A new book documents the early years of Cuban state security, popularly known as G-2, defending the Revolution against unrelenting CIA attacks
A meticulous investigation of the genesis of the U.S. government’s counterrevolutionary policy against the Cuban Revolution and the necessary response in legitimate defense of our people’s aspirations and sacred conquests, will soon be published in a book entitled G-2 en el ojo del huracán (G-2 in the Eye of the Hurricane) by Manuel Hevia Frasquieri and Pedro Etcheverry Vazquez, a well-deserved tribute to the Ministry of the Interior on the occasion of its 60th anniversary, to be commemorated June 6.
Based on declassified documents, bibliographic materials and testimony from protagonists of the confrontation, the book, which will be added to the catalog of the Capitán San Luis publishing house, addresses “a historical period prior to the mercenary invasion of Playa Girón, offering a review of the birth of State Security alongside a people in revolution, facing a dirty, covert, tenacious, implacable war, perpetrated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) against an impoverished country that had just defeated a brutal dictatorship,” its authors state.
To understand the necessary emergence of Cuban State Security, also popularly known as G-2, the researchers describe a CIA linked to, and in business with, the defeated intelligence services of fascist Germany, seeking help based on its experience in the anti-communist war. In 1948, barely a year after its emergence, the agency was particularly concerned with 21-year-old Fidel Castro, “involved” in so many things in Cuba. They unsuccessfully attempted to prevent the revolutionary victory of 1959 and immediately sought and invented pretexts of all kinds to “convince” the U.S. government that, only 90 miles away, the greatest threat in the Western hemisphere had emerged, proposing an all-out war, a policy of state terrorism, which has cost the Cuban people 3,478 deaths and 2,099 injuries, victims of thousands of terrorist actions over all these years.
The book explains, “The 400th meeting of the U.S. National Security Council, on March 26, 1959, charted an aggressive course against the Cuban Revolution when CIA director Allen Dulles told President D. Eisenhower that he was disturbed by recent events.” The head of the agency slipped in a well-received message for the occasion, before an audience poisoned with anti-communism: “The regime is moving toward dictatorship and already has practically all the power in its hands.”
The first known subversive program against the island would emerge from that meeting in 1959, containing 16 proposals “to combat communism” inside Cuba, including the use of preliminary actions to recruit and influence, campaigns to discredit the Revolution and attract figures to U.S. politics. A year later, on March 17, 1960, the covert action program was consummated, and defeated on the sands of Playa Girón.
Six decades later, the events seem to be taking place today, with the same use of lies as pretexts to shape foreign policy, the same pressure on government leaders by anti-communist, McCarthyite forces, and the historical prejudices of intelligence services and extremists within the Pentagon, ready to unleash the most unscrupulous plans against Cuba and trample the fundamental rights of its people.
The researchers document, “At the end of October, 1959, bombing began of sugar mills and cane fields by pirate planes from airfields located in Florida. Over the following six months, the number of these aerial attacks rose to more than 50, with the consequent danger and psychological impact on citizens of numerous towns and the occurrence of devastating fires in cane fields throughout the country, especially in the western and central regions, due to their geographical proximity to U.S. territory.”
The effect of the macabre U.S. government policy against our people, from the first days of the revolutionary victory, are exposed in the pages of the book, with information provided by U.S. politicians and operatives themselves. “During the period between October 1960 and April 15, 1961, some 110 bomb attacks on political and economic targets were orchestrated in Cuba; more than 200 explosives were placed; six trains were derailed; the Santiago de Cuba refinery was left inactive; more than 150 fires were set in state and private facilities, including 21 ‘communist’ homes and 800 sugar cane plantations,” the authors write, adding that terrorist groups and bands, armed by the CIA, were responsible for the murders of three young Literacy Campaign volunteer teachers, 11 workers and peasants, and one minor, over those few months.
In addition, they created 52 CIA networks in 1961 alone, carried out more than 21 air operations to support counterrevolutionary bands of rebels between 1959 and 1961 and organized the first of more than 637 conspiracies to assassinate Fidel. One of the bloodiest and most massive crimes of the time was the atrocious sabotage of the ship La Coubre in the port of Havana, loaded with grenades and ammunition that were vital for the defense of the country, which left 101 dead and more than 400 injured.
These are only a few of the consequences of a long list of crimes, attacks, terrorist acts, sabotage, bombings; infiltrations by groups of Cuban exiles, trained by paramilitary instructors recruited by the CIA and the Pentagon; the fabrication and supply of an internal fifth column, intense propaganda broadcast by Radio Swan and other subversive stations; and even a military invasion by a mercenary army trained in accordance with manuals of the time, which included the assassination of Fidel as part of the full invasion plan, as detailed by the authors of G-2 en el ojo del huracán.
On April 17, 1,500 Cuban mercenaries, organized, trained and equipped by the CIA, landed at Playa Giron and Playa Larga, on the Bay of Pigs. They were defeated in less than 72 hours and more than 1,200 were taken prisoner. Aboard U.S. naval ships close at hand, a large contingent of troops remained in the waters near the Bay of Pigs over the three days, ready to intervene.
The people in state security speak
“Young men and women of the G-2, the protagonists of extraordinary achievements, more by instinct than experience, since they had little, and above all, on the basis of their own efforts. Included in the book are the stories of these compatriots – many no longer with us – who in their early years fought against this firestorm alongside their people. Honoring their loyalty and confidence in Fidel, gifted with innate intelligence and ability, they defeated Eisenhower’s covert program, finally buried in the sands of Playa Giron by the bullets of the Rebel Army, the Revolutionary Militias and a National Revolutionary Police battalion,” the authors write.
“These testimonies are excerpts from the lives of combatants in their first years in Security detachments; they represent only a small part of the generation that can recount the strategy of confrontation, born in the daily struggle, of which Comandante en jefe Fidel Castro was the principal architect. If someone were to ask wherein lay the strength of their drive, we would say: In the loyalty and determination of our people in the face of the total lack of convictions on the part of the adversary they were facing,” Hevia Frasquieri and Etcheverry Vázquez assert.
With this study of the main subversive efforts organized by the CIA and other special services in the initial years of the Revolution, the authors reflect on the evolution of the effectiveness of Cuban State Security in confronting the enemy, and affirm, “This progress was due to the urgency with which it was necessary to act and learn.” These were years of very intense confrontation, and the G-2 came out of the conflict stronger; with the knowledge and a high level of professionalism that allowed them to neutralize new methods of aggression, with more creativity and determination than resources.
Very capable leaders emerged from this battle, characterized by their commitment, sacrifice and modesty, who were able to find the answers to the riddles imposed by intelligence work. Officers and agents were trained across the length and breadth of the country, innately astute and self-sacrificing, ready to take on any mission, no matter how difficult or dangerous it might be. Many of these agents became the officers who, years later, with more experience, would lead the response to new attacks.
G-2 en el ojo del huracán confirms that this is a story of heroism and unity, in which the joint action of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the Revolutionary Militias, the Fight Against Bandits battalions, the National Revolutionary Police and State Security forces, depended, at all times, on the massive participation of the people and the close collaboration of Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, the Federation of Cuban Women, the National Association of Small Farmers, and other mass and social organizations.