Havana Cuba Business Travel Culture and Politics

Havana Cuba News

Cuba Politics News

Posted June 05, 2009 by publisher in Castro's Cuba

Email this article | Print this article | Search Havana Journal        

By Andy Sullivan | Reuters

A former U.S. State Department official and his wife have been arrested for spying for the Cuban government for nearly 30 years, the Justice Department said on Friday.

Walter Kendall Myers, 72, aided by his wife Gwendolyn Myers, 71, used his Top Secret security clearance to pass on classified information to the Cuban government and at one point met with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, according to court documents.

The two were charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government and to communicate classified information to Cuba, the Justice Department said. They were also charged with wire fraud and acting as illegal agents.

They face up to 35 years in prison. The two pleaded not guilty and will be held until a detention hearing on Wednesday, a Justice Department official said.

A lawyer representing the couple declined to comment.

The arrests come as the United States and Cuba have offered glimmers of hope that they might be ready to end years of hostility. In mid-April, President Barack Obama pledged a “new beginning” with Cuba after modestly easing the 47-year-old U.S. trade embargo against Havana.

The Cuban government had no immediate reaction.

According to court documents, the two were recruited in 1979 by a Cuban official who directed Kendall Myers to pursue a job at either the State Department or the CIA.

Myers worked part-time at the State Department since 1977 and joined full-time in 1985, eventually working his way up to a position of senior analyst specializing in intelligence analysis on European matters.

With a Top Secret/SCI security clearance, he had daily access to classified information and viewed more than 200 intelligence reports about Cuba, according to the affidavit.

He retired in 2007.

Gwendolyn Myers worked at a bank. The two received messages from the Cuban government via shortwave radio and hand-passed messages, and typically passed their responses to handlers by hand.

Gwendolyn Myers said her favorite way to pass information was by swapping carts at a grocery story, according to the affidavit filed by an FBI agent.

A Justice Department official said they were motivated by a desire to help the Cuban government, not money. They traveled occasionally to Cuba and other locations across Latin America to meet with their handlers, and met Castro in 1995.

Kendall Myers told an undercover FBI source posing as a Cuban intelligence officer he had received “lots of medals” from the Cuban government. The undercover operation began in April. 

In meetings with the FBI source, who at one point offered Kendall Myers a cigar, the couple allegedly agreed to provide information on the April 17-19, 2009 Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago, according to court documents.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ordered a damage assessment and a review of the department’s security procedures, the State Department said.

(Additional reporting by James Vicini and Arshad Mohammed in Washington and Tom Brown in Havana)

  1. Follow up post #1 added on June 05, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Let’s wait for Fidel to release a statement saying how

    1. These people are liars set up by the US government to make Fidel Castro look bad.

    2. Like the Cuban Five, heros of Cuba fighting against the hostile US empire.

    3. An apology from Fidel Castro admitting he was wrong to recruit spies for Cuba.

    Which statement do you think Fidel will release?



    Cuba consulting services

  2. Follow up post #2 added on June 06, 2009 by paul

    Pipefitter and Lippman are somewhere weeping that their comrades got nabbed.


  3. Follow up post #3 added on June 06, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    This article about the Cuban spies has a lot more information about the details of the spying by the Cuban agents.

    They are screwed!

    They visited Cuba in 1995 while they worked for the US Government. I have to say the US Government is partially to blame here for not knowing that their own agents went to Cuba and met with Fidel.



    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on June 06, 2009 by Matt Lawrence

    Uh-oh…once again, as Cuba finds sypathizers in the White House willing to negotiate some kind of “normalcy” in relations, and more gusanos working for the Cubanos pop up to destroy any cred the Castros could possibly muster.

    Ana Belen Montes
    La Red Avispa
    The Cuban Five
    Carlos & Elsa Alvarez
    and now…the Myers

    It’s pretty apparent that the Castro’s intent with any relations with the U.S. is nefarious at best, and they rely heavily on U.S. Intel as a resource they share with the world.

    Anyone think this is going to help the case of the Cuban Five on June 15th when the Supreme Court is to decide whether or not they will hear the case?

    Matt Lawrence, Author
    BETRAYAL: Clinton, Castro & The Cuban Five


  5. Follow up post #5 added on June 06, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Babalu Blog has posted the criminal complaint against Walter Myers along with Myers indictment for spying for Cuba.



    Cuba consulting services

  6. Follow up post #6 added on June 06, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Matt Lawrence weighs in on the severity of the arrests of these alleged Cuban spies from Washington DC.



    Cuba consulting services

  7. Follow up post #7 added on June 06, 2009 by Simpatica

    Castro also has friends that are very open about their relationship with the Cuban government.  They are called Cuban Business Consultants and they are pushing for the embargo to end, but without wanting any real political change.  Political change would upset business deals that they have already worked out with the Castro brothers.  The problem with these people is that they have the undivided attention of our politicians.  Some of these consultants had high ranking positions in the past, having worked for past U.S. presidents, so their credentials are very impressive. They are like a wolf in sheep’s clothing because they are also the consultants that the U.S. State Department goes to for advise about Cuba. 

    They were also traveling the country buying up the old U.S. Certified Cuban Claims for pennies on the dollar.  They were not targeting the large corporate claims, but they were targeting claims that belonged to American individuals that lost everything to Castro.  They were also particularly interested in claims with land too. It is rumored that Castro has encouraged his investors to buy the claims so he won’t have to deal with them later.  The sad thing is that the U.S. Certified claimants are being screwed again by Castro, because these ex-diplomats and consultants are doing his bidding.  Have you noticed that in all the talks about the embargo ending, not one word has been mentioned about the U.S. Certified Claims.The embargo started because of the stealing of American properties and these claims are supposed to have restitution before the embargo can end.  Most American have no clue that this is why there is an embargo against Cuba and that is a good thing for those that want to help Castro!

