CIA Agent Captured in Cuba

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An article published in the December 12th edition of the New York
Times revealed the detention of a US government contract employee
in Havana this past December 5th. The employee, whose name has not
yet been disclosed, works for Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI),
one of the largest US government contractors providing services
to the State Department, the Pentagon and the US Agency for International
Development (USAID). The employee was detained while distributing
cellular telephones, computers and other communications equipment
to Cuban dissident and counterrevolutionary groups that work to
promote the US agenda on the Caribbean island.

Last year, the US Congress approved $40 million to “promote
transition to democracy” in Cuba. DAI was awarded the main
contract, “The Cuba Democracy and Contingency Planning Program,”
with oversight by State and USAID. The use of a chain of entities
and agencies is a mechanism employed by the Central Intelligence
Agency (CIA) to channel and filter funding and strategic political
support to groups and individuals that support US agenda abroad.
The pretext of “promoting democracy” is a modern form
of CIA subversion tactics, seeking to infiltrate and penetrate civil
society groups and provide funding to encourage “regime change”
in strategically important nations, such as Venezuela, with governments
unwilling to succomb to US dominance.


DAI was contracted in June 2002 by USAID to manage a multimillion
dollar contract in Venezuela, just two months after the failed coup
d’tat against President Hugo Chávez. Prior to this
date, USAID had no operations in Venezuela, not even an office in
the Embassy. DAI was charged with opening the Office for Transition
Initiatives (OTI), a specialized branch of USAID that manages large
quantities of liquid funds destined for organizations and political
parties favorable to Washington in countries of strategic interest
that are undergoing political crises.

The first contract between USAID and DAI for its Venezuela operations
authorized $10 million for a two-year period. DAI opened its doors
in the Wall Street of Caracas, El Rosal, in August 2002, and began
to immediately fund the same groups that just months earlier had
executed – unsuccessfully – the coup against President
Chávez. The USAID/DAI funds in Venezuela were distributed
to organizations such as Fedecámaras and the Confederación
de Trabajadores Venezolanos (CTV), two of the principal entities
that had led the coup in April 2002 and that later headed another
attempt to oust Chávez by imposing an economic sabotage and
oil industry strike that crippled the nation’s economy. One
contract between DAI and these organizations, dated December 2002,
awarded more than $10,000 to help design radio and television propaganda
against President Chávez. During that time period, Venezuela
experienced one of the most vicious media wars in history. Private
television and radio stations, together with print media, devoted
non-stop programming to opposition propaganda for 64 days, 24 hours
a day.

In February 2003, DAI began to fund a recently created group named
Súmate, led by Maria Corina Machado, one of the signators
of the “Carmona Decree,” the famous dictatorial decree
that dissolved all of Venezuela’s democratic institutions during
the brief April 2002 coup d’tat. Súmate soon became
the principal opposition organization directing campaigns against
President Chávez, including the August 2004 recall referendum.
The three main agencies from Washington operating in Venezuela at
that time, USAID, DAI and the National Endowment for Democracy (“NED”),
invested more than $9 million in the opposition campaign to oust
Chávez via recall referendum, without success. Chávez
won with a 60–40 landslide victory.

USAID, which still maintains its presence through the OTI and DAI
in Venezuela, had originally announced that it would not remain
in the country for more than a two-year period. Then chief of the
OTI in Venezuela, Ronald Ulrich, publically affirmed this notion
in March 2003, “This program will be finished in two years,
as has happened with similar initiatives in other countries, the
office will close in the time period stated… Time is always of
the essence.” Technically, the OTI are USAID’s rapid response
teams, equipped with large amounts of liquid funds and a specialized
personnel capable of “resolving a crisis” in a way favorable
to US interests. In the document establishing the OTI’s operations
in Venezuela, the intentions of those behind its creation were clear,
“In recent months, his popularity has waned and political tensions
have risen dramatically as President Chávez has implemented
several controversial reforms… The current situation augers strongly
for rapid US government engagement…”

To date, the OTI still remains in Venezuela, with DAI as its principal
contractor. But now, four other entities share USAID’s multimillion-dollar
pie in Caracas: International Republican Institute (IRI), National
Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), Freedom House,
and the PanAmerican Development Foundation (PADF). Of the 64 groups
funded from 2002–2004 with approximately $5 million annually,
today the OTI funds more than 533 organizations, political parties,
programs and projects, mainly in opposition sectors, with an annual
budget surpassing $7 million. Its presence has not only remained,
but has grown. Obviously this is due to one very simple reason:
the original objective has still not been obtained; the overthrow
or removal of President Hugo Chávez.


This organization dedicated to destabilizing governments unfavorable
to US interests has now made its appearance in Cuba, with millions
of dollars destined to destroy the Cuban revolution. Ex-CIA officer
Phillip Agee affirmed that DAI, USAID and NED “are instruments
of the US Embassy and behind these three organizations is the CIA.”
The contract between USAID and DAI in Venezuela confirms this fact:“The
field representative will maintain close collaboration with other
embassy offices in identifying opportunities, selecting partners
and ensuring the program remains consistent with US foreign policy.”
There is no doubt that “selecting partners” is another
term for “recruiting agents” and “consistent with
US foreign policy” means “promoting Washington’s
interests,” despite issues of sovereignty. Clearly, all DAI
activities are directly coordinated by the US Embassy, a fact which
negates the “private” nature of the organization.

The detention of a DAI employee is a very important step to impede
destabilization and subversion inside Cuba. This episode also confirms
that there has been no change of policy with the Obama Administration
towards Cuba – the same tactics of espionage, infiltration
and subversion are still being actively employed against one of
Washington’s oldest adversaries.


Now that Cuba has exposed the intelligence operations that DAI
was engaging in (recruiting agents, infiltrating political groups
and distributing resources destined to promote destabilization and
regime change are all intelligence activities and illegal), the
Venezuelan government should respond firmly by expelling this grave
threat from the country. DAI has now been operating in Venezuela
for over seven and a half years, feeding the conflict with more
than $50 million dollars and promoting destabilization, counterrevolution,
media warfare and sabotage.

In an ironic twist, currently in the United States five Cuban citizens
are imprisoned on charges of alleged espionage, yet their actions
in US territory were not directed towards harming US interests.
But the DAI employee detained in Cuba – working for a CIA front
company – was engaged in activities intended to directly harm
and destabilize the Cuban government. The distribution of materials
to be used for political purposes by a foreign government with the
intent of promoting regime change in a nation not favorable to US
interests is clearly a violation of sovereignty and an act of espionage.

Development Alternatives, Inc. is one of the largest US government
contractors in the world. Currently, DAI has a $50 million contract
in Afghanistan. In Latin America, DAI is presently operating in
Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Haiti, Honduras, México, Nicaragua, Perú, República
Dominicana and Venezuela.

This article
appeared on GlobalResearch.

16, 2009

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