John Schindler writes at Observer,
For Havana, America possesses the only two existential threats to their Communist system: the U.S. military, which outclasses Cuba’s armed forces a hundredfold, and the Cuban exile community, which Havana has long considered a regime-change cadre in waiting. Cuba therefore has spied intensely on America practically from the moment Fidel Castro took power in 1959.
It needs to be said that Cuban espionage against the United States has been impressive. Well trained by the Russians in spycraft, Havana’s intelligence services have consistently beaten Americans in the SpyWar, displaying a discipline and seriousness that the regime lacks in other areas.
Although it’s practically unknown to the American public, Cuba has consistently ranked among the Big Four counterintelligence threats to our government (the others are Russia, China and Israel, in case you wondered). Havana punches well above its weight in espionage and poses a real threat to our national security—not least because the secrets it steals from us with depressing ease don’t always stay in Havana. Perennially short of cash and lacking much of a legitimate export economy, the Castro regime has a well-developed habit of selling purloined American information to third countries such as Russia, China and Iran.
Just how badly we’ve been beaten by Cuban spies is something Americans should know. Our spy operations inside Cuba have been a bust from Day One. It was bad news for our Intelligence Community in 1987 when the highest-ranking Cuban intelligence defector to ever come to our side revealed that every single agent run by the Central Intelligence Agency since Castro came to power was actually fake. Some four dozen sources in all, they had all been detected by Cuban counterintelligence and turned into double agents for Havana.
Indeed, Havana’s penetration of émigré ranks is so deep and pervasive that it can sometimes be difficult to determine what’s really going on. Cuban agent provocateurs are plentiful in Miami, and it can be safely assumed that a significant percentage of the craziest-sounding exiles—the ones agitating for violence and extremism—are really working for Havana to discredit the Cuban-American community.
American counterintelligence hands who know the Cubans best have no doubt that some of those moles remain active in and around Washington. What’s worse is that President Obama has now opened the door to increased Cuban espionage against our country. Soon Cuba will have brand-new diplomatic missions all over the United States and, per standard practice, they will all contain a hefty number of spies posing as diplomats.
Given how successful Havana has been at conducting espionage against us, on our own soil, without such large embassies and consulates, there’s every reason to expect Cuban spying to get more aggressive—and effective—in the near future. President Obama has unilaterally declared a truce in our half-century SpyWar with Cuba, but there’s no indication Havana has done the same.
Read more here.