Research Blog by Jorge L. García Vázquez.How East Germany exported its repressive Stasi security system to Cuba:
"The Havana-Berlin Connection: State Secrets and Notes on the Collaboration between the Stasi and MININT"
(East Germany had a major role in building up Cuban counterintelligence as well as its foreign intelligence services, providing training for decades ... right up to the final days of East Germany,” Chris Simmon, U.S. counterintelligence officer and expert on Cuban intelligence)
DEPARTMENT— The United States has dropped Cuba from its State Sponsor
of Terrorism list but the removal does not clear Havana of all U.S.
embargoes and statutory restrictions. The State Department announced
Friday that Cuba had been removed from the blacklist – a designation
that it shared with Iran, Syria and Sudan.
an April statement, Secretary of State John Kerry said “circumstances
have changed since 1982,” when Cuba was put on the list because of its
“efforts to promote armed revolution by forces in Latin America.”
Cuba still faces U.S. restrictions on transactions such as exports and
foreign trade because of other punitive measures that remain in place.
addition to the State Sponsor of Terrorism designation, there is a web
of restrictions and sanctions that have been applied over the years and
some of them are unrelated to the State Sponsor of Terrorism
designation,” said State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke.
Among them, is the Helms-Burton Act, which includes an embargo and other financial restrictions.
Mixed Views on significance of Cuba’s removal
removal from the list is largely symbolic, said William LeoGrande, a
Latin American politics professor at American University. “It is more
symbolic than it is practical in the sense that most of the sanctions
that fall upon a country that is on the terrorism list already apply to
Cuba because of the broader embargo,” he said. But he said the removal
was very important to Cuba, as Washington and Havana work to normalize
Jorge Luis Garcia Vázquez author of the blog STASI-MININT, is a Cuban
exile living in Berlin. In his blog he provides lots of information
about the relationship between the STASI & the MINIT. In his article
“El Archivo del MININT y el asesoramiento de la STASI.” (The MININT
Archive and the advise of the STASI), he provide the followings
Until 1980 the MININT had prepared a total of: 2,088,571 records or documents of the State Security
6,056,847 records pertaining to Internal Order
This total quantity of documents: 8,145,418, was the main problem of
the Minint, their classification, organization and conservation,
especially of 160,000 pre-1959 records....
The Stasi report describes the exact location of the Archive, the status
of the personal Card Index, which contains “all the Counterintelligence
materials, for example the data on informants, operations carried out
or documents of operational importance.” In this card index alone were registered 4 million people with the
following personal data: surname, first name, date of birth, gender,
skin color, codified fingerprints and registration number....
The officers of the Stasi, who have came to have 180 kilometers of
records and documents on their citizens, delivered gladly to their
allies and students in political repression their experiences and
technical resources, to monitor and liquidate any opposition or dissent.
Here you can read the whole document in Spanish: Stasi-Minint Connection
In December, Rolando “Roly” Sarraf Trujillo was identified as the
high-value American spy traded for three Cuba spies. In the weeks since,
some Republicans, a self-serving former Cuban spy named Bill Gaede, and
the Castro regime have joined forces to diminish the importance of
Roly’s service to America.
A Cuban national imprisoned for nearly two decades as an American spy
is now in the United States, his family said Tuesday, the first
confirmation of the former U.S. agent’s whereabouts since he was
released in last month’s deal to overhaul ties with Cuba.
Rolando Sarraff, a cryptographer with Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence, was imprisoned in
1995 on suspicion that he was passing secrets to the United States.
Information provided by Sarraff helped U.S. officials dismantle networks
of Cuban spies in the United States, one illustration of the mutual
hostility that characterized U.S. dealings with Communist Cuba for more
than 50 years.
"The CIA’s Latin America Division has run many spies in Cuba, but Rolando Sarraff Trujillo was in a class all his own.From
his perch as a cryptographer in Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence,
Sarraff was able to provide information that repeatedly helped the U.S.
intelligence community crack encoded messages the Communist government
was sending via shortwave radio..."
WASHINGTON — He was, in many ways, a perfect spy — a man so important to Cuba’s intelligence apparatus that the information he gave to the Central Intelligence Agency paid dividends long after Cuban authorities arrested him and threw him in prison for nearly two decades.
Sarraff Trujillo has now been released from prison and flown out of
Cuba as part of the swap for three Cuban spies imprisoned in the United
States that President Obama announced Wednesday.
Yesterday, after more than 50 years, we began to change America's relationship with the people of Cuba.
We are recognizing the struggle and sacrifice of the Cuban people,
both in the U.S. and in Cuba, and ending an outdated approach that has
failed to advance U.S. interests for decades. In doing so, we will begin
to normalize relations between our two countries.
I was born in 1961, just over two years after Fidel Castro took power
in Cuba, and just as the U.S. severed diplomatic relations with that
Our complicated relationship with this nation played out over the
course of my lifetime -- against the backdrop of the Cold War, with our
steadfast opposition to communism in the foreground. Year after year, an
ideological and economic barrier hardened between us.
That previous approach failed to promote change, and it's failed to
empower or engage the Cuban people. It's time to cut loose the shackles
of the past and reach for a new and better future with this country.
First, I have instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to
immediately begin discussions with Cuba to re-establish diplomatic
relations that have been severed since 1961. Going forward, we will re-establish an embassy in Havana, and high-ranking officials will once again visit Cuba.
Second, I have also instructed Secretary Kerry to review
Cuba's designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism -- a review guided by
the facts and the law. At a time when we are focused on
threats from ISIL and al Qaeda, a nation that meets our conditions and
renounces terrorism should not face such a sanction.
Third, we'll take steps to increase travel, commerce, and the flow of information to -- and from -- Cuba.
These steps will make it easier for Americans to travel to Cuba. They
will make it easier for Americans to conduct authorized trade with Cuba,
including exports of food, medicine, and medical products to Cuba. And
they will facilitate increased telecommunications connections between
our two countries: American businesses will be able to sell goods that
enable Cubans to communicate with the United States and other countries.
"Gazing out across the Chesapeake Bay from their sleek 37-foot yacht, Helene,
in the summer of 2007, Kendall and Gwen Myers appeared to be blissfully
carefree. They’d been together more than three decades, but they
delighted in ensuring that their world was composed principally of each
other"..."He later told Hector that “we really love your country” and “Fidel is
wonderful, just wonderful.” Gwen ventured that Castro was the most
“incredible statesman,” while Kendall said that “our idea is to sail
home” to Cuba..."