[fla-left] Ex-CIA Agent Resurfaces in Cuba (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at SPAMfreenet.tlh.fl.us
Mon Jun 26 14:37:34 MDT 2000

As person who sent below to floridaleft list noted, Agee was in Orblando for
time in early 1990s, he spoke at Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice anti-
Gulf War event, his sister belonged to FCPJ for awhile...  Michael Hoover
> Ex-CIA Agent Resurfaces in Cuba
> By Nicole Winfield Associated Press Writer Friday
>  June 23, 2000
> HAVANA Former CIA agent Philip Agee, a longtime
> friend of communist Cuba who exposed purported CIA
> operatives in his infamous book, has resurfaced in
> Havana, where he has launched what he says is the
> first independent American business in 40 years.
> With European investors and the state-run travel
> agent as his partner, Agee has opened a travel
> Web site designed specifically to bring American
> tourists to the island even if it means
> violating the U.S. trade embargo.
> The site, cubalinda.com, offers package tours
> within Cuba and other help with Cuban tourism that
> is largely off limits to Americans because of U.S.
> law.
> "I would like to see people ignore the law,"
> Agee said at a press conference Thursday.
> "The idea is to disdain this law to the point
> that our grandfathers disdained Prohibition."
> Agee has long enraged supporters of U.S.
> sanctions on Cuba by his support of Fidel Castro's
> revolution and campaign to end the nearly
> four-decade-old embargo, which limits American
> tourists from spending money on the island =96
> effectively barring them from visiting.
> He has also been accused of receiving up to $1
> million in payments from the Cuban intelligence
> service. He has denied the accusations, which were
> first made by a high-ranking Cuban intelligence
> officer and defector in a 1992 Los Angeles Times
> report.
> Agee, 65, quit the CIA in 1969 after 12 years with
> the agency, working mostly in Latin America during
> the years that leftist movements were gaining
> prominence and sympathizers.
> His 1975 book "Inside the Company: CIA Diary"
> cited alleged CIA misdeeds against leftists in
> Latin America that included a 22-page list of
> purported agency operatives.
> Barbara Bush, the wife of former president
> George Bush himself a onetime CIA chief
> in her autobiography accused the book of
> exposing a CIA station chief, Richard S. Welch,
> who was later killed by leftist terrorists in
> Athens in 1975.
> Agee, who denied any involvement in the death,
> sued her for defamation and she revised the book
> to settle the case.
> Agee's U.S. passport was revoked in 1979. U.S.
> officials said he had threatened national
> security.
> After years of living in Hamburg, Germany
> occasionally underground, fearing CIA
> retribution Agee has decided to make Havana
> his home and the seat of his new business.
> American companies have been barred from doing
> business with Cuba since the embargo was imposed
> in the 1960s to put pressure on Castro.
> "I don't have a license. I don't have permission.
> I haven't asked and I'm not going to because it's
> a question of principle," Agee said.
> A spokesman at the U.S. Treasury Department in
> Washington said officials were unaware of Agee's
> plans and had no comment Thursday.
> Agee said he received funding for the tourism
> project from European investors, but declined to
> say how much or even who they are.
> "They are not especially interested in advertising
> the fact that they're involved with me here," Agee
> said, acknowledging his own infamy.
> The Web site, which has been partially running
> since February, on Friday is to launch its first
> major promotion targeted at Americans
> a weeklong tour during carnival festivities in
> July and August.
> Prices start at around $600 inclusive although
> not including airfare, which must be arranged
> separately and through a third country unless the
> visitor receives a Treasury Department license, he
> said.
> The tours must be pre-paid over the Internet to a
> European bank account run by the company a rare
> concession to U.S. law in that the money isn't
> directly deposited in a Cuban account.
> Agee said he has received no word from the U.S.
> government about his dealings. But he has received
> threatening e-mails from people he believes are
> anti-Castro Cuban-American exiles in Miami, who
> are opposed to any dealings with Cuba.
> "It's always nice to know that your enemy, or that
> your unfriendly side, knows that you're in
> business," he said.
> On the Net: http://www.cubalinda.com
>  2000 The Associated Press

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