“Castro Agents of Influence” Anyone?

I hold here in my hands..!
Sen. Joe Mc Carthy: "I hold here in my hands..!"

The Venona Papers released in 1995 FULLY VINDICATED Joe Mc Carthy–in fact he may have UNDERestimated the number of Stalinist spies who infested the Democratic administrations of FDR and Truman.

Now our friend Prof. Tony de la Cova “Blows the roof off the Sucka!” by obtaining a deposition showing that ace spycatcher Lieut. Col. Chris Simmons (who helped nail the Communist spy our own Gov. describes as, “the most damaging espionage agent since the end of the Cold War“) but also known as a “smear artist!” by an uncharacteristically emotional? (in this case?) Phil Peters–was really, really on to something last year.

Tony obtained the June 15, 2009 deposition regarding Sylvia Wilhelm’s (now settled out of court) suit against spycatcher Simmons. And has generously chosen to share portions of it with us:

Q. You (Sylvia Wilhelm) testified that you met with (Cuban DGI Agent) Amado Soto in private. Did you meet with him in
private on five occasions, more or less?
A. I can’t quantify the numbers. I don’t remember.
Q. You testified that you stayed in Hotel Nacional. How many occasions have you
stayed in Hotel Nacional?
A. Several.
Q. How many?
A. More than five, less than ten.
Q. What floor in Hotel Nacional do you normally stay at?
A. I could stay on the seventh floor, I could stay on the sixth floor. I can assure you, I will stay where the microphones are on.
Q. You will stay where the microphones are on?
A. I am sure we are being taped.

“No wonder she (Sylvia Wilhelm) dropped her lawsuit against Lieut. Col. Simmons,” adds the good professor Tony.


19 thoughts on ““Castro Agents of Influence” Anyone?”

  1. Humberto, here are more tidbits from the 307-page deposition of accused Castro agent Sylvia Wilhelm, which can be obtained from Goldfinger Reporting, Inc., in Miami.

    Q. Tell me some of those [members of Congress] you met with.
    A. Oh, my goodness. Let’s see. I have met with Senator Dodd. I have met with Representative Delahunt, Representative Flake, Representative McGovern, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Representative Engel, Representative Berman. I have been to the offices of Senator Spector, Senator Baucus, Senator Dorgan, Senator Enzi. I can go on and on and on. The list is long.
    . . . .
    A. Ros Lehtinen agreed that they were difficult regulations. She did not agree that she would support a change of status, of the status quo.
    Q. Ever meet with Diaz-Balart?
    A. They have never allowed us in their office.
    Q. Do you know why?
    A. You will have to ask them.
    . . . .
    Wilhelm’s attornies, Bruce S. Rogow and Cynthia E. Gunther, who initially charged her $75,000, obviously didn’t coach her on using succinct answers and were unable to quell her uncontrollable babble during the deposition:
    Q Do you know Lisandro Perez?
    A. Yes, I do.
    Q. How do you know him?
    A. Through his position at Florida International University. He is well known in the community, the Cuban Research Institute, and also the fact that his daughter-in-law is my Goddaughter. . .Cynthia Barrera.
    . . . .
    Wilhelm got caught in a lie in her sworn deposition when first stating that her physician husband knows when she needs a Valium to calm her down. Since no prescription was issued, she then declared that what she had was “less than a Valium.”
    Q. The emotional distress that you indicated in your Interrogatories and your testimony that you have been suffering, have you received any medical attention for that emotional distress?
    A. I live with my physician husband and he knows how to treat me.
    Q. Are you saying your husband treated you for emotional distress?
    A. My husband knows when I need a Valium. My husband knows when I need to calm
    down. He knows me.
    Q. Is that a yes?
    A. Yes, my husband.
    Q. Your husband is an internist, correct?
    A. Yes.
    Q. And is it your testimony then that your husband prescribes medication as he sees fit determining your emotional state?
    A. Nothing has been a prescription drug.
    Q. So Valium is not a prescription drug?
    A. No, no. I took something less than a Valium. I said Valium mainly to show something that was a calming effect. No, it was not Valium.
    Q. What is less than a Valium that you indicated? Tylenol?
    A. No, Tylenol is for pain.
    Q. Okay.
    A. I have taken a lot of Advil for my — I’m trying to think now. No. Just Advil.
    Q. You have never received anything then with regards from your husband, any type of pill to help you relax; is that correct?
    A. Benadryl to sleep.
    Q. Benadryl, the allergy —
    A. It’s very good for sleep.
    Q. Antihistamine?
    A. Antihistamine puts you to sleep, makes you relax and puts you to sleep and I have taken Benadryl to sleep.
    Q. So other than your husband, you received no medical attention for your emotional
    distress. Have you sought any counseling?
    A. No.
    . . . .
    ACLU attorney John de Leon in 2006 was busy representing accused Castro agents Marifeli Perez-Stable and also Sylvia Wilhelm, according to her deposition testimony:
    A. I have had two contacts via telephone with the FBI.
    Q. Let’s talk about the most recent one.
    A. The most recent one happened, and I’ll tell you exactly when it happened. It was my birthday. Well, they left a card trying to contact me on June 22, 2006. I was away on vacation and we were supposed to meet. My attorney contacted them and basically asked them what is the reason for the meeting and, just to talk about Cuba. They gave me the choice as to whether I wanted to meet or not and I elected not to meet because I had nothing to talk to them about.
    Q. Who was your attorney for that particular case?
    A. For that particular phone call?
    Q. Yes, ma’am.
    A. John de Leon.
    Q. Why did you find it necessary to contact an attorney when you got the card from the FBI?
    A. Because it seems to me that anybody who has two inches of brain and is going to sit with the FBI should always be accompanied by legal representation. It is the American way.
    Q. Dr. [Carlos] Alvarez had already been arrested at this time, correct?
    A. Dr. Alvarez — he was in custody, yes.
    . . . .
    Q. Have you received any threats from anyone as a result of Mr. Simmons’ statements?
    A. No, I have not.
    Shortly after this deposition, Wilhelm dropped her lawsuit against Lt. Col. Chris Simmons.

  2. Q. Do you know someone by the name of Carlos Alvarez?
    A. Yes, I do.
    Q. When did you first meet Mr. Alvarez?
    A. I probably met Carlos Alvarez in 1962.
    . . . .
    Q. Are the two of you still friends today, you and Dr. Alvarez?
    A. Dr. Alvarez is in jail.
    Q. Are you are still friends today?
    A. I would say we are not friends today.
    Q. Why not?
    A. Dr. Alvarez put a stain on my projects and Dr. Alvarez betrayed my friendship.
    Q. When was the last time you spoke to Dr. Alvarez?
    A. The last time I spoke to Dr. Alvarez was sometime in 2005 before his arraignment.
    Q. So you have not spoken to him since the arraignment?
    A. I have not spoken to Carlos Alvarez since then.
    Q. Do you know what he was charged with?
    A. He was charged with being an unregistered Cuban agent.
    Q. Do you know what he pled to?
    A. I think he pled guilty.
    . . . .
    Q. You were talking about a stain in the project and specifically you were talking
    about the professionals programs that you went to Cuba on multiple occasions. How many of those occasions did Dr. Alvarez travel with you to Cuba during the course of those programs?
    A. Probably four times.
    . . . .
    Q. Do you know if Dr. Alvarez’s confession indicates that Amado Soto was his
    handler between 1984 and 1995? Did you read that portion?
    A. I read that.
    Q. Do you know what that means?
    A. Maybe the person that was giving him orders that he had to comply with.
    . . . .
    Q Do you know why Carlos Alvarez would say that you are very connected to the Cuban
    MR. ROGOW: And I objected to the form. But you can certainly answer.
    THE WITNESS: Maybe because I have met with some government officials. I have no idea. You would have to ask Mr. Alvarez.
    . . . .
    Q. According to Carlos Alvarez, Mercedes Arce, Amado Soto are Cuban operatives. Do you have an opinion with regards to that?
    MR. ROGOW: Object to the form.
    THE WITNESS: I have never been to Cuba where I have been told of anybody being a Cuban operative. I assume that anybody could be a Cuban operative. I have never been told.
    The Alvarez FBI interrogation appears at
    . . . .
    Q. Who is Alberto Coll?
    A. He is a professor of law at Depaul University in Chicago.
    Q. Do you know Mr. Coll?
    A. Yes, I do.
    Q. How long have you known him?
    A. Maybe seven or eight years.
    Q. When did you first meet Mr. Coll?
    A. I first met Alberto Coll at a Cuban conference in Washington, D.C. seven or eight years ago.
    Coll was investigated for espionage by the FBI.

  3. Silvia Wilheim answers:

    Q. Have you received any threats from anyone as a result of Mr. Simmons’ statements?
    A. No, I have not.

    PERJURY! Wilheim must be lying! The Miami Mafia not threaten their enemies! Can’t be! If you listen to the mainstream media on Juanes, he braved an endless barrage of death threats to go on with the concert.

  4. Q. What is your date of birth?
    A. June 22, 1946.
    Q. Where were you born?
    A. Havana, Cuba.
    Q. When did you come to the United States?
    A. I came to the United States in January of 1961.
    Q. Did you come by yourself, with your parents?
    A. I am one of the Pedro Pan children. I came by myself.
    Q. Did your parents ever join you?
    A. They certainly did.
    Q. When was that?
    A. My mother joined me in September of 1961. My father deceased when I was seven years old, sir.
    Q. What was your father’s name?
    A. Luis Hernandez Milenas.
    Q. How did your father die?
    A. My father died in a car accident in 1953 in Biombo, Cuba.
    Q. What is your mother’s name?
    A. Silvia Teurbe Tolon.
    . . . .
    A. I certainly have lived in cities other than Miami. I lived as a Pedro Pan in
    Buffalo, New York and Olean, New York. I have lived in Atlanta, Georgia. Well, Marietta, the suburb of Atlanta. I have lived in Clearwater, Florida. I have lived in Washington, D.C. and I have lived in Miami. And of course in Havana, where I spent fourteen years of my life.
    Q. Do you still have family in Cuba?
    A. Yes, I do.
    Q. I know in the Interrogatories you listed a whole host of individuals in Cuba. Could you give me, indicate who you still have in Cuba currently?
    A. I have a half brother with his wife, his daughter, his granddaughters and —
    granddaughter and grandson, great grandchildren.
    . . . .
    Q. What is the highest level of education you have completed?
    A. I have an Associates degree from Miami-Dade and then I have many more courses at
    the University of Miami and American University in Washington, D.C.
    Q. Highest grade would be an Associates?
    A. Yes, in science.
    Q. What year was that?
    A. Oh, my goodness. 1964.
    . . . .
    Q. What is your address?
    A. 1925 Brickell Avenue.
    Q. Is that a house or apartment?
    A. Townhouse, 17.
    Q. No. 17?
    A. Yes.
    Q. How long have you lived at that address?
    A. Probably seventeen years.
    . . . .
    Q. Just let me finish my question. How long have you been married?
    A. Thirty-eight years in September.
    Q. Congratulations. What is your husband’s name?
    A. Charles C. Wilhelm.
    . . . .
    Q. What was your maiden name?
    A. Silvia Hernandez de Teurbe Tolon.
    Q. Have you been known by any other names other than Silvia Hernandez de Teurbe Tolon or Silvia Wilhelm?
    A. In my swimming team I used to be called Flippity.
    . . . .

