Interview and documentary with agent who posed as 'independent' journalist
News from Cuba | Thursday, 3 March 2011
CUBA’S REASONS - There will always be an Emilio by Deisy Francis Mexidor for Granma International
Until shortly before this interview he was considered the spokesperson for the damas de blanco (Ladies in White) and one of the so-called independent journalists. His revelations expose the prevalence of the subversive U.S. policy toward Cuba
? "GREETINGS to the audience of Radio República. Carlos Serpa Maceira, director of the Union of Free Journalists of Cuba, talking to you from Havana?"
The surprise was a big one: Carlos Serpa Maceira, the "independent journalist," whose reporting for the anti-Cuba media during 2009 was the most prolific is, simply, State Security agent Emilio.
Agencies linked to the Ministry of the Interior decided to disclose his identity as irrefutable evidence of the work of counterrevolutionary mini-groups, thus exposing its principal mentors and the sick proposition of successive U.S. administrations to defeat the Cuban Revolution. They direct, finance, support and promote a dissident movement without legitimacy on the island.
Where were you born?
I’m from Cárdenas in Matanzas province, from the land of the student leader José Antonio Echeverría. I was born on October 10, the same day on which the the cry of ‘Independence or death’ was raised at the Demajagua sugar mill by the father of the nation (Carlos Manuel de Céspedes), which is why my name is Carlos Manuel.
But you have a special affinity with the Isle of Youth?
I lived there and my daughter, now aged 18, was born there. The Isle of Youth is part of my history and is there in my heart.
In what context did Emilio arise?
That’s my pseudonym within State Security. It was the name of my uncle, who raised me. I thought that assuming his name was the best way of honoring his memory and what he always defended. He was a combatant in Playa Girón [Bay of Pigs].
Emilio, the agent, began to fulfill missions in 2001.
Who were you linked to at that time?
With the so-called Pinero pro Human Rights Committee, whose president was Hubert Rodríguez Tudela, now in the United States; then I moved into the Isle of Pines Human Rights Foundation and Fomento Territorial, another counterrevolutionary mini-group based there, and for which I became a sort of spokesman. I began to do my first reports for Radio Martí at that stage.
Later, I was linked to the Cuban Independent Journalists and Writers Union, a supposed press agency with a similar profile to the mini-groups mentioned, directed by Fara Armenteros, likewise now resident in the USA.
How did that contact come about?
I was working as a state inspector. Some counterrevolutionary elements approached me, a situation that I immediately communicated to State Security. From that point, it was decided that I should start on this mission.
How did you arrive in Havana?
Given the complexity of the tasks that I was undertaking, I was instructed to transfer to the capital of the country.
That’s how I had greater contact with the counterrevolutionary world.
From your experience, what is your opinion of this so-called opposition or internal dissidence?
The counterrevolution has sold its soul to the devil. They are mercenaries, they are not even patriots nor do they have any convictions. They are all about dollars, campaigning and getting money out of it. I’m going to give you an example: Jorge Luis García Pérez (Antúnez), who has become tremendously famous abroad.
Supposedly, he says that he’s going to organize a counterrevolutionary march anywhere in Cuba and they automatically send him money for that.
From here they report that it was a demonstration of 150 to 200 people - which is untrue because, when they actually do something, it’s just him and another couple of provocateurs - and what does Antúnez do with that money. Lives the good life.
Then there are the cases of Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, who receives money by the cartload - and everyone knows who Martha Beatriz is - of Elizardo Sánchez, Juan Carlos González Leyva - this latter is the secretary of the self-styled Human Rights Rapporteurs Council in Cuba.
González Leyva has taken on this mercenaries business as a means of self-enrichment; for example, he’s gotten some of the women he’s had relations with out of the country via the USIS (U.S. Interests Section) Refugee Program. He’s also gotten money out of Miami counterrevolutionary organizations with the story of charging prisoners’ phone cards and then he dips his hand in and steals it.
It is obvious that none of these so-called dissidents have any ethics, the only thing they’re interested in is money. Moreover, a large part of those linked to these groups have even asked for the blockade of our country to be intensified.
Once they even proposed providing me with a blog and told me to call it El Guayacán cubano. They clearly wanted it to be something similar to that of the counterrevolutionary Yoani Sánchez to earn money and live well.
And how was that supposed to function?
