INTELLIGENCE REPORT FROM WASHINGTON 05- 01182001
by Marcelo Fernandez-Zayas
Washington, D.C. January 18, 2001
Bilingual Edition: English-Español.
Sirhan Sirhan, the assassin of Robert F. Kennedy was a fan of Fidel
Castro. Files released from the FBI show this fact. Sirhan and Lee Harvey
Oswald, the murderer of President John F. Kennedy, had in common their
admiration for the Cuban dictator. Sirhan is in jail in California.
Q. Miami. How could it happen that the FBI, which was watching the
Castro spy ring in Florida did nothing to prevent their actions?
L.R.R. Miami, FL.
A. In this case the National Security Council had to give the green
light to the FBI to stop this group in its plans. Some times the
apparent inaction of the FBI is motivated by the protection of its
sources. The case of the downing of the planes of Brothers to the
Rescue, now in trial in a Florida court, is very complex. We will have
to await judicial developments to reach a conclusion. The most
complicated scenario would be to name Castro as a defendant in the case
for the death of the pilots. However, I doubt it will happen.
Q. How many brothers and sisters were in Fidel Castro's family?
L.M. San Juan, PR
A. Here is the list. Pedro Emilio, Lidia, Angelita, Ramon, Raul,
Juanita, Emma and Agustina. Pedro Emilio and Lidia died. Juanita lives
in Miami and Emma lives in Mexico City.
Age. On June 3, 2001, Raul Castro will be 70 years old and on August
13, Fidel Castro will be 75.
Arms. Cuba is considered to be the best-armed country in Latin
America. However, there is a catch to that. The former Soviet Union sold Castro
all the World War II junk they could scrape together. This included
tanks and automatic weapons manufactured in the 1940's, as well as some
long-range artillery used in Russia against the invading German troops.
The Cuban Air Force is composed mostly of of obsolete planes. In large
part, the Air Force is grounded for lack of spare parts. Most of the
planes were built in the 1960's and 70's.
Missing money: Interior Minister (Intelligence Services) Jose
Abrantes Fernandez was jailed in Cuba in 1989, accused of corruption.
He died shortly thereafter of a heart attack. His jailers were
interested in one thing: where was Abrantes' money hidden? More than a decade later, the Cuban Directory
of Intelligence (DI) is still looking for the millions of dollars that are
Race: Many Cuba-watchers predict racial unrest in the island after
Castro departs. At the beginning of the new millennium, Cuban blacks, in spite
of being a 62 per cent majority of the population, are under-represented
in the power structure. http://afrocubaweb.com/afrocvoice.htm
Blacks in Cuba feel that American blacks, and particularly the
Congressional Black Caucus, do not support them. The majority of
dissidents in Cuba are of African descent.
Ballet: What ever became of the famous Cuban ballerina, Alicia Alonso?
K.O.A. Dayton, OH
A. Alicia Alonso, now 70, is almost blind. She lives in Cuba and
Spain. She is a fervent sympathizer of Fidel Castro.
Foreign Aid: The biggest help Cuba is giving to Venezuela is not in
the field of medicine, but in intelligence gathering. Sources in Venezuela inform us
that Cuba is training Venezuelan civilian and military officials in
security, espionage and international communications. However, the
Venezuelan military are beginning to show discontent with the new
surveillance measures set forth by their Cuban trainers.
Diplomatic Dust-up: Fidel Castro ordered the Cuban press to attack and
embarrass Spanish diplomats in Havana for their public celebration of
the festivity of the Epiphany - The three Wise Men - that included the
tradition of throwing candies to Cuban children. Voices in Madrid
explained this official complaint as a retaliation for the energetic actions of the Spanish
Coast Guard in theis search for drugs on Cuban and other vessels bound
for Spain coming from the communist island. When apprehended, it was a
sad day for the Ukrainian and other crews from former Soviet regions
found to be carrying (tons) of high-quality cocaine in their containers
manifested for northwest Spanish ports.
Marcelo Fernandez Zayas