  5. Q. Where did Dr. Wilhelm work from 1972 to 1977?
    A. He had his own private practice of medicine.
    Q. Did you work with him at that time between ’72 and ’77?
    A. Yes, I certainly did. I ran his practice part of the time.
    Q. What did you do the other part?
    A. Took care of five children.
    Q. Five children?
    A. Yes, sir.
    Q. Prior to living in Marietta from ’72
    to ’77, where did you live?
    A. I lived in Miami.
    Q From when to when did you live in Miami?
    A. I lived in Miami from September of 1961 to August of 1972.
    Q. And during that time you met Mr. Wilhelm, or Dr. Wilhelm?
    A. No, I had — I was married before. In 1965 I was married.
    Q. A prior marriage?
    A. A prior marriage.
    Q. Who were you priorly married to, married to prior?
    A. Gabino Diaz.
    Q. How long did that marriage last?
    A. Seven years.
    Q. Any children as a product of that marriage?
    A. Two children.
    Q. What are their ages?
    A. Forty-two and thirty-seven.
    Q. Forty-two year old is a male or female?
    A. Female.
    Q. What does she do?
    A. Right now she is a housewife and a mother.
    Q. And your thirty-seven year old, male or female?
    A. Male.
    Q What does he do?
    A He is a principal of a high school in Miami.
    Q What high school?
    A American High School.
    . . . .
    Q. You married him in what year, I’m sorry?
    A. I married him the 22nd of May, 1965.
    Q. When did you divorce Mr. Diaz?
    A. I divorced him in probably July, June or July, 1972.
    . . . .
    Why did you divorce Mr. Diaz?
    A. Why did I divorce Mr. Diaz?
    Q. Yes, ma’am.
    A. Because we were totally incompatible.
    Q. What do you mean?
    A. I did not appreciate living with him. He was a selfish liar.
    . . . .
    Q. When did you meet Dr. Wilhelm?
    A. I met Dr. Wilhelm at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
    Q. When was that?
    A. That was in 1970.
    Q. When did you marry Dr. Wilhelm?
    A. I married him September 1, 1972.
    Q. And you have three children with him?
    A. I have one child with him.
    Q. Okay. You have one child was Dr. Wilhelm?
    A. Um-hmm.
    Q. And what is that age of that child?
    A. She is thirty-six.
    Q. Thirty-six?
    A. Um-hmm.
    Q. Dr. Wilhelm had two kids from a prior marriage?
    A. Exactly.
    Q. How old are they?
    A. Forty-four and forty-one.
    Q. Thirty-six year old, what does she do?
    A. The thirty-six year old lives in Ocala, Florida.
    Q. Doing what?
    A. She is a psychologist and a nurse. She is director of clinical procedures for a home health care agency in Ocala.
    Q. Forty-four year old, is that a male or female?
    A. The forty-four year old is a male.
    Q. What does he do?
    A. He is a restaurant owner.
    Q. Local?
    A. No, in Marietta, Georgia.
    Q. Forty-one year old, what does he or she?
    A She.
    Q. What does she do?
    A. She is — she stays at home. She was diagnosed as a schizophrenic many years ago.
    Q. Do you have any grandchildren?
    A. Yes, I do.
    Q. How many?
    A. Five.
    . . . .

