The “Queen of Cuba”, one of the most harmful spies for the United States, is freed

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Ana Belen Montes, the “Queen of Cuba” and noted as one of the most damaging spies in US history, will be released after spending more than two decades in prison for sending classified information to Cuban authorities for over 17 years and while working for the US Secret Service.

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“The damage is incredibly extensive,” said Peter Lapp, a former FBI agent and one of her captors that September 21, 2001, when Montes left the facilities of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Washington in handcuffs, after being discovered as an informant of the then president of Cuba, Fidel Castro.

how it worked

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Every day, this daughter of Puerto Rican parents and that he had two brothers who worked in the FBI, he sat at his desk with the goal of memorizing the three most important things of the day, which he then transmitted to a network of nine Cuban spies, seven of whom were located in the United States and the other two in Havana.

Senior Analyst DIA e top expert on Cuban military affairs He also leaked information about a secret program of the US government’s National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) that relied on the use of satellites and was linked to the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan.

In Lapp’s words, that information from the satellites was “the most damaging it gave, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.”

The information was so sensitive that in the event of a trialor it may have been used by prosecutorsotherwise the sentence would have been higher than the 25 years in prison he received after he pleaded guilty in 2002.

Ana Belén Montes will be released this Friday from a maximum security federal prison for women in Fort Worth (Texas).

The sympathizer of the Latin American left

During the 1980s, Montes was a masters student at Johns Hopkins University and is remembered by some of her classmates as fervent defender of leftist movements in Latin America, a position that caught the attention of a Cuban intelligence agent who recruited her.

In 1985, shortly after the first of a series of trips to Cuba, she was selected for a position in the DIA, to which she applied convinced by the then-named Directorate General of Cuban Intelligence (DGI).

From the US government agency Montes broadcast, in the form of encrypted messages or in meetings that could take place in broad daylight, confidential information that, as Lapp points out, cannot be measured in volume but in quality, as in the case of the identity of four US spies in Cuba.

Throughout all those years, his motivations were always based on a deep “anti-American” feeling. and belief that his activity has helped the Cuban people.

“They are a lot good at recruiting people like Monteslike-minded, compassionate people who don’t do it for the money,” Lapp says of Cuba’s intelligence apparatus, which he believes is one of the best in the world and which no doubt currently has undercover agents within the US government.

“You are not really helping the people of Cuba if you are helping the Cuban government. You are aiding a corrupt, murderous and oppressive regime and authoritarian. Point,” adds the former agent, who will publish this year “Queen of Cuba. An FBI agent’s internal account of the spy who evaded detection for 17 years”a book detailing the details of the investigation leading up to his capture.

No regrets

“He was stoic,” Lapp replies when asked about Montes’ reaction to being confronted that morning at DIA headquarters. “He kept his coolI thought she was going to pass out, but I think she was prepared for that day from the start,” she adds.

His arrest, which occurred ten days after the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York, was the corollary of a federal investigation launched after suspicions by DIA counterintelligence agent Scott W. Carmichael, who argued that the damage caused by Montes was “exceptionally serious.”

As US officials at the time acknowledged, a 1998 intelligence report, in which Montes played an important role, concluded that Cuba it did not pose a significant military threat for the United States

Lapp does not believe that once the informant, now 65, is freed, she will move to Cuba, as she will probably prefer to stay with her mother and will have to deal with his brothers who are FBI agents, who never knew about Ana Belén’s activities.

Do you still have the same beliefs? “I haven’t heard of any remorse, approx no change of mind. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he stayed true to his beliefs. It’s sad,” Lapp replies.


Source: Clarin

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