    You can see the list of claimants on the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission website.


  8. Follow up post #8 added on June 06, 2009 by Seagull Tango with 1 total posts

    Everything that we thought was protected and saved from the reach of convicted Cuban spy, Ana Belen Montes, who was arrested in the days after 9/11, was exposed after all.  The Cuban DI runs an overlapping web of agents in full on assault against the United States. Montes role is detailed in our book, BETRAYAL: Clinton Castro & the Cuban Five, which also uncovers the extraordinary role taken by Cuban agents in the murder of American citizens.

    Thomas Van Hare
    Author, BETRAYAL: Clinton Castro & the Cuban Five
    http://www.mattlawrencebooks.com


  9. Follow up post #9 added on June 06, 2009 by Curt

    This just goes to show you how stupid our policyis towardCuba. These are Americans who know how irrational Cuban-American relations are. If they did provide information to Cuba,I hope Cuba was ableto use the information in a constructive manner. Isreal, who is a bootlicker to the U.S also had people spy on us.I hope these 2 alleged spys are aquitted just asI hope the Cuban Five are exonerated and ableto go on with their lives. Cuba has a right to defend theirselves against imperialism bythe U.S.


  10. Follow up post #10 added on June 07, 2009 by paul

    snare snare cymbal for curt F-


  11. Follow up post #11 added on June 07, 2009 by Curt

    Isn’t it interesting that these arrests took place right after the U.S suffered a political blow when other countries of OAS voted to readmit Cuba as a member.
      These actions by the Meyer’s started many years ago and ended in 2007. If they were being watched how come they wern’t arrested a long time ago?


  12. Follow up post #12 added on June 07, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    The two incidents are obviously unrelated but you communists like to make sure the US is to blame for everything.



    Cuba consulting services

  13. Follow up post #13 added on June 07, 2009 by Yeyo with 411 total posts

    That the US suffered a “political blow” is very debatable, as long as we know the motion approved was sponsored by the US and Clinton had clearly indicated a week before the conference that the US was interested in looking for ways to readmit Cuba to the OAS.

    I cannot see how you would like that the 5 convicted spies be freed; they were spying for a foreign state.

    …quote ”These are Americans who know how irrational Cuban-American relations are. If they did provide information to Cuba, I hope Cuba was able to use the information in a constructive manner”…
    Wow, that’s a good one, so from now on every time we catch a spy we would check if the information provided had been used in a “constructive manner” and if so we would cut them loose.


  14. Follow up post #14 added on June 07, 2009 by paul

    This serves as a reminder that our country is full of Cuban moles. The timing is actually just right, because it’s a hard slap reminder that there are plenty of people to expose, who spy for Cuba. I’m sure that all of the Cuban sympathizers in the US are fuming that their whole thing of “innocent Cuban gov’t” just got slammed by the truth.


    For Curt and similar: http://www.sadtrombone.com


  15. Follow up post #15 added on June 09, 2009 by cubanpete with 127 total posts

    The U.S. State Dept. has had a security problem ever since the days of Alger Hiss.  Is there even a single loyal American working there?  Do prospective employees take a disloyalty oath before signing up?



    For change (cambio) we can believe in.
    http://www.desdecuba.com/generationy

  16. Follow up post #16 added on June 10, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    A little more information on the arrests:

    As a couple accused of spying for Cuba head to federal court Wednesday, Cuba watchers say the latest case of espionage could crimp the Obama administration’s efforts to renew talks with the government in Havana.

    The arrests last week of former State Department employee Walter Kendall Myers and his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, came as the Cuban government agreed to an overture by the U.S. State Department to resume long-suspended discussions on migration and direct mail between the two countries.

    But with some critics of the regime opposed to renewing the talks until Cuba has shown some democratic change, analysts suggest momentum could slow.

    and the rest of the story here.



    Cuba consulting services

  17. Follow up post #17 added on June 10, 2009 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    They have been denied bail by a court in Washington DC.

    US Magistrate John Facciola deemed the pair, both in their 70s, a flight risk after prosecutors showed they were planning a Caribbean sailing holiday.

    Walter Kendall Myers and his wife are accused of having passed on information to Cuba for three decades.

    The pair deny the charges but face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

    Prosecutor Michael Harvey told Judge Facciola that the couple were “plainly a serious flight risk” and should remain in jail until their court date.

    Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has dismissed the allegations against Mr and Mrs Meyers as a “ridiculous tale”.

    END

    Right Fidel. We arrest people in the US based on a “ridiculous tale”.



    Cuba consulting services

  18. Follow up post #18 added on June 17, 2009 by cubanpete with 127 total posts

    It’s time to fire up Old Sparky for the Julius and Ethel Rosenbergs of the 21st Century.



    For change (cambio) we can believe in.
    http://www.desdecuba.com/generationy

Would you like to add more information?


Only members can add more information. Please register or log in

  • Advertise at Havana Journal Inc
Images of Cuba
Spanish Embassy in Havana Cuba
Follow Havana Journal
SUBSCRIBE to our Cuba Watch newsletter
LIKE us on Facebook

FOLLOW us on Twitter

CONNECT with us on Linked In

Section Archive
Havana Journal, Inc. BBB Business Review



Member of the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy