The Huffington Post’s Cuba-based writer, Margarita Alarcon, informs us that treating Cuba “this small island” as “a threat to U.S. integrity so much that the Department of State puts it on its list of terrorist nations is considered tantamount to political dementia.” In fact, Margarita Alarcon’s views closely parallel those of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency’s former Latin American head, Ana Belen Montes.
In a report issued in 1998 titled: “National Intelligence Estimate on Cuba" and largely authored by Ms. Montes, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency concluded that "Castro poses no significant threat to the U.S. or any of its hemispheric neighbors. No evidence exists that that Cuba is trying to foment any instability in the Western Hemisphere."
The Clinton administration based its Cuba policy on this eminently authoritative report. After all, its primary author had access to all U.S. intelligence on Cuba and led briefings on Capitol Hill, at the State Department and the Pentagon regarding Cuban policy. "On Cuba," one government official said. "Montes was who you went to."
Four years after issuing that report, its primary author was in U.S. federal prison having been convicted of Espionage, (the same charges against the Rosenbergs) and having narrowly dodged their death sentence only with a plea bargain. Turned out that Montes, (a frequent visitor to Cuba on “academic exchanges”) had been working for Castro since the 80’s.
The Huffington Post’s Cuba-based writer, Margarita Alarcon (a vociferous promoter of U.S.-Cuba educational exchanges, by the way) also informs us that five Cubans arrested by the FBI in 1995 “never put the United States national security at risk. “In fact, “They were fighting terrorism against Cuba and those that support any kind of normalcy with Cuba, “she explains.
A U.S. jury begged to differ and convicted the Huffington Post writer’s countrymen on 26 charges including “manslaughter" and "conspiracy to commit murder." According to the FBI's affidavit, the men summarily declared innocent by the Huffington Post were Castro agents engaged in, among other acts:
• Intelligence gathering against the Boca Chica Air Naval Station in Key West, the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa and the headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command in Homestead Florida.
• Compiling the names, home addresses and medical files of the U.S. Southern Command's top officers along with those of hundreds of officers stationed at Boca Chica.
• Infiltrating the headquarters of the U.S. Southern command.
• Sending letter bombs to Cuban-Americans.
• Spying on MacDill Air Force base, the U.S. armed forces' worldwide headquarters for fighting "low-intensity" conflicts.
• Locating entry points into Florida for smuggling explosive material.
At the bail hearings, Assistant U.S. District Attorney Carolyn Heck Miller said the urgency to act on the case was because ”the defendant has made allusions to the prospect of sabotage against buildings and airplanes in the Southern District of Florida."
Granted, in her alibis for Castroite crimes, her portrayal of Fidel Castro as a pure-hearted peacenik and her Yankee-bashing The Huffington Post’s Margarita Alarcon sounds no different from any number of prominent Democrats and MSM pundits (but I repeat myself.) And granted, her idiocy may strike many as perfectly typical of other Huffington Post writers.
But in the case of Ms. Alarcon we’re hardly dealing with a classic “useful idiot.” “Margarita Alarcon is a Havana –based media analyst
Margarita Alarcon is also a “Havana-based” columnist for Castro’s government-run press. In fact her columns appear just to the left of Fidel and Raul Castro’s official pronouncements. So in running her articles, the Huffington Post is essentially transcribing (and translating) a Stalinist regime’s propaganda for the benefit of English readers. For proof simply compare Margarita Alarcon’s Cuba-press archive to her Huffington post archive. (different order and titles, same articles.)
The Huffington Post writer’s eminent position within Castro’s propaganda ministry was easily “achieved” by virtue of her being the daughter of one of Fidel Castro’s longest-serving and most faithful ministers. Margarita’s father, Ricardo Alarcon, has functioned as Castro’s Foreign Minister, ambassador to the UN and today functions as the president of Cuba’s “Parliament.” So shameless and relentless has been Ricardo Alarcon’s bootlicking over the decades that, upon Fidel’s frequently predicted retirements, Alarcon was usually named the likely heir to Cuba’s Stalinist throne.
But you will search the Huffington Post in utter, utter vain for anything hinting at their Cuba-based “analysts” fascinating resume’ or pedigree. Instead we learn that: “raised in New York City, Margarita has spent most of her adult life in Cuba. She has been traveling to the United States since her return home in the early 1980s.”
“Awwww, well isn’t that nice,” might react the typical Huff-Po reader... “She’s a worldly traveler, probably with a backpack, eager to expand her cultural horizons, like so much of her generation..Awwww.”
In fact her “raising” in New York occurred during her father’s lengthy stint as Fidel Castro’s Ambassador to the U.N. "Virtually every member of Cuba's U.N mission is an intelligence agent," revealed Alcibiades Hidalgo, who defected to the U.S. in 2002 after serving as Raul Castro's Chief of Staff and Cuba's ambassador to the U.N. In 2000 Margarita’s father was denied a U.S. visa and in a major crackdown on Cuban spies by the Bush administration in 2003, 14 of those U.N.-stationed Cuban spies were rooted out and booted from the U.S.
Interestingly, The Huffington Post‘s bio on Margarita Alarcon informs that, “she has not been back (to the U.S.) since 2003.”
For Cuba-watchers, Margarita Alarcon’s position with the Castro regime’s bureau known as Casa de las Americas, is also eye-catching. In 1983 a high ranking Cuban Intelligence officer named Jesus Perez Mendez defected to the U.S. and spilled his guts to the FBI. Among his spillings we encounter the following: “The Cuban DGI (Directorio General de Intelligencia, Castro’s KGB/STASI trained Secret service) controls the Casa de las America’s. “
Castro’s Intelligence services are touted as among the world’s best. So don’t get me wrong. It’s not like The Huffington Post hired a semi-literate or a goofball here. Ms. Margarita Alarcon is good at her job. But the Huffington Post (that noisy champion of “full-disclosure!” by Republicans) could be more forthcoming about what that job is.
Norman Bailey, a high official in the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence might help with Alarcon’s job-description: “For Cuba, being able to influence policy and elite opinion-makers is equally important--possibly even more important-- than recruiting spies with access to intelligence information," he explained in 2007.
“A foreign reporter — preferably American — was much more valuable to us at that time (1957) than any military victory,” wrote Che Guevara in his diaries. “Much more valuable than rural recruits for our guerrilla force, were American media recruits to export our propaganda.”
“We cannot for a second abandon propaganda. Propaganda is vital--propaganda is the heart of our struggle,” wrote Fidel Castro in a letter to a revolutionary colleague in 1954.
Regarding Castro’s methods over half a century later, we can only quote The Talking Heads: “Same as it ever was.”