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Tag: Cuba

FBI Investigating Whether Cuba Attacked U.S. Diplomats with Covert Sonic Device

cubaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating claims that American diplomats in Cuba received severe hearing loss from a covert sonic device.

The allegations prompted the U.S. to eject two Cuban diplomats from Washington, drawing a strong denial from Havana that anyone targeted Americans with a covert device.

The Associated Press reports that a group of U.S. diplomats began suffering hearing loss in the fall of 2016. 

A months-long investigation by the U.S. concluded that diplomats had been exposed “to an advanced device that operated outside the audible sound and had been deployed either inside or outside their residences.”

The Cuban government issued a strong denial.

“Cuba has never permitted, nor will permit, that Cuban territory be used for any action against accredited diplomatic officials or their families, with no exception.

TSA Admits Air Marshals Aren’t on Flights to Cuba As Promised

airport lineBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When commercial flights to Cuba resumed for the first time in 50 years, President Obama’s administration pledged that air marshals would be onboard.

Turns out, that’s not happening, CBSMiami reports. 

“As of today, are there any federal air marshals allowed on any non-chartered flights between the United States and Cuba?” Rep. John Katko, R-New York asked a TSA official.

“No sir,” a Transportation Security Administration official responded.

Katko called out the TSA for providing false information to the American public.

“Federal air marshals serve as a last line of defense against terrorism,” Katko said. “You mislead the American public when you issued that press release saying that it was going to be on select commercial flights and you did it at a time when flights were about to start.”

Other Stories of Interest

Homeland Security Deputy Director to Visit Birthplace of Cuba to Help Ease Tensions

Alejandrom Mayorkas

Alejandrom Mayorkas

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The second-ranking Homeland Security official will visit his hometown in Cuba to help ease tensions with the U.S., the Los Angeles Times reports. 

Alejandro Mayorkas, Homeland Security deputy secretary, was 6 months old when his family fled Havana and moved to Miami.

For the first time, he is returning for a three-day visit intended on restoring diplomatic relations.

It’s part of a larger effort by President Obama to ease restrictions on U.S. travel and investment in Cuba as Congress considers dropping the decade-long trade embargo.

Myorkas said his father longed to visit Cuba.

“He always dreamed of returning with his children and sharing Cuba with them,” Mayorkas said in an interview, his eyes beginning to tear up. “It was always my hope and intention to return with him, so this visit will be quite emotional.”

Will First Woman on FBI’s Most Wanted List Be Extradited from Cuba?

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

As relations between Cuba and the U.S. continue to improve, a big question lingers: Will the first woman on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List be extradited to face life in prison in America?

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Assata Shakur, who was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973, may be extradited because of the improved relations.

Shakur was a member of the Black Liberation Army and the Black Panther Party and was welcomed into Cuba as a fellow socialist with asylum.

It remains unclear whether Cuba would turn over Shakur, but some legal experts said it’s unlikely since she was labeled a political refugee.

New Jersey Senator Says He’s Victim of Cuban Plot to Smear Him with False Allegations about Prostitutes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Robert Menendez is urging the Justice Department to investigate what he claims was an elaborate smear campaign by Cuban operatives to destroy his reputation with lies about prostitutes, the Washington Post reports.

The New Jersey Democrat, a vociferous critic of Castro’s regime, said Cuban officials created a fake tipster to claim that Memendez was partying with underage prostitutes while vacationing at his Dominican Republic home of a friend.

According to officials familiar with the case, the CIA found evidence that Cuban agents fabricated a tipster.

The allegations came out publicly in November 2012, when a conservative website quoted two Dominican women who claimed to have sex with Menendez.

FBI Spied on French Philosophers Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre Over Their Politics

Albert CamusSteve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

What does it mean to be alive? Who are we? What is our purpose?

Those weren’t the question the FBI was interested in answering while agents spied on French philosophers John-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus.

Instead, the FBI was concerned about their politics and whether they were a danger to the U.S., the Melville House reports.

Camus raised suspicions because he was a member of the French Communist party. Sartre was involved in Cuban politics and protested the Vietnam war.

No Shortage of Conspiracy Theories As 50th Anniversary of JFK’s Assassination Comes Friday

photo: jfk libary-facebook

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the U.S. remembers the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination Friday, there is no shortage of conspiracy theories.

Depending on whom you ask, JFK was killed by the CIA, the mafia, Cuban exile groups, the FBI, southern segregationists or the Soviet Union.

The way author and attorney Craig Zirbel sees it, there are only two explanations for President John F. Kennedy’s assassination – either he was killed by a lone gunman, Lee Harvey Oswald, with no motive, or there’s a more complex theory, the Arizona Republic reports.

The Scottsdale attorney has written two books on JFK’s death: “The Texas Connection” in 1991 and “The Final Chapter on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy” in 2010.

He believes Lyndon B. Johnson was behind the assassination 50 years ago Friday.

FBI Informant Lives Large in Cuba, reviving Claims That He Also Worked with Cuban Intelligence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Gilberto Abascal was a main informant in two-high profile cases in Florida in the past seven years, but now he’s living large in Cuba, the Miami Herald reports.

Abascal was the key witness in the trial of militant Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles two years ago, the Herald wrote. In 2006, he was the main informant in another case.

Now, the Herald wrote, Abascal is building a house, renting expensive cars and offering a large reward for information about the person who broke into his home.

For many, Abascal’s lifestyle reinforced the belief that he was serving as an informant for both Cuban and U.S. intelligence.

“This inferentially validates the conclusion that this was an individual who had a collaborative relationship with Cuban security . . . and casts a shadow on the FBI for its dealings with this guy,” said Arturo V. Hernandez, an attorney for another case in which Abascal was a main witness.