The company she keeps

“Tell me what company you keep and I’ll tell you what you are.”

— Miguel de Cervantes


The CIA sponsored fire at the El Encanto department store in Havana, April 13, 1961. Carlos Alberto Montaner was arrested in possession of incendiary devices shipped to him by the CIA.


Fe del Valle Ramos, killed in the fire at El Encanto. She had two small children.

John negroponte

John Negroponte - one of Yoani's admirers

Yoani Sánchez, John Negroponte, and Carlos Alberto Montaner: Project Blog? Español: I, II

By Yohandry Fontana

Translation: Machetera

Part I

From now on, everything’s going to be different.  My blog will have to go a different direction or it will disappear, as happened two years ago when I thought the El País website was democratic, but it suddenly became permanently unavailable when Cuban and Spanish bloggers accused Yoani Sánchez of working for the CIA and being linked to Carlos Alberto Montaner.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to stop writing.  It’s just that I believe that now I’ll have to be more careful on the subject in question, yet without being silenced.  Refreshing memories comes at a cost.

Yoani has come to be known as an ally of the United States, and hundreds of international media rushed to repeat the words of the State Department spokesman, Ian Kelly, when he expressed his “profound concern” for the supposed attacks in Cuba against such a prestigious world figure.

Kelly even said that contact was being maintained with the three Cuban bloggers, including Yoani, in order to get first-hand information about their “well-being and access to medical care.”  On this last point, Kelly is not up-t0-date.  Healthcare in Cuba is universal, including for those under arrest for murder, embezzlement, robberies…

But it’s not the first time that a high U.S. official has come out in favor of Yoani Sánchez.  John Negroponte, the Assistant Secretary of State under the presidency of W. Bush, spoke at the 38th OAS General Assembly in June of 2008, in Medellín, Colombia, dedicated to “Youth and Democratic Values.”

There Negroponte forgot the main problems facing the youth of Latin American and Caribbean countries and devoted time to recognizing the latest Grupo Prisa creation.  He said, “Yoani Sánchez explains to the world the difficulties of Cuban life.  She continues to be a brilliant example of the courageous spirit of the Cuban people.”  Unfortunately this gentleman didn’t have on hand the truly brilliant examples of the courage of this people which abounds in the life of this nation.

John Negroponte’s history is well known within the CIA; the shadowy Operation Phoenix was one of his missions – a squad of mercenaries specializing in torture, who killed more than 40,000 Vietnamese.  He personally gave instructions to the group from a secret office within the U.S. Embassy in Saigon.

He specialized in operations within the network of agents who were looking to climb the ladder at the agency, and did it very well.  “Operation Condor” was another of his macabre plans, and he is responsible for the kidnapping, torture and disappearance of thousands of union members and progressive groups in Latin America during the 1970’s.

This “prestigious friend” of Yoani Sánchez is linked to Carlos Alberto Montaner.  For awhile Montaner also talked about the blogger, but in this case to distance himself from the accusation that he was linked with Grupo Prisa and the creation of the media monster Yoani Sánchez, something that was picked up in certain international media when various Cuban and Spanish bloggers explained that the operation was known as “Project Blog” and Montaner was its main adviser.

Part II

Montaner is a CIA agent with an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Cuba.  When the agency tucked him into its ranks, it presented him with his contract and mission.  Without hesitation, he routinely signed the papers and took on what for him would be his entire life’s work: destroying the Cuban revolution.

At the beginning of the 1960’s, the CIA created the terrorist organization Unidades Militares Cubanas [Cuban Military Units], answering to the U.S. Army, where Montaner got to know Luis Posada Carriles, who became his main ally for future actions against the island.

Montaner and Posada Carriles received training, alongside other Cuban counter-revolutionaries, in handling explosives, kidnapping, torture and the elimination of persons used by Washington in dirty operations against Cuba; they had to maintain silence at all costs, even if it meant pulling the trigger once in awhile.

A UPI wire from those years quotes Montaner stating: “A new exile organization planned extensive actions against the Fidel Castro regime.”  It was his.

