The importance of information about History of Cuba part eight

The importance of information about History of Cuba part eight

The importance of information about History of Cuba part eight

  • SS-N2 STYX missile on parade in Havana, December 2, 1986
    Courtesy National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Washington
    may be explained by his prominent role in 1989 as the lead
    prosecutor in the Ochoa affair.
    The military also wields considerable influence within the
    top echelons of the PCC. Yet, throughout the 1990s, a consistent decline in the number of officers elected to the PCC’s
    Central Committee took place. In 1981, following the PCC’s
    Second Congress, officers, all with commissioned ranks, were
    elected to just over a quarter of the Committee’s 225 seats. By
    contrast, after the Fourth Congress in 1991, their representation in the Central Committee had declined by half.
    At the same time, the FAR has retained its dominance within
    the Political Bureau (Politburo), the PCC’s top decision-making organ. After the 1997 Party Congress, although the overall
    size of the Politburo was cut by one member, an additional military officer was named, which brought to seven the number of
    officials in the twenty-four-member body. They included Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro, General of the Army Raul Castro, Army Corps General Colome Ibarra, and Division Generals
    Julio Casas Regueiro, Leopoldo Cintra Frias, Rosales del Toro,
    and the more recently appointed Ramon Espinosa Martin.
    Given the hierarchical nature of the Cuban regime, the mili303 Cuba: A Country :study
    tary’s continuing domination at this top level within the Party
    suggests that its declining representation on the Central Committee may not be a matter that greatly concerns the military
    institution and its leadership.
    Constitutional Provisions and Treaty Obligations
    Cuba’s 1976 constitution, as amended in July 1992, establishes in Article 43 the right of all Cubans to ascend to any rank
    in the country’s security forces, “according to their merits and
    capabilities.” In turn, as described in Article 134, the members
    of the armed forces and of other security forces also have the
    same right to vote and to be elected to office as do other citizens. In Article 65, the “defense of the socialist homeland” is
    recognized as “the greatest honor and the supreme duty of
    every Cuban citizen.” As stipulated in this article, military service is to be regulated by law. Treason is recognized as “the
    gravest of all crimes,” with the person committing it to be “subject to the most severe sanctions.” These sanctions, although
    not specified in the constitution, might include capital punishment or life imprisonment (see Penal System, this ch.).
    The articles guaranteeing Cuban citizens the right to serve
    in the security forces and setting the primacy of defense as a citizen’s duty have remained unchanged since 1976. However, the
    1992 reforms created a new Chapter 8 in the constitution, composed of a single article, that was added to address provisions
    for a state of emergency. In that chapter, Article 67 sets out the
    right of the president of the Council of State to declare a state
    of emergency in case of developments or imminent developments-whether “natural disasters or catastrophes or other circumstances”-which may affect “domestic order, the security of
    the country or the stability of the State.” This state of emergency may be applied to all the republic or a part ofit, and the
    president is authorized to mobilize the population while the
    state of emergency is in effect. Article 67 also states that the
    manner in which the state of emergency is declared, its
    enforcement, and its termination are to be regulated by law.
    Similarly, although still to be subject to law, Article 67 stipulates
    that the exercise of “the rights and fundamental duties recognized by the constitution” during normal times “must be regulated differently” while the state of emergency is in force.
    In complementing the authority granted the president of
    the Council of State to declare a state of emergency, the
    National Assembly of People’s Power (Asamblea Nacional del
    304 National Security
    Poder Popular-ANPP; hereafter, National Assembly), Cuba’s
    national legislature, formally bears constitutional responsibility
    to “declare a state of war in case of military aggression and to
    approve peace treaties.” However, as the National Assembly
    meets in regular session only briefly each year, Article 89 establishes that the Council of State, a body elected by the National
    Assembly, has the right to represent it between sessions or,
    according to Article 90, to convene extraordinary sessions.
    Among other provisions, Article 90 further explicitly assigns
    the Council of State the right “to decree a general mobilization
    when required for national defense, to declare war in case of
    aggression, or to approve peace treaties when the Assembly is
    in recess and cannot be convened with the necessary security
    and urgency.”
    According to Article 93, the president of the Council of
    State, the office held by Fidel Castro that establishes him as
    chief of the Cuban state and government, has expansive
    responsibilities in terms of the security forces and national
    defense. The Council’s president serves as the supreme commander of the country’s security forces, which include the
    FAR’s troops as well as the forces under the immediate supervision of the Ministry ofInterior, and is authorized to determine
    their general organization. As noted above, the president also
    has the authority to declare a state of emergency in situations
    addressed by Article 67 of the constitution, and as soon as circumstances permit, to give an accounting of that declaration to
    the National Assembly or, if the legislature cannot be convened, to the Council of State. Further, the president of the
    Council of State also presides over the National Defense Council (Consejo de Defensa Nacional), the body established to
    oversee the defense planning and coordination system adopted
    in the 1980s. In addition, Article 94 establishes that in case of
    “the absence, sickness, or death of the president of the Council
    of State,” authority is delegated to the first vice president of the
    Council of State, an office held by Raul Castro.
    As the nation’s supreme executive and administrative body,
    the Council of Ministers, whose president is also Fidel Castro, is
    also invested by the constitution with security-related responsibilities. As enumerated under Article 98, these responsibilities
    include “providing for national defense, the maintenance of
    domestic order and security, the protection of citizens’ rights,
    and the protection oflives and property in the event of natural
    disaster.” To support these responsibilities, among others, the
    305 Cuba: A Country Study
    Council of Ministers is charged with formulating the national
    budget and, following its approval by the National Assembly, its
    oversight. All government ministers, including the heads of the
    MINFAR and of the Ministry of Interior, are members of the
    Council of Ministers. Further, because Raul Castro serves as the
    first vice president of the Council of State, he would remain a
    member of the Council of Ministers even if he no longer
    served as the MINFAR’s chief.
    Lastly, Article 101 addresses the role of the National Defense
    Council. This body is charged with the responsibility to direct
    the country during “conditions of a state ofwar, during the war,
    the general mobilization, and the state of emergency.” It is
    required to maintain its readiness to assume responsibility for
    any of these duties at any time. As noted above, the National
    Defense Council’s president is the president of the Council of
    State-again, Fidel Castro. According to Article 101, the Council’s organization and functions are to be regulated by law.
    Related to this, Article 119 elaborates the responsibilities of the
    Provincial Defense Councils, the Municipal Defense Councils,
    and the neighborhood-based Defense Zones, which within
    their respective territories mirror those assigned to the
    National Council. In accordance with the law, the National
    Council is charged with determining these bodies’ organization and functions. The specific execution of their duties during a crisis, however, is to be defined by the nation’s general
    defense plan and the role and responsibility assigned each
    body by one of the country’s three regional military councils,
    which cover geographic territories that correspond to the areas
    under each of the MINFAR’s three regional army commands.
    In terms of Cuba’s security-related treaty obligations, Fidel
    Castro’s government has been reluctant to enter into multilateral and bilateral pacts that might limit the scope of its actions
    either domestically or in the international arena. This stance is
    underscored in Article 11 of the 1992 constitution, which states
    that “The Republic of Cuba repudiates and considers illegal
    and null the treaties, pacts, or concessions that were signed in
    conditions of inequality or that disregard or diminish its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
    In March 1960, shortly after the victory of the Revolution,
    Cuba withdrew from the 1947 Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (more commonly known as the Rio Treatysee Glossary), which provides for collective hemispheric
    defense against external aggressors. In August 1960, months
    306 National Security
    before diplomatic relations with the United States were broken
    off, Cuba terminated its participation in the United States
    Mutual Defense Assistance Program, which provided military
    aid and had been endorsed by Batista in 1952. Cuba’s participation in the Organization of American States (OAS-see Glossary) was formally suspended on January 31, 1962, after the
    member states determined that the Marxist-Leninist ideology
    of the Castro government was “incompatible with the interests
    of the hemisphere.” Consequently, Cuba does not have a representative on the Inter-American Defense Board, nor are its military personnel eligible to attend the Inter-American Defense
    College, located at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C.
    Until recently, Cuba also resisted entering into any agreements aimed at controlling the spread of nuclear weapons. It
    remains the only country in the hemisphere that has not
    joined the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),
    which a former Cuban United Nations ambassador said would
    require Cuba to give up “its inalienable right to defend itself
    using weapons of any kind.” Nevertheless, in March 1995, Cuba
    did finally sign the 1967 Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear
    Weapons in Latin America, more commonly known as the
    Treaty of Tlatelolco (see Glossary), which, like the NPT, establishes a commitment to nuclear nonproliferation. Cuba also
    reached an agreement with the International Atomic Energy
    Agency (IAEA) in May 1980 with respect to implementing safeguards and allowing inspections at its nuclear power facilities
    then under construction (and now abandoned) atJuragua,
    near Cienfuegos on Cuba’s southern coast.
    Despite its avowals, the Castro government has shown an
    inclination to join other pacts related to the conduct ofwarfare
    and the treatment ofits victims. InJune 1966, Cuba ratified the
    1925 Geneva Protocol that prohibits the wartime use of poisonous gases or bacteriological agents. It also has ratified the four
    international agreements of the 1949 Geneva Convention for
    the protection of war victims. In 1976 the Cuban government
    ratified the 1972 Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxic Weapons Convention. Cuba has refused to sign the 1997 Ottawa
    Convention on the Prohibition ofthe Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their
    Destruction, however, largely because of the use of these
    devices throughout the Cuban side of the no-man’s-land that
    separates the United States Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay
    from the rest of the mainland.