They explained , via the blog, they would ask followers for donations and emphasized, ‘We’re going to fix you up with the El Guayacán cubano blog and you ask your supporters for money so that you can live.’
The man who really handles that blog is Enrique Blanco, a counterrevolutionary located in Puerto Rico, from Operación Liborio, a project to finance the so-called opposition from abroad.
He has posted information on the blog as if he was me; simply, if I couldn’t attend a particular activity, in this case almost always related to the damas de blanco, he would communicate directly with them and write a report.
Now that the issue of information has been mentioned, is it difficult to organize an anti-Cuba media campaign?
No, it isn’t difficult. In my case all I had to do was communicate with Radio Martí and they’d immediately call me back. I could invent a piece of news right now and without any confirmation or verification, they’d put it out on air.
A short while back I invented an atmosphere around the trial of a counterrevolutionary. I said that when I left my home and passed by the headquarters of City of Havana Peoples’ Provincial Court, I saw a large deployment of State Security agents and the presence of foreign journalists there as well, although they didn’t see me?
I "dressed that up" a bit with elements like the Security agents recognized me and bundled me into a car and, under heavy threats, took me to a police unit close by.
When I called Radio Martí the person who took the call clarified to me, ‘When you say that they threatened you, you have to explain what threats they made.’ I replied OK and not to worry and that’s how I put together my news report.
Radio Martí doesn’t confirm anything. The thing is to denigrate Cuba for any reason. After I transmitted that they suggested that I put it in the news report as well.
In the anti-Cuba media campaigns the script always comes from abroad. A lot of it is based on lies, on writing stories of false arrests, of incidents when there aren’t any, but are manufactured.
Which organizations generally lend themselves to expanding those campaigns abroad?
Without any doubt the Inter-American Press Society (SIP) and Reporters without Borders (RSF). Those two organizations are ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week to foment any media campaign against our country.
How does the USIS Refugee Program operate?
The objective of the Interest Section Refugee Program is to demonstrate that, allegedly, there is a group of people who leave Cuba for reasons of political persecution, and the majority of counterrevolutionary elements who are here do their internal "work" to that end.
They have to provide evidence to the Refugee Section that they are being harassed by the Cuban government, they invent "arguments" in order to obtain a visa.
The manipulation of the term refugee is made evident by the number of visas issued in this category every year; however, after they get their residence, many of those individuals return on visits to Cuba without being molested or detained by the police or State Security, something that is not the case of refugees in other countries.
During the provocations organized by the damas de blanco in March 2010, one of those women, belonging to a support group for the damas, said to me on the very first day, "Serpa, I need you to help me with some evidence, because I’ve got an interview in the Refugee Section next week." She was looking for her political "guarantee." They are always chasing up photographs showing them on their demonstrations because the Program demands that of them, among other things, news that comes out on the Internet and they operate on that basis. Listen, all the women who go there take photos? and that’s a strong testimony for the USIS.
In terms of support for the internal counterrevolutionary groups, the USIS is not the only actor. What about other embassies?
There is a select group of European Union embassies here in Havana which are openly supporting subversion and I can mention a few instances.
Within the Polish delegation, there was the diplomat Jacek Padee, in charge of political affairs. He frequently attended activities of this kind.
Before his assignment here came to an end, Mr. Padee took on responsibility for collecting the videos I took at various places here in Cuba to film a documentary about the counterrevolutionary Orlando Zapata Tamayo. He sent these videos from his computer to Pedro Corzo, head of the Miami-based Institute of Cuban Historic Memory against Totalitarianism
The Netherlands' embassy often provides resources to the counterrevolution, specifically in terms of office supplies; it also offers Internet access.
The Czech Republic provides the mini-groups with medical supplies and even gives the 'dissidents' appointments there to document 'violations' of their human rights. Mr. Pete Brandel, an embassy official, plays a leading role in these activities. The Swedish delegation is also involved in these affairs.
The German embassy's counselor, Volker Pellet, was openly complicit in all of these events; he came out on the street to support the damas en blanco in their provocations.
In other words, in these plans made in bad faith against our people and our Revolution, certain embassies in Havana have lent themselves to the dirty game.
As for how the USIS functions, I can mention the behavior of two of its officials: Kathleen Duffy and Lowell Dale Lawton.
During one of the literary teas that the damas en blanco often have, Laura Pollán, head of the group, asked me to shoot a video of her thanking the CANF (Cuban-American National Foundation) for the support it has given the group.
