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    Fewer Spies in Miami Than Bullfighters in Madrid

    Fewer Spies in Miami Than Bullfighters in Madrid / Juan Juan Almeida
    Posted on October 22, 2015

    Juan Juan Almeida, 19 October 2015 — The G2, Cuba’s domestic spy agency,
    is nothing more than a fun-loving caricature of the former KGB. What is
    difficult to believe is that the special services headquarters which
    direct espionage operations against Cuba have shown themselves to be
    even more inept.

    The Cuban government neither has nor could maintain an army of spies. We
    have bought into this myth. Espionage is an expensive proposition and
    recruiting spies is not like planting rice. Though difficult for us to
    accept, Cuban authorities are talented and treacherous enough to know
    how to stoke paranoia, distrust and confusion by creating a constant and
    frantic struggle for reaffirmation against “a person unknown.” This has
    made us prone to isolation, some degree of lunacy and a few too many
    hallucinations.

    Albert Einstein, that most international of physicists, said, “You
    cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created it.”

    Now is the time to find common ground in order to face the obstacles
    that divide us. There is no point in inventing yet more informants,
    those agents created for a specific task and trained for a specific
    mission. We routinely label people as “agents” with dangerous and
    contagious certainty. We should realize that no single nation can simply
    go around recruiting and sending infiltrators out into the world like
    spores in search of information.

    From the enigmatic Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to a young physicist
    named Klaus Fuchs, from former CIA officer Aldrich Ames to Soviet
    military intelligence colonel Oleg Penkovsky, and to the legendary James
    Bond, history and literature are replete with spies who have captured
    our imagination. Adventurers or idealists, altruistic or greedy, heroes
    or informers, the world certainly knows of spies who succeeded in
    altering the course of history. But such cases are a far removed from
    our all too mundane reality. The fact is there are fewer Cuban spies in
    Miami than bullfighters with mustaches in Madrid.

    Margaretha Geertruida Zelle, a Dutch woman known worldwide as Mata Hari,
    was a famous exotic dancer, high-class prostitute and a well-known
    actress who used her luxurious perch to collect information and sell it
    to both the French and German intelligence services. She was caught,
    tried and executed, but not — it is said — before blowing a kiss to the
    firing squad. You’ve heard of Percy Alvarado*? Listen, the life of agent
    Friar is more an embarrassment than a source of pride.

    There was the wily and charismatic Richard Sorge, — a man with an
    exquisite sense of humor — who was a Soviet spy and German national who
    worked for the NKVD, the forerunner of the KGB. A student of political
    science, he served as a volunteer in the German army and worked as
    journalist in Japan. Closer to home, the story of Antonio Guerrero — one
    of the five Cubans convicted on espionage charges in the US — is more
    foul than the dog mess on my shoes.

    It is a profession older than prostitution, or even carpentry. The Cold
    War continues to feed into our exaggerated and overly fanciful mythology
    with the obvious glamour this secret activity acquired in the last
    century. Perhaps that is why terminology such as “intercepting
    communications,” “reading encrypted codes” and “eavesdropping” bring to
    mind intrigue and stimulate the imagination.

    But the G2, Cuba’s domestic spy agency, is nothing more than fun-loving
    caricature of the former KGB. What is difficult to believe is that the
    special services headquarters which direct espionage operations against
    Cuba have shown themselves to be even more inept. It seems they relied
    on informants who knew how to sell information that was full of gaping
    holes.

    The only way to make our dream a reality is to wake up and stop seeing
    spies, informers and snitches among our next door neighbors.

    *Translator’s note: A Guatemalan national who infiltrated the Cuban
    American National Foundation in Miami on behalf of Cuba’s security
    services. Known as “agent Friar,” he now writes a blog from Havana.

    Source: Fewer Spies in Miami Than Bullfighters in Madrid / Juan Juan
    Almeida | Translating Cuba –
    translatingcuba.com/fewer-spies-in-miami-than-bullfighters-in-madrid-juan-juan-almeida/

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