    307 Cuba: A Country Study
    The United States Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay
    The United States Naval Station at Guantanamo consists of a
    seventy-three-kilometer area (including land and water), four
    kilometers wide, located east of the Sierra Maestra in Cuba’s
    southeastern Guantanamo Province. United States Marines
    first landed at this site during the Spanish-American War in
    1898. The United States leased the territory in 1903 as a coaling station for United States naval vessels transiting the Caribbean.
    A 1934 treaty with the United States replaced the 1901 Platt
    Amendment (see Glossary), which had authorized United
    States military intervention in Cuba. Several of the principal
    provisions of both treaties were identical, however. For example, the 1934 treaty also grants a lease to the Guantanamo
    Naval Station area “in perpetuity” and free maritime access to
    the land through Guantanamo Bay. In exchange, the United
    States agreed to continue to pay the Cuban government an
    annual rent of $2,000, an amount tied to the gold standard that
    was equivalent in the late 1990s to just over US$4,000. The
    main difference was that under the 1934 treaty the United
    States agreed to forego the discretionary right to intervene in
    Cuba’s domestic affairs. The United States also agreed in both
    1901 and 1934 to terminate the lease by the joint consent of
    both governments.
    In terms of its strategic role, Guantanamo serves as a supply
    and logistics base for the United States Navy’s Atlantic Fleet.
    Although the base’s strategic value to the United States has
    declined over the years, it would still likely be a platform for
    operations in the event of war or natural disaster in the Caribbean or Latin America. For more mundane purposes, the
    United States Navy uses the base for exercises and maneuvers,
    the maintenance of United States naval vessels, and the monitoring of Cuban airspace. From time to time, it has also been
    used to temporarily house refugees, including 34,000 Haitian
    refugees in 1991 and many of the 30,000 Cubans who
    attempted to leave the island during the balsero (rafter) crisis in
    the summer of 1994. During 1999, the base was briefly considered as a possible temporary shelter for the estimated 20,000
    Kosovo refugees left homeless as a result of the war. Although it
    serves as a permanent “home” to approximately 1,080 United
    States military personnel and possibly about 2,500 American
    civilian personnel, as well as 300 foreign nationals, the base is
    believed to be capable of providing temporary housing for up
    308 National Security
    to 50,000. Since the 1960s, it has been self-sufficient in terms of
    its water supply and electrical needs. In the late 1990s, approximately 1,000 United States Navy personnel and 640 United
    States Marines were stationed at Guantanamo. The number of
    American personnel stationed there is expected to continue to
    decline over the foreseeable future as a result of ongoing
    efforts to pare military expenditures.
    The base, described by Fidel Castro as a “dagger plunged
    into the heart of Cuban soil,” has remained a point of tension
    in bilateral relations. As a sign of its defiance of the United
    States’ right to use the territory, Castro’s government has
    refused the funds paid annually by the United States Department of the Navy over the past decades under the terms of the
    lease. Beginning in 1961, after President Dwight D. Eisenhower
    broke diplomatic relations with the Castro government, Cuban
    and United States military troops began patrolling opposite
    sides of a twenty-eight-kilometer barb-wire-fenced stretch of the
    perimeter that separates the base from Cuban territory, and
    watchtowers were constructed on both sides. Since then the
    base has remained separated from the rest of the island by
    barbed-wire fencing and a no-man’s-land filled with antipersonnel and antitank mines that are designed as much to keep
    Cubans out of the base as to keep the American personnel
    there isolated. Since the onset of Cuba’s economic crisis in the
    early 1990s, tourists on the Cuban side of the perimeter have
    been able to pay for visits to some of the look-out points used
    by the FAR’s Border Brigade (Brigada de la Frontera) to monitor the base’s activities.
    Despite Cuba’s continuing adamant demand for the departure of American troops from Cuban territory, the tensions
    between Cuba and the United States over the base have been
    reduced in recent years, especially since the bilateral Migratory
    Accords were signed in August 1994 and May 1995 and the
    final Cuban refugees left the base. The accords establish that
    Washington grant 20,000 visas a year to Cubans who wish to
    reside in the United States and that Cubans picked up at sea be
    returned to Cuba, with no reprisals by Cuba. The last time that
    shots were fired by troops stationed on either side of the perimeter was in December 1989. In 1996 the United States began
    removing antipersonnel mines from its side of the no-man’sland that separates the base from the rest of the island; the task
    was completed in 1999. These mines were replaced by motion
    and sound detectors to warn of any incursion onto the base.
    309 Cuba: A Country Study
    The Cubans, on the other hand, have not made public any
    plans to begin de-mining their side of the 1 OO-kilometer perimeter. Rather, the Cuban government maintains that these
    mines are needed for defensive purposes, and will be removed
    only after the United States gives up its base on Cuba’s national
    territory. Thirteen American soldiers and five Cubans have
    been killed by the mines since their installation. Between
    50,000 and 70,000 mines were placed in the no-man’s-land
    between Cuba and the Guantanamo base beginning in 1961.
    The Revolutionary Armed Forces
    By the end of the twentieth century, the profile of the FAR
    had changed significantly from that of only a decade before.
    The change was brought about largely as a result of a change in
    the armed forces’ missions: the abandonment of military
    “internationalism” and the embrace of a new domestic economic role; the loss of the extensive financial assistance and
    training support for the military that was once provided by the
    Soviet Union; and the continuation of the island’s economic
    crisis, also a product of the loss of Soviet support. As a consequence of these changes, the FAR has had to make do with far
    fewer resources, both in terms of getting by on a reduced budget and with reduced manpower, yet all the while attempting to
    maintain itself as a professional military organization.
    In the late 1990s, the FAR was composed of three major
    armed services, as it had been for the past four decades: the
    Revolutionary Army (Ejercito Revolucionario), the aforementioned DAAFAR (Antiaircraft Defense and Revolutionary Air
    Force), and the Revolutionary Navy (Marina de Guerra Revolucionaria-MGR). Of these, the army, as the historical successor
    to the guerrillas’ Rebel Army, is generally recognized as the
    main force; not until 1972 were separate commands established for the DAAFAR and the MGR. All three services are
    under the authority of the MINFAR’s General Staff. At the end
    of 2000, the chief of the MINFAR’s General Staff continued to
    be Division General Alvaro Lopez Miera, also MINFAR vice
    minister. Lopez Miera assumed the General Staff post in late
    1998 on succeeding Division General Ulises Rosales del Toro,
    who, at that time, had only recently been promoted from the
    rank of brigade general (see Ranks, Insignia, and Uniforms,
    this ch.). As General Staff chief, Lopez Miera also serves as the
    commander of the Revolutionary Army. The DAAFAR was
    310 National Security
    commanded by Division General Ruben Martinez Puentes, and
    the MGR, by Vice Admiral Pedro Miguel Perez Betancourt.
    During the course of the 1990s, the FAR’s manpower was
    reduced by more than half from what had been an estimated
    180,500 active-duty troops in 1990. This reduction, with the
    most severe cuts having been carried out between 1993 and
    1995, was the result of efforts to trim expenditures as well as
    adjust to a greatly reduced need for military manpower following the end of the “internationalist” mission. According to the
    London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies
    (IISS), the FAR was composed of 65,000 personnel in 2000.
    This number included an estimated 45,000 members of the
    Revolutionary Army, 10,000 of the DAAFAR, and 5,000 of the
    MGR. The ratio of Cuba’s army in proportion to the island’s
    population dropped from twenty-nine soldiers per 1,000 inhabitants in 1987 to only five soldiers per 1,000 inhabitants in
    1997, based on data compiled by the Stockholm International
    Peace Research Institute. This ratio was comparable on a per
    capita basis to that found in such countries as Colombia,
    Bolivia, Ecuador, and El Salvador. Moreover, the FAR’s present
    force strength is even lower than it was prior to the adoption of
    the military’s “internationalist” mission in the mid-1970s, a
    period when its manpower needs were roughly comparable yet
    its budget was subsidized by Soviet aid. At that time, the FAR
    was able to maintain an active-duty force strength of 120,000
    troops and officers.
    These regular military forces under the FAR’s command,
    which include conscripts and activated reservists, are supported by yet other organizations that are assigned duties
    related to defense and the maintenance of internal order. Of
    these, the EJT (Youth Labor Army) and the Territorial Troops
    Militia (Milicias de Tropas Territoriales-MTT) are the most
    important. The members of the EJT are primarily engaged in
    agriculture and military construction projects. The MTT consists of civilian volunteers who are trained and led by the members of the regular military. A Civil Defense (Defensa Civil)
    force, also made up of civilians and led by military officers,
    rounds out the nation’s defense organization (see Territorial
    Troops Militia; Civil Defense, this ch.).
    The FAR’s two main missions in the late 1990s consisted of
    providing for the island’s external defense and the maintenance ofinternal order. These have remained the FAR’s principal missions since the beginning of the Revolution. In 1976 the
    311 Cuba: A Country Study
    FAR’s “internationalist” mission was added, which provided a
    basis for the military’s deployment of troops to foreign combat.
    However, after the return home of the last “internationalist”
    forces in 1991, the sixteen-year “internationalist” mission was
    replaced with a new charge for the military to help the ailing
    economy. During the course of the 1990s, this newest mission
    led to the FAR’s expanded activities in the economic sphere
    that extend from the military’s role in agricultural production,
    to manufacturing, and even to providing services for the burgeoning tourism industry.
