Campaign Begins in Cuba for Imprisoned Spy Ana Belen Montes

September 25, 2016 |

Fernando Ravsberg

HAVANA TIMES – This week the first public event was held in Havana to demand the release of Ana Belen Montes, a spy for Cuba who has already served 15 years in prison. The ceremony was held at the Casa del Alba and had the participation of poets and singers, including Vicente Feliu, who is an activist for the cause of the Puerto Rican woman.

“I have sung many times for her but this is the first time as an exclusive concert for Ana Belen,” said Feliu, adding that “the need arises to make the cause of this internationalist heroin known in our country.”

Ana Belen Montes is a Puerto Rican who became a high official of the US military intelligence. She was known as “The Queen of Cuba” because she devoted herself almost exclusively to gather military information about the island but actually worked for Cuban intelligence.

For Feliú there are two spaces, “regardless of what Cuba and the US are negotiating, I think that we Cubans have to know that this woman risked her life for us.” However, the knowledge of her in Cuba is limited because no national press covered the event.

Manuel David Orrio speaks about Ana Belén Montes.

Manuel David Orrio speaks about Ana Belén Montes.

A hundred people attended, including former Cuban state security agent, Manuel David Orrio, who says committees are being created in Cuban provinces to demand Montes release. He mentioned such efforts in Holguín and Sancti Spiritus.

“There are also committees in France, Sweden, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico,” said Orrio. He noted that the first phase was to publicize the case. “I put out a Google alert a year ago and before I received one response every 3 or 4 days now I get 4 or 5 alerts every day. That shows how we have progressed. ”

“For the Cuban government in its relations with the US it is extremely complex to request by the release of the imprisoned lieutenant colonel. It is different from the Cuban Five agents’ case [which ended with the release of the remaining three from US prisons in December 2014.] But no one can stop us as civil society from mounting a campaign for her freedom,” added Orrio.

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  • Gerard Matthews

    Start a campaign for her immediate release on facebook? Firstly tell her story.

  • Gerard Matthews

    Originally sentenced to 25yrs, 15 served. I think that she will possibly just miss out, unless Obama see’s fit to grant her freedom as a parting gift to Cuba! If she is still in prison when the next president takes office, then try again!

    • Ronin

      She is a spy & not a Cuban citizen, so I don’t think Cuban government is willing to take on her cause. She sold out, got caught, and payed the price. You play, you pay.

  • Doug1943

    Surely there are some genuine political prisoners in Cuba — I don’t mean hijackers and the like — who could, in an informal gentleman’s agreement, be swapped for Montes.

    Or if Donald Trump wins the election, he could be offered a concession to build a hotel in exchange for her.

    • Informed Consent

      But, Raul Castro said there were no political prisoners in Cuba. Shouldn’t we believe him?

  • Griffin

    Ana Belen Montes is not a political prisoner: she is a criminal traitor who willingly worked as a spy for the Cuban intelligence agency, delivering classified information to her Cuban handlers. She deserved her sentence and should serve out her time in prison. There is no comparison to the dozens of real political prisoners in Cuba, jailed for demanding their rights and freedoms from the Castro regime.

    • dani

      That’s slightly harsh isn’t it. She was helping protect Cuba from criminal US actions such as terrorist attack, biological warfare, assassination attempts and plots to invade the country. And this was done out of principle. Remember she is Puerto Rican and not American, so the ‘traitor’ epithet doesn’t really apply.

      • Informed Consent

        She absolutely fills the “traitor” moniker. She is after all a US citizen. And, my little commie fried, she gave quite a lot of information to the Cubans, who in turn share that information with China and Russia. ….She got off lightly.

        • dani

          Unless you are involved in the intelligence business, you don’t know whether any information supplied by Montes was shared with China and Russia. Pure speculation. But anyway, does that contradict anything I said?

          • Griffin

            Not speculation. The history of Cuba’s co-operation with the KGB and Chinese intelligence services is well documented and published. Cuban agents in the US were very good at collecting valuable intelligence and selling it on to foreign powers, including China & Russia.

            It has been reported that Cuba sold intelligence data to Saddam Hussein on the eve the the US invasion of Iraq. By monitoring signals activity from the US Southern Command base in Florida, which is where General Franks was located during the planning phase for the invasion, Cuba was able to warn Iraq when the invasion was about to start.

            If you want to learn about Cuba’s intelligence operations in the US, I recommend the book “Castro’s Secrets: The CIA and Cuba’s Intelligence Machine” by Brian Latell.

            https://www.amazon.ca/Castros-Secrets-Cubas-Intelligence-Machine/dp/B00BJZGFHW

          • dani

            I’ve read it mate. I don’t dispute anything you say here but if you read my comments again I was specifically talking about information supplied by Montes.

