sábado, 30 de mayo de 2015

Cuba Not Off Hook, Despite Removal From US Terror List

by Chris Simmons
Pamela Dockins, Voice of America
STATE DEPARTMENT— The United States has dropped Cuba from its State Sponsor of Terrorism list but the removal does not clear Havana of all U.S. embargoes and statutory restrictions. The State Department announced Friday that Cuba had been removed from the blacklist – a designation that it shared with Iran, Syria and Sudan.
In an April statement, Secretary of State John Kerry said “circumstances have changed since 1982,” when Cuba was put on the list because of its “efforts to promote armed revolution by forces in Latin America.”
But Cuba still faces U.S. restrictions on transactions such as exports and foreign trade because of other punitive measures that remain in place.
“In addition to the State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, there is a web of restrictions and sanctions that have been applied over the years and some of them are unrelated to the State Sponsor of Terrorism designation,” said State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke.
Among them, is the Helms-Burton Act, which includes an embargo and other financial restrictions.  
Mixed Views on significance of Cuba’s removal
Cuba’s removal from the list is largely symbolic, said William LeoGrande, a Latin American politics professor at American University.   “It is more symbolic than it is practical in the sense that most of the sanctions that fall upon a country that is on the terrorism list already apply to Cuba because of the broader embargo,” he said.   But he said the removal was very important to Cuba, as Washington and Havana work to normalize relations.
Feature continues here: Cuba Off State Sponsor List

domingo, 24 de mayo de 2015

Jorge Luis Garcia Vázquez author of the blog STASI-MININT, is a Cuban exile living in Berlin. In his blog he provides lots of information about the relationship between the STASI & the MINIT. In his article “El Archivo del MININT y el asesoramiento de la STASI.” (The MININT Archive and the advise of the STASI), he provide the followings statistics (translation):
Until 1980 the MININT had prepared a total of:

2,088,571 records or documents of the State Security
6,056,847 records pertaining to Internal Order

This total quantity of documents: 8,145,418, was the main problem of the Minint, their classification, organization and conservation, especially of 160,000 pre-1959 records....

The Stasi report describes the exact location of the Archive, the status of the personal Card Index, which contains “all the Counterintelligence materials, for example the data on informants, operations carried out or documents of operational importance.”

In this card index alone were registered 4 million people with the following personal data: surname, first name, date of birth, gender, skin color, codified fingerprints and registration number....
The officers of the Stasi, who have came to have 180 kilometers of records and documents on their citizens, delivered gladly to their allies and students in political repression their experiences and technical resources, to monitor and liquidate any opposition or dissent.
Here you can read the whole document in Spanish: Stasi-Minint Connection

jueves, 15 de enero de 2015

Cuba’s Vested Interest in Discrediting CIA Spy Rolando Sarraf Trujillo

By Chris Simmons

In December, Rolando “Roly” Sarraf Trujillo was identified as the high-value American spy traded for three Cuba spies. In the weeks since, some Republicans, a self-serving former Cuban spy named Bill Gaede, and the Castro regime have joined forces to diminish the importance of Roly’s service to America.




Cuban National Released in White House Deal with Havana Now Back in the U.S

By Missy Ryan, Washington Post

A Cuban national imprisoned for nearly two decades as an American spy is now in the United States, his family said Tuesday, the first confirmation of the former U.S. agent’s whereabouts since he was released in last month’s deal to overhaul ties with Cuba.
Rolando Sarraff, a cryptographer with Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence, was imprisoned in 1995 on suspicion that he was passing secrets to the United States. Information provided by Sarraff helped U.S. officials dismantle networks of Cuban spies in the United States, one illustration of the mutual hostility that characterized U.S. dealings with Communist Cuba for more than 50 years.

viernes, 19 de diciembre de 2014

Spy helped unmask 3 Cuban spy networks, U.S. officials say

"The CIA’s Latin America Division has run many spies in Cuba, but Rolando Sarraff Trujillo was in a class all his own.From his perch as a cryptographer in Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence, Sarraff was able to provide information that repeatedly helped the U.S. intelligence community crack encoded messages the Communist government was sending via shortwave radio..."


WASHINGTON — He was, in many ways, a perfect spy — a man so important to Cuba’s intelligence apparatus that the information he gave to the Central Intelligence Agency paid dividends long after Cuban authorities arrested him and threw him in prison for nearly two decades.

Rolando Sarraff Trujillo has now been released from prison and flown out of Cuba as part of the swap for three Cuban spies imprisoned in the United States that President Obama announced Wednesday.


Yesterday, after more than 50 years, we began to change America's relationship with the people of Cuba.

Yesterday, after more than 50 years, we began to change America's relationship with the people of Cuba.
We are recognizing the struggle and sacrifice of the Cuban people, both in the U.S. and in Cuba, and ending an outdated approach that has failed to advance U.S. interests for decades. In doing so, we will begin to normalize relations between our two countries.

I was born in 1961, just over two years after Fidel Castro took power in Cuba, and just as the U.S. severed diplomatic relations with that country.

Our complicated relationship with this nation played out over the course of my lifetime -- against the backdrop of the Cold War, with our steadfast opposition to communism in the foreground. Year after year, an ideological and economic barrier hardened between us.
That previous approach failed to promote change, and it's failed to empower or engage the Cuban people. It's time to cut loose the shackles of the past and reach for a new and better future with this country.

First, I have instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to immediately begin discussions with Cuba to re-establish diplomatic relations that have been severed since 1961. Going forward, we will re-establish an embassy in Havana, and high-ranking officials will once again visit Cuba.

Second, I have also instructed Secretary Kerry to review Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism -- a review guided by the facts and the law. At a time when we are focused on threats from ISIL and al Qaeda, a nation that meets our conditions and renounces terrorism should not face such a sanction.

Third, we'll take steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to -- and from -- Cuba. These steps will make it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba. They will make it easier for Americans to conduct authorized trade with Cuba, including exports of food, medicine, and medical products to Cuba. And they will facilitate increased telecommunications connections between our two countries: American businesses will be able to sell goods that enable Cubans to communicate with the United States and other countries.
These changes don't constitute a reward or a concession to Cuba. We are making them because it will spur change among the people of Cuba, and that is our main objective.
Change is hard -- especially so when we carry the heavy weight of history on our shoulders.
Our country is cutting that burden loose to reach for a better future.
Thank you,
President Barack Obama

sábado, 15 de noviembre de 2014

Spying for Fidel: The Inside Story of Kendall and Gwen Myers By Toby Harnden

"Gazing out across the Chesapeake Bay from their sleek 37-foot yacht, Helene, in the summer of 2007, Kendall and Gwen Myers appeared to be blissfully carefree. They’d been together more than three decades, but they delighted in ensuring that their world was composed principally of each other"..."He later told Hector that “we really love your country” and “Fidel is wonderful, just wonderful.” Gwen ventured that Castro was the most “incredible statesman,” while Kendall said that “our idea is to sail home” to Cuba..."