|Cuban listening post in Bejucal|
Early this morning got a phone call from Fox and Friends to comment on breaking news that Edward Snowden was possibly on his way to Cuba. Below is a more extended version of what I had to say.
The CIA's first defector was Philip Agee who died in Cuba in 2008 at the age of 72. He had defected to Cuba in 1973 and made public the identity of 250 alleged CIA officers and agents. It was the Cubans and not the KGB who had successfully recruited him. Beyond the intelligence damage the Cuban dictatorship used him as a propaganda tool publishing books under his name and engaging in campaigns to discredit the international image of the United States
Edward Snowden’s disclosures that the United States spies on the phone conversations and internet communications of tens of millions Americans all the time is a less aggressive version of what is standard operating procedure for Cuba’s totalitarian regime, and this disclosure provides an opportunity for Cuba's propaganda machinery to counter critics of their own inexcusable behavior on the subject.
What the international news media fails to mention is that the Chinese and Cubans have also been systematically spying on the phone conversations of tens of millions of Americans. It began in the 1960s with the Lourdes spy base in Cuba that was first operated by the Russians and kept running with the help of the Chinese until it closed some time in the 2000s . Another important base run by a well-trained Cuban electronic intelligence battalion working together with the Chinese is the base in Bejucal. There is also an understanding with the regime in Havana to share intelligence with the Russians.
Americans should not be shocked that Snowden would be traveling through, or staying in Cuba. There have been many other fugitives from the United States that have been hiding out in Cuba, including one designated a terrorist by the FBI.
The Castro regime has a history of harboring U.S. fugitives from justice such as FBI designated American terrorist Joanna Chesimard a.k.a. Assata Shakur who has been granted political asylum in Cuba and has a website that promotes international terrorism with a manual published by the Cubans.
The question arises how dangerous is the information that Edward Snowden has acquired as an independent contractor with classified status? Its more embarrassing than it is dangerous. Suspect its no where near the damaging information high ranking U.S. officials with secret clearance that worked for the Castro regime for decades had as were the cases of Ana Belen Montes at the Defense Intelligence Agency, Kendall Myers at the U.S. State Department and Marta Rita Velazquez at the Agency for International Development, (she was also the woman who recruited Ana Belen Montes for the Cubans). Velazquez fled to Sweden, a neutral country, where she married a Swedish Foreign Ministry insider.
As recently as 2012 there were reports in the media of Cuban, Iranian and Venezuelan officials meeting in Mexico to discuss cyber attacks on U.S. soil allegedly seeking information about nuclear power plants in the United States. Supposedly the FBI had opened an investigation into the matter, but there was no mention of this in the State Department's 2012 report.
This has been going on for a long time.
The Cuban government infiltrated a network of spies into the United States that it called the WASP network with the objective of spying on U.S. military installations, spying on Cuban exiles, identifying locations to store weapons and explosives on U.S. territory and planned to first terrorize then assassinate a man they identified as a CIA agent living in Bal Harbour, Florida using a mail bomb.
This network engaged in measures that cost lives.
The Cuban WASP network had a role in the February 24, 1996 shoot down in which U.S. citizens were killed in international airspace and the head of the spy network was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder for his role in the death of the four men killed. The Cubans want them back and have been holding Alan Gross as a de facto hostage since December 2009. The spy network was broken up by the U.S. government in 1998 and according to newspaper accounts in 2008 the Castro regime had rebuilt its spy network.
It is unlikely but the Castro regime could also use Snowden as a bargaining chip to get back their four agents and like North Korea, who was taken off the list of terror sponsors by blackmailing the United States, engage in a similar tactic here. This is also why it is unlikely that Snowden would remain in Cuba as a final destination.
Since Julian Assange of Wikileaks is involved, who has received political asylum in Ecuador, therefore Ecuador would be my bet for where he winds up, if not Iceland.Otherwise if he is foolish enough to stay in Cuba or ends up in Venezuela he could find himself traded back to the United States or in an even worse situation.