Chapter Transcript, “Well paid lies”
Fidel Castro.- “There was never another people with such sacred things to defend and such deep convictions to fight for …We are deeply convinced that ideas are more powerful than weapons, no matter how sophisticated and powerful these are.”
Voice of man.- In 1987, the CIA war on Cuba was publicly denounced.
Voice of woman.- The CIA continues its operations with new mechanisms, including the USAID.
Jean-Guy Allard, journalist.- It’s the visible face of the CIA. It’s a sort of marketing of subversive activities.
Voice of man.- statement in English
Voice of woman.- Now, a new story comes to light.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- The Interests Section officials invited me to the United States. Maybe they thought that I could become an instrument of change from within the socialist system in my country.
Voice of woman.- Women, youths, workers and elders have their space in the largest island of the Antilles. However, some try to show the world a different reality of Cuba. They resort to lies and use the new technologies in subversive actions against the people to overthrow the Revolution.
Whoever walks the streets of the historical center of Havana City, close to the Old Square, can see buildings renovated with the efforts of workers in the area.
Voice of man.- Still, there are those who want to offer a different image of the same scenario. Who’s behind the deceit?
Concerning Cuba, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) based in Washington DC, works to create, organize and finance counterrevolution; to fragment society and offer the world a distorted image of the country’s reality. That institution was established in 1961 by Kennedy.
Jean-Guy Allard, journalist.- Kennedy established the USAID by decree, as a sort of Marshall Plan, the way it had been done in Europe after World War II, to lure Latin America and prevent Latin Americans from succumbing to the temptation of becoming independent from the American empire and cease being the US backyard.
Voice of woman.- A simple look at the USAID Cuba project allows even skeptics to realize that it is an open interference in a sovereign nation.
Various US administrations have kept in place mechanisms for sending money and means to some in Cuba to try to destabilize the country. Many plans materialize through officials of the US Interests Section in Havana.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- A group of young artists and I decided to create a cultural project to promote their visual art.
We were visited by diplomats from the US Interests Section. They felt this was a very interesting project since it was an independent alternative project not subordinated to the cultural institutions of Cuba. This marked the beginning of a series of meetings and contacts almost on a daily basis.
The result of all these meetings with Mr. Larry Colwin was my recruitment, the main purpose being for me to pull around the Centro Cultural Independiente a group of young Cuban artists who were in need of promotion to try to influence their work and thoughts. Thus, based on Larry Colwin’s ideas, the center would become a bibliographic benchmark. I remember that the US Interest Section donated to our center tens of boxes filled with books, magazines and American publications so that the artists could have access to that valuable information which was then published by the American society and contemporary art. Likewise, Mr. Douglas Barnes came across a very important idea, which was to turn our center into an Internet access center.
Voice of man.- Douglas Matt Barnes had worked in some socialist countries before being assigned to Cuba as a diplomat. He exerted a negative influence on Cuban nationals who worked in the field of culture and associated himself with counterrevolutionary elements. He stated that the main goal pursued by his office was the implementation of Track 2 of the Torricelli Act, a strategy that was conceived to subvert the Cuban society.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- That was very important and advanced at that moment, because the Internet was hardly known by Cuban artists. It meant that young people would have direct and first-hand access to the information that was being published by the American journals of the time. After concluding that work which was quite interesting and profound, the executives of the US Interest Section were convinced that they had to advance one more step with me, so they conveyed to me an invitation to visit the Chicago Cultural Center. This Center is one of the most important in the United States, and given the relevance of that invitation, they organized a very tight agenda for me. I was supposed to have some meetings and working sessions with different cultural and political personalities and members of the civil society of the United States.
I could mention some examples. I had very important meetings and working sessions with the Mayor of Chicago, Mr. Richard Daley. I also met with different Afro-American and Latin-origin Congress people, with whom I had some exchanges. Through them I learned the way in which politics work inside the United States. I also met with different Latin organizations for the defense of the race, women, which showed me the way they worked inside the system.
This was a very profound and powerful experience. The official leaders and executives of the US Interest Section thought this would be a training that at some point might serve as a tool for a change, in case the moment came to make use of it. In other words, they were fabricating a leader for a possible ideological subversion inside Cuba.
