miércoles, 28 de septiembre de 2011

Daniel's Memoirs (First Part): Pablo, CIA Agent

Written by Raul Antonio Capote
To my soul mates, Gerardo, Moises, Raul, Robin, Emilio, these writings are dedicated to them and I hope to pass on the readers the feeling, commitment, simplicity, and bravery that characterize them.

The Great Friend, (alias used by Rene Greenwald), got home cheerful, optimistic, and a lot more confident, we have been working together and communicating for a while. Our work had brought us close, he was, as he manifested, very happy with the results obtained, the information you send is very useful and I assure you it’s going into the right hands. He assured. 

He unfolded, on a small table to serve the coffee, a sheet of paper, and ordered, write there your opinion on Independent Libraries, I wrote a few paragraphs not much different from mi usual approach on those ready-made groups, as I was about to sign it he said, don't put your name, sign as Pablo, from now on you will be Pablo for us. 
That day meeting concluded a working period, during those years, many things had changed in my life, I met extraordinary people, town people, humble people, unconditional revolutionaries, and I dealt with unscrupulous people, traitors, mercenaries, messengers, and agents of the empire. Many well-planned strategies by the opponent stayed on papers, the attempt of using writers and artists against the Revolution returned setback after setback, our students, the young workers, women, the main objectives of those plans, went on with their lives confident and sure, the idea of plunging the country in chaos, the defeat, the servility, the lethargy, the banality, was defeated, feeling you were part, although small of that battle gave strength in the tough moments, and these were not scarce. 

I had the chance of mingling with individuals who came from the United States with dissimilar objectives, the visits were frequent, to train me in the use of programs to encrypt the information, elaboration courses, and assessment of projects, collection of information on the terrain, testing of communication devices, delivery of office materials, laptops, cell phones, printers, photocopiers, CDs, DVDs, flash drives, money, clothes, food, medications. 

Sometimes I accompanied them in trips through the island, carried out to deliver devices, money, and other materials to their most outstanding servants, to collect information, and take advantage of the trip to teach me in different tasks I should complete, to exchange approaches and plan new actions. 

After the second visit of GF (the Great Friend) all that got multiplied, it was entering a new phase, the tasks and missions got complicated. When through direct orders of the CIA I returned to my work in the University, to the new oriented tasks needed to be added the tasks of the University, a demanding and responsible work, to which I had to dedicate many hours of preparation, all those a university professor needs to give a class up to the standard. It was a harsh return my reputation was very low and only the idea of helping a bit which has marked the country’s actions, allowed me, expelled from the center, to have a second chance. 

I felt immensely happy in the classrooms, of course the return it would not be a walk in the park, I ended up at a University Branch far from my house, in Boyeros Municipality. Sometimes I finished at 5 a.m. the work with the enemy and at 8 o'clock I had to be at the classroom to deliver a class, the preparation time decreased to zero and many times I had to make up the most incredible stories to justify absences or delays which were luckily just a few or to justify the trips to provinces that always lasted several days. 

The love of students, the importance of the task I was fulfilling were the spurs in times of possible weakness or fatigue. I had the opportunity to finish the master degree in Contemporary History and International Relationships which I had left unfinished. The University of Havana is a demanding institution, like any other prestigious university worldwide, and I was a "careless" professor who had stopped completing the activities necessary to graduate, despite that I got help to attain the degree I wanted. 

The return to the University was seen as a success by the enemy, I was the object of best wishes from Washington and orientations of trying to get "promoted" into senior positions within the University, mainly in the area of University extension, with me they were able to place a professor in a field that was essential and strategic to them. 
That evening after signing with the new name, baptized by BF as Pablo, one of the apostles. The BF said, this a dangerous, but soothing work, you will become part of a great family, are you willing to enter our organization?, when I answered affirmatively, we stood up, it was a solemn moment, I remember another one completely different, when I became Daniel for the Security of the State Organization, back then we spoke of commitment, sacrifices, we sang the national anthem, there was the flag, now it was Pablo for the CIA and we were speaking of money, how much I was going to earn in a few years, of the future in the U.S. with a great life at the American Way of life. Rene pulled a few beers from a plastic bag; he opened them and proposed a toast. 

I was looking at an old and experienced officer of the Agency, an old timer. A man boasting about his lack of ideology, of soft appearance for those who didn’t know him, but extremely harsh , disciplined, and demanding, extremely distrustful, very skillful in hiding emotions and in favor of the hard line against Cuba, in a later exchange we had, because of a trip we gave together to Sancti Spiritus and regarding the events in Honduras, where military forces had just given a coup-d’état, he said the military’s big mistake was to let Zelaya alive, they had to have disappeared him he asserted. He was unusually talkative in that trip, he spoke of his experience in Salvador and his relationship with one of the FMLN leaders, of how he had even facilitated that man's medical care and stay in his house, he told me about the war and the work of Salvadoran paramilitary troops against the subversion. 

In that second trip he also asked me to gather all the possible information regarding education in Cuba, mainly primary and secondary schools, agendas, study plans, the teachers' and students’ schedules, quality of teaching, the professionalism of professors. He asked me to focus on the daily routine of schools, he wanted me to collect the teachers' and students’ opinions, their degree of dissatisfaction with the education system, the parents' opinion on the fact that in Cuba there are not more options than the state education and about the quality of the teaching their children receive at schools. That information was very important and he needed thoroughness in the analysis.
Among his plans was to organize competitions of rap music for the youths and reward those works that best reflected the Cuban reality, he even brought computer software for DJs. He also wanted to summon Literary contests, I told him that could be in contradiction with the Heraldo, a contest organized by the Independent Libraries and whose main collaborator Gisela Delgado Sablon was the main organizer, but he stuck to her guns, he thought necessary to make the biggest number of those events throughout the country, he boasted about the resources he had to finance these projects. 

I told him that wasn’t the line I planned to follow, he agreed, he rectified and he said it was a consultation he was doing, so he asked me to advice him on who could carry out those tasks, we have thought, he added, of even creating a rap or reggaeton agency and support the groups or singers of that genre who manifested through their music the issues of the Cuban youth on what was going on in their country. 

We finished the toast that night having dinner in a Paladar near the house, where the nice touch was added by the owner, with that extroversion characteristic of our Creole idiosyncrasy, when she saw us arrive and after the courtesy greetings she asked “Do you live nearby? I said yes just a few meters away, ah, I have seen the gentleman here before, he ate here two days ago, but it’s the first time I see you, Rene went pale, he was supposed to have just recently returned to the island that day.

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