LATIN AMERICA

Cuba

Spy Rings in Florida (from 1998)

Materials arranged chronologically.

Pressley, Sue Anne. "10 Arrested on Charges of Spying for Cuba: Military Facilities Targeted, FBI Alleges." Washington Post, 15 Sep. 1998, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Ten people allegedly operating as a Cuban spy ring "have been arrested and accused of collecting information on U.S. military installations and anti-Castro groups in Florida, federal officials announced [on 15 September 1998]. The arrests, carried out [on 12 September 1998], ended the most extensive espionage effort involving Cuban agents ever uncovered here, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Scott said."

Clark comment: The number of arrests in this case eventually reached 14. In March 2000, Amarylis Silverio Santos and her husband, Joseph Santos, along with several others of the group, pleaded guilty to "charges of acting as unregistered agents of a foreign government." John Elvin, "Jail Time for Cuban Spies," Insight on the News, 6 Mar. 2000.

Weiner, Tim. "3 Cuban Diplomats Ordered Out of U.S. for Spying." New York Times, 24 Dec. 1998. [http://www.nytimes.com]

On 23 December 1998, three Cuban diplomats at the United Nations were ordered to leave the United States. "The three men were linked to espionage after an investigation by the FBI that led to the arrest and indictment of 10 suspected Cuban agents in Miami three months ago. The three men in New York have diplomatic passports, which give them immunity from prosecution as spies."

Arostegui, Martin C. "Spy Ring for Cuba Uncovered." Miami Herald, 19 Jan. 1999. [http://www.herald.com]

Spanish prosecutors "have charged five members of Spanish military intelligence and a businessman of spying for the Cuban government. The ring's activity involved secret meetings in Miami between the Spanish spies and their Cuban handlers, plus money laundering, industrial espionage and disseminating disinformation favorable to Cuba."

Associated Press. "FBI Explains Side in Downing of 2 Planes." Washington Post, 29 Dec. 2000, A15. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Encrypted communications between the Cuban government and five accused Cuban spies were intercepted in early 1996 but were not decoded in time to enable the authorities to alert the exile group Brothers to the Rescue that Cuba was planning to shoot down its airplanes, the FBI said in a court filing. The messages, which were sent over shortwave radio and intercepted by the FBI, have been declassified for the trial of the five Cubans. They are charged with being members of a spy ring that targeted South Florida military installations and infiltrated anti-Castro exile groups."

Pressley, Sue Anne. "Five Cuban Agents Guilty of Spying on U.S." Washington Post, 9 Jun. 2001, A12. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

On 8 June 2001, a federal jury in Miami "convicted five Cuban agents of espionage against the United States.... The leader of the group, Gerardo Hernandez, was found guilty of contributing to the death of four fliers from the Brothers to the Rescue exile group who were shot down in 1996 in international airspace by Cuban MiGs. Prosecutors alleged that Hernandez steered fellow spies away from the targeted flights and delivered a message to Havana that led to the shootdown."

Seper, Jerry. "Couple Charged as Spies." Washington Times, 1 Sep. 2001. [http://www. washtimes.com]

George and Marisol Gari were arrested on 31 August 2001 and charged with "conspiracy to act as agents of a foreign government without proper identification or notice to the attorney general." U.S. authorities say that they were members of "the largest Cuban spy ring ever detected,... 'La Red Avispa,' or the Wasp Network, five members of whom were convicted in June of conspiring to spy on the United States for Fidel Castro's regime."

Reuters, 23 Sep. 2001, reports that Marisol Gari has "pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent for Cuba.... George Gari pleaded guilty ... to one count of acting as an unregistered agent for Cuba." According to the Associated Press, 7 Jan. 2002, George Gari was sentenced to a federal prison term of seven years, and Marisol Gari to 3 1/2 years.

Roig-Franzia, Manuel. "Cubans Jailed in U.S. as Spies Are Hailed at Home as Heroes." Washington Post, 3 Jun. 2006, A1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Although its immediate focus is the five Cubans serving long prison terms for espionage-related convictions in 2001, this article reviews some of the incidents of Cuban spying in the United States. It also quotes Cuban leaders for the view that the espionage activities are designed to protect Cuba from terrorist acts.

Lefebvre, Stéphane. "Cuban Intelligence Activities Directed at the United States, 1959-2007" International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 22, no. 3 (Fall 2009): 460.

On 4 June 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the convictions of the five Cuban agents and the sentences of Gonzalez and Hernandez. The Court vacated and remanded the sentences of Campa, Medina, and Guerrero back to the District Court.

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