It was common knowledge that on February 22, a Federal Court hearing would be held in south Florida to decide the fate of the kidnapped child Elián González, in accordance with the laws, procedures and irregularities of the Yankee legal system. The first federal judge, Mr. King, who just happens to be the worst of all, "assigned by computer" from among twelve, had been challenged and finally relieved of the case, due to his scandalous and undeniable links with the mob. The new judge in charge of the case, Mr. Hoeveler, turned out to be someone with a different reputation altogether. He was considered an independent, meticulous and methodical man who took all the time in the world to read and study dossiers and documents before making a decision. Although too slow for such an urgent case, he was known for not being open to bribery.

News would soon begin to appear on the criminal and moral record of the expanded family whom the mob and the Yankee legal system had made responsible for the child’s custody: two great-uncles who had been convicted for crimes relating to their alcoholic tendencies, two cousins tried and severely punished for armed robbery, and the son of the head of the household, tried and sentenced for prostitution. What else is lurking in the past of the now famous and discredited individual who was given custody of the child as a lottery prize!

On top of all this, the majority of the U.S. public is in favor of returning the child.

The mob was desperate. It had been responsible for other despicable acts: the deceptive setting for Mariela and Raquel’s meeting with their grandson; the almost complete takeover by the mob of the house and surrounding neighborhood; acts of utter cruelty, such as cutting off telephone communication between father and son, unnerving and offensive messages to Raquel, the total lack of privacy, the drastic reduction of the time agreed for the interview by suddenly cutting it short; deception, betrayal: a deliberately ruthless dirty trick. And to top it all, a fiendishly treacherous, deceptive, corrupt nun sold-out to the mob who betrayed the most human ethical principles of her own religion to become today's main spokesperson for the mob's slander and who, in a supposedly saintly and pious gesture, had offered her luxurious mansion to the Attorney General for the meeting.

Later, the extraordinary success of the noble and humble grandmothers in their meetings with a number of influential U.S. members of Congress and the press dealt a crushing blow to the mobsters’ Foundation and their allies, who responded with a cruel campaign against Mariela. During a roundtable discussion she had told the public, with the honesty and innocence of a humble Cuban grandmother, the details of everything she had done in her desperation to overcome the shyness and lethargy of her grandson who she had found completely changed. The mob took what she said and spread it around with poisonous rage, making miserable accusations against her.

The rats from the Miami sewers ran in all directions, using their influence and setting up campaigns to save their failing plans to obtain citizenship for the kidnapped child through the U.S. legal system. They brought back to life the two adult survivors from the well-known story, so that together with the nun and the barren she-wolf, who nowadays pretends to play the role of mother, could trail through the corridors and offices of the Capitol building, trying to persuade representatives and senators of the justice and kindness of the infamous cause espoused by the Miami terrorists and annexionists.

An extraordinarily unusual nun, a pimp and a prostitute accompanied by a man who, by yet another coincidence, is called Mas Santos were the Foundation key witnesses in the U.S. Congress.

It seemed that they had no choice but to change lawyers, retain new firms --both expensive and well known in the business-- and deploy new delaying tactics.

Then, just a few days before the court hearing, at a time psychologically calculated as the most adequate and convenient, they resorted to a final, more perverse and shameful action. On the night of February 17, FBI agents from the Miami office put up a great show by surrounding the house of a senior Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) official and conducting his spectacular arrest. It had all the looks of an operation against a sinister enemy on the eve of a nuclear war.

What was the reason for all that flamboyancy and scandal?

Numerous and endless press dispatches explained it all on February 18 and 19. With different nuances and styles, most of them referred more or less to the same thing.

What follows is a very brief synopsis of the information disseminated:

"A senior official from the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), responsible for political asylum applications by dissident Cubans, was accused today by the U.S. justice system of spying for the Cuban government after his arrest by the FBI."

"The U.S. authorities accused Mariano Faget of supplying information on national defense issues to unauthorized persons and making false statements to government agents.

"The first charge carries a sentence of up to ten years imprisonment, and the second, some five more years. ‘We expect to hold him in the Federal Detention Center without right to bail’, said Carlos Saldívar, a FBI special agent.

"The regional director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Paul Mallet, confirmed that Faget had been under investigation for almost a year but he refused to reveal the suspect's motives in working for Cuba's Communist government, to which he was believed to be opposed.

