released the film in the U.S. on March 10.

Assays also wrote and directed “Clouds of Sils Maria,” starring Stewart and Juliette Binoche. The film had its world premiere at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Stewart earned France’s César Award for best supporting actress for her role in the movie — making her the first American actress to earn the honor.

Assayas was also nominated for the Palme d’Or for “Demonlover” in 2002 and for “Les Destinées” in 2000. He received an Emmy nomination in 2011 for outstanding directing for a miniseries, movie, or dramatic special for “Carlos” starring Edgar Ramírez, still regarded by many as his finest work and the nearest in its subject – terrorist Carlos the Jackal – to “Wasp Network.”

RT Features debuted two films at the Sundance Film Festival in January — Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name,” starring Armie Hammer, which was acquired by Sony Pictures Classics; and Geremy Jasper’s “Patti Cake$,” which was nabbed by Fox Searchlight. The company’s “The Witch” won an Independent Spirit Award for best first feature for Robert Egger. RT also produced James Schamus’ “Indignation,” Ira Sachs’ “Little Men” and Noah Baumbach’s “Frances Ha.”

Gillibert is a frequent collaborator to Assayas, having produced “Personal Shopper,” “Clouds of Sils Maria,” and “Summer Hours.” CG Cinema is in post-production on Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s “Kings,” starring Halle Berry and Daniel Craig.

Assayas is represented by WME and Intertalent while RT Features is represented by CAA.

Editors Note: Based on information currently available about this film, it appears certain that any overlap with factual events with be purely accidental.

 

 

 

 

Obama Invites Top Communist Military-Intelligence Officials to Inspect Vital U.S. Defense Facilities 3

ObamaBy Humberto Fontova, Townhall

In 2001 a group of Castroite spies in south Florida known as the Wasp Network were convicted of charges ranging from espionage to conspiracy to commit murder (of U.S. citizens.) They were sentenced to terms ranging from 15 years to two life sentences. According to the FBI’s affidavit, the charges against these KGB-trained Communist spies included:

  • Compiling the names, home addresses, and medical files of the U.S. Southern Command’s top officers and that of hundreds of officers stationed at Boca Chica Naval Station in Key West.
  • Infiltrating the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command.

This past April, on Obama’s orders, some of the U.S. Southern Command’s top officers gave an in-depth tour of the Southern Command’s most vital facilities to some of Cuba’s top Military and Intelligence officials—probably to some of the very ones who earlier got this vital information from their WASP charges via “encrypted software, high-frequency radio transmissions and coded electronic phone messages,” as the FBI affidavit showed.

Cuba’s KGB-founded and mentored spy agency carefully trains their people to stifle guffaws, and even snickers—to maintain a poker-face through even the most hilarious provocations. Little did they dream how valuable such training would prove during the Obama administration.

Sorry, but Peter Sellers, the Marx Brothers, Maxwell Smart and Austin Powers are all somehow absent from this fascinating story. It’s all true. Here’s “just the facts ma’am” from The Miami Herald.

Oh, and never mind the convicted Cuban spies, some of whom helped murder four U.S. citizens. They’re all living like celebrities in Cuba now after Obama gifted them back to Castro in December 2014, upon commencing his smoochfest with the terror-sponsoring drug-runner who came closest to nuking the U.S.

It gets better:

Coincidently (perhaps) the vital U.S. defense facilities that Obama invited the eager Communist drug-runners to carefully inspect serve as the U.S. Defense Department’s “command center on the war on drugs.”

Coincidently, (perhaps) on top of serving as a base for terrorist group Hezbollah and probably laundering funds for Al-Qaeda as late as two years ago, the Castro-Family-Crime-Syndicate also help facilitate much of world’s cocaine smuggling. The dots are not overly difficult to connect. Let’s have a look:

*The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) attributes half the world’s cocaine supply to the Colombian Terror group FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.)

*The FARC itself gives credit where credit is due, attributing their rollicking success to the Castro regime:

Feature continues here:  Fontova