Colombia and the Mythical Creation of Cuba as “State Sponsor of Terrorism”. By Gustavo A Maranges
“Cuba and the Peace Talks between the ELN and the Colombian Government: New Opportunities vs. Old Obstacles,” http://cuba-networkdefenseofhumanity.blogspot.com/2022/08/cuba-to-host-peace-talks-between-eln.html in which we referred to Cuba’s commitment to peace in Colombia; something that former President Ivan Duque boycotted. At that time, we only had public information to justify our thesis about Duque’s will to undermine Cuba’s reputation and work as a mediator in the peace talks with the Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) and later with the National Liberation Army (ELN).
Duque not only did everything possible to boycott the peace process and discredit Cuba but also accepted the sad role that the Trump Administration instructed him to play, with the sole purpose of placing Cuba on its arbitrary List of Sponsors of Terrorism and increasing sanctions against the island.
Today, the Colombian magazine La Raya published its investigation based on thousands of declassified Colombian intelligence documents, which supports what we had been saying. The documents offer evidence about the program to spy on Cuban diplomats in Bogota and even infiltrate some NGOs on the island.
According to the investigation, Colombian intelligence forces planted false evidence on the computer of the third Commander of the ELN Western War Front Andres Vanegas Londoño aka “Uriel” to link Cuba with violent events in the south American country. Likewise, the evidence intended to accuse the Colombian Movement of Solidarity with Cuba of “indoctrination and recruitment of young people,” as well as being related to the increasing social protests that ended in the general strike of 2021.
This false evidence was sent to the Attorney General’s Office and also to Interpol to feed and justify the dirty war against the guerrillas and the Cuban government. The false information was also immediately shared with the State Department, for obvious reasons.
Less than three months after being fed the alleged evidence incriminating Cuba and the solidarity organizations in Colombia, Trump included Cuba in the mentioned list. According to him, Cuba cooperated with terrorist organizations such as the ELN, to whom it gave refuge, referring to the delegation that participated in the peace talks and Cuba refused to extradite. It was all a set up! The plan was perfectly designed and executed with a cold-mind typical of criminals, who are not interested in anything but their own benefits, regardless of the damage it may cause to millions of people.
Later on, the “evidence” was leaked to the media and the magazine Semana titled “Cuba: the Secret Dossier”, referring to an intelligence report that was kept in reserve. The so-call report assured, “Cuba is interfering in Colombia through Cubans with diplomatic cover, social solidarity organizations, and the infiltration of cooperation programs with local authorities.” The mention of Cuban diplomats is not random. It rather puts light on the beginning of this shadowy work by Colombian intelligence.
The espionage program against Cuba began during the visit of then-President Raul Castro to Colombia in September 2016 to witness the Peace Agreement with the FARC-EP’s ratification. The program was active for over five years and operated illegally throughout that time since there was never a Colombian court order authorizing any of the espionage activities.
The Cuban Embassy in Bogota and its officials were among the main targets. Diplomats were labeled as “possible intelligence agents”. Then, several high-ranking officials’ communications were intercepted, as well as their apartments and some other public places’ internet networks. Of course, the Colombians were not acting alone, as they had the collaboration of the CIA and its agents.
Cuban diplomats were followed in their daily activities and photographed, as well as their residences and the Embassy itself. In other words, a full-fledged espionage operation was deployed in the style of the best Cold War novels. For example, “the spreading of communism was called as something dangerous for Colombia and Latin America’s stability, and social organizations were pointed out as indoctrinators of what they called Castro’s ideology,” wrote “La Raya” magazine.
Despite the intense espionage and the human and economic resources employed, nothing suggested that the Cuban diplomats were agents of Cuban intelligence or related to any kind of violent activity or protests in Colombia. This is why they had to plant false evidence to support their story.
Despite the lack of evidence, the spying continued because the reasons for spying on the Cuban diplomats were political, intelligence reports suggest. This is also another illegality proof since Colombian Intelligence Law 1621 of 2013 prohibits spying for “reasons of political or philosophical opinion, or to promote the interests of any political party or movement.”
After this investigation, it is ironic that, as part of this spy novel, in May 2021, the Colombian Foreign Affairs Ministry expelled the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Cuban Embassy because “he was developing in the country activities incompatible with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, ” underscoring the cynicism of Ivan Duque’s government while showing how criminals had hijacked politics in Colombia.
This investigation proves how far the right wing may go to achieve its goals. They falsify evidence, waste state resources, and violate international agreements, regardless of the consequences for the people. Beyond this, this investigation makes it clear that the U.S. arguments for calling Cuba a “state sponsor of terrorism” is nothing more than a hoax, one they even helped build.
Source International 360