"Faget, a U.S. citizen born in Cuba, has a record of 34 years of service in the INS and, according to the authorities, ‘has been of great service to the United States’.

"Faget was a 'false blue'. That is what we call those who betray the United States".

"Apparently, no money changed hands during the investigation which lasted more than a year, according to Mallet, who refrained from commenting on the possible motives of the alleged spy, who was close to retirement."

"The district attorney’s office claims that the suspect sent reports to Cuba regarding the United States’ national defense."

"Faget --who migrated in 1960-- is the son of Mariano Faget, who was a director of the Anti-Communist Repression Bureau (BRAC) under the Fulgencio Batista government in Cuba in the 1950s, according to El Nuevo Herald."

As can be seen, what has been published up until now appears to imply the rise of a new Karl Marx who, in a most altruistic manner, voluntarily provides his services, free of charge, to Cuba's Communist government. At the same time, he is no less than the son of a man who for many years was in Cuba the director of the Anti-Communist Repression Bureau, a man superbly trained by the FBI during the McCarthy era.

But the story continues:

"It was revealed that on February 11, INS and FBI officials met with Faget as part of the plan to frame him, and asked him to help with a Cuban official who would defect, warning him that the information was secret.

"FBI special agent Paul Mallet explained that as soon as the meeting held in the Miami Hilton was over, Faget called a New York businessman on his cellular phone.

El Nuevo Herald identified Peter Font as "a Cuban-American businessman from New York, the owner of Tallahassee, a company registered in Florida, of which Faget was vice-president and secretary.

As it can be expected, immediately, on February 18 a cable reported:

"The Cuban-American National Foundation today demanded that the United States government undertake a thorough investigation of the role played by a senior official from the Immigration Service accused of spying for the Cuban government in the case of the shipwrecked child, Elián González.

"The chairman of the Miami headquartered CANF, Jorge Mas Santos, said that the United States Justice Department ‘should cease attempts to deport the child to Cuba’ while an investigation is conducted into the Immigration and Naturalization Service district adjudication supervisor, Mariano Faget."

"The lawyers for Lázaro González --great-uncle of the Cuban boy Elián González-- on Friday asked the U.S. Attorney General, Janet Reno, to review the Immigration and Naturalization Service decision to allow the child’s return to Cuba, following the arrest of a senior INS official accused of spying for the Cuban government."

Where did the information come from and which were the facts used by FBI Director to fabricate this ridiculous story? We shall explain it in a very concise form.

The Cuban Interests Section in Washington, especially the consul and the two deputy consuls, due to the highly varied needs and demands of their normal working duties, have contact annually with more than 100,000 people born in Cuba and living in the United States, many of whom visit our country every year, with either Cuban or U.S. passports. They also have innumerable contacts with political and intellectual figures, religious leaders, solidarity groups and a growing number of businesspeople who want the blockade lifted and who talk about future plans to invest in and do business with Cuba with almost the same degree of enthusiasm or more than some Americans are currently buying lots on the surface of the moon and planet Mars.

Recruiting people to spy was not conceivable and has never been done by officials in our Interests Section in Washington. From the very first day that the Interests Section was established, over 22 years ago under the Carter administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Interior Ministry and the Intelligence and Counterintelligence agencies in Cuba have all received categorical instructions to undertake no intelligence work whatsoever through that office, nor employ the usual tactics for that type of activity in their relations with institutions and people residents in that country. The President of the Cuban Council of State personally took it upon himself to ensure that this policy, which he drew up, was strictly observed. He even invariably checked the nomination of people to work in the Interests Section, many of whom had experience in this field --which was essential considering the sensitive nature of the diplomatic and political tasks that they had to fulfill in such hostile surroundings as those of Washington. The policy that had been drawn up was fulfilled without a single exception.

We were absolutely certain that the United States would do the exact opposite in their Interests Section, and we wanted to take preemptive action to ensure that the highest moral standards were maintained in order to confront such activities.

Therefore, as soon as the unusual news was known, although we did not have the slightest doubt that the accusations against our Interests Section were false, the Cuban authorities took on the task of investigating, both within the Interests Section and with Intelligence and Counterintelligence agencies, so as to find out what they knew about the accused INS official, whether they knew the man or had had any contact with him and, in this event, when and under what circumstances.

