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How much does a spy in America cost the Cuban regime?

How much does a spy in America cost the Cuban regime?

Netflix screening of the film The Wasp Network One of the basic motivations for the French filmmaker Olivier Assayas decided to complete a book about recruitment in Havana as part of former Cuban intelligence officer Edgerton Ivor Levy. One of the largest networks Spying of the Cuban regime America known to date.

His book was born with the intention of refuting the central thesis of the movie and exposing the true motives of the illegal agents in the state of Florida. The spies’ main objective was to undermine US national security as much as possible.

One of the revelations that Ivor Levy reveals Nobody told me (Ediciones Lunetra, 2021), a massive work of over 600 pages, a former double agent exposed the costs the Cuban government made to keep its spies active in the United States.

Historically, the Cuban regime has never disclosed the budgets of its two most important institutions: the Ministry of Armed Forces And this of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The accounting function of the two ministries (though not the only one) is part of the Castro regime’s vast amount of classified information.

Ivor Levy gives some statistics that at least give us a rough idea Dollars are spent annually by the regime to station its intelligence agents on American soil.

A former radio intelligence officer was allotted $20,800 a year for the annual maintenance of each network agent, devoted full time to operational work, which included lodging, food, and transportation expenses.

In the mid-1990s, when the Cuban economy was collapsing and heading for a bad economy, a simple calculation cost a network of more than 20 people half a million dollars a year. Moment, with the demise of the Soviet Union, its main support.

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Each agent of this network was allocated about 5,000 dollars per quarter, which was transferred only if there was a relay (this operation costs about 8,000 dollars, because they always travel through a third country) or if the spies had to go to another US state. Searching for false identities (the cost of this operation, according to declassified documents, is about 4,400 dollars).

In a 2018 interview with RadioTV Martí, US Colonel Chris Simmons, former head of the counterintelligence unit for Cuba, made the promise. More than 200 Cuban spies operated in North AmericaMany of them — in this expert’s opinion — are dedicated to getting Sensitive information is then sold to US enemy countriesLike North Korea or Iran.

As for governance in Havana – according to Simmons, it’s a lucrative business, more profitable than traditional sectors like it. Sightseeing or the Nickel.

How much the regime earns from selling intelligence remains a complete mystery, but some or all of that income comes from funding the country’s massive repressive apparatus.

Almost 30 years ago the island’s intelligence services spent on average A little more than $20,000 each for his teammatesAt present, with the cost of living having risen considerably, that amount—with little fear of fallacy—is much greater than the obligation.

Being more conservative and raising the cost of each operational spy to $5,000 and -in the US territory alone – shows that Cuban intelligence is expendable. Five million dollars a year to keep more than 200 of his spies in America.

For an economy in ruins like Cuba’s, where a large part of its population has problems accessing basic services such as food, clothing and transportation with minimal quality, these figures are not negligible. Castro’s penetration of the United States intensified precisely in the 1990sWhen the country suffered a decline of more than 35% in its GDP.

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One of the keys to the regime’s apparent strength in power was the fact that it could not even produce sugar. Its oil Instrument of oppression internally and propaganda and intelligence externallyThis undoubtedly contributes to the appearance of immobility.

Simmons ended his interview with a more sobering piece of advice for current and future U.S. officials: “Never underestimate the Cuban intelligence services.”