As Obama builds his Cuba legacy on the backs of the Cuban people, he just opened the door to Castro spies

Over the past eight years, Obama’s foreign policy consists of a long list of bad decisions and complete and utter failures. Unfortunately, those failures are accompanied by unintended consequences and in his latest directive on Cuba, the president has just opened the door to Cuba’s prolific and effective spies wide open.

John Schindler in Observer:

Obama Just Opened the Door for Castro’s Spies

Cuban intelligence will have a field day in the United States thanks to Obama’s latest outreach to Havana

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 14:   President Barack Obama  campaigns for Hillary Clinton at a "Get Out the Early Vote" rally at Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, Ohio on October 14, 2016. Early voting began on October 12 in Ohio. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

Normalization of relations with Fidel Castro’s Cuba has been one of the big foreign policy initiatives of Barack Obama’s presidency. During his two terms in the White House, Washington has overturned more than a half-century’s worth of American policies toward the Communist regime in Havana.

Calling that legacy a “failed approach,” Obama’s outreach to Havana, particularly in his second term, has been pronounced, including a visit by the president and the first lady to Cuba. By the time he leaves office in three months, Obama will have substantially re-normalized relations with the Castro regime.

Obama has pressed forward over the opposition of many Cuban-Americans and human rights groups, who note that Washington’s gifts to Havana have not been reciprocated with greater respect for democracy and the rule of law in Cuba, as many had anticipated. In the words of Amnesty International, “Despite increasingly open diplomatic relations, severe restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and movement continued. Thousands of cases of harassment of government critics and arbitrary arrests and detentions were reported.”

Obama seems unperturbed by all this, and today he issued revised guidance for the U.S. Government in its re-normalized dealings with Havana. Presidential Policy Directive 43 is likely to be this president’s last push on Cuban matters, and its call to Congress to drop the Cold War-legacy embargo on the Castro regime seems like to fall on deaf ears.

Most of PDD-43’s guidance won’t impact average Americans, unless they happen to travel to Cuba. Obama has now permitted them to bring back as much Cuban rum and cigars as they like—something Americans were last able to do when Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House.


Perhaps the most curious aspect of PDD-43 is what it tells our Intelligence Community to do. Obama has ordered American spies “to find opportunities for engagement on areas of common interest through which we could exchange information on mutual threats with Cuban counterparts.”

That wording is intentionally vague, as spies like it, and it’s not clear if anything will come of it, beyond low-level information sharing. Nevertheless, it’s apparent that Obama is declaring a truce in the SpyWar that’s raged between Washington and Havana since the early 1960s. In PPD-43, the White House has omitted important facts about the intelligence relationship between the United States and Cuba—namely how hostile it has been for more than 50 years.

For Havana, America possesses the only two existential threats to their Communist system: the U.S. military, which outclasses Cuba’s armed forces a hundredfold, and the Cuban exile community, which Havana has long considered a regime-change cadre in waiting. Cuba therefore has spied intensely on America practically from the moment Fidel Castro took power in 1959.

It needs to be said that Cuban espionage against the United States has been impressive. Well trained by the Russians in spycraft, Havana’s intelligence services have consistently beaten Americans in the SpyWar, displaying a discipline and seriousness that the regime lacks in other areas.

Although it’s practically unknown to the American public, Cuba has consistently ranked among the Big Four counterintelligence threats to our government (the others are Russia, China and Israel, in case you wondered). Havana punches well above its weight in espionage and poses a real threat to our national security—not least because the secrets it steals from us with depressing ease don’t always stay in Havana. Perennially short of cash and lacking much of a legitimate export economy, the Castro regime has a well-developed habit of selling purloined American information to third countries such as Russia, China and Iran.

Just how badly we’ve been beaten by Cuban spies is something Americans should know. Our spy operations inside Cuba have been a bust from Day One. It was bad news for our Intelligence Community in 1987 when the highest-ranking Cuban intelligence defector to ever come to our side revealed that every single agent run by the Central Intelligence Agency since Castro came to power was actually fake. Some four dozen sources in all, they had all been detected by Cuban counterintelligence and turned into double agents for Havana.

Read it all HERE.