Here are the results, presented in a necessarily summarized form but with the absolute transparency that has characterized the activities of our Interests Section in that country.

Comrade Fernando Remírez, head of our Interests Section, and deputy consul Molina, completely by chance, as part of an intensive program of activities in the state of Connecticut took part on December of 1998 in a meeting with a group of Cuban-American businesspeople, including one Colombian born. A wealthy businessman, Pedro Font, president of Global Media Distribution, Inc. based in New York, had organized the meeting. This businessman, as we have seen, has been mentioned in the cables. Also invited with this group was Mr. Faget, who did not hide the fact that he was an Immigration official. The Cuban diplomats did not pay any attention to this since his role as a public official did not conflict with his presence at a meeting of businesspeople. It is quite common in the United States to be both a public official and a businessman.

In February and May of 1999, deputy consul Molina met again with Faget in Miami, after calling him home over the phone. The meetings took place in the lobbies of the Hilton and Sofitel Hotels in that city. For the first time, Faget told Molina that he was the son of a well-known individual named Mariano Faget, a major figure in the Batista regime.

The three meetings in Miami between Cuban deputy consuls and Faget took place publicly during their visits to Florida. In those visits, the Cuban diplomats met with numerous people, always openly and publicly, never in a secretive or conspiratorial environment. The deputy consuls were not involved in illegal activities, nor did they have any idea that what Faget was doing could be construed as a breach of discipline or something incompatible with his official duties. They never asked him for confidential information on the agency he works for whose functions have nothing to do with the defense and security of the United States, but rather with the daily problems of immigration, the legal and illegal entries and exits of Cubans. Over 10,000 Cuban-born U.S. citizens living in the United States travel to Cuba every month and then return to that country. As a result of the migratory agreements, no fewer that 20,000 Cubans are granted residence visas for the United States every year.

The matters they discussed were all related to such travels, the migratory agreements, problems related to illegal entries and other similar ones. One of the deputy consuls remembers that on one occasion Faget mentioned that his office in Miami had been given instructions to act cautiously so as not to jeopardize the migratory agreements. Moreover, on one occasion, by manner of warning he noted that the United States was perfectly prepared to confront any kind of mass exodus.

Faget made incidental comments on personal matters, such as the aforementioned aspect of his family history. Another of the deputy consuls remembers that on one occasion he said he would like to visit Cuba but was worried about his capacity as a public official, and often mentioned the idea of retiring within a matter of months.

He never proposed any kind of business deal nor did he provide any sensitive information. At no time did either Molina or Imperatori speak to him or even suggest that he rendered any service to Cuba, much less hinted at the idea of recruiting him as an agent. To do such a thing would have been simply stupid, as well as insulting to Faget, whom they always treated with due respect. If there was any telephone communication between Faget and the Interests Section, these calls were very few in number, and always took place by way of the official telephones in our Interests Section, which are checked and monitored more than any other in Washington by the numerous U.S. intelligence services. It would be inconceivable to use this form of communication for espionage work. In what way was the conduct of our diplomatic officials criminal or illegal?

As for communications between Faget and Pedro Font, they have nothing to do with our Interests Section. All we know for certain is that Faget once said that he and Font had been close friends since childhood and that they were exploring the possibility of investing in Cuba once relations had been normalized. Is it possible that this could serve as the basis for concocting a scandal and telling the American people and the world that an important INS official was spying for Cuba?

What is truly odd and amazing is that after a year of purported suspicions regarding this INS official, on February 11 –-in other words, exactly 11 days before the decisive hearing on the sensitive case of Elián’s kidnapping, called by an intransigent judge–- Miami based FBI and INS officials decided to do what they have done, that is, to set up a clumsy trap for a key man in decisions on immigration at an institution as important as the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service --which has played a decisive role in recognizing the rights of the child’s father–- by informing him of the purported defection of a diplomat from the Cuban Interests Section in Washington.

The U.S. Government is fully aware of the irrefutable fact that our Interests Section does not carry out intelligence work in that country.

How different from what happens at the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba! The representatives of the Central Intelligence Agency, whose special leader and large platoon are perfectly well known to us, in the minutest detail, carry out their work with the utmost professionalism spying on our defense facilities, our security mechanisms, our administration, our policies, our economy, our industry, our agriculture, our scientific sector, the health care system, the personal characteristics and placement of our leaders and cadres, every last detail that could be of use in their destabilization strategies and their pervasive plans to destroy the Revolution by any means possible.

