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US sent Latin youths undercover in anti-Cuba ploy

By Associated Press in Washington ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-08-05 06:51:52

Fernando Murillo was typical of the young Latin Americans deployed to Cuba by a US agency to work undercover. He had little training in the dangers of clandestine operations - or how to evade one of the world's most sophisticated counter-intelligence services.

Their assignment was to recruit young Cubans to anti-government activism, which they did under the guise of civic programs, including an HIV prevention workshop. Murillo was instructed to check in every 48 hours and was provided with a set of security codes. "I have a headache," for instance, meant the Costa Rican thought the Cubans were watching him and the mission should be suspended.

Over at least two years, the US Agency for International Development sent nearly a dozen young people from Venezuela, Costa Rica and Peru to stir up opposition in Cuba. The danger was apparent to USAID, if not to the young operatives: A USAID contractor, American Alan Gross, had just been hauled away to a Cuban jail for smuggling in sensitive technology. He remains there still.

US sent Latin youths undercover in anti-Cuba ploy

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