- Created: Wednesday, 20 April 2016 13:21
- Written by Andrew George
With the Cuban Five safely reunited on Cuban soil (see FRFI 243), the international Cuba solidarity movement is now campaigning for the freedom of Ana Belen Montes, another political prisoner incarcerated in the US for defending Cuba from US attack.
Formerly a senior analyst at the US Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Montes was arrested by the FBI in September 2001, three years after the Cuban Five’s arrest, on charges of spying for the Cuban intelligence services, and imprisoned the following year. After pleading guilty, her death sentence for ‘high treason’ was commuted to a 25-year prison sentence without parole in a maximum security prison, to be followed by five years’ probation. She has served nearly 15 years and is currently being held at a Federal Medical Centre, on the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, despite not being ill.
Montes is the daughter of a US army doctor and has two siblings working for the FBI. She rose to be the DIA’s top Cuba analyst, having joined the agency in 1985. She attended meetings of the US National Security Council, met with top politicians in the US and abroad and was awarded a Certificate of Distinction from then-CIA director George Tenet before it was discovered that she had been voluntarily informing the Cuban state of planned US aggression against Cuba and other countries for several years. She did this because of her own conscience and for the benefit of the Cuban people. She received no payment from the Cuban state for doing so.
The charges against Montes included conducting espionage for the Cuban Intelligence Directorate for 17 years, releasing information to them about four US agents operating in Cuba against the revolutionary government. Years after her sentencing a DIA counter-intelligence official accused her of informing Cuban intelligence about a clandestine US Army Special Forces camp in El Salvador which was attacked by revolutionary Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) guerrillas only a few weeks after her visit in 1987. She has also been vilified by the warmongering US bourgeois media for authoring a 1998 defence report claiming that Cuba represented no military threat to the US or the region.
At her sentencing, Montes declared: ‘I obeyed my conscience rather than the law. I believe our government’s policy towards Cuba is cruel and unfair […] and I felt morally obligated to help the island defend itself from our efforts to impose our values and political system on it’, adding that ‘What matters to me is that the Cuban Revolution exists […] What’s necessary is that there always be a Cuban Revolution’.
The Revolutionary Communist Group and its campaign in solidarity with socialist Cuba, Rock Around the Blockade, adds its voice to the international campaign demanding the release of Ana Belen Montes. Sign a petition to demand her freedom here: http://tinyurl.com/jl3nvj9
Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! 250 April/May 2016