General Intelligence Directorate

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The Dirección General de Inteligencia (DGI) or General Intelligence Directorate of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior[1] is one of four Cuban intelligence agencies. Along with the Military Counterintelligence Department of the Ministry of Revolutionary Armed Forces (Dirección de Contra-Inteligencia Militar) is the principal intelligence collection arms of the Cuban government. Both have been closely associated with the Soviet and Russian intelligence services. The relationship between these services is likely to continue based upon the June 14, 1993 agreement on military cooperation between Russia and Cuba.

Liberation Committees

The General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) was established under the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) in late 1961. The new agency included three Liberation Committees - for the Caribbean, Central America, and South America - collectively known as the Liberation Directorate (DL). In the early 1960s, the DL also was responsible for supporting national liberation movements in Africa, including those who overthrew the government of Zanzibar in 1963.

America Department

Soviet economic pressure on Cuba in 1967-68 forced Cuban dicatator Fidel Castro to develope a more selective revolutionary strategy, and subordinate the DGI to the KGB. The KGB compelled Castro to replace its chief, Manuel Piñeiro, with José Méndez Cominches in 1969. The DGI thereafter focused its efforts on collecting military, political and economic intelligence, with responsibility for supporting national liberation movements shifting to the new National Liberation Directorate (DLN), which was independent of the MININT. The DLN was subsequently reorganized into the America Department (DA).

The DGI is responsible for foreign intelligence collection. The DGI has six divisions divided into two categories of roughly equal size: the Operational Divisions and the Support Divisions.

The operational divisions include the Political/Economic Intelligence Division, the External Counterintelligence Division, and the Military Intelligence Division. The Political Economic Intelligence Division consists of four sections: Eastern Europe, North America, Western Europe, and Africa-Asia-Latin America. The External Counterintelligence Division is responsible for penetrating foreign intelligence services and the surveillance of exiles.

The support divisions include the Technical Support Division, the Information Division, and the Preparation Division. The Technical Support Division is responsible for production of false documents, communications systems supporting clandestine operations, and development of clandestine message capabilities. The Information and Preparation Divisions are responsible for intelligence analysis functions.

Drug smuggling

On November 15, 1982, four close aides to Castro were convicted on charges of smuggling drugs into the United States. The four included René Rodríguez-Cruz, a senior official of the DGI (Cuban Intelligence Service). On February 7, 1983, a former member of the DGI testified in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, that Cuban involvement in international drug operations was a multifaceted, methodical campaign aimed at undermining the United States and its international stature. And in 1988 testimony from José Blandón Castillo, a former intelligence aid to Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, provided further evidence concerning Cuba's role in the drug flow of the United States.

Cuban Mission to the United Nations (CMUN)

The Cuban Mission to the United Nations (CMUN) is the third largest UN delegation, and it has been alleged that almost half the personnel assigned to the mission are DGI officers. The DGI actively recruits within the Cuban emigre community and has used refugee flows into the United States to place agents. The DGI collects political, economic, and military information within the United States. More recently, the DGI has started to conduct operations to gain access to technologies required to improve the Cuban economy.

Cuba is considered by the United States to be a sponsor of international terrorism and has worked closely with Puerto Rican separatist and Latin American terrorist groups such as Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia or FARC. Much of this activity has been handled through the DGI.[2]

See also