    Doctrine of the War of All the People
    The military doctrine that guides the FAR in the execution
    of its traditional defense-related missions is known as the War
    ofAll the People (Guerra de Todo el Pueblo-GTP). This doctrine has been in force since the early 1980s, around the time
    that the MTT was established. The GTP centers on the key role
    assigned to the Cuban population in helping defend the island
    in the event of an attack. Its objective is to deter such an attack
    by so raising the costs for an invader, in terms of the casualties
    inflicted, that the action is deemed unacceptable. The doctrine
    is built around the defense-related duties assigned to the members of the MTT, who would be armed in order to support the
    regular armed forces. Under this doctrine, the country’s entire
    population has been organized into defense zones, which exist
    at the local and provincial level and which are presided over by
    the National Defense Council. In the event of a crisis, the local
    defense zones and the militia would be mobilized and their
    command taken over by the armed forces. In the Cubans’
    defensive strategy, the regular military is conceived of as only a
    “professional vanguard” of the mobilized citizenry, and any
    ensuing struggle would be waged by means of conventional
    warfare as well as unconventional or guerrilla warfare. The
    regime’s ability to rely on an armed population for the island’s
    defense, at least rhetorically, has helped to compensate slightly
    for the loss of capabilities, especially in terms of diminished
    manpower, that the FAR has suffered since the early 1990s.
    Territorial Troops Militia
    The Territorial Troops Militia (Milicias de Tropas Territoriales-MTT), a body composed exclusively of civilian volunteers, was established on May 1, 1980, and placed under the
    command of the MINF AR. Its creation is recognized as having
    312 A fire station in Old Havana, 1999
    Courtesy National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Washington
    marked the beginning of Cuba’s official embrace of the military doctrine of the War of All the People, which has remained
    in force since then. Like the MNR (National Revolutionary
    Militia) of the early 1960s, the MTT’s formation reinforced the
    notion of the popular will to defend the Revolution.
    Most members of the MTT are women, the elderly, or retirees. Male teenagers who are too young or have not yet been
    called for military service are also eligible to join the MTT, as
    are men who are not obligated to serve as reservists. The MTT
    expanded from 500,000 members in 1982 to l.2 million by
    mid-1984. The size of the force has remained at about 1 million, despite the economic crisis.
    The MTT’s mission during a crisis would be to fight alongside, and provide replacements for, the personnel of the regular armed force; to help protect such strategic infrastructure as
    bridges, highways, and railroads; and to carry out any other
    measures that might be needed to immobilize, wear down, or
    ultimately destroy the enemy. By the beginning of the 1980s,
    MTT members were extensively involved in the construction of
    tunnels throughout the island, which would be used as shelter
    for the population in the event of an attack. As a result of
    Cuba’s continuing economic difficulties during the 1990s, the
    time that MTT members have spent in training and preparing
    for their various defense-related activities has been reduced.
    The reduction includes a decrease in the time that MTT mem313 Cuba: A Country Study
    bers have spent in carrying out joint exercises and maneuvers
    with regular FAR troops. .
    The MTT is supported through the MINFAR’s budget as well
    as through “voluntary” donations made by citizens. Most of
    these donations come from workplace contributions, which are
    paid through weekly deductions from workers’ salaries. According to the MINFAR, between 1981 and 1995, the expenses
    incurred for the MTT’s training averaged approximately 35
    million Cuban pesos (for value of peso, see Glossary) per year.
    During this same period, popular contributions toward the
    force averaged about 30 million pesos per year. Just over half of
    the training expenditures went toward the purchase of study
    supplies and other training materials; just over one-third were
    dedicated for the purchase of weapons, communication equipment, uniforms, and spare parts. Other organizations also set
    annual funding goals with respect to their own MTT contributions. Among such organizations were the CDR (Committee
    for the Defense of the Revolution), the Federation of Cuban
    Women (Federaci6n de Mujeres Cubanas-FMC), the
    National Association of Small Farmers (Asociaci6n Nacional de
    Agricultores Pequenos-ANAP), and even the Organization of
    Jose Marti Pioneers (Organizaci6n de PionerosJose MartiOPJM).
    According to reforms for allocating MTT funds made in the
    system in 1995, the funds collected for the MTT are no longer
    sent to a central government account but remain within each
    municipality to support local MTT activities. Despite the country’s economic hardships, the amount of funds collected
    through popular contributions to the MTT continued to
    increase after the beginning of the Special Period in the early
    1990s. As of 1995, the MINFAR was paying only 14 percent of
    the MTT’s total expenditures.
    Civil Defense
    Civil Defense was organized in 1966, following the disbandment of the Popular Defense Force, which was the immediate
    successor to the MNR (National Revolutionary Militias), after
    the MNR’s dissolution in 1963. The mission of the civilianbased Civil Defense, which falls under the command of the
    MINFAR, is, in some respects, similar to that of the MTT, as the
    militia’s modern incarnation. During a national crisis or wartime, Civil Defense members would be responsible for helping
    provide for local defense and rear-area security.
    314 National Security
    Civil Defense’s more routine duties, however, are to aid the
    civilian population and help protect economic resources in the
    event of a peacetime disaster. In practice this has most often
    meant that the force has been active in helping safeguard the
    population and property, including livestock, when the island
    has been threatened or hit by hurricanes or affected by other
    natural disasters, such as droughts or earthquakes. In 1999
    Civil Defense had an estimated 50,000 members, including
    both men and women. Members are often PCC members or
    local government officials and are active in their local defense
    zones. Civil Defense units are often organized at schools as well
    as at workplaces.
    Revolutionary Army
    In 1999 the Revolutionary Army (Ejercito Revolucionario)
    represented approximately 70 percent of Cuba’s regular military manpower. According to the IISS, the Army’s estimated
    45,000 troops included 39,000 members of the Ready Reserves
    who were completing the forty-five days of annual active-duty
    service necessary for maintaining their status, as well as conscripts who were fulfilling their military service requirement.
    These personnel were under the command of one of three territorial armies, which are under the authority of the FAR’s General Staff. These commands roughly divide the island into
    thirds, corresponding with territory under either the Western,
    Central, or Eastern Armies. Since 1993 the commands have
    been unified, with the units of the DAAFAR and MGR having
    been brought under the operational control of the territorial
    army chiefs. By the beginning of the 1990s, the Isla de laJuventud Military Region-which was established in 1962 and in the
    1980s was an independent command, with a single infantry
    division-had been brought under the authority of the Western Army.
    The Western Army, organized in 1970, is the largest of the
    three territorial commands, and is generally considered the
    most strategically important because its troops are responsible
    for the defense of the nation’s capital as well as Cuba’s most
    important military installations. In addition to the Isla de la
    Juventud, the territory under the Western Army includes the
    provinces of Pinar del Rio, La Habana, and Ciudad de La
    Habana, where its headquarters is shared with the MINFAR.
    The Western Army is also thought to be subdivided into three
    army corps-the Havana Eastern Corps, the Havana Western
    315 Cuba: A Country Study
    Corps, and the Pinar del Rio Corps-plus the Isla de la Juventud Military Region. Since 1989 the Western Army has been led
    by Division General Leopoldo “Polo” Cintra Frias, a Politburo
    member, former commander of Cuban forces in Angola, and
    Hero of the Republic. Each of the provinces under the Western
    Army’s command has its own general staff. This organizational
    pattern at the provincial level is replicated in the Central and
    Eastern Armies.
    The Central Army was established in April 1961, only thirteen days before the Bay of Pigs landing at Playa Giron in the
    province of Matanzas. In addition to Matanzas, the provinces
    under the Central Army’s command include Cienfuegos, Santa
    Clara, and Sancti Spiritus. Its headquarters is in Santa Clara,
    the capital ofVilla Clara Province. The Central Army is further
    subdivided into three army corps, consisting of the Matanzas
    Corps, the Central Corps (which has command over troops stationed in Villa Clara, Ci~nfuegos, and Sancti Spiritus provinces), and the Ciego de Avila Corps. In 1999 the chief of the
    Central Army was Division GeneralJoaquin Quintas Sola, who
    has held that post since 1984.
    The Eastern Army, established in April 1961, held command
    over personnel stationed in the provinces of Camagiiey, Las
    Tunas, Holguin, Granma, Santiago de Cuba, and Guancinamo
    from its headquarters in Santiago de Cuba. In 1999 the chief of
    the Eastern Army was Division General Ramon Espinosa Martin, who has held that command for the past fifteen years. The
    Eastern Army is also organized into three army corps, consisting of the Camagiiey, the Northern, and the Southern Army
    Corps. The Northern Army Corps had authority over troops in
    the provinces of Las Tunas and Holguin. The Southern Army
    Corps had command over units deployed in the provinces of
    Granma, Santiago de Cuba, and Guancinamo. Also under the
    Eastern Army’s command is the elite Border Brigade (Brigada
    de la Frontera), which maintains watch over the United States
    Naval Station at Guantanamo Bay (see The United States Naval
    Station at Guancinamo Bay, this ch.).
    The IISS reported in 1999 that the army’s troop formations
    consisted of four to five armored brigades; nine mechanized
    infantry brigades; an airborne brigade; fourteen reserve brigades; and the Border Brigade. In addition, there is an air
    defense artillery regiment and a surface-to-air missile brigade.
    Each of the three territorial armies is believed to be assigned at
    least one armored brigade-usually attached to the army’s
    316 A Cuban army colonel inspects an infantry squad and tank crew on
    April 17, 1993.