Alongside the CIA operatives, other experts in different fields attempt to develop across-the-board relations in the country in order to gather information, recruit all sorts of spies and agents, create small groups, supply funding, give instructions and launch political slogans. They participate in subversive public events and promote counterrevolutionary activity, the contempt of law and any type of disorder possible. They coordinate the activities of the minuscule and always divided groups they oversee, encourage, defend, publicize and praise on an international level.

At the Interests Section headquarters and the homes of its head officials, they organize meetings of up to several dozen of the individuals on their payroll, so as to give them encouragement and instructions and to boycott any and all visits made to Cuba by U.S. public figures and delegations. They demand that these visitors meet with the counterrevolutionary leaders in their service, they supply distorted reports on the country and take up as much of their time as possible.

Under the pretext of monitoring the observance of the migratory agreements, they snoop throughout the entire country, make new contacts and, more than monitoring, they conspire to their heart’s content. At the same time, they coordinate activities with certain embassies of allied countries that are willing to cooperate in their perfidious schemes.

If we asked the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba to withdraw all the officials with an active involvement in illegal and not at all diplomatic activities there would be very few or perhaps not even a single diplomatic official left at that facility.

The U.S. Interests Section main building is full of sophisticated equipment for bugging, spying, decoding coded messages and intercepting communications. No one can be certain that they do not intercept cellular and microwave telephone communications from that location, or even those established through underground and aerial lines. That building could even be used as the headquarters to direct a major military operation against our country.

The officials at our Interests Section in Washington do absolutely none of these things. How can those be so incredibly dishonest as to fabricate such a hoax against Cuba?

This is yet another misadventure, another major mistake. We shall see how they can sustain this accusation.

If they were able to demonstrate that an official at our Interests Section has recruited an INS official to use him as a spy for Cuba, we would not only be prepared to recall him immediately but would also make him stand trial by our courts for a serious and weighty breach of discipline.

We reiterate to the U.S. government that, instead of expelling an official from our Interests Section, they should agree to discuss the matter before a U.S. federal court.

As for what has happened, there are three possible hypotheses:

First: That on the basis of the aforementioned facts, they have attempted to stage a spectacular show on the eve of the hearing, sacrificing an official about to retire who they say has provided invaluable service to the country for 34 years, thus committing a major injustice against him.

Second: That the accused official received instructions to seek out apparently normal contact with some official from our Interests Section, which could be used at some point in time for a major provocation.

Third: That this is a large-scale conspiracy promoted by the Cuban-American counterrevolutionary mob against high-level government agencies with the complicity of corrupt FBI and INS officials in Miami.

Now, the one thing that is certain is that instead of attempting to rectify the situation, no matter which of these three hypotheses is true, they will try at any cost to force him to say what they want him to say, even if this is the case of an innocent man, in whose case they would use the pretext of his relationship with the Cuban-American businessman in New York and seek out any genuine indiscretion in his contacts with him, or simply under the threat of affecting his pension and his business aspirations. We shall have to wait and see what happens with his friend Pedro Font.

We are not in the least bit worried by this clumsy hoax. They have stuck their foot in it again, and will end up looking like fools.

Finally, something very strange. According to news reports that began to circulate last night and were confirmed today, the serious and intransigent judge who troubled the sleep and rattled the nerves of the powerful terrorist mob, filling them with fear, has apparently suffered a brain stroke less than 36 hours before the scheduled Federal Court hearing. This is reminiscent of what happened when president John F. Kennedy was assassinated: someone in the police station murdered the man presumed to be guilty, who then took who knows what secrets with him to the grave.

We wish Judge Hoeveler a swift recovery. It is claimed that the "accurate and unbiased computer" will soon assign a new judge to conclude the trial. But what is needed is an in-depth investigation. The mob has learned a great deal from its masters in the art of killing by the most varied means; it has a great many accomplices everywhere, and above all, a great deal of money. Could this simply be a colossal coincidence? Perhaps the least we could say is that all of the dirty tricks, pressures and filth of the Miami sewer provoked the brain stroke.

The fact is that barely 48 hours after the Oath of Baraguá, with yesterday’s impressive and combative march we have found ourselves obliged to launch our first victorious battle.

February 22, 2000