          • Griffin

            You can read a good factual account of Ana Belen Montes, here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/feature/wp/2013/04/18/ana-montes-did-much-harm-spying-for-cuba-chances-are-you-havent-heard-of-her/

            Once again: it’s doesn’t matter what her motivation was:

            1. She is a US citizen
            2. She was an analyst of the US Defence Intelligence Agency to whom she swore an oath of service,
            3. She worked as a spy for a hostile foreign government.
            4. Therefore, she is a traitor.

          • Informed Consent

            Russia and Cuba have a long history of military and intelligence cooperation. You don’t think they would be interested in what Montes was able to steal from the DIA? It doesn’t take a lot to connect the dots.

            Traitor : a person who betrays his or her country : a person who commits treason. ….seems to fit the bill

          • dani

            Montes was on the Cuban desk so her information would more apply to Cuba than anywhere else. What Cuba did with the information wasn’t up to her so I don’t see the relevance.

          • Informed Consent

            you don’t see the relevance? Not surprised. As a trained DIA agent she knows what Cuba does in the intelligence world. It does not take a brain surgeon to see the ties. So she, as a catalyst, is directly responsible. She should have been shot!

      • Griffin

        Puerto Ricans are US citizens, as of 1917.

        It does not matter that you think her motivation was principled: she was a paid agent of a foreign intelligence service, spying on the US military. From her position as an analyst in the US Defence Intelligence Agency, she was cleared to access a great deal of classified information. She passed that information on to her Cuban handlers. That is the definition of spying. She violated her vow of service to defend the USA. That is treason.

        • dani

          Citizenship doesn’t mean anything. The French resistance were citizens of the third Reich. That doesn’t make them traitors. The Scots are British Citizens though half of them don’t consider themselves have no loyalty to the British State. The same with the semi-colonial situation of Puerto Rico.

          • Griffin

            Citizenship does indeed mean something. It means a citizen is governed by the laws of the country of which they are a citizen and entitled to the rights & freedoms of that country.

            That is the 2nd fact about Puerto Rico you are wrong about.

            In the 2012 referendum, Puerto Ricans voted 61.6% in favour of statehood, 33.3% in favour of free association and 5.5% in favour of independence. It seems a large majority of Puerto Ricans are quite happy to be US citizens.

            You are also incorrect about French citizens during WWII. The French residents of Vichy France remained citizens of that government. The French residents of Occupied France, also remained French citizens. Germany never annexed France nor did they grant German citizenship to the French people.

            You are likewise mistaken about Scottish nationalism and their relationship to Britain. The Scots have always been British, as they are one of the original races of the British Isles. The Scots resisted the English, a nation state which existed in the southern part of the island of Great Britain. Eventually, Scotland joined with England and Wales in forming the United Kingdom, a multi-ethnic state consisting of the main island of Great Britain, along with many smaller associated islands, Northern Ireland and the British overseas territories. Although 44.7% of Scots voted in favour of independence in the 2014 referendum, they still do retain loyalty to the United Kingdom, as demonstrated by their turnout in the most recent national election, and their willingness to receive money from Parliament on a wide variety of program spending in Scotland.

            For her part, Ana Belen Motes enlisted in the US Army of her own free will, swore an oath to defend the United States of America and at the same time agreed to spy for the intelligence agency of a hostile foreign government, Cuba.

            You can continue to insist she’s not a real spy, but do try to back up your opinion with some facts. Your catalogue of factual & historic errors is damaging to your credibility.

          • dani

            I didn’t say Germany annexed France, I said the French were under the 3rd Reich. Maybe not the best example, but you are quibbling over historic details rather than seeing the point. How about Lithuanians under the Soviet Union? Would they be criminal traitors if they spied against the Soviet Union? They were Soviet citizens after all and lived under Soviet law. Happy with that?

            With smaller nations within other states, the relationship is complex. I should know – I’m Welsh. History and stats aren’t the motivation. To paraphrase Pablo Iglesias, some people are Scottish, some are British, some are British and Scottish, some are Scottish and British. And it is a personal thing – you might start out with loyalty in one category and move towards another. Not sure what your point about the election is. After all the Scots voted overwhelmingly for the SNP in that election. People vote for Sinn Fein in Northern Ireland as well but wouldn’t consider themselves loyal to Britain. My point is that I don’t see how you can be considered a traitor to Britain if you see your nation and country as Scotland rather than Britain.

            Finally I haven’t insisted that she’s not a real spy. She was – and was very successful at it. Catalogue of factual & historic errors? Where?

          • Griffin

            Read your own words Dani:

            “The French resistance were citizens of the third Reich.”

            Utter nonsense.

          • dani

            I don’t make a catalogue of factual and historic errors. The problem is that:

            1) You don’t read my comments properly and so you argue against things I haven’t even said.
            2) Rather than tackle the issues raised you try and discredit me by taking everything pedantically literal when it’s meant metaphorically. As a country under occupation and living under a puppet government, most people would understand exactly what I meant when referring to France.

            So it ends up in arguments over semantics