Ana Belén Montes has been released from federal prison. The most notorious spy for Cuba’s communist regime in American history is now free. Sadly, the people she used as an excuse to betray her own nation remain anything but.
Not many Americans have heard of Montes or know her story. She was a U.S. citizen working in the Department of Justice when agents of the Castro brothers recruited her to be a spy. Montes betrayed our nation, but not for money. In fact, she never received payment for any of her actions––astonishingly, she was motivated purely by hatred for America.
Montes rose through the ranks in the federal government and eventually became the leading Cuba analyst in the Defense Intelligence Agency. She was known as the “Queen of Cuba.” Little did anyone know how accurate that title was. While she appeared to be working for the U.S. government, she actually did the bidding of the Cuban regime.
Montes was no harmless informant. Her leaks broke the cover of 450 American agents working in Latin America and may have led to the death of Gregory A. Fronius, an Army Green Beret, in El Salvador. In 1996, her information also enabled the Castros to shoot down two U.S. planes carrying the heroes of Brothers to the Rescue, a pro-democracy activist group founded by Cuban exiles and operated by civilians.
Montes also sabotaged a top-secret satellite program, whose content was so sensitive that it could not be used in her trial. New reporting also reveals that Montes was willing to undermine the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, even if it meant the death of her fellow Americans. When the FBI confronted her about her disregard for soldiers’ lives, she coldly said, “That’s the risk they took.”
That heartlessness is only matched by Montes’s blindness. After her arrest, she told the CIA that she became a spy because she felt “a duty to protect Cuba from its neighbor up north.” But her treason against the U.S. accomplished nothing for the Cuban people. On the contrary, by helping the criminal Castro regime, Montes strengthened the Cuban people’s worst enemy.
Dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel, who succeeded Raúl Castro in 2018, wields power at the expense of the Cuban people. He and his thugs care only about themselves and are willing to censor, repress, torture, or kill anyone who dares to question their authority.
That was always the case with the regime, but the last year-and-a-half have made it painfully obvious. In response to the anti-government protests that erupted across the island on July 11, 2021, Díaz-Canel has unjustly detained hundreds of ordinary men, women, and children. He now holds more than 1,000 political prisoners––and that number will only grow in the coming months.
Together with the regime’s incompetence and socialist policies, this tyranny has prompted a total economic collapse and a mass exodus from the island’s shores. The Obama-era holdovers in the Biden Administration, who are often regime sympathizers and apologists, should remember these facts the next time they attempt to defend Marxist governments in Latin America.
They should also remember that the regime is still actively working to undermine the U.S. and our interests worldwide. After all, Montes was not the first spy to sell out her country on communism’s behalf, and she is unlikely to be the last. The Cuban regime may not have the technological or electronic capabilities of the Kremlin or the Chinese Communist Party, but they are among the best in the world at using human beings to infiltrate and divide their enemies.
The Cuban regime and its agents remain a serious threat to our government, our regional allies, and our national interests. That is why the Biden Administration must stop appeasing Marxists in Latin America. And that is why Americans should remember Ana Belén Montes, even though she has served her time in prison. If we forget her story, it is sure to repeat itself.
Senador por Florida