U.S. MILITARY SECRETS, SPIES,
AND THE 'CHINA MODEL'
News Analysis Today
August 15, 2009
America's most sensitive military secrets will
be sought even more aggressively by one of the most effective spy services in
the world - Cuban intelligence. Raul Castro, general and political leader of the
Communist ruled island, is beginning to move Cuba's espionage apparatus under
military control, signaling greater discipline and
focus -- all directed against
Havana's only enemy, the United States. Increased Cuban espionage will occur as
the island moves to "liberalize" its tattered economy.
Christopher Simmons, director and founder of the
Cuban Intelligence Research Center and a retired Counterintelligence Officer,
made these and other observations during an exclusive interview with International
Cuba's civilian espionage services, the Directorate of Intelligence
has suffered a number of damaging reversals, including the breakup of the Wasp
Network in 1998, the arrest in 2001 and subsequent conviction of Ana Belen Montes,
and the arrest and confession in June 2009 of Walter Kendall Myers and his wife,
Ironically, Myers, who worked for the U.S. State Department,
was also a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies,
where Ana Montes studied and obtained a Masters Degree. There is speculation that
Montes was recruited by Cuban intelligence at Johns Hopkins.
The pragmatic Raul will gradually transfer elements, especially younger members, of the Directorate
of Intelligence into Cuba's military spy services. For less experienced operatives,
Raul's military spies will use "confidence victories" -- small, easily achievable
tasks -- to provide them a needed sense of accomplishment.
Raul's strategy presents a special problem for U.S. counterintelligence, Simmons said. In contrast
to the actions taken against Directorate of Intelligence officers, U.S. counterintelligence
personnel have not had any notable success against Cuba's military espionage services,
Simmons disclosed to International News Analysis.
Until recently, the primary focus of Cuba's military intelligence was the interception and processing of communications.
The expansion of its role into human intelligence is both a challenge and opportunity
for those in charge of U.S. security.
Simmons also sees Cuba adopting important
economic changes following what Cuban leaders call the "China model." Although
appearing to be a real change in the economic and social conditions of a society,
the "China model" is actually a cynical exercise in political manipulation. Instead
of actual change, controlled capitalist-looking modifications to a national economy
are used to strengthen the Communist dictatorship. China pioneered the concept,
and Cuba seems, at last, ready to follow.
In the late 1990s, Fidel Castro
visited China to observe the steps being taking to modernize the economy. The
China model has resulted a financial boom which produced both Chinese millionaires
and a phenomenal build-up of the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA), Navy, and Air
While Fidel examined China's economic progress, the Cuban government
imported business specialists from the European Union to instruct Cuban Communist
managers in the art of modern business methods.
The Cuban government is
no stranger to running commercial business operations. For fifty years Havana
has operated "front companies" to support its spy operations, and perform tasks
ranging from supplying cover for operatives to assisting with the physical transfer
of stolen technology.
After the collapse of the USSR and the end of Soviet
aid to Cuba, the "front companies" became important sources of income to Havana,
either because the enterprises turned an actual profit, or because they acquired
information or technology other nations (primarily Russia, China, Venezuela) wanted
Simmons observed that the "front companies" were also important
means of insuring loyalty to the habitually cash-strapped Communist government.
Various government officials were given a stake in a "front company." The official
would be responsible for the performance of the operation, and would share in
As a result, powerful figures in the Cuban government continue
to have a considerable personal financial investment in continuing a patently
failing system. A combination of profit and the threat of reprisal insured a loyalty
in the face of the most adverse circumstances, Simmons told International News
Cuba continued on this precarious path until ill health
forced out Fidel Castro, and his more pragmatic brother, Raul, ascended to leadership.
The "front companies" again have espionage as their top priority, including
enterprises connected with tourism, another specialty of Cuban military intelligence.
challenge posed by the Cuban Communist regime and its spy services is made substantially
more difficult because the U.S. centralized media gives every indication that
it is pro-Cuban.
Rarely are Cuban spies mentioned in the centralized media,
and the threat they pose is even less seldom reported.
Simmons related one incident to International News Analysis, in which he called the Washington
Post after Walter and Gwendolyn Myers were arrested. Simmons wanted to inform
the press of a highly successful result of U.S. counterintelligence efforts.
Washington Post did not respond to Simmons tip. An INA search on the Washington
Post website could not find an article appearing about the Myers case until June
In October 2009, as a result of successful appeals, a federal
judge will reduce the sentences of five convicted spies who were part of the Cuban
Havana regularly refers to the spies as the "Cuban Five."
One of the Wasp Network operatives who fled to Cuba, Juan Pablo Roque,
abandoned a wife in the United States, whom he married only to obtain cover for
his operations in the U.S.
Simmons told International News Analysis that
he is in process of completing a book about the "Cuban Five" and the cold-blooded
manipulation of Ana Margarita Martinez, "the spy's wife."
Simmons also informed INA that whenever the centralized media reports on the "Cuban Five,"
the connection of the spies with the murder of four Americans is almost never
As a result of the actions of members of the Wasp Network, Cuban
MiG fighters on February, 24, 1996 intercepted over international waters and destroyed
two unarmed aircraft flown by the Cuban exile group, Brothers to the Rescue.
The aircraft were attempting to locate and assist refugees fleeing Cuba.
Ultimately espionage is about life and death, both of individuals and nations. Spying is
a deadly business, and our counterintelligence officers deserve our admiration
and public support.
Chris Simmons has been
a central figure in ending or crippling the espionage careers of some 80 spies,
and has served as a counterintelligence officer in the U.S. Army and the Defense
Intelligence Agency from 1996 to 2004. In May 2003 he was the lead military official
in the expulsion of 14 Cuban spies serving under diplomatic cover in the U.S.
Simmons now lectures and writes widely on counterintelligence. He retired from
the Defense Intelligence Agency in December 2007, and currently serves as an Army Reserve counterintelligence officer.
FIND OUT WHAT THE CENTRALIZED MEDIA IS NOT REPORTING -- READ: Lies,
Terror, and the Rise of the Neo-Communist Empire: Origins and Direction.
Or, go to your favorite online book seller.
is the author of LIES,
TERROR, AND THE RISE OF THE NEO-COMMUNIST EMPIRE: ORIGINS AND DIRECTION,
available at this site, as well as Amazon.com and other online booksellers. Westerman
is the editor and publisher of International News Analysis Today (www.inatoday.com).
DEPEND ON YOUR HELP: PRESS THE "DONATE" BUTTON! THANKS IN ADVANCE:
International News Analysis
to INA TODAY.com homepage