    A front-side view ofa BMP-1 armored infantry fighting vehicle at
    Battalion 2721 in SanJose de las Lajas,January 1998
    Courtesy National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Washington
    317 Cuba: A Country Study
    headquarters-as well as a mechanized infantry brigade. As
    well, it is known that the Border Brigade in Guantanamo and at
    least one ground artillery regiment (attached to a mechanized
    infantry brigade), based in Las Tunas, are under the Eastern
    Army’s command. Unfortunately, there is relatively little public
    information available with respect to the organization of the
    ground forces within the three armies, let alone the equipment
    that pertains to each of these commands (see table 19, Major
    Army Equipment, 1999, Appendix). Nevertheless, the Western
    Army is known to have the greatest priority for the FAR leadership, and is also likely to be assigned the most personnel and
    the most equipment; this would be followed, according to
    defense priorities, by the Eastern Army, and, lastly, by the Central Army.
    Assessing the situation of Cuba’s ground forces has been further complicated by the leadership’s decision to put into storage three-fourths of the FAR’s equipment. The mothballing of
    so much of the military’s equipment began with the onset of
    the economic crisis in the early 1990s, and was prompted by
    the lack of spare and replacement parts for the Soviet-era materiel as well as the shortage of the hard currency needed to pay
    for the fuel for training and exercises. Much of this equipment
    is stored in tunnels and caves throughout the island, but it is
    not thought to be withstanding well the island’s tropical environment. Especially vulnerable are the equipment and weaponry that rely on more sophisticated technology. According to
    the United States Department of Defense’s 1998 report entitled, “The Cuban Threat to U.S. National Security,” the mothballed materiel would not be available for defense on short
    notice. The same report also concludes that, owing to severely
    reduced training, the ground forces’ overall state of readiness
    is low and notes that the FAR generally is not capable of mounting effective operations above the battalion level.
    The Cuban military has long maintained its own secret base
    for intercepting electronic communications. Operated by the
    FAR’s Electronic Warfare Battalion, this smaller, relatively
    unknown base is located at El Wajay, 14.5 kilometers southwest
    of Havana, near the Russian operation at Lourdes. Although
    not as powerful as the Russian facility, the Cuban military’s signals intelligence (SIGINT) facility is thought to be capable of
    monitoring telephone and radio signals at least as far away as
    Florida. The Electronic Warfare Battalion reportedly has the
    318 National Security
    equipment necessary to jam United States communications,
    but is not thought to have used it for this end.
    Antiaircraft Defense and Revolutionary Air Force
    The Antiaircraft Defense and Revolutionary Air Force
    (Defensa Antiaerea y Fuerza Aerea Revolucionaria-DAAFAR)
    traces its origins to the single aircraft that constituted the guerrillas’ Rebel Air Force in April 1958. It was established as a
    branch of service separate from the Revolutionary Army, with
    its own command structure, in April 1972, a change that was
    likely influenced by the then ongoing efforts by the Soviet
    Union to help professionalize Cuba’s armed forces. The DAAFAR’s responsibilities encompass providing for the nation’s air
    defense as well as tactical and airlift support for the FAR’s
    ground forces. According to the IISS, in 1999 the DAAFAR had
    10,000 personnel, including conscripts, and represented 15
    percent of total regular military manpower.
    The DAAFAR’s territorial commands parallel those of the
    three territorial armies and consist of the Western, Central,
    and Eastern Air Force brigades. In addition, the DAAFAR also
    maintains Air Defense Artillery and Missile Forces. Although
    their locations are not publicly disclosed, it is reasonable to surmise that they are stationed in a position to defend the capital
    of Havana. The major air installations under the command of
    the Western Air Force Brigade include bases at San Julian in
    Pinar del Rio Province and San Antonio de los Banos, as well as
    the Baracoa Air Base and the Jose MartI International Airport
    in La Habana Province. Under the Central Brigade are air
    bases at Giiines, Matanzas; Cienfuegos, Cienfuegos; Santa
    Clara, Villa Clara; and Sancti SpIritus, Sancti SpIritus. The
    Western Brigade maintains its key installations at the provincial
    capitals of Camagiiey, Holguin, and Santiago de Cuba in the
    respective provinces of Camagiiey, Holguin, and Santiago de
    Cuba. Of all these, the base at San Antonio de los Banos is considered to be the military’S most important airport. It is the
    only airport that, as of the early 1990s, had three airstrips, one
    ofwhich was 4,000 meters in length.
    The operational readiness and effectiveness of the DAAFAR
    have been severely compromised by the economic crisis and
    the loss of Soviet aid. Although Cuba is formally acknowledged
    as having one of the better equipped air forces in Latin America, consisting of several hundred combat aircraft and armed
    helicopters, the reality is that, by the late 1990s, a significant
    319 Cuba: A Country Study
    part of the fleet was no longer deemed operational (see table
    20, Appendix). To become more self-sufficient, the DAAFAR’s .
    Research and Development Center is also seeking to build its
    own aircraft, such as the AC-001 multi-use “Comas” planes that
    were first produced at the Yuri Gargarin Military Industrial
    Enterprise in 1992.
    The United States Department of Defense estimated in 1998
    that fewer than two dozen of the DAAFAR’s MiGs remain operational. Despite the access to spare parts established by an
    accord with the Russians as rent for the signals intelligence
    facility at Lourdes, which is located south of Havana in La
    Habana Province, the DAAFAR’s state of readiness is expected
    to continue to worsen. The mothballed equipment continues
    to deteriorate, and pilot training and flight hours, which are
    essential for flying the more sophisticated MiGs in the Cuban
    inventory, remain limited because of the cost offuel.
    Revolutionary Navy
    The Revolutionary Navy (Marina de Guerra Revolucionaria-MGR), which has always been the smallest and least prestigious of the FAR’s three armed services since its establishment
    in August 1963, is the service that has been most severely
    affected by the economic crisis. As of late 2000, it barely managed as an independent force. The MGR’s formal mission has
    traditionally been to provide for shore-based coastal defense as
    well as to conduct offshore naval operations. By the end of the
    1990s, however, the MGR had no major ships that were still seaworthy and no longer was considered to be a blue-water navy. It
    remained capable only of patrolling Cuba’s territorial waters,
    and even that responsibility was shared with the Ministry of
    Interior’s Border Guard Troops (Tropas GuardafronterasTGF).
    In 1999 the IISS estimated that the MGR was composed of
    5,000 personnel, which represented just over 7.5 percent of
    total regular military manpower. Of these 5,000 personnel, an
    estimated 3,000 were conscripts. Another 550 were members of
    the Naval Infantry, a battalion-size force that was created in the
    late 1970s. This force, which was assigned to coastal defense,
    gave the MGR a limited ground combat capability. Although
    the MGR has no reserve force, it would presumably be supplemented by members of the Cuban Merchant Marine in the
    event of a crisis. Naval aviation is a function of the DAAFAR.
    320 National Security
    The MGR’s headquarters is located in Havana. Its operational commands are divided in accordance with the three territorial armies, each of which holds ultimate authority over the
    MGR’s forces within its geographic boundaries. The MGR’s
    western headquarters is believed to be at Cabanas, located
    approximately 48.4 kilometers west of Ciudad de La Habana
    Province on the coast in Pinar del Rio Province; and its eastern
    headquarters, at Holguin, an inland city in the province of the
    same name. The location of the central headquarters-or even
    if the headquarters is still maintained, given the cutbacks-is
    unclear. During the 1990s, the MGR’s principal installations
    were said to include facilities at the Bahia de Cienfuegos, Cienfuegos; the Bahia de Cabanas, Pinar del Rio; the Bahia de
    Mariel, Havana; the Bahia de La Habana, Ciudad de La
    Habana; the Bahia de Matanzas, Matanzas; the Bahia de Nuevitas, Camaguey; and the Bahia de Nipe, Holguin. With the
    exception of that at the Bahia de Cienfuegos, all of these bases
    were located along the northern coast. Some of the installations may have been closed as a result of the continuing cutbacks that were carried out during the course of the 1990s. The
    naval academy was one of the installations closed. Located just
    west of Ciudad de La Habana Province on the northern coast
    at Punta Santa Ana, the MGR’s principal training school was
    converted into a hospital in the 1990s.
    As recently as a decade ago, the MGR counted in its inventory three submarines, which had been delivered by the Soviets
    between 1979 and 1984, and two frigates, the last of which was
    also received in 1984. It was one of the few countries in the
    region to have such an ocean-going fleet (see table 21, Appendix). But by the end of the 1990s, none of these vessels
    remained in operation, and only just over a dozen of the
    MGR’s remaining surface vessels were held to be combat capable. The fast-attack boats that are equipped with Styx (SS-N2B) surface-to-surface antiship missiles provide the MGR with a
    continuing, yet weak, antisurface warfare capability. The MGR’s
    shore-based naval infantry reportedly is armed with approximately fifty Samlet (SSC-2B) and two Styx (SSC-3) surface-tosurface missiles. According to the United States Naval Institute,
    auxiliary ships that remained in operation as late as 1998
    included a replenishment oiler, an intelligence collector, a
    cargo ship, and several hydrographic survey vessels.
    321 Cuba: A Country Study
    Conscription and Personnel Resources
    Until 1991, Cuban men were required to perform three
    years of compulsory military service under the SMO (Obligatory Military Service) system. The three-year obligation had
    been in force since the first Law of Military Service was promulgated in November 1963. In August 1991, however, the Active
    Military Service (Servicio Militar Activo-SMA) requirement
    was reduced to two years, beginning at age sixteen, under the
    General Military Service Law (Ley de Servicio Militar General-SMG), formerly the SMO. Young Cubans usually are not
    called to service until age seventeen.
    The compulsory service duty reflects the interest of the military and Cuban leadership in having a large proportion of the
    island’s population prepared to contribute to the defense of
    the Revolution. By the end of the 1990s, 1. 7 million young
    Cuban men had completed their SMA requirement as conscripts. Since the onset of the economic crisis, Cuban youth
    carrying out such compulsory military service continue to play
    an important role in the military. Although now at reduced
    numbers because of overall cutbacks in military manpower,
    they have become most important in providing a source of
    cheap labor for the MINFAR’s efforts to become a self-sustaining institution.