I did the video and talked with Duffy, who told me, "I've already asked my superiors for permission." She copied the video I had on a memory stick onto her personal computer, opened a YouTube account in my name and posted it.
During the March events, Laura Pollán told me to give her messages to that official since she is the one who monitors supposed violations of human rights.
With Lowell Dale Lawton it's been something else. He asked me to do an evaluation of activities carried out by the damas en blanco, especially after the outcry and criticism in the press for his participation in these provocative activities.
Via e-mail, Lawton has received photographs and reports which he himself asked me for. Precisely the day after the counterrevolutionary march in Miami called by Gloria Estefan, I was at the USIS and Lawton came to locate me at one of the computers with Internet connection they have there. He wanted to talk with me privately, to ask for information about what had happened on March 25 during the provocation that day. Without a doubt, they have manipulated the issue of those women. They have free rein there at the Interest Section.
On the other hand, until this point, the damas en blanco have carried out all of their provocations because they have felt protected by Cuban police forces and members of the Ministry of the Interior. They know that no tragic incident will be allowed to happen, which is what they have been looking for.
And U.S. Interests Section officials are well apprised; they support subversive work carried out not only by the damas en blanco, but by all the miniscule groups.
Now, with the Cuban government's move to free counterrevolutionary prisoners, I think that the basis for their provocative actions is coming to an end. Given this, I've noticed their preoccupation with pressuring some of the damas en blanco, Laura among them, not to accept offers to leave the country. They are developing a press campaign to make it look like Cuba is imposing enforced exile.
Therein lays a contradiction in their policy toward the country. On the one hand, they are urging people to emigrate to demonstrate the lack of support for the Revolution and now they don't want the counterrevolutionaries they themselves created and encouraged to do that, because then they’ll be left without any protagonists with whom to carry out their subversive plans.
Who is Laura Pollán really?
Laura Pollán was a teacher by profession. Since getting involved with the damas en blanco, she has put on a lot of airs as to her leadership and money; there have even been fights between her and some of the women in the group for this reason.
She is a good friend of Eulalia San Pedro, known as Laly, from the CANF. This Eulalia is the one who send her funds in the name of the Foundation, for all of the provocations.
In fact, when I started out as a 'journalist' for the damas en blanco, my reports were for Radio Martí and other media and Internet sites, I used to regularly mention the endless calls Eulalia made to Laura during the literary teas, until one day, Pollán herself and another member of the group, Miriam Leyva, told me not to allude to her name or the CANF in my reports because it was a terrorist organization and that at any moment they could find themselves on the 'Roundtable' television news program.
Laura is a manipulator, very capable and has been involved in illicit businesses. Her name is on the Interest Section's VIP list, which allows her access to their services morning, noon or night, whenever she arrives there.
Through what channels are supplies provided to the counterrevolution?
The principal channel is the United States Interests Section which, with no reservations whatsoever, is violating the Vienna Convention. I'll go so far as to say that 80% of the supplies arrive via USIS diplomatic officials.
For the damas en blanco, boxes and boxes have arrived, sent from Miami by the counterrevolutionary Frank Hernández Trujillo, from the group supporting the 'opposition.'
The USIS has provided laptops and other items. It's strange, when they give you something, you have to sign papers; it's if they were temporarily assigning work equipment. I understand it's done so that, if someone leaves the country, they will return what is not theirs.
Which terrorists are the main contacts?
In addition to the CANF, there is a relationship with Horacio Salvador García Cordero, from the so-called Cuban Liberty Council. He works with Luis Zúñiga Rey.
Another is Angel Pablo Polanco Torrejón, who is promoting a counterrevolutionary group here called the Pro-Change Initiative, directed precisely by Horacio and Zúñiga.
Could you describe some of the material received by the 'opposition' with access to the Interest Section?
One of the things worth noting, in my opinion, is that they do everything possible to get the counterrevolution onto the Internet. They have set up three internet centers. One upstairs, in the Consulate, called the Eleanor Center, as well as the Lincoln Center and the Benjamin Franklin Center. They call them Interest Section Information Resource Centers and they're run by the press and culture office.
They distribute counterrevolutionary literature there, too, for example, reproducing some 100 copies of The Miami Herald newspaper, for distribution among the counterrevolutionaries, but also for those who come to the USIS to take care of migratory issues.