And it’s true.  Carlos Alberto Montaner was arrested on December 26, 1960, in possession of specialized material to provoke devastating fires, and was processed under Case 6-16, for crimes of destruction and possession of flammable materials.  Alfred Carrión Obeso, Néstor Manuel Piñango Pérez and Víctor Jorge Fernández Romero were arrested along with him; all were sentenced to 20 years in prison, as reported in the January 18, 1961 issue of Revolución.

Carlos Alberto Montaner was held at an institution for juvenile delinquents, from which he escaped several months later with the help of his mother, Manola Suris, who sought protection at a Latin American embassy – in which there were CIA agents who later ended up being diplomatic representatives for putschist governments.  From there he left on a plane for Miami on September 8, 1961.

It’s always been known that Montaner participated in the fire at the famous department store in Havana, El Encanto, on April 13, 1961, where Fe del Valle lost her life; a fact that he would deny in later interviews.  It wasn’t until July of 2007 that another terrorist, Antonio Veciana, confirmed in a radio program in MIami, that the cigarette cases found with Montaner were part of a shipment sent by the CIA for terrorist actions, among which were included fires in shops, cinemas and other public places.

But long before, Montaner himself talked to the Miami magazine, Avance (April 27, 1962) about his actions against Cuba.  He acknowledged having belonged to the terrorist group Rescate Estudiantil del FRD in Cuba, in which he shared national leadership for Action & Sabotage with Alfredo Carrión Obeso.

Destination Madrid

Years later, the CIA decided to distance its employee from “hard” action and use him instead in a new maneuver, where the intellect would be the main tool: capture personalities, mainly in Europe and Latin America, in order to create a strong nucleus against Cuba.  The nucleus was to contain writers, journalists, artists, well-known scientists, political parties and powerful press groups.  The Central Intelligence Agency gave him a list of possible candidates, while leaving him total freedom to add his own.

Playor y Firma Press was the facade this Cuban counter-revolutionary created in Spain, which would serve as support for mercenary work against Cuba.  They were used to facilitate the positioning of texts in media in South Florida such as the Miami Herald and later Radio and TV Martí.

In Spain, Montaner signed on with the electoral campaign of José María Aznar, for the Cuban American National Foundation.  He put the media machinery in motion for Aznar, as well as Miami-based political and business connections.  The reimbursement for such services was so scandalous that it led in turn to the scandal unleashed by the fraudulent sale of Sintel.

With the path cleared, and with the additional support of Aznar, the CIA agent began to extend his tentacles over Latin America, taking advantage of a network of South American daily papers which hewed to the editorial line dictated from Washington: the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), an association of editors created by another CIA agent (later deceased): Jules Dubois.

But the media machinery would not be complete without Grupo Prisa, a powerful global media group with U.S. sourced capital, which explains its subordination which is unconditional although at times well-masked, to the media campaigns fabricated in the United States against Cuba, and their reflection in the El País newspaper, the group’s main voice.

With W. Bush in the presidency and John Negroponte at the head of espionage and subversive services, Montaner fulfills his mission as a CIA agent located in Madrid: he contributes to widening the network of U.S. influence in the Spanish language, with special attention to Grupo Prisa and the subject of Cuba.  It’s therefore hardly strange that in January of 2007, El País aligned its entire editorial framework to the task of trying to confuse the world about Fidel Castro’s health.

Machetera is a member of Tlaxcala, the network of translators for linguistic diversity. This translation may be reprinted as long as the content remains unaltered, and the source, author, and translator are cited.

One response to “The company she keeps

  1. I am surprised to read these facts. From the moment that Yoani Sanchez entered into the blogging community, I felt uneasy at the speed for which she appeared to receive recognition. Through awards and books, I just could not fathom how this was possible. In the mean time she continued portraying herself as a helpless dissident. I am not shocked. Indeed I am happy about this. She attempted to fool everybody with the poorly orchestrated ‘kidnapping’ and her bogus pictures of the ‘agents’ outside her home. Yoani Sanchez is a mediocre writer, exploiting the situation in Cuba for her own self interest.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s