    In terms of overall personnel resources, in 1999 a total of
    6.08 million Cubans between the ages of fifteen and forty-nine
    were considered to be “available” for military service, according to the Central Intelligence Agency’s WorldFactbook. Of this
    total, only 3.76 million Cubans, or just under two-thirds, were
    judged to be “fit” for military service. In this latter category, 1.9
    million of the Cubans were males and l.86 million were
    females.
    The fulfillment of SMA for conscripts entails their assignment to one of the services of the regular armed forces, to the
    65,000-member E]T (Youth Labor Army), or to the Ministry of
    Interior. Cuban males between the ages of sixteen and fifty are
    required to perform a minimum of two years’ service as an
    active-duty member of one of the country’s security forces, a
    member of the military reserves, or in some combination of
    both forms of service. Young men are required to register
    locally for the draft after reaching their sixteenth birthday, and
    are then issued a certificate that shows they have registered.
    According to population statistics, just under 75,000 young
    Cuban males were becoming eligible for conscription each
    322 The barracks at Battalion 2721 in San Jose de las Lajas,
    La Habana Province, January 1998
    A view of the sleejJing quarters in the Battalion 272 I barrachs
    in San Jose de las Lajas, JanLUlI), 1998
    Courles)l National Image)} and l\1ajJjJing Agen(y, Washington
    323 Cuba: A Country Study
    year during the late 1990s. Induction calls are held twice a year,
    with the youth to be inducted selected by lottery. Young men
    between the ages of sixteen and twenty-eight who have not
    been called for Active Military Service are known as prerecruits
    (prereclutados). During the late 1980s, new draftees received six
    to eight months of basic training before being formally
    inducted into the armed forces. It is likely that the extent and
    nature of the training given draftees in the 1990s were limited
    as a result of the economic crisis.
    Since the end of the FAR’s “internationalist” mission, during
    which tens of thousands of draftees were sent to fight abroad,
    the military’s need for conscripted manpower has fallen markedly. The decreased need was likely one of the considerations
    behind the 1991 decision to reduce the SMA term from three
    to two years, a move that brought the Cuban system more
    closely in line with the military service requirements maintained by other Latin American countries. The official explanation for the reduction was that the overall educational level of
    draftees had so improved over the years that they now needed
    less training. This explanation does not appear to be wholly
    without merit, given that since 1987, graduates of preuniversity
    programs who are drafted are required to perform only one
    year ofservice. In addition, the military maintains policies that
    reflect an interest in supporting the educational accomplishments ofits draftees, as reflected in a provision known as Order
    18. According to this order, youth who were initially not admitted to a university but who distinguish themselves during their
    term of service are given a second opportunity to pursue their
    higher education. By the end of 1998, 14,000 graduates of
    Cuban universities had been beneficiaries of this program.
    Cuban women are not subject to conscription. Mter turning
    sixteen years of age, however, they are eligible to enlist in the
    armed forces under the program known as Voluntary Female
    Military Service (Servicio Militar Voluntario Feminimo), which
    was established in 1986. (Women served in the FAR well before
    that date, however.) Their applications for enlistment are coordinated by the FMC (Federation of Cuban Women), the mass
    organization that has long been headed by Vilma Espin, Raul
    Castro’s wife. During the 1980s, new female volunteers were
    accepted twice a year and signed up for two-year tours of duty,
    in contrast to the five-year commitment that was then required
    of male enlistees. Those who did not reenlist upon completion
    of their tour of duty automatically became members of the
    324 National Security
    FAR’s reserve forces; they were eligible to remain active in the
    reserve until reaching forty years of age.
    Women who enlist in the FAR are formally eligible to ascend
    within the ranks of the armed forces, yet they are believed to
    face limited opportunities for the advanced military education
    that might qualify them for such promotions. At the pre-university level, women were reported to be subject to meeting more
    restrictive entrance requirements than male applicants. At the
    more advanced levels of military education, it was believed that
    the only professional program open to women was that offered
    by the Military Technical Institute (Instituto Tecnico MilitarITM). The prevalence of traditional attitudes regarding sex
    roles also appeared as an impediment to women’s career
    advancement within the armed forces. Between 1986 and early
    1999, more than 18,000 young women had volunteered for military service.
    Men who have completed their Active Military Service automatically pass to the ranks of the reserves, where they are
    expected to continue to train annually until reaching age fifty.
    Reservists are divided into various groups, according to their
    state of readiness and training. The members of the Ready
    Reserves are assigned to army units, serve on active duty for at
    least forty-five days each year, and could reportedly be mobilized on a few hours’ notice. In 1999 these reserve forces numbered approximately 39,000 troops. The next tier consists of
    men who have completed at least one year of Active Military
    Service and could be mobilized on a few days’ notice. The final
    group consists of those who either have not completed a year
    of active service or who were deemed unfit for duty, whether
    for reasons ascribable to their physical condition or political
    unreliability. Members of this last group appear to be “reservists” only in name, and reportedly are not required to undergo
    regular military training.
    Professional Training and Education
    Cuba’s system of military training and education has been
    developed over the decades to support the specialized needs of
    a highly professional military force. These schools and training
    centers are under the authority of a separate directorate within
    the MINFAR. This directorate is dedicated exclusively to overseeing the education system and reports to the FAR General
    Staff. During the late 1970s, as a result of efforts to improve
    educational standards, the upper-level military educational
    325 Cuba: A Country Study
    institutions were granted university status. The extent to which
    these schools, their admission standards, and their curricula
    were affected by the economic crisis of the 1990s and by the
    downsizing of the armed forces is unclear.
    The preparation of potential future members of the armed
    forces may be seen as beginning with the Camilo Cienfuegos
    Military Schools (Escuelas Militares Camilo CienfuegosEMCC), which are open to youth (both males and females)
    between the ages of eleven and seventeen. The first Camilo
    Cienfuegos school was opened in Matanzas in 1966. By the
    1980s, eleven such schools had been established and were
    located throughout the island. Each was under the authority of
    a particular branch of military service, with the army controlling seven of the schools. They offered a five-year course of
    study that was considered comparable to a preuniversity education. Yet in addition to the general curriculum that paralleled
    that offered by civilian schools, the Camilitos-as the school’s
    students are known-were also given introductory classes on
    military tactics, the handling of light weapons, topography,
    chemical defense, and engineering. The students were also
    expected to adhere to military discipline and participate in
    drills. Most students gained admission either through their
    own participation in PCC-related youth organizationsnamely, the OPJM (Organization ofJose Marti Pioneers) or the
    Union ofYoung Communists (Union de Jovenes ComunistasUJC)-or through their parents’ membership in the FAR or
    PCC. The graduates of the EMCC were believed to be given
    preference in admission to the MINFAR’s more advanced
    schools and training programs. The extent to which these
    schools and their curricula were affected by the economic crisis
    of the 1990s remained unclear at the time ofwriting.
    Beyond this level, each branch of the armed forces has, until
    recently, operated its own schools and service academies. The
    exception is the MGR, whose naval academy at Punta Santa
    Ana, near Havana, was closed in the 1990s and converted into a
    hospital. The DAAFAR’s Aviation Pilots Military School
    (Escuela Militar de Pilotos de Aviacion-EMPA) is located at
    the San Julian airbase in western Pinar del Rio Province. During the 1980s, the DAAFAR also operated its own technical
    school, the DAAFAR Technical School (Escuela Tecnica de la
    DAAFAR). The Ministry of Interior also operates separate
    schools for training its personnel.
    326 National Security
    The General Antonio Maceo Joint-Service School (Escuela
    de Cadetes Interarmas General Antonio Maceo-ECAM) has
    traditionally been the Army’s service academy. This school,
    located at Ceiba del Agua, a short distance southeast of the capital, was first opened in 1963. By the 1980s, admission requirements had been stiffened to stipulate that entrants must have a
    minimum of a tenth-grade education and be between the ages
    of fifteen and twenty-one. ECAM’s three- and four-year programs ofstudy emphasize the preparation and training of tactical and technical command officers; the curriculum is
    designed for members of armored and mechanized infantry
    units and for engineering and logistics personnel.
    The Major Camilo Cienfuegos Revolutionary Armed Forces
    Artillery School (Escuela de Artilleria de las FAR Comandante
    Camilo Cienfuegos) was founded in 1963 and is located at La
    Cabana Fortress in Havana harbor. It provides advanced training for field and antiaircraft artillery officers, who upon completion of their studies are awarded a degree in either science
    or engineering. Those admitted to the school’s engineering
    program, which is a five-year course of study, are required to
    have graduated from a preuniversity preparatory school, technical institute, or high school, and must be between the ages of
    seventeen and twenty-one. A four-year program, with similar
    admission requirements, is offered that focuses on preparing
    future officers who will command field and antiaircraft artillery, reconnaissance, and radio-technical units.
    The Military Technical Institute (ITM) , founded in 1966
    and located in Havana, offers the most advanced technical
    training programs available to MINFAR personnel. Unlike the
    other academies, the ITM is open to women. It offers enrollment in either four- or five-year training programs. Those
    admitted to the more stringent five-year program must be graduates of a preuniversity preparatory school and be between the
    ages of seventeen and twenty-one. The five-year program provides for instruction in field artillery, infantry, weapons, tanks,
    and transport; those graduating from the program become
    qualified mechanical engineers. The two four-year programs
    offer training for electromechanical and mechanical technicians. The admission requirements for the four-year courses of
    study are slightly less stringent than for the five-year program.