Voice of man.- The work traditionally done by the CIA is today in the hands of the State Department and other public agencies like the NED (the National Endowment for Democracy), a supposedly independent institution, and the federal USAID.
Voice of man.- Under the USAID umbrella, more than 10,000 short wave radios and over 2 million books, multimedia and information material have been brought to Cuba; all of them conveying a message aimed at changing the political order in the country.
Voice of woman.- The USAID action against Cuba became more evident in 1995, when, based on the Torricelli Act, President William Clinton made a financial concession to promote aid through acquiescent Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to assist individuals and organizations in promoting a non-violent democratic change in Cuba. Its implementation responds to Article 1705, subsection (g) of the abovementioned Torricelli Act.
Voice of man.- According to its website, the USAID Cuba Program advocates a transition in the country.
Jean-Guy Allard, journalist.- After examining a certain situation, reference is made to a study of the Cuban situation, which literally reads: “The CIA has concluded that its mission is to create the illusion of a popular movement that wins foreign support.” Think of it in today’s terms, helping to create a climate that would permit provocations in support of change toward an open action; an open action can be very serious stuff.
Voice of woman.- The United States has donated millions to 28 NGOs to distribute books, letters, recorded videos, office equipment and other material. The list would be endless.
The most sophisticated telecommunication technologies are given to those who have joined the contract for subversion; these send all kinds of information and are systematically paid for it.
Mario Eduardo Pérez, communications specialist.- In 1987, the material that the US Special Services gave their agents in our country were especially produced in the CIA labs to facilitate communication between the agents and the center; they used the best technology of those days. Currently, these are commercial equipment, Inmarsat Satellite System equipment.
Voice of woman.- The US presidents change but the US Cuba policy remains the same and today the use of new technologies opens the way to a cyber aggression.
Eva Golinger, journalist.- Now they are revisiting the issue of demonization and isolation, and the efforts to criminalize the Cuban government, the Cuban Revolution, to justify a direct aggression. The media campaign includes saying that people are killed in Cuba or persecuted, that this and that are happening, that there are violations here and there. These are simply tactics and mechanisms aimed at justifying US aggressive actions against Cuba.
Voice of woman.- The current images are irrefutable proof of the way the US implements and constantly supervises its plan to disturb constitutional order in Cuba.
Voices of man.- Tens of NGOs provide the cover up for actions against Cuba. Many of their plans are made public through their websites in the Internet, although they have many other interests that are not known because they fall under secret chapters devoted to clandestine operations to be carried out inside the country.
Voice of woman.- One of these organizations is the International Republican Institute, IRI.
Voice of man.- The International Republican Institute was established in 1983. It is a weapon of the most recalcitrant US rightwing bent on achieving their objectives through hefty campaigns of deceit and manipulation. Its president is John Sydney McCain who has played an outstanding role in the Iraq War and has asked the Pentagon to send more troops. He also has links with Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Ileana Ross Lethinen, both notorious figures of the Miami counterrevolution.
Voice of woman.- What is the role of the IRI in the USAID Cuba Program?
Current and confidential documents we have acceded show details of the destabilizing project designed by the USAID and implemented by the IRI.
Captain Marian.- The IRI Cuba program has two main objectives: one, to increase what they describe as the free flow of information to and from Cuba; and two, to create alleged NGOs.
Behind this subtle and sugared language, this program hides its true intentions to organize in the country wireless communication networks with possibilities to transmit data through satellites. The establishment of these networks contemplates the introduction in Cuba of several dozens of means, including advanced communication equipment as the B-GAN. According to the program, these networks would be operated by women, youths, black people, and intellectuals who would be trained to use the equipment for obtaining information and transmitting it abroad. This information would be of interest not only for the US government but also for media campaigns against Cuba.
The IRI does not operate directly in Cuba but through other organizations like Solidaridad Española con Cuba and the Pontis Slovak Foundation.
“Solidaridad Española con Cuba” has received $618,000 to work against the Island while Pontis has received a little over $100,000. These organizations recruit people who would be traveling to Cuba to introduce those means that the IRI wants to deploy in the Island and also to train those people who the IRI program is interested in recruiting.
