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A scandal is brewing between Spain and Cuba

The Kingdom accuses Havana of helping Catalan separatists

Spanish and Chilean media have leaked information about Cuba's alleged links to Catalan left-wing separatist groups. In particular, it is alleged that Havana allegedly supports such organizations as the" Committees for the Defense of the Republic "(CDR, the largest structure of Catalan separatists, which appeared in 2017 and calls for the implementation of the results of the referendum on Catalan independence) and" Candidates for Popular Unity " (CUP, a far-left nationalist party that supports the separation of Catalonia from Spain).

Havana allegedly operates through the Federation of Associations of Cubans Living in Spain, whose representatives maintain constant contact with Catalan separatist organizations and parties. Such activities, as indicated, are supervised by the Cuban Institute of Friendship of Peoples, whose employees work in Spain under the guise of the Spanish-Cuban Friendship Society. It is noteworthy that the institute is headed by Fernando Gonzalez Llort. The same one who, along with four other Cubans (the sensational case of the "Cuban Five"), was arrested in 1998 in Miami on charges of espionage. Although none of the charges were proven, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison. All five were released only in 2014 as part of the process of normalizing relations between Washington and Havana.

According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, Havana allegedly for a number of years actively engaged in the introduction of leftist groups in Catalonia and the Basque Country, including CDR, CUP, and the Catalan party "United Left and Alternative", whose representatives, as noted, visited Cuba. The Cubans themselves are allegedly not directly involved in the street protests and pogroms in Catalonia but act behind the backs of the separatists, engaging in their indoctrination and inciting unrest.

According to the Chilean online publication Libero, such activities are directly led by Armando Rosendo Guerra Funkasta, who is described as" a very influential shadow representative of Havana in Spain", enjoying wide freedom of movement in the country and abroad, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. He arrived in Spain as part of the strengthening of the relevant activity of Havana in February 2020 from Chile, where he worked as the first secretary of the Cuban Embassy and oversaw political issues. In an interview with Libero, a former senior official of the General Directorate of Intelligence (GUR) The Cuban Interior Ministry, Enrique Garcia Diaz, who later defected to the Americans, said that Guerra Funkasta is a career intelligence officer who graduated from the Adriana Curcio High School of Intelligence. At the same time, Garcia draws attention to the fact that Funkasta once worked at the Cuban Institute of Friendship of Peoples, which, according to him, "the Cuban intelligence service has long used as a cover for its activities." Garcia also notes that in Chile, Guerra Funkasta solved similar problems by contacting left-wing radicals there.

The deputy of the European Parliament, Jorge Buxade Villalba, publicly confirmed the information about the alleged infiltration of Havana into the ranks of the Catalan separatists. Born in Barcelona in 1975, a lawyer by training and a former member of the People's Party, Buxade was elected a member of the European Parliament in 2019 for the Spanish Vox ("Voice") party. The party was founded in December 2013, has 52 seats in the Spanish parliament, and advocates far-right nationalism, social conservatism, and Euroscepticism. Buxade is also the chairman of the ultra-conservative organization Catalan Forum and is also a member of such far-right Catalan structures that oppose Catalan independence from Spain, such as the Civil Society of Catalonia and the Joan Bosca Foundation.

During a recent press conference following a meeting of the political action committee of the Vox party (created by analogy with the American Political Action Committees, which play an important role in the political life of the United States) Buxade openly accused Havana of participating in the activities of separatist left-wing groups in Catalonia, mentioning in this regard its contacts with the CDR. "The information of journalists is not news to us, Catalans, because street terrorism has always been linked to national and international terrorism," Buxade concluded. In his opinion, Madrid should be more concerned about the activities of the Cuban special services on Spanish territory, asking why the competent Spanish law enforcement agencies are inactive.

Garcia, a former employee of the GUUR of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Cuba, agrees with this opinion. In an interview with the Spanish-based independent Cuban online publication CiberCuba, he also called for an end to"the practice of impunity for Havana's actions in Spain." According to him, "members of the Spanish government who are sympathetic to the Cuban regime should understand that as long as they do not stop supporting and protecting it, the Cuban special services will continue to consider Spain as the object of their penetration and activities."

The Cuban Embassy in Spain and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba have not yet responded to such accusations.

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