  6. Where was Charles born?
    A. He was born in San Bernardino, California.
    Q. What is his date of birth?
    A. November 10th, 1940.
    Q. Do you have any email accounts currently?
    A. Yes, I do.
    Q. What are they?
    A. Cubapuente. Cuba, the country, P-u-e-n-t-e, at aol.com and smw646@aol.com.
    Q. Other than those two email accounts, do you have any other email accounts currently?
    A. That are mine?
    Q. Yes, ma’am.
    A. No.
    Q. Prior to that, have you ever had any other email accounts?
    A. Those are my two email accounts.
    Q. Only, ever?
    A. You are not talking about my husband’s accounts?
    Q. Silvia Wilhelm.
    A. Okay, right.
    Q. Do you have any accounts or email accounts jointly with your husband?
    A We use the cwsw72@AOL.COM a lot of times jointly.
    Q. Prior to that, you never had any email accounts?
    A. No.
    . . . .
    Q. Has Charles ever traveled to Cuba with you?
    A. Yes.
    Q. How many times?
    A. Probably one, two, three. Probably four times.
    Q. Most recent time was when, traveled with Charles?
    A. With me, January of this year.
    Q. Has he ever gone without you?
    A. He went once without me.
    Q. When was that?
    A. About seven or eight years ago.
    . . . .
    Q. January of 2009 was the last time that you were in Cuba?
    A. Yes. No. I was in Cuba in April of 2009.
    Q. The last time you were in Cuba with Dr. Wilhelm would have been in January, 2009?
    A. Correct.
    . . . .
    Q. Other than those four occasions, was there any other time that you know of Dr. Wilhelm going to Cuba?
    A. I think I gave you six.
    . . . .
    Q What other properties do you own?
    A. We own a house in Highlands, North Carolina.
    . . . .
    Q. What bank institutions do you have
    your bank accounts?
    A. I have three bank accounts. The
    Coconut Grove Bank.
    Q. All three accounts?
    A. All three accounts.
    Q. And the three accounts would be a checking, saving and a retirement?
    A. No.
    Q. Tell me what they are. Okay. Checking and then two organizations that I represent, their accounts.
    Q. You personally have only a checking account in the Coconut Grove Bank?
    A. One, yes, for me.
    Q. How long have you banked at the Coconut Grove Bank?
    A. On and off since 1965.
    Q. Dr. Wilhelm, does he share the checking account with you or is it only your name alone?
    A. This particular one is under my name alone. We have one together.
    Q. What bank is that?
    A. Coconut Grove Bank.
    . . . .
    Q. Where do you currently work?
    A. I am the executive director of Puentes Cubanos and the Cuban-American Commission for Family Rights.
    Q. Are those two separate organizations?
    A. Two separate organizations.
    Q. What is your position at the Cuban-American Commission for Family Rights?
    A. Executive director.
    Q. How long have you had this position?
    A. Since 2004.
    Q. Who had that position before you?
    A. Nobody.
    Q. Have you ever held any other position other than executive director at the
    Cuban-American Commission for Family Rights?
    A. No.
    Q. Is this a nonprofit corporation?
    A. Not-for-profit corporation, yes.
    Q. Who are the officers for that particular not-for-profit corporation?
    A. Who are they?
    Q. Yes, ma’am.
    A. Alvaro Fernandez, Ileana Casanova, Eliz Cerejido, Aidil Oscaril, Jose Rodriguez,
    Alfredo Duran, Jose Rodriguez.
    . . . .
    Q. How often have you traveled to Washington since 2004 with regards to the Cuban-American Commission for Family Rights?
    A. Oh, probably a dozen times.
    Q. What do you do when you have these visits to Washington, dozen or so times you have gone since June of 2004?
    A. Well, a lot of times we meet with members of Congress so they are aware of the
    travel restrictions. We meet with our NGO’s that are also working to eliminate these travel restrictions.
    Q. You said NGO. What does that mean?
    A. Non-governmental organizations in Washington.
    Q. What are the other non-governmental organizations you have met with since June of 2004 on your trips to Washington, D.C.?
    A. Okay. The Washington Office on Latin America, the Latin America Working Group,
    the New America Foundation, Center for Democracy in the Americas, Center for International Policy, the Lexington Institute. That’s basically the core. There are others. The Council of Foreign Relations. That’s basically the core.
    . . . .

  7. Q. Other than the Cuban-American Commission for Family Rights, currently, at the
    same time, you indicated you were also part of Puentes Cubanos?
    A. Um-hmm.
    Q. Yes?
    A. Um-hmm.
    Q. Yes?
    A. Yes. Sorry.
    Q. No problem. How long have you been part of Puentes Cubanos?
    A. Since it was founded in 1999.
    Q. How was Puentes Cubanos founded in 1999, tell me that.
    A. Group of persons that — mainly Cuban-Americans that felt strongly during the
    Clinton administration that people to people work was an important work we could do in Cuba.
    Q. And who are the officers of Puentes Cubanos?
    A The officers of Puentes Cubanos are Dr. Max Castro, Attorney David Cibrian from San Antonio, Texas, Luis Mosquera, my husband and myself right now.
    . . . .
    Q. What is the salary you draw from Puentes Cubanos?
    A. $2000 a month.
    . . . .