    So long as an applicant has a minimum tenth-grade education
    and is between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one, he or she is
    eligible for admission. As with the other schools and courses of
    327 Cuba: A Country Study
    study already discussed, the demonstration of political loyalty
    was considered a relevant factor in determining an applicant’s
    qualifications.
    The MINFAR’s senior service school is the General Maximo
    G6mez Revolutionary Armed Forces Academy (Academia de
    las FAR General Maximo G6mez), which was founded in July
    1963 and is located in western La Habana Province. This
    school provides training for middle-to upper-ranking MINFAR
    officers. During the 1980s, attendance at the school became a
    requisite for those hoping to be assigned to the General Staff.
    The school’s curriculum is roughly comparable to that offered
    at advanced officer training schools in the United States, such
    as the United States Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, or the United States Army
    War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.
    During the 1990s, the most advanced institution for military
    education was the National Defense College. This recently
    established college, which was modeled on Canada’s senior
    officer school, offers a curriculum that is roughly comparable
    to that of the United States’ National Defense University at Fort
    McNair in Washington, D.C. Its primary focus, as reflected in
    the curriculum, is on strategic security issues. Although organized mainly for the benefit of senior military professionals,
    some civilians-most ofwhom are government functionariesalso are invited to attend the courses. The faculty of the college
    includes military officials as well as civilian professors. During
    the 1990s, a period when the military became increasingly
    involved in the national economy and was often identified as
    an advocate for further reforms in that arena, the college’s faculty members included civilian economists, some ofwhom also
    favored economic reforms in line with those envisioned by the
    MINFAR’s leaders.
    Ranks, Insignia, and Uniforms
    Since 1976 the MINFAR’s system of military ranks has been
    basically patterned after that used by most Western armed
    forces (see fig. 9; 10). Prior to that time, the system ofranks was
    far from conventional, a factor that complicated relations with
    the Soviet military, which pressed Cuba to carry out such
    changes as part of its professionalization. In about 1998, a
    minor revision to the FAR’s rank insignia was made when chevrons were reintroduced to replace the stars on the insignia of
    junior officers. Two decades earlier, in 1978, the stars had
    328 National Security
    replaced the chevrons. Another minor change, also made in
    1978, was the creation of a new rank, adding the warran t
    officer class for all three services.
    The lack of conventionality in the MINFAR’s system of ranks
    may be traced to the earliest days of the Revolution, and may
    be understood as a gesture that reflected the rebels’ egalitarian
    nature. Following the victory of the Revolution in 1959, this
    unconventionality continued, and the only military ranks recognized were those inherited from the Rebel Army. They consisted of lieutenant, first lieutenant, captain, and major
    (comandante). At that time, three dozen men-nearly all of
    them Rebel Army veterans-held the rank of comandante,
    including Fidel Castro (even though he was clearly recognized
    as the others’ superior).
    Between 1959 and 1973, no sweeping overhauls were carried
    out, but new ranks were gradually introduced. In late 1959, the
    rank of second lieutenant was the first addition to the military
    echelons. Between 1963 and 1973, other new ranks were
    added, including brigade commander, division commander,
    corps commander, army commander, and commander-inchief. First-class officers included the ranks offirst commander,
    commander, and major; and junior officers, the ranks of first
    and second lieutenant and first and second captain.
    In November 1976, Law No. 1315 created the system of
    ranks that remained basically unchanged for the next twentyodd years. These ranks are held by personnel assigned to the
    FAR and by personnel under the Ministry of Interior. Personnel assigned to the Revolutionary Army, the DAAFAR, and the
    Ministry of Interior may have similar rank titles, differentiated
    only by their uniforms and insignia colors. Fidel Castro holds
    the rank of commander in chief; his brother, MINFAR Minister
    Raul Castro, as army general (general de ejircito), is the secondranking officer in the hierarchy of the armed forces. Minister
    of Interior Abelardo Colome Ibarra, as army corps general
    (general de cuerpo de ejircito) , is the third-ranking officer.
    The vice ministerial slots within the MINFAR as well as the
    commands of the FAR’s general staff and of its three territorial
    armies are filled by officers having the rank of division general
    (general de division). The remaining rank at the general officer
    level is that of brigade general (general de brigada).
    First-class officer ranks are composed of, in descending
    order, colonel (coronel), lieutenant colonel (teniente coronel), and
    major (mayor); junior officers’ ranks include captain (caPitan),
    329 ($l
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    ADMIRAL
    UPPER HALF
    VICE
    ADMIRAL ADMIRAL
    Q
    <::l­
    ~
    ~
    g
    ~
    ~ f(l
    ~
    ~
    NOTE-United States equivalents represent ranks of relatively comparable authority and are not necessarily the corresponding ranks for protocol purposes.
    lArmy and air force officers at the rank of colonel and below are distinguished by red piping and light blue piping, respectively, on Iheir rank insignia. Insignia for army and air force
    officers at the rank of brigadier general and above are the same for both services.
    Figure 9. Officer Ranks and Insignia, 1999 —

    CUBAN SOLDADO SARGENTO SARGENTO SOLDADO SARGENTO DE TERCERA SUBOFICIAL PRIMER SUBOFICIAL RANK
    DE PRIMERA I
    DE PRIMERA
    DE SEGUNDA
    ARMY ~
    II
    ~
    • I IJmI 11m
    IJmI


    COMMAND BASIC PRIVATE
    STAFF
    SERGEANT
    U.S. RANK
    SERGEANT MASTER
    PRIVATE CORPORAUSPECIALIST SERGEANT SERGEANT TITLES PRIVATE 1ST CLASS MAJOR SERGEANT 1ST CLASS SERGEANT MAJOR
    CUBAN SOLDADO SARGENTO
    SARGENTO
    SARGENTO
    SOLDADO _…. -_… __….. …… _………….. _.. — …………… _- — -_……….. SUBOFICIAL PRIMER SUBOFICIAL
    RANK
    AIR
    FORCE
    II ~
    lim IJmI
    mm
    U.S. RANK AIRMAN AIRMAN STAFF SENIOR CHIEF AIRMAN
    SERGEANT
    BASIC 1ST CLASS SERGEANT MASTER SERGEANT MASTER SERGEANT TITLES
    CUBAN MARINERO SARGENTO SARGENTO MARINERO SARGENTO DE TERCERA SUBOFICIAL PRIMER SUBOFICIAL RANK DEPRIMERA DE SEGUNDO DE PRIMERA
    NAVY i i
    i i
    I SEAMAN I
    i >­
    ~ s PETIY RANK U.S. SEAMAN PETIV OFFICER SENIOR CHIEF MASTER CHIEF OFFICER I I
    SEAMAN OFFICER PETIV CHIEF PETIV ‘”N TITLES RECRUIT APPRENTICE 3D CLASS 1ST CLASS OFFICER PETIV OFFICER PETIV OFFICER “‘­ 20 CLASS V::
    “” (.)0 ~ “-‘ (.)0 ~.
    …… Figure 10. Enlisted Ranks and Insignia, 1999 \~ Cuba: A Country Study
    first lieutenant (primer teniente), lieutenant (teniente), and second
    lieutenant (subteniente). The noncommissioned ranks of warrant officers and enlisted personnel include, in descending
    order, senior warrant officer (primer subojicial) and warrant
    officer (subojicial), master sergeant (sargento de primera), sergeant first class (sargento de segunda), sergeant (sargento de tercera), private first class (soldado de primera), and private (soldado).
    Establishing comparability for the highest ranks of MGR personnel remains somewhat difficult inasmuch as the Cuban
    rank of almirante (admiral) is the equivalent of the United
    States rank of vice admiral. The MGR rank of vice almirante
    (vice admiral) is comparable to the United States rank of rear
    admiral, upper half. A contra almirante (rear admiral), in turn,
    is comparable to the United States rank of rear admiral, lower
    half (the rank formerly known in the United States Navy as
    commodore). First-class officers include, in descending order,
    the ranks of ship captain (capitan de navio), frigate captain
    (capitan de fragata) , and corvette captain (capitan de corbeta),
    which correspond to the United States ranks of captain, commander, and lieutenant commander, respectively. Junior officers include, in descending order, the ranks of ship lieutenant
    (teniente de navio), which is comparable to the rank oflieutenant
    in the United States Navy, as well as frigate lieutenant (teniente
    de fragata) and corvette lieutenant (teniente de corbeta), which are
    both considered comparable to the single rank of lieutenant
    junior grade in the United States Navy. The rank of ensign
    (alferez) is comparable for both the United States Navy and the
    MGR.
    In terms of noncommissioned personnel in the MGR, the
    most senior rank is that of first sergeant major (primer subojicial), which is comparable to a United States Navy master chief
    petty officer. Confusingly, however, an MGR sergeant major
    (subojicial) corresponds to two United States ranks, senior chief
    petty officer and chief petty officer. The ranks of sergeant are
    divided into three classes: A first sergeant (sargento de primera)
    and second sergeant (sargento de segunda) correspond directly
    to the ranks of petty officer, first and second class, respectively.
    The MGR rank of third sergeant (sargento de tercera) corresponds to the two United States Navy ranks of petty officer,
    third class, and seaman. The ranks of seaman, first class (marinero de primera) and seaman (marinero) in the MGR correspond
    to the United States Navy ranks of seaman apprentice and seaman recruit, respeCtively.
