Cuban spycraft began well before Cold War


A common myth is that Cuba’s penchant for counterintelligence began with Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra, according to a scholar at the Enrique José Varona Pedagogical University in Havana.
Counterintelligence began much earlier, with José Martí, according to Manuel Río Rojas, a specialist at the university’s Criminal Investigation and Operations Directorate.
He writes:

In the struggle of the Cuban people for their independence there is a rich tradition of espionage and counterintelligence work, from the beginning in the Ten Years’ War.

Rojas says the attention Martí paid to “the activities of enemy agents” and how to confront them was a “key element” in Cuba’s fight for independence.
Martí created “encrypted codes and special forms of concealment for communications of all kinds,” Rojas says.
He writes:

Deeper reflections indicate that the work of intelligence in Cuba emerges and develops from the very essence of the process of emergence of nationality, making it more real, complex and solid, for that and other reasons one should not see as a purely technical phenomenon. It is a necessity and reality of the history of the country.

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