  8. Q. Other than your salary from Puentes Cubanos from 1999 to the present, have you ever received any other funds or any other form of income, you personally, from 1999 to the present?
    A. I have been asked to escort some trips, some humanitarian trips, and I have been
    paid as an escort or consultant, whatever you want to call it.
    Q. How many times has that happened since ’99 to the present?
    A. Maybe five or six times.
    Q. What are you paid?
    A. A per diem. Of course, you know, I don’t pay for the trip, I go free and a per diem.
    Q. What is the per diem per day?
    A. Well, it depends on the group. It could be anywhere between $200, $300 a day to
    Q. What is the most you have been paid as an escort per day?
    This sounds so bad. I’m going to rephrase it so when I’m reading it I don’t laugh
    out loud.
    MR. ROGOW: We understand.
    MR. DORTA: I know you understand. If anyone else is reading it, I want them
    to understand.
    Q. As a consultant/escort, what is the most you have been paid per day?
    A. Well, per day — let’s say per trip, maybe $1000, $2000.
    Q. That’s for the trip?
    A. For the trip, for taking the trip. The trip could be anywhere between five to seven days.
    Q. Other than as a consultant/escort and your salary from Puentes Cubanos from 1999, you have no other sources of income, correct?
    A. I have no other sources of income.
    Q. Foundations, when they approve a project, they don’t give you money aside from your participation in the project?
    A. They give money towards the organization; it goes into the bank account and I
    continue to draw my same $2000 a month.
    . . . .
    I got on the plane, I went to Cuba. I went directly to the Ministry of Foreign
    Affairs, to the Dacre office, for them to tell me exactly why they nixed the program.
    Q. What did they say?
    A. They said that it was not the time to have a program like this. They said that there was somebody in the program that they did not want in the program. And —
    Q. On your end?
    A. On my end.
    Q. Okay.
    A. That one of the women that I was bringing was not somebody that they necessarily
    Q. Who was that?
    A. Uva de Aragon. Because she spoke in Radio Marti. Because she wrote for the Diarios las Americas, et cetera.
    Q. So based on her position on various topics, the government wasn’t happy with you
    bringing her?
    A. They were not happy. They didn’t think it was the time. So I basically said — and they inferred that if I would change, it could be approved.
    Q. So if you left this one person at home and brought everybody else, it would be okay?
    A. It could be okay.
    Q. Did you do that?
    A. Of course not.
    Q. Why not?
    A. Because they do not tell me who I bring on my programs, just like I don’t tell them who they bring on the programs to meet with my people.
    . . . .

  9. Q. You indicated that at Puentes Cubanos you are receiving your last check now. Is
    there a reason for that? It’s closing down?
    A. It’s closing down as of June 30.
    Q. I’m going to get to the reasons why it was being closed down, or is being closed down. The files will be transferred to where?
    A. They are going to have to be put in storage.
    . . . .
    You indicated in the Responses to Interrogatories that in April of 2003 you
    traveled, and it says here JCC of Boca Raton, religious. What does that mean?
    A Okay. I did not travel with the Puentes license on this. The Jewish Community
    Center of Boca Raton wanted to go to Cuba to meet the Cuban Jewish community. I happen to have on my mother’s side some Jewish ancestry and they contacted me because they had asked me if I wanted to take the trip. I told them that I was not
    Jewish, I had not been brought up in the Jewish faith. They basically said that they would not go with anybody but me. And we had been taking — I have had the honor of taking them since 2003 until now on religion license. Religious license is
    given to an organization obviously that will be meeting with their religious counterparts in Cuba. They will take medicines, they will assist them in their faith. They will — in this particular case, it’s to preserve the Jewish traditions in Cuba, which are at peril because there is only less than 2000 Jews in Cuba.
    Q. Was this religious license still available during the course of the Bush
    A. Yes.
    . . . .
    Q So based on your testimony, you believe that the reason why foundations are not
    funding Puentes Cubanos the way they were before is because of Mr. Simmons’ allegations that you are a Cuban agent?
    A. I believe it’s a combination of many things. There is no question that the economy plays a role.
    . . . .
    A. In the year 2008 I had funding through November. The majority of the funding
    that I received in 2008 went for a radio program that we were supporting.
    Q. Which was what?
    A. La Noche se Mueve.
    Q. Roughly translates to the night moves?
    A. Yes, night moves.
    Q. Ms. Wilhelm, has there been any dissolution documents that are going to be filed
    in the State of Florida as to the fact that the corporation has been dissolved?
    A. Absolutely. My accountant is already preparing them.
    . . . .
    Q. As of right now at this moment, there has been no loss of revenue through Puentes Cubanos; is that correct?
    A. Unless you take into account foundation support.
    Q Foundation support, but money in your pocket with regards to a salary, there has
    been no effect, is that right?
    A. No effect.
    Q. When you say foundation support, you can’t say that the reason the foundation stopped giving money to Puentes Cubanos is because of Chris Simmons’ statements on the Oscar Haza show, can you?
    MR. ROGOW: Object to the form, but you can answer.
    THE WITNESS: I cannot absolutely say that is the reason.

  10. Lovely, lovely woman. Such a credit to her people, like so many others like her. I’d write her a thank you note, if only I could stop retching.

