Cubanálisis - El Think-Tank




Cuba's spy apparatus, a conduit of Latin America insurgency


Jerry Brewer, MexiData.Info


To effectively monitor aggression, interference and other forms of insurgency within their homelands, democracies throughout the Americas must immediately address their governments' counterintelligence missions.


Cuba's Intelligence Directorate (DI), formerly known as the Dirección General de Inteligencia, or DGI, has been and remains a contingency of very well-trained, organized and financed agents of covert and hostile espionage throughout the Americas and elsewhere.


The Cuban DI is responsible for all foreign intelligence collection. The 40-year history of the nefarious operations of the DI has included active involvement in aiding leftist and dictatorial movements in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.


With Castro's recent subterfuge of renaissance into quasi-capitalism and a modicum of professed freedoms - one for the decades, many people are demanding that the U.S. trade embargo, in place since 1960, be lifted.


The truth is that Cuban espionage has been linked to villainous associations with the Chinese and Iranians, as well as with Venezuela. As well, a report from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency indicates that Cuba has been expanding intelligence operations with others in the Middle East and South Asia. 


Cuba has trained thousands of communist guerrillas and terrorists, and has sponsored violent acts of aggression and subversion in most democratic nations of the southwestern hemisphere. U.S. government studies within the intelligence community documented a total of 3,043 international terrorist incidents in the decade of 1968 to 1978. Within that study, "over 25 percent occurred in Latin America."


President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela has adopted the previous Soviet-styled Cuban intelligence service as his model for Venezuela's security service, while utilizing Cuban intelligence counterparts and advisors as his primary sources on security and intelligence. Moreover, resisting U.S. drug and terrorism interdiction throughout South America has been a busy agenda of Chavez.


Chavez is perceived to be the mentor of Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, a former coca grower's union leader who recently, while seeking to normalize diplomatic relations with Washington, stated that the DEA is not welcome in his country.


In 2009 Ecuador refused to renew the ten-year lease to the United States at Manta airbase, an action that was dismissed simply with language describing a revision of the nation's Constitution under President Rafael Correa's leadership. The Constitution "bans foreign military bases" on Ecuadorian soil.


Still, the successes of the U.S. Southern Command and drug enforcement operators in Latin America are well-documented.


As well, Panama, Colombia and Peru recognized the critical need to fight narcotrafficking and terrorism, and quickly expressed interest in alliances with U.S. efforts. The success of Colombia against the FARC guerrillas, as well as Mexico's valiant fight against its narcoterrorist organized crime insurgents, represent either one becoming part of the solution or a part of the problem.


Getting back to Chavez, reports link his government with radical terrorist organizations and other state sponsors of terrorism. Hezbollah fundraising activities, in the form of "financial transactions," on Margarita Island in Venezuela have been widely reported.


According to General Marcos Ferreira, a former Venezuelan Intelligence Director, Chavez gave instructions to "destroy records" on ten suspected Hezbollah fundraisers conducting suspicious financial transactions on the islands of Margarita, Aruba and Curaçao, and in the cities of Maracaibo and Valencia.


Margarita Island appears to be the center of an extensive terrorist financial network stretching throughout the Caribbean to Panama, and the Cayman Islands, where three Afghanis traveling on false Pakistani passports were caught entering from Cuba with $200,000 in cash in August of 2001. According to British colonial authorities, efforts to launder the money through Cayman banks also involved a group of Arab businessmen.


The deployment of the Cuban Intelligence Service in Venezuela is so deep that its agents enjoy "direct access" to President Chávez, and often provide information not shared with local intelligence services, as indicated by cables sent from the U.S. Embassy in Caracas to the State Department,


Chavez has tried to indoctrinate the Venezuelan military, bringing in thousands of advisers to replicate Cuban military doctrine, and to deal with security and intelligence issues. Cuban officers are deeply involved in intelligence and security matters in Venezuela, from the acquisition of military equipment to overall military strategy. The number of Cuban intelligence experts working in Venezuela is reported to be around 3,000.


Too, reports place FARC and ELN guerrillas from Colombia in safe havens in Cuba.


And, prior to Vicente Fox becoming president of Mexico, there was a reported "gentleman's agreement" between Mexico and Cuba - that "Havana intelligence could operate in Mexico, largely against U.S. targets, as long as Havana did not meddle in Mexico's internal affairs." Cuba continues to maintain a large intelligence-gathering hub in Mexico City.