Cuban U.N. Diplomat Expelled After TV Spy Revelation
MIAMI (AP) _ A Cuban diplomat filmed by a Miami television station meeting with a spy has been ordered out of the United States, a State Department official said Tuesday.
What the diplomat didn’t know, the station reported, is that the supposed Cuban spy was actually a double agent working with the FBI.
The diplomat was Carlos Manuel Collazo Usallan, Cuba’s third secretary at United Nations in New York, officials said.
″We informed the Cuban mission this morning that the individual must leave the United States within 48 hours,″ State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Tuesday in Washington.
Another State Department official who spoke on condition of anonymity said the FBI has ″considerable evidence indicating Collazo was engaged in espionage.″ Other Cubans assigned to the United Nations also are suspected of spying.
As of midday, the Cubans had not formally replied to the U.S. government’s allegation, the State Department said.
Spanish-language station WSCV-TV had taped Collazo last month meeting at a New York restaurant with Francisco Avila, military chief of Alpha 66, the largest anti-Castro exile group in Miami. The station said it planned to broadcast excerpts of what they were saying on the tape later this week.
In an interview broadcast by the station Monday, Avila said Collazo thought Avila was spying for the Cubans because he allowed himself to be recruited by Cuba when he was captured during a failed Alpha 66 raid in 1967. In 1979, he was returned to Miami, where he was supposed to report on exile groups to the Cubans.
But shortly after his return, Avila said, he contacted U.S. intelligence officials and began a 13-year career as a double agent for the FBI.
″I have been fighting the Castro regime for thirty-some years,″ he said. Paul Miller, the FBI spokesman in Miami, would not comment on Avila’s role.
As for Collazo, Miller said his actions ″had been a source of concern to the FBI and the subject of an extended investigation since his arrival in the United States.″
Ariel Ricardo, Cuba’s diplomatic spokesman in Washington, said that if Avila were an FBI spy, it raised questions why the United States has failed to stop exile raids against Fidel Castro’s government.
″How is it that this supposed double agent was a member of Alpha 66, no less, yet American authorities always allude to their trouble in getting information about terrorist actions about Cuba?″ Ricardo said.
The FBI has revealed it is looking at possible Neutrality Act violations by Cuban exiles who have launched attacks against Cuba from U.S. soil.
Tony Bryant, an ex-Black Panther who joined forces with the exile group Comandos L, was arrested Monday on charges of illegal possession of weapons in connection with a trip to Cuba.