  11. Q. Other than United States and other than Cuba, have you lived in any other countries?
    A. I lived in Spain.
    Q. How long ago did you live in Spain?
    A. I lived in Spain from June of 1965 until — probably only three months — until
    September of 1965.
    Q. What brought you to Spain?
    A. My first husband took me to Spain.
    Q. Right after you were married?
    A. Right after we were married.
    Q. Was there a job waiting for him in Spain?
    A. It was a university waiting for him.
    Q. Was he a student at the time?
    A. He was supposedly going to finish his medical degree at the University of Madrid, the main university in Madrid.
    Q. He was also a physician?
    A. He was not a physician.
    Q. Did he ever become a physician?
    A. He did not become a physician.
    Q. Did he ever conclude his studies in Spain?
    A. No, he didn’t. We came back three months later. I got sick. The reason I got sick
    is because I had a dermatological condition caused by severe stress because I found out that he had lied to me.
    Q. He had lied to you?
    A. He had lied to me about having been a medical student in Cuba. So everything that we were doing in Spain was a lie.
    Q. Why would he go to Spain and start doing classes because he lied to you, if you know?
    A. Do we have to get into this?
    MR. ROGOW: No, just do it quickly.
    THE WITNESS: I’ll do it very quickly. Basically we got married very
    rapidly into our relationship and the reason was that be had to leave for Spain
    to conclude the medical education. At that time a lot of Cuban-Americans who
    didn’t have a penny to speak of would rather go study abroad where they could
    have a better — they could be accepted more rapidly and have some kind of
    financial possibilities, and Spain was a logical place for a lot of people who had
    been in medical school in Cuba to finish their degrees, either in Madrid or in
    Salamanca. He told me we had to get married right away and leave for Spain to continue his degrees because he had been accepted.
    Q. How did you find out he was lying to you?
    A I found out he was lying to me because when his grades came from the University
    of Havana, they were grades in education.
    Q. Could you translate that for me?
    A. Education, school of education. So it was quite a shock.

  12. Q. He [Max Castro] was also an officer of Puentes Cubanos, correct?
    A. He is an officer of Puentes Cubanos.
    Q. What happened that Max Castro is no longer an officer of this particular entity that I have shown you as Exhibit 2?
    A. He moved to Washington, I think it was two and a half years ago, and he decided that since he was not going to be in Miami, he could not be a Board member that we can count on. And in addition to that, he has been sick, so he has basically not been active for the last two and a half years.
    Q. But in Puentes Cubanos he is still active?
    A. He is still active as of the end of the month.
    . . . .
    Q Okay. Is it fair to say that your position is one that the U.S. embargo against Cuba should be lifted; is that a fair statement?
    A That’s a fair statement.
    . . . .
    Q. Let’s talk about these threats regarding Puentes Cubanos. You have mentioned the
    Internet. Can you tell me about that?
    A. About what?
    Q. About the Internet and how you felt threatened through the Internet.
    A. Well, there are many blogs, et cetera, that are very, very — I would say egregious or whatever you want to call it, that have my name on it.
    . . . .
    Q Prior to October of 2008, were you ever called a Communist, either in a blog or
    A. I’m sure that I have been.
    Q. Prior to October, 2008, were you ever called a Castro sympathizer?
    A. I have been called a Castro sympathizer.
    . . . .
    Q. Before October 8, 2008, no one ever called you a spy?
    A. No. They called me all these other names.
    . . . .
    Q. Now that Puentes Cubanos is going to wrap up in late June of this year, what is your plan as to what to do next?
    A. I am going to stay with the Cuban-American Commission for Family Rights.
    Q. But you don’t draw a salary from them.
    A. They cover my expenses when needed.
    Q. Let’s go back to that. You indicated that you didn’t receive a salary from
    them, but when you say that they cover your expenses, what does that mean?
    A. Well, if I travel on something related to the Commission, if there is a period of time and we do extensive work that requires a — then I might get compensated for the travel. My expenses are covered.
    Q. Other than your expenses, does that organization provide any other benefit to you personally, Silvia Wilhelm?
    A. No, no. Once in a while they will compensate me for some specific job that gets
    done, but I do not have a salary with them.
    Q. How often does that occur?
    A. Let’s see. It has been in existence for five years. I would say less than half.
    Q. Less than half of the five years?
    A. Yes.
    Q. How often per year would that be that you get specially compensated?
    A Oh, my goodness. $3000, $4000.
    Q. How often, in that one year period, does that occur? Once a month, twice a month, once every five months?
    A. Once every two or three months.
    Q. What is the most they paid you on a special compensation type?
    A. What did you say?
    Q. What is the most they paid you at one time?
    A. The most they paid me at one time, I would have to go back to the book, but maybe $2000.
    Q. With regards to the Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba, you indicated that you were on the Board since its inception?
    A. Um-hmm.
    Q. Was that also a nonprofit company?
    A. It was a not-for-profit company, yes.
    Q. Any of the officers from that company sort of migrated with you to Puentes
    A. Not to Puentes Cubanos.
    Q. Anywhere else?
    A. To the Commission.
    Q. To the Commission?
    A. Um-hmm.
    Q. Who is that?
    A. Alfredo Duran was an active member of the Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba.
    Q. Anyone else?
    A. No.
    Q. Who held the position of executive director at Americans for Humanitarian Trade with Cuba prior to you?
    A. Who was the person?
    Q. Yes.
    A. Lisa Weinmann.
    Q. And what happened that you took over Ms. Weinmann’s duties?
    A. I believe it was when she was taking some maternal leave for her first baby.
    Q. Did you travel to Cuba through this particular group?
    A. Never.
    Q. So there was no traveling to Cuba?
    A. Never.
    Q. Were you paid?
    A. No. Only compensate — only I presented my expenses for the travel to
    Q. So you were reimbursed?
    A. I was reimbursed.
    Q. Not compensated?
    A. Not compensated.
    Q. Prior to being involved with this group, where did you work?
    A. Cuban Committee for Democracy.
    Q. What was your position there?
    A. Executive director.
    Q. Did you always hold that position? Did anyone else hold it prior to you?
    A. Two persons held it prior to me.
    Q. Who were they?
    A. The first executive director of the CCD was Lillian Pubillones and the second one was Christine — I don’t know, she is an aide to Senator Kennedy. I don’t remember her name.
    Q. How did you get involved with the CCD?
    A. I got involved in the CCD when I was a student at American University in Washington. I was taking a course in — basically that had to deal with U.S. policy towards Latin America and I had a paper to do specifically on Cuba and my
    paper had to do with presenting three different positions with regards to the Cuban policy. That’s when I met the CCD.
    . . . .
    Q. What made you leave the CCD?
    A. I left the CCD because I found their mission statement to be extremely convoluted. I did not find that the Board was unanimous in supporting the mission statement and it made my job as an executive director extremely difficult.
    Q. What was the CCD’s mission statement?
    A. The CCD’s mission statement was for a peaceful transition to democracy in Cuba.
    Q. And how is that convoluted?
    A. The basic premise of the CCD was that U.S. foreign policy towards Cuba is failed. And yet there were people in the CCD that supported the embargo. So I found a Board that was extremely paralyzed in terms of strategy.