    332. National Security
    With respect to uniforms, the olive-drab fatigues made
    famous by Castro continue to be the standard field uniform for
    the FAR’s ground and air forces. Other uniforms issued to FAR
    personnel include various styles of service, parade, and ceremonial parade uniforms. The parade uniforms of the Revolutionary Army are olive-drab; those of the DAAFAR are blue;
    and those of the MGR are either blue-black, for winter, or
    white, for summer. Notwithstanding changes that might be
    ordered by commanders, summer uniforms are generally worn
    from mid-March through mid-November. In addition, special
    uniforms are also issued. For the ground forces, they include
    paratrooper, chemical warfare, and tanker uniforms. For the
    DAAFAR, special pilot uniforms include an antigravity uniform
    and a pressurized uniform.
    Relations with Russia
    Following the departure of the last Russian troops in 1993,
    the SIGINT facility at Lourdes remained one of the only practical vestiges (apart from the extensive Soviet-origin materiel in
    the FAR’s inventory) of the once-close security relationship
    between Cuba and the former Soviet Union. Nevertheless, it
    provided a reason for continuing regular interaction between
    the leaders of the two countries on issues related to security
    concerns through the remainder of the 1990s. During this
    period, the Lourdes facility was maintained and staffed by Russian intelligence personnel of the Federal Security Service
    (Federal’naya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti-FSB), a successor entity
    to the Soviet-era Committee for State Security (Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopastnosti-KGB). An estimated 810 Russian
    military personnel were in Cuba in 1999.
    Under the first bilateral agreement pertaining to Lourdes
    that was reached in 1993, it was agreed that the facility would
    remain in operation and that “rent” would be paid in the form
    of spare parts for the FAR. At that time, the Russians agreed to
    pay Cuba for the next twenty years for both the Lourdes operation and for a since-closed submarine support facility at Cienfuegos on the southern Cuban coast, but the amount of the
    rent was not set. In March 1995, the agreement finalizing the
    terms for remuneration for Lourdes was signed in Moscow by
    FAR First Vice Minister Division GeneralJulio Casas Regueiro.
    It provided for an annual rent in the range of US$200 million,
    much ofwhich would be in the form of bartered military materials. Although the Russians, owing to their own domestic prob333 Cuba: A Country Study
    lems, had difficulties in providing the Cubans with the
    bartered goods during the first years that followed the agreement’s signing, the supply problems were thought to have been
    resolved by the end of the 1990s.
    According to the Russians, the “listening post” is used to
    monitor compliance with international arms-control agreements. Yet notwithstanding its likely utility in this regard, the
    Lourdes facility also is capable of intercepting and monitoring
    communications along the eastern coast of the United States as
    well as the circum-Caribbean region. Although the Cubans do
    not have access to the “raw” intelligence data obtained by the
    Russians, they are routinely provided intelligence summaries
    on issues that are thought to affect their interests.
    Relations with Other Armed Forces
    The onset of the economic crisis, the end of military “internationalism,” and the loss of Soviet support appeared to bring
    about a heightened awareness within the Cuban armed forces
    with respect to the institution’s potential isolation. As a result,
    the Cuban military’s efforts to build contacts with foreign militaries were stepped up during the 1990s. In terms of other
    countries’ receptivity, the Cuban military’s efforts were aided by
    the end of the Cold War and Fidel Castro’s 1992 declaration
    that Cuba would no longer support revolutionary movements
    abroad.
    The Cuban military has long maintained contacts with the
    armed forces of developing world nations that are considered
    nonaligned or, at least, not ideologically hostile toward the Castro regime. The changed situation of the 1990s, however,
    helped open the way for broader international contacts. The
    Cuban interest in reducing the FAR’s ideological isolation in
    the post-Cold War era spurred its efforts to increase cooperation and regular contacts with other militaries in the Latin
    American region. By mid-decade, these efforts appeared to
    have been somewhat successful. In 1996 Cuba served as host of
    the biennial meeting of Ibero-American Military Academies, a
    gathering whose participants included military officials from
    Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. In this new environment, the Cuban military has also
    sought to build ties and expand cooperation with militaries in
    Canada and Western Europe. Among the latter group of countries with whose militaries the Cubans have been most publicly
    engaged are Britain, France, and, most significantly, Spain,
    334 National Security
    which in 1996 announced its decision to become the first European Union (EU-see Glossary) nation to assign a permanent
    military attache to Havana. The contacts with these European
    countries have included hosting visits of students from their
    military schools as well as conducting discussions on mutual
    concerns and exploring areas of possible future cooperation.
    Despite the importance of Cuba’s renewed military ties with
    Latin America and Europe, perhaps the most important tie
    with a foreign military service to develop since the Soviet
    Union’s demise has been the FAR’s relationship with the Chinese Popular Liberation Army (PLA). On various occasions
    during the 1990s, FAR leaders have traveled to the People’s
    Republic of China (PRC) to meet with military officials; and
    those officials, in turn, have reciprocated in visiting the island.
    In February 1999, the Chinese defense minister and a delegation of military officials paid a three-day visit to Cuba. The
    FAR’s interest in these contacts is believed to stem from the
    desire to have a powerful ally. In addition, the MINFAR leadership’s view-and, in particular, Minister Raul Castro’s viewthat elements of the Chinese model of economic reform may
    be relevant for Cuba also likely contributed to the interest in
    broadening ties with their military colleagues, who during the
    1990s had a prominent role in the Chinese economy. The PLA,
    at the same time, may be recognized to have a geostrategic
    interest with respect to its Cuban ally in the Caribbean, an
    interest that has raised some concerns in the United States. In
    late 1999, for example, Cuban officials were obliged to deny a
    report published by a Miami newspaper that the PRC had
    established a military communications facility on the island.
    Ministry of Interior
    leadership and Organization
    The Ministry of Interior was created in June 1961 and
    charged with maintaining Cuba’s internal security, with responsibilities ranging from counterintelligence to firefighting.
    Between that time and 1989, the Ministry of Interior was often
    pitted against the MINFAR in the bureaucratic competition for
    primacy in ensuring national security. In contrast to the MINFAR, which since its organization has remained under the sole
    authority of Raul Castro, the Ministry ofInterior has been variously headed by Ramiro Valdes Menendez, a Rebel Army veteran and the founder of the ministry, and by Sergio del Valle
    335 Cuba: A Country Study
    Jimenez, also a longtime revolutionary supporter. Perhaps
    owing to his background as a physician, del Valle launched
    rehabilitation programs and efforts to curtail torture. In the
    years immediately preceding the trial involving Division General Arnaldo Ochoa, the ministry’s head was its former first vice
    minister, Division GeneralJose Abrantes Fernandez, who was a
    close associate of Valdes, a trusted aide to Fidel Castro, and
    who had also played a key role in the organization of Cuba’s
    intelligence community, beginning in the early 1960s (see
    Organizational Changes of 1989, this ch.) .
    Following the events of mid-1989 that were associated with
    the Ochoa affair, Abrantes was sentenced to jail. The post of
    minister of interior was then assigned to the second-ranking
    officer in the FAR, Army Corps General Abelardo Colome
    Ibarra, a close associate of Raul Castro. During the ensuing
    months, the top layers of leadership of the ministry’s various
    directorates were purged and their officials replaced by men
    who had a background as loyal officers in the FAR. By the late
    1990s, a few reports suggested that some of the once-purged
    Ministry of Interior officials, mainly those who had had backgrounds in intelligence, were being invited back on a selective
    basis. Nevertheless, some analysts maintained that even a
    decade later the ministry had still not recovered from the
    shake-up that followed the Ochoa affair. As of 1999, Colome
    Ibarra continued to head the ministry and served as its representative on the Council of Ministers (see The Military in the
    Government and the Party, this ch.).
    At the time of the shake-up, the Ministry of Interior was
    organized with six vice ministries, each of which was in turn
    responsible for various directorates and departments. Despite
    some name changes, this basic structure is thought to have
    remained intact since 1989. The most important of the vice
    ministries is that of the first vice minister. The first vice minister
    has authority over a number of key directorates and departments, including the General Directorate of Personal Security
    (Direcci6n General de Seguridad Personal-DGSP), which is
    responsible for safeguarding the life of the Cuban leader; the
    General Directorate of Special Troops (Direcci6n General de
    Tropas Especiales-DGTE); the General Directorate of Border
    Guards (Direcci6n General de Guardafronteras-DGG); the
    Technical Directorate; and the directorates of immigration,
    control, codes (sometimes referred to as the Eighth Director336 National Security
    ate), and weapons. The Central Laboratory of Criminology is
    also under the first vice minister’s jurisdiction.
    The remaining five vice ministries have more specific
    responsibilities. They include the Vice Ministry of Counterintelligence, which is responsible for the Directorate of Counterintelligence (Direcci6n de Contra Inteligencia); the Vice
    Ministry of Intelligence, which oversees the Directorate of
    Intelligence (Direcci6n de Inteligencia-DI); and the Vice
    Ministry of Political Mfairs, which reportedly is jointly subordinate to the head of the PCC Central Committee’s national
    security commission, as well as to the minister of interior. The
    Vice Ministry of Internal Order has authority over the following directorates: National Revolutionary Police, Penitentiary
    Establishments, Prevention and Extinction of Fires, and Identity Cards. Lastly, the Vice Ministry of the Economy is responsible for overseeing the ministry’s administrative functions,
    including planning, budgeting, and exercising inventory control over motor vehicles and warehouses.
    Other ministry subdivisions that are organizationally independent of the vice ministries include the directorates of Cadres, Personnel, and Instruction; Information; and
    International Relations. The ministry’s Secretariat, a body
    established in the 1980s and which maintains the central
    archives, is thought to still be responsible for overseeing the
    aforementioned directorates. In addition to the personnel who
    may be stationed abroad, the ministry also maintains delegations in each provincial capital that work closely with the local
    PCC in helping to carry out the charges of the sundry directorates and departments.
