Castro Brothers Helped KGB, Files Show

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 6, 2005 | Go to article overview

Castro Brothers Helped KGB, Files Show


Byline: Bill Gertz, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Soviet intelligence files made public in a new book show that American travelers to Cuba helped KGB agents obtain identity documents and that Fidel Castro and his brother worked with the spy agency five years before taking power in the 1959 revolution.

New details of Moscow's intelligence work in Cuba were disclosed by Vasili Mitrokhin, a former KGB archivist who defected to Britain in 1992.

According to the book, Russian KGB officer Nikolai Leonov became "firm friends," with Mr. Castro's younger brother Raul in Prague in 1953 and then worked together with Fidel from 1956 and after he took power in 1959.

The book, the second volume of what is known as the Mitrokhin archive, also reveals how Moscow sought to indirectly defeat the United States during the Cold War through large-scale "disinformation" and influence operations in the developing world.

"The KGB really believed they could win the Cold War in the Third World," said Christopher Andrew, a Cambridge history professor and co-author of the new book, "The World Was Going Our Way." Mr. Mitrokhin died last year.

The information provided by Mr. Mitrokhin was considered an intelligence bonanza and identified hundreds of KGB officers, agents and operations.

Among the thousands of classified KGB files provided by Mr. Mitrokhin were documents related to Americans who traveled to Cuba beginning in 1969 as part of the pro-Castro Venceremos Brigade.

The KGB helped set up Cuba's DGI intelligence service, which imposed draconian controls on Cuban society and also arranged for the visits of Americans.

The book reveals that Fidel Castro publicly supported the American activists but privately "looked askance at the presence of gay and women's liberation movements among his American New Left supporters," the book stated. …

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