A Cuban Victim of the Cold War is Free Today Thanks to President Obama

Photo: Doug Mills, AP
Photo: Doug Mills, AP

Earlier today, President Barack Obama announced that the United States is ending is isolation of Cuba. The embargo remains in place until Congress takes action, but the initiative has already born fruit.

The Director of National Intelligence has announced today “the release of a Cuban individual from a Cuban prison who provided critical assistance to the United States.”

Statement on the Release of a Cuban Individual
Wednesday, December 17, 2014


December 17, 2014

Statement on the Release of a Cuban Individual

Today, the United States secured the release of a Cuban individual from a Cuban prison who provided critical assistance to the United States. Information provided by this person was instrumental in the identification and disruption of several Cuban intelligence operatives in the United States and ultimately led to a series of successful federal espionage prosecutions. This man, whose sacrifices were known only to a few, has spent nearly 20 years in a Cuban prison due to his efforts on behalf of the United States. While many details of this individual’s cooperation remain classified, with his release today we can now discuss some of his contributions to U.S. national security.

He provided the information that led to the identification and conviction of Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) senior analyst Ana Belen Montes; former Department of State official Walter Kendall Myers and his spouse Gwendolyn Myers; and members of the Red Avispa network, or “Wasp Network,” in Florida, which included members of the so-called “Cuban Five.

In light of his sacrifice on behalf of the United States, securing his release from prison after 20 years – in a swap for three of the Cuban spies he helped put behind bars – is fitting closure to this Cold World chapter of U.S.-Cuban relations.”

Brian P. Hale, Director of Public Affairs

Office of the Director of National Intelligence

The Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, but its effects, like those of the First World War, will be felt long afterwards. Just one small part of the Cold War was the hostility between the United States and Cuba.

This hostility, which has taken on a life of its own, can be dated to the 1959 revolution which, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, overthrew President Fulgencio Batista.

Few Americans alive then, will ever forget the Bay of Pigs fiasco which threw Castro into the arms of the Soviet Union, or the resultant Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which brought the U.S. and Soviet Union to the brink of World War III.

Since then, people on both sides have suffered needlessly, including families long divided by the gulf between the nations. A timeline of U.S-Cuban relations can be seen here.


Though there has seemed no reason for the two nations to remain at odds over the past 20+ years, old animosities die hard. Though a small step, this announcement is but one of many we will see in coming days, and it is a long overdue step, one refreshingly taken in the right direction.

6 Replies to “A Cuban Victim of the Cold War is Free Today Thanks to President Obama”

  1. US ended the cold war with USSR & China, the motherload of communism, but not Cuba, because “the American interest” mostly casinos and brothels were confiscated by the Cubans.
    And because the Cuba’s 1%, who were in partnership with the casino owners, exploiting the Cuban youth with poor wages and prostitution.The 1% guys ran away to Florida to wait out for the assesination of Castro & then get back to business as usual.But it did not happen…
    The punishment to Castro was the trade isolation & try to break the Cuban economy. But the people have supported the changes (not easy) and the progress has been slow because of the isolation, but the education of their young people has reached new peaks, not known in the past.
    Hope that the new opportunities do not undo the progress of the last 40 years

  2. I read that the Pope advised the President, which must have those on the right reeling. They loved the last Pope, he was a crook. Not Pope Francis, he’s got it!

    Once again the GOP are on the wrong side of history

  3. As always the GOP is on the wrong side of history.

    They never pass up an opportunity to prove they are America’s worst enemy.

  4. Ah, I see! This must be the reason why the conservatives have been using commie a lot in their tweets today.


  5. Mi papá

    Liberal Librarian | December 18, 2014

    My father was an ardent anti-Fidelista.

    My mother has told me that he never trusted Fidel Castro. He did not celebrate as he overthrew the Batista regime. He always felt that his ascent to power would lead to no good. And this was before Fidel came out as a Communist. (If you’re not hip to Cuban history, Fidel didn’t come out as a Communist until 1961, and was even tacitly supported by the US in his overthrow of Batista, whose regime was no longer tenable.)
    Read More

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