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Wikileaks in Latin America: Cuban intelligence “reign” in Hugo Chavez´s Venezuela

Manuel "Barba Roja" (Red Beard) Piñeiro Losada, founder of the castrist cuban intelligence. Some of his disciples now govern in Venezuela.

CARACAS, Venezuela – Cuban intelligence agents have deep involvement in Venezuela and enjoy direct access to President Hugo Chavez, the U.S. Embassy said in a 2006 diplomatic cable that was classified as secret.

The document was among several posted online Tuesday by the newspaper El Pais of Spain as a growing list of sensitive U.S. government messages were released by WikiLeaks.

The Jan. 30, 2006, cable from then-U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield said that “Cuban intelligence officers have direct access to Chavez and frequently provide him with intelligence reporting unvetted by Venezuelan officers.”

Similar claims have been raised previously by Chavez’s critics, but U.S. officials have not publicly aired such concerns.

Piñeyro with Che Guevara, in the late 50`s.

“The impact of Cuban involvement in Venezuelan intelligence could impact U.S. interests directly,” the report said. “Venezuelan intelligence services are among the most hostile towards the United States in the hemisphere, but they lack the expertise that Cuban services can provide. Cuban intelligence routinely provides the (Venezuelan government) intelligence reports about the activities” of U.S. government officials.

The embassy cable also said Venezuela’s DISIP domestic spy agency “may be…READ MORE HERE