Four Cuban diplomats expelled from U.S.

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Wed Nov 6 20:29:23 MST 2002


Cuban diplomats expelled from U.S.
By Rafael Lorente
Washington Bureau

November 6, 2002

WASHINGTON -- The United States expelled four Cuban diplomats last week, at
least two of them in response to the arrest and subsequent conviction of Ana
Belen Montes, a Defense Department analyst who spent 16 years spying for
Fidel Castro's government, the State Department said Tuesday.

Gustavo Machin Gomez, the son of a Cuban revolutionary who died in Bolivia
with the legendary Che Guevara, and Oscar Redondo Toledo were expelled from
the Cuban Interests Section in Washington. The two were declared persona non
gratain response to the Montes case and given 10 days to leave the country.

"The expulsion represents our response to the unacceptable activities for
which Ana Belen Montes was arrested," said Charles Barclay, a State
Department spokesman. Barclay would not say whether the two were involved
with Montes.

In what was characterized as a separate action, two other diplomats from
Cuba's mission to the United Nations in New York also were asked to leave
the country for "activities deemed to be harmful to the United States
outside their official capacity," Barclay said. Their names are not being
released.

The Cuban Foreign Ministry in Havana would not speculate about any similar
actions that might be taken against American diplomats on the island.

Montes worked as the top Cuba analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency,
which analyzes information for the Pentagon. She was arrested last year and
pleaded guilty in March. She was sentenced last month to 25 years in prison
in exchange for cooperating with counterintelligence agents trying to assess
how much damage she did to national security.

Machin Gomez has been the point person for many American companies selling
food to the island since such sales were allowed two years ago. Machin Gomez
has traveled extensively, meeting with American business officials to pitch
Cuba as a potential market.

A source familiar with the situation said Machin Gomez left the United
States within the past week to be with his wife, who recently gave birth to
their second child in Cuba. Havana-based correspondent Vanessa Bauza
contributed to this report. Rafael Lorente is a Washington correspondent for
the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, a Tribune Publishing newspaper.
Copyright (c) 2002, Orlando Sentinel   Visit OrlandoSentinel.com




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