Cuba: US diplomats funnel money to dissidents
Cuba on Monday
accused Michael Parmly, the head of the US Interests Section (USINT) in Havana, and other US diplomats of acting like "vulgar couriers," charging they
were handing over money sent by Miami-based emigre groups to dissidents on the
communistg- ruled island.
Santiago Alvarez Fernandez-Magrina - an activist against the government formerly led by Fidel Castro and now headed by his brother Raul Castro - was singled out as the main contact.
He is currently in prison in the United States for illegal possession of firearms and has been labelled a terrorist by Cuban authorities.
"From his comfortable prison, he manages to send money and material assistance to mercenaries in Cuba, with the support of USINT boss Mr Michael Parmly," Josefina Vidal, head of the North American Department at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, said in a press conference in Havana.
Manuel Hevia - director of Cuba's Centre for Historical Investigation on State Security - was also present.
Hevia showed e-mail exchanges and fragments of phone conversations that he said constitute "irrefutable evidence" of the involvement of Parmly and other diplomats as "envoys" for the transfer of money between alleged terrorists settled on North American territory and counterrevolutionaries in Cuba.
According to Cuban officials, the e-mails show ties between dissident Martha Beatriz Roque and Alvarez Fernandez-Magrina, through the Miami-based organization Fundacion Rescate Juridico. The foundation is also said to have given money to dissidents Laura Pollan and Jorge Luis Garcia.
The "profound and well-documented investigation" shows the "open interference of the United States government in Cuba's internal affairs," Vidal stressed.
Cuba describes dissidents within its borders as counterrevolutionaries or mercenaries in the service of countries like the United States.
The authorities in Havana accuse Santiago Alvarez Fernandez- Magrina of carrying out "pirate attacks" in the 1960s and 1970s, and of having taken part in an attempt to murder Cuban leader Fidel Castro during an international summit in Panama in 2000, among others, dpa reported.