I continue to view the Interest Section as the 'General Staff,' strategically and tactically directing the counterrevolution's activity. Its members are trained and instructed here; they’re allowed to print flyers, prepare statements about anything and make copies of material which will later be distributed there, even having it delivered to diplomatic officials.
How did you gain access to the USIS?
Just like others, they gave me the opportunity to attend every Wednesday when they recognized my as the damas en blanco journalist, they also authorized my entrance on Mondays. On occasion the USIS let me enter and do my work there.
Do you currently have any special status conferred by the Interests section?
I have a visa. The U.S. government has given me protection via the refugees program for my 'counterrevolutionary' efforts. I am considered 'persecuted' given my work as an 'independent' journalist.
When was this granted?
November 16, 2009. Of course, the visa was processed by some of the European Union embassies here in Havana, specifically by Ingemar Cederberg, former minister advisor in the Swedish delegation.
How is a dissident manufactured?
I am a manufactured dissident. My case is an example of how it is possible to make it appear internationally that a 'great' opposition exists here and a proliferation of anti-Castro groups, as they are often called.
In this little world you can find me as a member, a leader, a spokesperson of practically phantom organizations which exist on paper but nevertheless, within the country, people don't even know that they exist, because they have no roots, much less followers.
To be more explicit: I am the national coordinator of the Julio Tang Texier civic cultural project, financed from Miami by the terrorist Angel de Fana Serrano, from the National Endowment for Democracy, who served 20 years in prison in Cuba for terrorism but now wants to come across as a pacifist, a supposed defender of human rights.
I am director of the independent Ernest Hemingway Library; director of the Free Journalists of Cuba Union - an organization with a membership of five other people, all with a marked interest in leaving the country. This 'Union' is also supported from Miami, in this case, by the Cuban Democratic Directorate. (CDD)
I am the representative Brigade 2506, through which I received a cellular telephone and financing for provocative activities within our country and, well, I am the correspondent for the Misceláneas de Cuba magazine, published in Sweden, directed by the counterrevolutionary Alexis Gaínza.
They have appointed me spokesperson for the so-called National Resistance and Civil Disobedience in Cuba Front, also financed by the CDD and for Women Against Repression (MAR) for Cuba and other groupings from Miami which make up the self-proclaimed Resistance Assembly.
As if that weren't enough, they put me in charge as the national connection for the presumed 'governments in opposition,' directed from Puerto Rico by Enrique Blanco, who also administers my blog.
This is how a dissident is manufactured, or a supposed opposition leader, who today is hiding behind the façade of an independent librarian, an independent journalist, a defender of human rights?
Wht do you believe is the source of the strength of the Cuban Revolution?
In that unity which exists between the people and their Revolution, this unity around our undefeated Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro and around Raúl. Within the power of the ideas that we have historically defended.
Once I thought that while I couldn't have been a fighter in the Rebel Army, or doing underground work during the Batista dictatorship or taking up arms against the mercenaries who landed at Playa Girón, or being a militiaman in a trench during the Missile Crisis or going to Angola, or Ethiopia, life has given me this opportunity to be on the front lines in defense of our people.
Without a doubt, there are those who will continue to underestimate us, but one thing is clear: the Cuban security forces have been, are and will be present in the right place at the right time. The enemies of the Revolution, internally and externally, just don't seem to learn the lesson, because always, where they least expect it, there will be an Emilio. ?
A gift for my daughter Tita
Since I began this work, I have lost many friends, so when I was told that my identity would be revealed I was, on the one hand, very happy, because it is a gift for my daughter Tita. She will know that her father is not a traitor.
Once, when she was smaller, she came to see me at the home of a counterrevolutionary and it occurred to my little girl to draw a poster with chalk on the porch which read: Freedom for the Five Heroes. I remember that this guy commented: ‘Hey, is this what you're teaching your daughter?’
My friends, as well, will now know that I never went over to the other side, but, on the other hand, I'm sorry that who I am will be revealed because, in my work, I was reaching important positions within the counterrevolution and could have continued to be useful.
Translated by Granma International ?
- Read the original story from Granma International
- Watch Part 1 of the documentary about Carlos Serpa and the US backed groups in Cuba
- Watch Part 2 of the documentary about Carlos Serpa and the US backed groups in Cuba