  13. Q. I may have asked this and I apologize: Were you paid at the CCD?
    A. I certainly was.
    Q. How much did you earn?
    A. In the 20’s and 30’s. I can’t give you a complete answer unless I check my records.
    Q. That’s twenty to $30,000?
    A. Yes.
    Q. A year?
    A. A year.
    . . . .
    Q. According to your Responses to Interrogatories, you indicated that in February of 1996 you had a family visit. Is it your testimony that you also had a visit with the CCD during that same trip?
    A. Yes, I did.
    Q. What was the purpose of your trip with the CCD?
    A. The purpose of the trip with the CCD was to convince the Cuban Government that there was a need for a national dialogue with Cuban-Americans.
    Q. Who did you meet with?
    A. We met with Miguel Alvarez at the National Assembly and he had somebody else with him at the time and I’m trying to remember his
    name. Somebody from the Assembly. What was his name? It will come to me.
    Q. Okay. Anybody else you remember meeting with from the Cuban government other than Miguel Alvarez?
    A. We met Soto. Soto came to see us.
    Q. When you say Soto?
    A. Amado Soto.
    Q. You met with Mr. Amado Soto as early as ’96, February of ’96?
    A. That’s when I met Amado Soto.
    Q. That’s the first time?
    A. The first time I met Amado Soto.
    . . . .
    Q. Any other names of any other Cuban official that you have met through in your
    capacity of your travels to Cuba that we have not
    already covered?
    A. The names that I provided you.
    Q. Fernando Remirez de Estenoz?
    A. Estenoz.
    Q. Dagoberto Rodriguez?
    A. Um-hmm.
    Q. Yes?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Jorge Bolanos?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Jose Cabanas?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Benigno Perez?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Carlos Zamora?
    A. Right.
    Q. Ricardo Alarcon?
    A. Right.
    Q. Miguel Alvarez?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Amado Soto?
    A. Right.
    Q. Other than those officials and those individuals that you mentioned during the course of this deposition, is it fair to say you met with no other officials during the course of your travels to Cuba, and by officials I mean officials
    involved in the Cuban Government.
    A. That I’m aware of.

