Saturday, January 17, 2015

Fact checking The Washington Post on the Antonio Maceo Brigade

A white washed history of a shameful chapter in Cuban American relations with the island
Fidel Castro with members of the Antonio Maceo Brigade
 Reading Tina Griego’s  January 5, 2015 article “They risked everything to open a door to Cuba. They were shunned for it,” was a surprise considering it celebrates the equally notorious Antonio Maceo Brigade and Areito magazine.  Christopher S. Simmons, a U.S. Army counterintelligence officer, has stated publicly that “both entities have long and distinguished histories of collaboration with Cuban Intelligence.”

However it is not only from U.S. officials that such claims have been made but by a now deceased high profile Cuban in the island who met with members of the Antonio Maceo Brigade exchanging life experiences only to later discover that what was discussed would be reported on by one of these Cuban American youth from Miami to Cuban State Security in a report signed in their name.

Eliseo Alberto in 1997 published a book titled Informe contra mi mismo(Dossier Against Myself) in which he detailed the encounter and betrayal. On page 12 of his book is the first mention of the Antonio Maceo Brigade followed by how they met with the author at his home.  On page 16 while describing an interrogation by State Security to pressure him into spying on his own father Eliseo is given a report of confidences shared, and that the author wrote that the data was “worthwhile to have in mind at the hour of evaluating present and future actions.” Eliseo writes of the document that “It was signed at the bottom of the page by one of those young Cubans residing in Miami.”
Dossier Against Myself 
Cuban American youth traveling to Cuba to spy on Cubans for the Castro regime sowed distrust and division. At least one of them ended up in their professional career spying at Florida International University before being arrested by the FBI, placed on trial and sentenced to 3 to 5 years in prison. The Antonio Maceo Brigade didn't open a door to Cuba but rather another door for the Castro dictatorship to engage in espionage on both sides of the Florida Straits. That the Washington Post would ignore, or whitewash, this history does a disservice to the facts and to Cubans who are seeking an authentic and enduring national reconciliation between all Cubans.

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