Cuba’s Embassy in Mexico Led the Fight Against Central American Dictatorships

Mexico has made public the 411 files on the espionage carried out of Fidel Castro by Mexican security forces. (Luz Escobar)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), José Antonio Torres, Mexico City, 28 March2019 —  In the 1960s Cuba used its embassy in Mexico to direct movements against those they considered dictatorships in Latin America, according to espionage archives declassified by the Mexican government.

In a version of 411 files Mexico has made public on the espionage carried out of Fidel Castro by Mexican security forces, both when he was in Mexico and in power in Cuba, it is noted that the Cuban embassy served as its focal point for these activities in the region.

“The Cuban Embassy in Mexico is in charge of directing in Latin America the various movements, both against the so-called Central American dictatorships and against the United States of America,” Mexico’s Federal Security Directorate (DFS) states in a report dated 1960 to which Efe had access. continue reading

In those years the first target of these activities was the Nicaraguan Government, when the Somoza clan was already in power, “and as a concrete case we can cite the armed incursion in the Segovias in the month of March in which nine people died,” the file emphasizes.

The reports about the activity that Cuban diplomats carried out from Mexico were always part Mexican intelligence’s surveillance of Castro, inlcuding when he was in power, as they considered him a factor of influence in social movements in Latin America.

“As a result of his coming to power, the various groups of political asylees distributed in Latin American countries tried to follow his example,” highlighted the offices of the DFS, an entity that disappeared in 1985 amid accusations of corruption.

However, the Mexican espionage noted in their reports, now housed in the National General Archive, that the Mexican communist groups had no links with the group headed by Fidel Castro, a situation that continued after his conquest of power and in the following years.

Mexican security prepared a detailed report of it first encounter with Castro, capturing him on June 21, 1956, in a car with license plates from Miami in the neighborhood of Polanco, after a year of following him through reports from Cuba that warned that he was preparing a coup against the Batista government.

Castro was arrested with several men, including his bodyguard identified as Universe Sanchez, by Mexican Captain Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios, whom Fidel always treated as a friend, and who became Secretary of the Interior in the presidency of Carlos Salinas (1988- 1994).

Even then, Mexican spies warned of Castro’s links with “political exiles of different nationalities,” mainly those of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, led by Manuel Flores Gómez, and those of Peru, headed by César Pardo Acosta.

In another report, Gutiérrez Barrios affirms that Castro was last seen in Ciudad Victoria, in the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, and confirms reports that he had already embarked on the yacht Granma.

The triumph of the Cuban Revolution, on January 1, 1959, revived the Mexico’s interest into maintaining espionage over Castro, with reports on the state of his health, his trip to the former Soviet Union, and a speech where he talked about the rumors related to the “disappearance” of Che Guevara.

The resignation of Castro from the position of prime minister to serve as Commander of the Armed Forces was highlighted in a report dated July 17, 1959, in which Mexican security already warns that an external aggression against the Cuban regime was being prepared (at a time when Castro was still in Mexico).

“There are three groups ready to attack Cuba,” the report in the Mexican archives detailed.

The first group was in the Dominican Republic with the Cuban general José Pedraza; another was in Miami with Rolando Masferrer, and the third was elsewhere in the United States with Batista’s brother-in-law, General Roberto Fernández.

Castro’s speech of 15 January 1966 at the close of the First Tricontinental Conference of Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, and a letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations, occupy a good part of the Mexican files on Castro.

The Mexican authorities determined in 2002 to allow the public disclosure of the confidential files of the Mexican espionage services from 1920 and 1985, and the new administration of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and has extended it to the documents of the Center of Investigation and National Security (Cisen).

The current archives of Mexican political espionage originated with the governments emanating from the Mexican Revolution (1910-1921) with organizations such as the First Section and the National Directorate of Intelligence, which were followed by the DFS and the CISEN, now replaced by a new entity in the current government.

In 1985, the AGN received 3,091 cases with files generated by the Office of Political and Social Research and the DFS in the period from 1920 to 1975; in 2002, it added 4,223 boxes with 58,302 Cisen files.


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