    Special Troops
    The Special Troops (Tropas Especiales) are considered the
    elite of Cuba’s security forces. Under the nominal authority of
    the first vice minister of the Ministry of Interior, they are
    thought to receive their orders directly from Fidel Castro.
    Established in the mid-1960s, the Special Troops consist of two
    battalions made up of an estimated 1,200 highly trained and
    politically reliable personnel. Despite the economic crisis of
    the 1990s, the Special Troops are considered to remain capable
    of executing selected military and internal security missions.
    The Special Troops’ mission is to serve as a highly mobile
    shock force that can provide protection for high-ranking officials, conduct special military operations, and help support
    337 Cuba: A Country Study
    other special security requirements that the leadership might
    have. During the 1980s, several foreign advisers, all of whom
    were from Vietnam, were brought in to aid with the Special
    Troops’ training, especially in survival techniques; in turn the
    Special Troops are also known to have provided training to
    selected foreign forces. Roughly comparable to the United
    States Green Berets or the spetznaz of the former Soviet Union,
    the Special Troops are trained to operate as commando-style
    units. Most members of the force are both parachute- and
    scuba-qualified and trained in the martial arts for hand-to-hand
    combat. In terms of their publicly known operations, members
    of the Special Troops were the surreptitious “advance” forces
    sent by Fidel Castro to Angola in 1975, whose arrival there
    prior to Angolan independence preceded the formal beginning of Cuba’s military involvement in that Mrican conflict.
    Few details are available with respect to the deployment of
    these forces throughout the island. Most personnel belonging
    to the Special Troops are believed to be stationed in or near
    Havana, although at least one unit was reportedly stationed
    near the United States Naval Base at Guantanamo.
    Border Guard Troops
    The Border Guard Troops (Tropas Guardafronteras-TGF)
    are under the authority of the Ministry of Interior’s Directorate
    of Border Guards, an entity that falls under the jurisdiction of
    the first vice minister. In 1999 the TGF had an estimated 6,500
    personnel, as compared with an estimated 3,500 in the late
    1980s. The TGF was originally established under the Ministry
    of Interior in March 1963 as the Department of Coastal and
    Port Vigilance. During the counterrevolutionary campaign of
    the 1960s known as the “fight against bandits,” the members of
    this force engaged in the maritime-oriented “fight against
    pirates.” Their principal mission remains coastal surveillance.
    Correspondingly, they are charged with helping ensure the
    security of the country’s borders, both in preventing unauthorized incursions into Cuban territory and in preventing unauthorized departures by Cubans attempting to leave the island.
    Although responsible primarily for patrolling Cuba’s inland
    waterways, shores, and coastal waters, their members would be
    the first line of defense against any external invading force. Up
    until the significant weakening of Cuba’s naval forces during
    the 1990s, it was expected that the TGF’s forces would fall
    under the operational command of the MGR during a national
    338 A Soviet-built Cuban Foxtrot-class patrol submarine, August 1, 1986
    New Cuban jmtrol boats at the Boqueron jJort facility, August 1992
    Courte.’.), National Imagery and Mapping Agenry, Washington
    339 Cuba: A Country Study
    security crisis. According to a 1996 report, the TGF is thought
    to have at least one antisubmarine unit. The TGF is equipped
    with twenty Soviet-era Zhuk patrol craft as well as various fast
    launches and utility boats. TGF forces also regularly use motorcycles for helping patrol the shoreline as well as canines for
    tracking.
    At the time of the 1994 balsero crisis, the TGF was widely condemned for its role in the sinking of the tugboat 13 de marzo,
    which was carrying Cubans seeking to leave the island illegally.
    As a result of the TGF’s ramming and fire-hosing of the vessel,
    forty-one of the boat’s seventy-two passengers drowned, deaths
    that included women and twenty-three children. Because of
    the international outcry that the incident provoked, the leadership instructed the TGF to no longer use force in preventing
    such departures. .
    During the late 1990s, by contrast, no reports emerged that
    cited significant brutality on the part of the TGF. Rather, in
    helping Cuba comply with the terms of the May 1995 immigration accord signed with the United States, members of the TGF
    are routinely in contact with their counterparts in the United
    States Coast Guard. Their main role is to cooperate in the repatriation ofCuban emigres who are intercepted at sea by United
    States Coast Guard personnel.
    National Revolutionary Police
    The National Revolutionary Police (Polida Nacional Revolucionaria-PNR) fall under the authority of the Vice Ministry of
    Internal Order. As Cuba’s primary uniformed law enforcement
    body, they are responsible for handling routine criminal and
    law enforcement matters and are also occasionally called on by
    other security forces to help with what are deemed to be political matters. The force was established on January 5, 1959, only
    days after the victory of the Revolution, and in the mid-1980s
    numbered 10,000. It is unclear how the size of the force may
    have been affected by the economic crisis of the 1990s.
    The regime’s increased concern over the growing crime
    problem on the island prompted greater attention to the PNR’s
    professional development during the late 1990s. As a result, the
    PNR received improved training, was assigned new French Citroen cruisers to replace the old Soviet-era Ladas, and also was
    provided new, more modern communications equipment. During this period, the presence of the uniformed PNR officers on
    the street was also increased, especially with respect to the
    340 National Security
    patrols, often accompanied by canines, assigned to areas frequented by foreign tourists. According to Cuban officials, the
    increases in security-related government expenditures in 1999
    were largely attributable to the attention dedicated to beefing
    up the country’s police forces.
    During the late 1990s, numerous reports by human rights
    groups also stated that PNR officers routinely assisted the nonuniformed personnel of the DSE in matters related to the activities of Cuban dissidents. On occasion, political detainees have
    been taken to PNR precinct stations, where they have been
    held briefly before being released or transferred to other facilities associated with the DSE. The PNR’s forces have also been
    criticized for failing to act to break up the so-called spontaneous demonstrations that often erupted outside the home of dissidents and others considered to be antagonistic toward the
    regime, such as members of the small yet vocal independent
    press. The participants in these demonstrations, which are
    known as acts ofrepudiation (actos de repudio), are usually members of the officially sanctioned Rapid Response Brigades
    (Brigadas de Respuesta Ripida-BRR) or of the local CDRs.
    The BRR, composed of civilian volunteers, were initially organized in mid-1991 to deal with possible problems that could
    develop in relation to Cuba’s hosting of the Pan-American
    Games in the midst of the then new economic crisis (see
    Human Rights and Political Prisoners, this ch.).
    In addition, to assist the regular police in their increased
    responsibilities in light of Cuba’s tourism boom of the 1990s, a
    new black-bereted force known as the Special Brigade (Brigada
    Especial) was created in 1998. The main role of the Special Brigade has been preventive, often in helping identify and arrest
    the hustlers and pimps who prey on foreign tourists. The force
    members have also worked closely with the PNR in coordinating the neighborhood-based, anticrime groups under the Unified Prevention and Vigilance System (Sistema Unificado de
    Prevenci6n y Vigilancia-SUPV). The SUPV was conceived
    during the early 1990s and placed under the PNR’s supervision
    as part of the effort to stem the surge in economic-related
    crime that accompanied the onset of the crisis and at the same
    time improve vigilance in relation to “antisocial” behavior.
    Intelligence Directorate
    The key organization responsible for Cuba’s foreign intelligence is the Intelligence Directorate (Direcci6n de Inteligen341 Cuba: A Country Study
    cia). Before its name was changed in 1989, this body was long
    known as the General Intelligence Directorate (Direcci6n
    General de Inteligencia-DGI). Prior to the collapse of the
    Soviet Union, the DGI was closely aligned with and organized
    along the lines of the former Soviet Union’s KGB, from which
    it also received training. During the Soviet era, foreign intelligence gained by either organization was occasionally shared.
    The United States and the resident Cuban exile community
    in this country have been the two principal foci of the Intelligence Directorate’s collection and analytical efforts. The collection activities include the infiltration of exile organizations,
    an effort that is relatively easy given the common language and
    culture and the large numbers of exiles resident in the United
    States. Following the February 1996 downing of two aircraft
    piloted by members of the exile organization Brothers to the
    Rescue, it became known that one of the group’s pilots who did
    not fly that day,Juan Pablo Roque, had infiltrated the organization on behalf of the Cuban government. Shortly after the aircraft were shot down, Roque disappeared from his home in
    Florida and resurfaced in Havana. Other United States-based
    groups and paramilitary organizations reportedly targeted by
    the Intelligence Directorate include the Democracy Movement, the Alpha 66, the Democratic National Unity Party
    (Partido de Unidad Nacional Democratico-PUND), and even
    the Latin American Chamber of Commerce.
    Cuban intelligence operatives are believed to have been
    somewhat less successful in other United States penetration
    efforts. On various occasions, members of the Cuban Interests
    Section in Washington, D.C., have been identified as intelligence agents, declared persona non grata, and sent home. In
    September 1998, an extensive effort to penetrate the United
    States government was revealed, when ten Cubans residing in
    Florida were arrested for espionage. Related to these arrests, in
    December 1998, three Cuban diplomats from Cuba’s United
    Nations mission were ordered to leave the United States
    because of their ties to the ten individuals. The Miami spy ring
    was the largest single group of Cubans charged with spying by
    the United States since the Castro government came to power.
    According to the United States Federal Bureau ofInvestigation
    (FBI), the ten arrested were tasked with spying on military
    installations in Florida, including the Boca Chica Naval Air Station, the United States Southern Command, and MacDill Air
    Force Base. 

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