Voice of man.- The US has many interests beyond the Democrats’ or Republicans’ programs. Although many thought that the winds of war and hostile policies would change under Obama, the fact is that in his tenure the delivery of funds has remained constant and unchanged for various campaigns, including subversive actions inside Cuba through the USAID.
Jean-Guy Allard, journalist.- The USAID is involved in dirty work; it deals with infiltration and is aimed at destroying the Cuban society.
Voice of woman.- The IRI has received $11 million from the USAID, NED and the State Department.
In August 2008, the IRI signed with the USAID the current destabilization program against Cuba and received $5 million for its implementation. This funding will cover until August 21, 2010.
Voice of man.- The USAID Cuba Program is more than the use of new technologies for subversion. Among other things, it deals with the preparation and training, even at the US Interests Section, of more than 100 people in informatics and journalism. Additionally, what they describe as ‘international experts’ have traveled to Cuba to train and establish independent NGOs.
The full scholarships for university students are especially significant as they pursue the ideological transformation of the new generations into agents of change capable of implementing the destruction of the socialist program of the Revolution.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- The US diplomats noticed the experience I had acquired in those trips and asked me to bring together young artists.
Captain Marian.- At the USAID meeting in Washington DC on May 2008, they emphasized the importance of finding and recruiting organizations and people in third countries capable of introducing in Cuba such means as counterrevolutionary literature, and of training the people they intended to recruit inside the country.
A second important element at that meeting was the USAID’s open guarantee to its collaborators that the content of their activities would remain undisclosed. This is a violation of the US Access to Information Act.
A third significant element is how shamelessly the officials of the American executive raised the possibility of using the travel licenses issued by their government, particularly the humanitarian ones, as a cover-up for these people who would travel to the country to introduce such means and implement their projects in our national territory.
Voice of man.- The USAID, through its Office of Initiatives for Transition ascribed to the Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Bureau, hired the services of the company Creative Associates to set up that program.
The USAID has a longstanding relation with contractors, although it was in 2008 when the US government first used that mechanism in its war on Cuba.
The contractual relation between the USAID and Creative Associates addresses specific aspects to develop a subversive program against Cuba. The most important political aspects include supporting those activities that in various scenarios may help create the conditions for change before, during and immediately after the transition.
The Office of Initiatives for Transition has decided to resort to a contractor, Creative Associates, to help in the development of independent NGOs. The sources of funds will be the USAID and the State Department.
Voice of man.- It’s no accident that similar procedures were applied by the United States in Poland in the 1980s during Reagan’s administration. According to a statement by Republican Congressman Henry Hay published by TIME magazine, they did there everything that needs to be done when you want to destabilize a communist government and strengthen its oppositionists; to put it bluntly, the counterrevolution.
Voice of woman.- It’s clear that it refers to the provision of technical means to the media: Radio Free Europe broadcasts, clandestine propaganda and funding. Organizational methods and advisory to trade unions, cultural associations and other similar activities were implemented in countries of Europe. Currently, the USAID resorts to similar methods and publishes in its website that these relations enable the Cuban partners to learn the lessons of Eastern Europe that led to the dismantling of those governments in the 1990s.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- It was quite a notorious exhibition; it conveyed some ideas extrapolated from as far as Poland and exposed there to the intelligentsia of Pinar del Rio. I must say the exhibition was organized with the collaboration of Polish and Czech diplomats and was arranged by Mr. Dagoberto Valdés.
Voice of man.- He is editor of the digital magazine Convivencia that promotes counterrevolutionary ideas. He has close relations with diplomats from Spain, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, officials from the US Interests Section and members of the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), the USAID and the CIA.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- I was asked to organize a meeting between Interests Section officials and Mr. Dagoberto Valdés. This was arranged in a discreet place in Pinar del Rio.
That document published by Granma disclosed and denounced that his real interest was the destruction of our Revolution.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- It was right here this place where I had a very peculiar encounter with Mr. Larry Colwin. One afternoon as the sun went down he turned up here at my house wearing a baseball cap, a T-shirt and shorts. He was sweating all over and I realized he had come riding a bicycle. This called my attention, so I asked him why he had come that way and he told me he was being followed by the State Security people who hardly allowed him to move anywhere.