  14. Q. You testified that once Puentes Cubanos wraps up at the end of this month, you
    will concentrate your efforts in the Cuban-American Commission for Family Rights. Do you have any other plans other than that?
    A. I plan to eventually, when travel is open to Cuba, when all Americans are able to travel to Cuba, I want to continue taking Americans and Cuban-Americans on very specific trips, purposeful travel, to Cuba to continue engagement and continue fomenting reconciliation. Yes, I have those plans in the future.
    Q. Okay. Have you taken any steps to assure those plans into fruition?
    A. We have incorporated a company.
    Q. What is that company called?
    A. Cuba Puentes.
    Q. So it’s almost the name Puentes Cubanos backwards?
    A. Well, if you want to call it that.
    Q. Fair to say you incorporated that company last month?
    A. The idea of bridges —
    Q. Did you answer my question?
    A. What did you say?
    Q. Is it fair to say that you incorporated that company last month?
    A. We incorporated that company last month.
    Q. A month before you announced the closure of Puentes Cubanos?
    A. I did.
    Q. Is the closure of Puentes Cubanos public knowledge, have you submitted a press
    A. No, I have not submitted a press release.
    Q. Have you written a memo to the Board indicating that the company is going to be closed?
    A. We have written a memo to the Board and I have every Board person’s agreement that the company needs to close.
    Q. The memo that circulated to the Board, was there justification as to why you had
    to close down Puentes Cubanos?
    A. The justification was lack of funding.
    Q. Other than that, was there anything else put in that memo?
    A. Not that I recall.
    Q. Did you author that memo yourself?
    A. I did.
    Q. Do you have a copy of that memo?
    A. I do.
    Q. I’m going to ask for a copy of it, if you can get that to your lawyer so I can see that memo, okay?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Other than the memorandum that was given to the Board where they all agreed, was
    there any other action taken when you were wrapping up Puentes Cubanos?
    A. Contacting my —
    MR. ROGOW: — accountant?
    THE WITNESS: Accountant, thank you, Bruce. My accountant.
    Q. The Cuba —
    A. I also —
    Q. I’m sorry.
    A. I have also told one of the funders that I am not — that Puentes Cubanos will close at the end of June.
    Q. You incorporated Cuba Puentes in May of 2009?
    A. Um-hmm.
    Q. Yes?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Who are the officers of that company?
    A Victoria Zamorano, myself and my husband.
    Q. And have you received any funding for that company?
    A. None whatsoever.
    Q. The difference is that this company is a For-Profit corporation, is that correct?
    A. For the future, yes.
    Q. So this is a company that you have for the future, not for the present; is that right?
    A. Not for the present.
    Q. You decided to open it last month because you were planning for the future or
    because —
    A. I have a plan for the future. And if I can elaborate?
    Q. Sure.
    A. There is legislation in Congress right now to open travel. When and if that
    happens, there will be a need for people to be taken to Cuba, and I plan to continue doing my engagement.
    Q. Okay. How?
    A. Taking groups of Cuban-Americans to Cuba eventually.
    Q. Without any restrictions?
    A. Without any restrictions.
    Q. So that the difference between what you have done up to now and what you plan on doing in the future with Cuba Puentes is that there just won’t be any restrictions?
    A. There won’t be any restrictions on travel.
    Q. You take the groups to Cuba and you, your company, would make money how?
    A. Well, the people would pay to go and there will be a very basic — some kind of profit at the end. When and if it happens. We are not there yet.

  15. Q. Who is Victoria Zamorano?
    A. A Cuban-American.
    Q. What is her relationship to you?
    A. Her mother and my uncle were married for twenty-some years.
    . . . .
    Q. Did you file an income tax report last year?
    A. We asked for an extension.
    Q. When was the last time you filed an income tax?
    A. Last year, for the year before.
    Q. For the 2007?
    A. Yes.
    Q. You file that jointly with your husband?
    A. Yes, I do.
    Q. How much did you earn in the year 2007?
    MR. ROGOW: When you say you?
    MR. DORTA: You, you.
    MR. ROGOW: You are talking Silvia Wilhelm?
    THE WITNESS: I don’t recall the exact amount, but it was in the early thirties, I believe.
    Q. How much do you estimate you earned in the year 2008, and when I say you, I mean
    Silvia Wilhelm.
    A. Less.
    Q. Less than thirty?
    A. Yes.
    Q. Is there a reason for that?
    A. 2008?
    Q. Yes, ma’am.
    A. Well, I earned the twenty-four. I always earn the twenty-four.
    Q. When you say twenty-four, is that the —
    A. Thousand, that Puentes pays me. And I have taken some groups to Cuba that I told you I’m paid a per diem and a consultant fee. And I earned less last year than I earned in 2007 but we haven’t finished the income tax yet. We asked for
    an extension. We always ask for an extension. It’s routine at my house.
    . . . .
    Q. Dan Rather.
    A. Dan Rather, they contacted me.
    Q. Has there ever been a time where you have contacted them and said, “Hey, I got
    something to say,” prior to October, 2008?
    A. I have sent press releases on things we were doing, et cetera, to the press. So if you assume that that is contacting the press, obviously it is contacting the press, but I had not contacted those people directly.
    . . . .
    Q. Have you written any articles that have been published?
    A. I have sent letters to the editor that have been published.
    Q. What type of periodicals and/or newspapers?
    A. Article as such?
    Q. You sent letters to whom that have been published?
    A. Mainly to the Herald. To the Miami Herald, to the El Nuevo Herald.
    Q. Other than those two entities, have you sent them to any other entities that have been published, letters or articles?
    A. No.

  16. Joe McCarthy was right.

    Who said that? You? Me? That cat behind the tree?

    Yeah, to all three.

    And briefly during the late 80s, commie relics from the Hollywood Blacklist gang among others smilingly admitted they’d always be commies.

    Then they crawled back into their hidey holes.

    No matter. They never change. They push the same death-dealing drivel and pull the same gags. Once you know them, you can sense them even when they’re downwind.

    A friend worked for a public agency. I’m being purposely vague here for clear reasons. The friend always took periodic assignments which required them to travel in FL, set up in certain areas, and take some readings.

    My friend was qualified for the job, but another person from the office was moreso by virtue of fluency in Spanish, including dialects and inflections.

    But it was understood, the more qualified person risked not so much physical danger to themself, but retaliation against family still in Cuba, should DGI personnel spot them.

    So, they remained in the office and my friend travelled.

    This wasn’t the dark days of the 50s Cold War. This was the present.

    Paul Vincent Zecchino
    Manasoviet Key, Florida
    23 September, 2009

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