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Cuban Espionage Activities Against the U.S.

Cuban Espionage Activities Against the United States

State Dept. highlights several recent incidents

The U.S. Department of State issued a fact sheet on July 30, examining Cuba's history of espionage against the United States and outlining several examples of recent anti-U.S. spying by Cuban agents. These incidents are simply the latest evidence that the regime of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro "has long targeted the United States for intensive espionage activities," the State Department said.

Following is the text of the fact sheet, with further details:

(begin fact sheet)

Washington, D.C.

Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs

July 30, 2003

Cuba: Espionage

The Castro regime has long targeted the United States for intensive espionage activities. Castro himself told CNN in an interview in 1998: "Yes, we have sometimes dispatched Cuban citizens to the United States to infiltrate counter-revolutionary organizations, to inform us about activities that are of great interest to us. I think we have a right to do this."

-- Ana Montes, a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, confessed to spying for Cuba for 16 years (from 1985 to the time of her arrest on September 21, 2001). Among other highly damaging actions, she gave the Cuban Government the names of four U.S. covert intelligence officers working in Cuba and gathered writings, documents, and materials for unlawful delivery to the Government of Cuba.

-- Seven Cuban spies, the so-called Wasp Network, were convicted of or confessed to espionage or related crimes in June and September 2001. The group sought to infiltrate U.S. Southern Command headquarters. One was convicted for delivering a message to the Cuban Government that contributed to the death of four fliers from Brothers to the Rescue who were shot down in 1996 by Cuban MiGs in international airspace.

-- An INS official, provided information in 2000 in a sting operation, thereafter passed the information to a business associate with ties to Cuban intelligence. As a corollary to this case, two Cuban diplomats were expelled from the United States for espionage activities.

-- Over a 15-year period from 1983 to 1998, 15 members of the Cuban mission to the United Nations were expelled for espionage activities, including three who were handlers for the Wasp Network in 1998.

-- Cuban spies have also found considerable success penetrating U.S.-based exile groups. A notable example is that of Juan Pablo Roque, a former MiG-23 pilot who defected to the United States in 1992, became a paid source for the FBI, and joined the ranks of the Brothers to the Rescue (BTTR). He re-defected back to Cuba just days after the early 1996 BTTR shoot down, denouncing the exile group on Cuban television and accusing it of planning terrorist attacks against Cuba and Castro.

-- A similar example involves the case of Jose Rafael Fernandez Brenes, who jumped ship from a Cuban merchant vessel in 1988. From 1988-1991, he helped establish and run the U.S. Government-financed TV Marti, whose signal was jammed from its inception in March 1990, due in part to frequency and technical data provided by Fernandez Brenes.

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