Voice of man.- Larry Colwin worked intensively to influence the cultural environment and the so called independent press in Cuba. His work was commended by the then Head of the US Interest Section, Vicky Huddleston. He was linked to covert officers of the CIA local station in Havana. He reappeared in the year 2004 in Kosovo as a State Department Public Affairs Official assigned to that territory which had been occupied by the NATO troops and worked as a spokesman for his government to the press during the secessionist conflict in Yugoslavia.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- After asking me for some water and freshening up he asked me to participate and support him in a very important mission. This mission was about working as a liaison between the Biennial executives and myself, because the USIS people had virtually no access to the Biennial executives and could not relay to them the information they wanted.
Voice of man.- In their contacts with Frank Carlos, the US Interest Section officials attempted, to no avail, to manipulate a transcendental event of international renown such as the Havana’s Biennial, which was being held for the seventh time in Cuba, an event of great cultural values that has made it possible for broad sectors of our population to enjoy high quality experimental artistic expressions.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- The Havana’s Biennial was one of the events where the deep work of the US Interests Section in our country was manifested. The first Secretary of the USIS, Mrs. Vicky Huddleston, organized a project which brought to Havana the best and greatest American gallery owners as guests to the Biennial. But political interests were behind all that. They intended to buy-out our artists and intellectuals offering them exhibitions and promotions in various American galleries, and in return, these artists had to reflect a dissonant or distorted reality. The purpose was to create a significant body of opinion about a fictitious cultural phenomenon, a fabricated phenomenon, intended to tell the world that Cuban intellectuals were against the Revolution and in favor of the imperialists’ ideas.
Captain Marian.- The USAID Cuba Program receives federal funds and provides cover for CIA activities against Cuba through various mechanisms. One of these is the use of organizations like the International Republican Institute, although there are other more direct mechanisms. Such is the case of Frank Carlos who was personally contacted by officials from the USIS in Havana. In the specific case of Frank Carlos, he was given a scholarship as part of his training, to influence him, as they look for leaders in our society. It was a scholarship intended to shape his leadership capabilities, his potential, among other things that the enemy looks for in those people they intend to recruit.
At the end of the day, what this program is seeking is to give a counterrevolutionary orientation to the phenomena inherent to our society, or to fabricate events or leaders to advance the US government interests with regards to Cuba.
Voice of man.- The subversive actions have continued until the year 2011. The US Interest Section in Havana has been devoted not only to supporting and promoting internal counterrevolution. It has also tried to expand its influence among artistic and literary circles. Its objective is no other than undermining the unity of our cultural people around the Revolution.
Voice of woman.- When in his childhood Frank Carlos slid down the green and solitary hills of Las Terrazas, in the Sierra del Rosario, he had never thought of a skyscraper. Neither had he thought that this place of about 5,000 hectares would become, after some decades, a major biosphere reserve and a part of a comprehensive development plan established in the 1960s. He would later realize that smells and friends will stay with him forever.
Dialog between Frank Carlos, Robin agent for Cuban State Security and Margarito Barbosa, founder of the community Las Terrazas, in Pinar del Río
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- So you know my mother?.
Margarito Barbosa.- Yes, of course.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- Good!
Margarito Barbosa.- Where we lived we had nothing, nothing; neither a car nor a doctor. We had nothing.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- It was a very difficult situation.
Margarito Barbosa.- Now we have a polyclinic here, two family doctors, a drugstore, three or four people caring for the patients who go there, and a school, which is something special.
Voice of woman.- The community of Las Terrazas is known in Cuba and the world for treasuring mountains and tocororos but also the songs of the ‘natural peasant’ Polo Montañez, and the rural experience of sustainable development.
Frank Carlos, Robin agent.- I wish that the youths are not confused by the media, the Americans and imperialism. Whether in Europe or the United States, their sole intention is to destroy the Cuban Revolution because the Cuban Revolution shows the world that it’s possible to have a social system that cares for human beings and places them at the centre of the Universe.
“Well paid lies”, in Las Razones de Cuba, Part 1-2
“Well paid lies”, in Las Razones de Cuba, Part 2-2