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Insidecostarica.com - San Josť, Costa Rica  -  Monday 19 September  2005

 

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  Book Says Castro Tried to Get More Missiles



Book Says Castro Tried to Get More Missiles
Busy agency: The author details KGB activities throughout the world in 1960s and '70s
By Juan O. Tamayo, Knight Ridder News Service

Nineteen years after the Cuban missile crisis nearly sparked a nuclear war, Fidel Castro asked the Soviet Union to redeploy atomic weapons to his island, says a new book based on reports by Moscow's KGB intelligence agency.

The book, based on documents revealed by KGB archivist Vasili Mitrokhin when he defected in 1992, makes other bombshell allegations as it tracks KGB operations around the Third World in the 1960s and '70s:

- The KGB documents record actual and proposed payments to Chile's Salvador Allende totaling $420,000 both before and after his election as president in 1970.

- Costa Rica's Jose ''Pepe'' Figueres received $300,000 from the KGB for his 1970 presidential campaign and $10,000 afterward.

- Carlos Fonseca, founder of Nicaragua's Sandinista National Liberation Front, was ''a trusted KGB agent'' code-named GIDROLOG.

- Nicaraguan Manuel Andara y Ubeda was a KGB agent who led a group of Sandinistas tasked by Moscow in the late 1960s to scope out the U.S. border with Mexico for possible targets for KGB sabotage teams.

- The KGB ''trained and financed'' the Sandinistas who seized the National Palace in Managua and dozens of hostages in 1978. A senior KGB official was briefed on the plan on the eve of the raid, led by Eden Pastora, aka Comandante Zero.

Pastora could not be reached for comment, though the book does not refer to him as a KGB agent. All the agents identified by name in the book are now dead.

Mitrokhin and respected British historian Christopher Andrew first collaborated on a 1999 book about KGB operations against the United States and Europe now regarded by intelligence experts as the definitive work on the topic.

Their new book, The World Was Going Our Way: The KGB and the Battle for the Third World, covers KGB operations in Latin America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa - the Third World that Moscow believed it could come to dominate after Castro embraced communism and became a beacon for leftists worldwide.
Its most startling revelation about Cuba is that Castro, concerned that President Ronald Reagan was planning to attack him in 1981, urged a senior Soviet army general visiting Havana to reject the deployment of U.S. cruise missiles to Europe.

''Castro made the extraordinary proposal that, if the deployment went ahead, Moscow should seriously reconsider re-establishing the nuclear missile bases in Cuba dismantled after the missile crisis 19 years earlier,'' it says. The book does not elaborate or record the Soviets' reaction.

Only about 130 of the book's 677 pages are devoted to Latin America.

 



 



 

 
   

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