U.S. spies for Cuba are in the news. Last week, U.S. officials announced the arrest of Victor Manuel Rocha, 73, a former U.S. ambassador, on charges of having spied for Cuba since the 1970s. Meanwhile, Ana Montes, a former analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, was recently released from federal prison after serving a 20-year sentence for spying for Cuba. In the context of reporting on these two people, the media is also bringing up the case of Walter and Gwendolyn Myers, a husband and wife who worked for the State Department, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to spying for Cuba for 30 years.
As a Wall Street Journal story last month stated, these spies were not driven by money to spy for Cuba. The article stated that they were instead driven by “ideology.” My hunch is that these four people themselves would say that they were driven to spy for Cuba by conscience.
Ever since the Cuban revolution in 1959, Cuba has been considered to be an official enemy of the United States and, specifically, of the U.S. national-security establishment (i.e., the Pentagon, CIA, and NSA), which is the driving force of U.S. foreign policy within the U.S government.
Prior to the Cuban revolution, the Cuban government had been controlled by U.S. officials ever since the Spanish-American War of 1898. In essence, Cuba had been a U.S. colony up until the time of the 1959 revolution.
Prior to the revolution, Cuba was ruled by a brutal rightwing dictator named Fulgencio Batista, who was a loyal agent of the U.S. government. Many Cubans resented Batista, not only because of his brutal dictatorship, and not only because he was a loyal lackey of U.S. officials, but also because he had become a partner of the Mafia, the world’s premier criminal organization, which ran casinos in Havana and shared its profits with Batista under the table. One of Batista’s policies that many Cubans resented was the state-sponsored kidnapping of underaged girls in the countryside who Batista’s goons would deliver to the Mafia’s high rollers in the casinos as a sexual perk. In fact, it was that policy that set off the Cuban revolution.
Once the revolution was won, the new regime, headed by Fidel Castro, took Cuba in a different direction. Castro refused to become a lackey of the U.S. government and insisted that Cuba would henceforth be an independent nation. He also later made it clear that he was committed to socialism and communism and, in fact, was determined to establish friendly relations with the Soviet Union and the communist world (something that President Kennedy was also determined to do, as he outlined in his famous Peace Speech in June 1963).
Owing to these actions, Cuba was deemed to be a grave threat to U.S. “national security” (just as Kennedy was).
But there is something important to recognize about all this: Cuba never committed any act of aggression against the United States or even threatened to do so. Instead, it has always been the United States that has been the aggressor against Cuba.
For example, there were repeated assassination attempts by the U.S. government against Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Given that Castro had never initiated any aggressive action against the United States, these were nothing more than attempts at legalized murder. In fact, President Lyndon Johnson even candidly pointed out that the CIA was running a “damned Murder Inc.” in the Caribbean.
There was also Operation Mongoose, which entailed U.S. acts of sabotage and terrorism inside Cuba.
And, of course, there has been the ongoing brutal U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, which has targeted the Cuban people with death and economic suffering in the hopes that they would rise up in another revolution, one that would replace Cuba’s recalcitrant communist regime with another U.S.-approved rightwing stooge.
Therefore, since the U.S. government has always been the aggressor against Cuba — with assassinations, terrorism, sabotage, and its deadly embargo — and since Cuba has never aggressed against the United States — it stands to reason that any information that these four U.S. spies for Cuba delivered to Cuba almost certainly involved secret information that was designed to help Cuba protect itself and its citizens from the acts of aggression by the Pentagon and the CIA.
At Montez’s sentencing, federal Judge Ricardo Urbina, stated that she had put the United States “as a whole” at risk by spying for Cuba. It would be difficult to understand how she had done that, given that it has always been the United States that has been the aggressor against Cuba, not the other way around. More likely, Montez, along with those other three U.S. spies for Cuba, provided information that assisted the Cubans to protect themselves from U.S. attempts at murder, sabotage, terrorism, and the infliction of death and suffering from the U.S. embargo. U.S. officials say that they betrayed the United States and, therefore, need to be severely punished for helping the Cuban people protect themselves from Pentagon-CIA aggression.