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Editorial: Alejandro Castro Espín: useless or guilty

Cuban intelligence and counterintelligence enjoyed international renown. What will be left of that reputation now?


More than 20 foreign diplomats and their families (including several children) recently suffered acoustic attacks in Cuba, leaving lasting effects. If it had been only US personnel, Cuba's official propaganda would have dismissed it all as imperialist ploys and offered other excuses. But among those affected were diplomats from a nation with little history of confrontation with the island's regime: Canada.

General Raúl Castro, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez and diplomat Josefina Vidal have insisted that Havana was not responsible for these attacks. But, as the Canadians and Americans were on Cuban soil when they took place, the denials are implausible. Whether through its actions, or negligence, the Cuban regime was responsible, and it is up to Colonel Alejandro Castro Espín to provide explanations.

The only son of General Raúl Castro is in charge of the National Defense and Security Council, an agency to which all Cuban intelligence and counterintelligence directorates are subordinated. A researcher on national security issues, Castro Espín led secret talks between 2013 and 2014 leading to the reestablishment of diplomatic relationships with the United States.

Hence, his responsibilities in matters of intelligence and counterintelligence were joined by those concerning the change in relations between both countries, and negotiations with the envoy of President Obama.

For more than half a century the elders of his family have devised a society in which no sector has ended up being effective, not even its much-touted education and health. It was reputed, however, that this general disgrace did not apply to the country's police surveillance and espionage. Cuban intelligence and counterintelligence enjoyed international renown.

Now the authorities' obliviousness regarding these numerous attacks on diplomats has tarnished this reputation. The only thing left to decide is whether Alejandro Castro Espín, the head of this area, undoubtedly accountable regarding these attacks, is just useless, or downright guilty.

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