After serving just over 20 years of a 25-year sentence for espionage, Ana Belén Montes, the so-called Queen of Cuba, was released last night, who revealed secret information for many years to the Fidel Castro regime that led to the dismantling of hundreds of operatives of intelligence from the United States and the manipulation of Washington’s policy towards the island.
Montes, 65, was released Friday night from a maximum security prison in Forth Worth, Texas, according to the Bureau of Prisons quoted by Martí Noticias.
The former official of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) must serve five years of probation under strict supervision, probably in Puerto Rico, after which a trip to Cuba is expected. According to sources with knowledge of the case, upon leaving prison the former spy would have received “a plane ticket” and she would travel escorted “by a federal bailiff.”
Daughter of a military doctor of Puerto Rican origin, Montes was linked to Cuban Intelligence in the early 1980s when she was studying at John Hopkins University. After being recruited by a Cuban agent, her bosses in Havana encouraged her to look for work with the DIA.
For several years she rose through the ranks until she became the main analyst on Cuban issues at that agency. During the trial against her in 2002, it was said that she passed secret information to the Cubans and introduced disinformation into the DIA, in addition to shaping the opinions of the Intelligence services and the Pentagon in favor of Havana.
Information Supplied to Cuba
Information he supplied to Cuba is believed to have contributed to the burning of some 450 agents working for various US agencies, including four Americans. Neither at the time of his arrest in September 2001 nor during the trial did he show any sign of repentance.
The indictment against Montes revealed that he “communicated with the Cuban Intelligence Services through encrypted messages and received instructions from him through (radio) transmissions, also encrypted, via short wave from Cuba.” At the same time, the secret agent was sending messages to her bosses in Havana through numerical codes transmitted to local agents from public telephones in Washington DC and Maryland.
This Saturday, in an article in El Nuevo Herald, former Republican federal congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen accused her of playing “a decisive role in shaping the weak response of the United States” to Cuba after the downing of the planes of the Brothers al Rescue and the death of its four crew members in February 1996.
Chris Simmons, the DIA counterintelligence agent who investigated her for many years until he caught her, says he has never seen someone “so ruthless.” In Simmons’s opinion, her commitment to Havana was “ideological”, much more solid than financial ties and love blackmail that spy agencies often use to recruit foreign spies.
“I wish we could have kept her there (in jail) longer,” Simmons lamented.
Announcement of Federal Government
The federal government said today that her release was determined by the expiration of the sanction and not by any kind of agreement or negotiation with the Cuban regime.
“To be perfectly clear, Montes was released because she served the incarceration portion of her sentence. Her release had no connection to any discussion with the Cuban government, ”said a State Department official according to the Miami channel America Teve.
This article is originally published on noticias.cubitanow.com