News you may have missed #500

News you may have missed #499 (CIA edition)

News you may have missed #0154 [updated]

  • Breaking news: Castro’s sister says she spied for the CIA. Juanita Castro, Fidel and Raúl Castro’s sister, says she voluntarily spied for the CIA from 1961 to 1964, when she left the island for Miami. She said she met a CIA officer called “Enrique” at a hotel in Mexico City in 1961; she was then given the codename “Donna” and codebooks so she could receive encoded instructions from Washington.
  • Was Milan Kundera a communist police informant? Documents unearthed by Czech academics allegedly show that the Czech-born author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being denouncing a Western spy to Czechoslovakia’s StB secret police during his student days.
  • Afghans complain about US spy balloon. A US spy balloon (see previous intelNews coverage) flying over the city of Kandahar in Afghanistan, is prompting privacy complaints from residents.

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Mexican agency spied on Nobel laureate author Márquez



Mexico’s defunct Dirección Federal de Seguridad  (DFS) intelligence agency spied on Colombian-born Nobel laureate author Gabriel García Márquez, according to revelations published in El Universal newspaper. The Mexican daily aired declassified documents allegedly showing that the DFS tapped the author’s home telephone, systematically monitored his whereabouts, and kept a “bulging file” on him spanning several decades. The monitoring began in 1967, when Márquez moved from Colombia to Mexico, and continued until at least 1985. The apparent reason for the spying is that the Mexican state considered the best-selling author of Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude to be a communist sympathizer and even “a Cuban agent”. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0149

  • Why is CIA fighting to keep JFK documents sealed? For years, the CIA has fought in US federal courts to keep secret hundreds of documents detailing the relationship between Lee Harvey Oswald and a CIA anti-Castro front group. The Agency says it is only protecting legitimate secrets. But some researchers are questioning this.
  • Up to 320 Pakistani civilians killed in US drone war. As many as 320 innocent civilians may have been killed in the CIA-led US drone war in Pakistan, according to an analysis by the New America Foundation. That’s about a third of the 1,000 or so people slain in the robotic aircraft attacks since 2006. Previous research has shown that approximately 80% of the airstrikes have failed to kill what the US Pentagon calls “high value targets”.
  • Analysis: What are the risks of the CIA’s covert drone program? “It’s easy to understand the appeal of a ‘push-button’ approach to fighting al-Qaeda, but the embrace of the Predator program has occurred with remarkably little public discussion, given that it represents a radically new and geographically unbounded use of state-sanctioned lethal force. And, because of the CIA program’s secrecy, there is no visible system of accountability in place, despite the fact that the agency has killed many civilians inside a politically fragile, nuclear-armed country with which the US is not at war”.

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Anti-Castro terrorist was CIA informant, declassified documents show

Luis Posada Carriles

Posada Carriles

An anti-Castro operative, who has admitted planting bombs against civilian targets in Cuba, and currently faces immigration fraud charges in the US, was a CIA informant, newly declassified documents show. Five CIA memoranda from 1965 and 1966 reveal that Luis Posada Carriles, code name “A15”, acted as an information link between Langley and violent anti-Castro groups in Miami, Florida, in which he was active. The five documents were declassified by the CIA between 1998 and 2003 and were made public on Tuesday by Peter Kornbluh, who heads the National Security Archive’s Cuba Documentation Project at George Washington University. Remarkably, the documents show that Posada’ handler at the CIA, Grover T. Lythcott, believed that the Cuban exile was a “moderate force” who could be counted on not to embarrass the US government or the CIA with his actions. Read more of this post

Brazil conspired with US to overthrow Allende, memos show

Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon

Four official documents from 1971, recently declassified by the US Department of State, show high-level collaboration between the US and Brazil in plans to overthrow the lawfully elected government of Chile. The documents include accounts of a frank discussion between US President Richard Nixon and Brazilian President Emilio Médici on ways to bring down the democratically elected Chilean leader Salvador Allende, as well as the government of Cuba, so as to “prevent new Allendes and Castros”, in Nixon’s words. The memorandum, which contains the official State Department account of the discussion between the two men, is dated December 9, 1971. Read more of this post

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