Born in West German on the 28th of February 1957, a Puerto Rican U.S
citizen who worked as official GS-14 for the Defense Intelligence
Agency (DIA), Ana Belen Montes was charged with spying for alerting
Cuba to planned aggressions against her people, something which had no
National Security implications for the U.S. nor posed any threat to
At 22 years of age, Ana graduated from the University of Virginia in
1979 with a degree in International Relations, a subject in which she
later attained a Masters.
She was selected on the basis of her abilities by the DIA in 1985 and
posted to the Bolling Air Base in Washington, where she worked as an
intelligentce investigation specialist. In 1992 she was transfered to
the Pentagon where she worked as an analyst.
She spent a time in a “fake” post with the U.S. diplomatic mission in
Havana to study the Cuban military. She was sent by the DIA to the
island again in 1998 to “monitor Pope John Paul II’s visit”.
In addition to her pleasant appearance, sweet smile and charming
manner, Ana, who lived alone in a modest apartment to the north of the
U.S. capital, was considered to be exceptionally discreet.
At the Pentagon, she was promoted to the position of Senior Analyst,
where she had access to almost all data on Cuba collected by the
She was aware of everything the Defense Department knew about the
activities of Cuban military personell.
Her rank ensured her membership of the ultra-secret “Inter-agency Task
Force on Cuba” which brought together the principal analysts from
federal agencies such as the C.I.A., The White House and the State
Whilst working as usual in her office in the DIA compound within the
Bolling Air Base in Washington D.C. on September 20th 2001, Ana was
arrested by F.B.I. agents.
She was charged with espionage on behalf of Cuba some days later. She
was tried and transferred at some point to a Federal Prison for
criminals with mental or physical health problems, despite not
suffering from any such issues at the time of her imprisonment.
In keeping with the nobility that underpinned her actions, she openly
declared during her trial that “there is an Italian proverb that
perhaps best describes what I believe: “The whole world is just one
country. In this world country, the principle of loving others as
one-self is an essential guide to harmonious relations between
“This principle implies understanding and tolerance of the different
ways that others act. It establishes that we treat other nations the
way we would like to be treated – with consideration and respect. In
my opionion, we have unfortunately never applied this to Cuba”.
“In doing what has brought me before the court, I put my conscience
above obeying the law. I believe our governmemts policy on Cuba to be
cruel and unjust and profoundly hostile. I felt morally obliged to
help the island defend itself against our efforts to impose upon them
our values and our political system”.
“We have overtly displayed intolerance and disrepect towards Cuba for
four decades. We have never respected Cuba’s right to
self-determination or to define it’s own concepts of justice and
“I do not know how we can continue to dictate how Cuba must select
it’s leaders, who should not lead the country and what laws are most
appropriate for their nation”.
“Why do we not let them decide how to mamage their internal affairs,
just as the U.S. has done for more than 200 years?”
“My greatest wish is to see Cuba and the U.S. enjoy friendly
relations. I hope that, in some way, my case encourages our government
to abandon it’s hostility towards Cuba and – inspired by a spirit of
tolerance, mutual respect and understanding — to work together with
“We can see today more than ever that intolerance and hate – be it on
the part of individuals or Governments – results only in suffering and
grief. I hope the U.S. develops a policy on Cuba on the basis of
neighborly love, a policy that recognizes that Cuba, as any other
nation would, wants to be treated with dignity rather than disrepect”.
Ana Belen Montes is presently detained in the Carswell Federal Medical
Center, inside the militiary installations of the U.S. Marines Air
Station at Fort Worth, Texas in the United States.
Despite not suffering any illness, she is being held in a psychiatric
ward, where she is at risk from inmates who are in fact mentally ill.
Prolonged exposure to such an environment could of itself also affect
her own mental health.
She is locked up with some of the most dangerous women in the U.S.
prison system, such as a former housewife who strangled her pregnant
neighbor because she wanted the child, a nurse who murdered four
patients by administering massive adreniline overdoses by injection
and the notorious “Shrill” Lynette Fromme, a follower of Charles
Manson whom tried to asassinate president Gerald Ford.
Ana Belén Montes is not due for release until the year 2017, 11 long
years from now. She has already served 14 years in jail and is
subjected to harsh and cruel conditions of detention that include,
*A Federal Prison Bureau decree (due to her espionage conviction)
restricting contact to only her closest relatives
*A prohibition on inquiries about her health or the reasons for her
detention in a center for the mentally ill, when she suffers no such
*A prohibition on the receipt of packages.
*Letters sent to her are returned by registered post to the sender.
*She is not allowed associate with other inmates.
*She is not allowed make or receive phone calls.
*She is not allowed read newspapers, magazines nor watch TV.
*Since her father died her only visitor is her sister, who is an
anti-Castro U.S government official.
*Other family members have, because of her commitment to the cause of
Cuba, rejected or refused to maintain contact with her, meaning that
Ana has been totally isolated from the world for more than a decade.
The U.S press has reported that “serving a sentence in the Carswell
treatment unit has become a death sentence for many female prisoners”.
Detainess there have suffered gross violations of their human and
constitutional rights, including documented cases of police abuse,
suspicious deaths — investigations into which have been blatantly
obstructed, deaths due to the denial of basic medical attention, rape
of prisoners by guards and exposure to toxic substances, all of which
place her life at risk.
Ana Belen Montes was not paid by Cuba for what she did and there was
nothing sordid or coercive about her recruitment.
She was not motivated by any desire for revenge or attraction to
power. Despite full awareness of the personal risk arising, she acted
out of love, her sense of justice and a noble solidarity with Cuba.
She was accused of having helped convince both George Bush and Bill
Clinton that Cuba did not represent a miltary threat to the U.S., thus
preventing a war that would have resulted in a significant loss of
Cuban and North American lives.
For such a contribution to peace, she desreves the support of all who
identify with the Homeland of Jose Marti.