Ana Montes was born in Puerto Rico. Her father, Alberto Montes, was in the US Army. She grew up in Kansas and Maryland. Ana Montes was straight A-student, having studied from University of Virginia and later at John Hopkins’ University.
Although she was a US citizen, Ana Montes was sympathetic towards Cuba and made it her purpose to avert persistent US interference in the island nation.
She worked in the Department of Justice, rose up through the ranks and then, reached the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Her colleagues had created nicknames for Ana behind her back which included “Queen of Cuba” and “La Otra”.
For years, Ana Montes compiled, documented, saved and then shared critical information regarding the US’s plot to Cuba, her methods included code words and payphones. Disguising herself as an expert on the Cuban regime’s strategy, she weakened US’s de-stablisation efforts by supplying significant details to Fidel Castro’s government.
Her successes include unravelling the identities of four undercover American agents in Cuba and the elimination of an American Special Forces officer in El Salvador who was inciting trouble in the Latin American nation.
The repercussions of Ana Montes’ actions were drastic for the US. Generally, in the context of spying, Cuba is not considered by the US as a “threat”. For a long time, the US has underestimated the capabilities of the Cuban government.
This resulted in Washington ignoring the humiliating fact that a serious threat to its national security was operating right under its nose for 17 years and damaged their diplomatic position systematically. And, the information Ana supplied to Cuba, was then passed on to Russia and other adversaries of the US, which culminated in serious harm to it.
Sabotaging the hegemony
It is an irony that as Ana was destroying the US, her loved ones worked to protect it. Her sister, Lucy Montes, worked as a translator for the FBI in Miami and was a part of a task force that revealed a network of Cuban spies to the US. While her brother, Tito Montes, was an FBI agent and so was his wife. Ana’s family never suspected her, she received various accolades in her career.
Eventually, she was caught by the authorities when she was 44. Though the US government was conscious of the fact that they had a mole within the system, it waited for the right timing to make its move. In the aftermath of 9/11, the US government swiftly acted, capturing Ana before she could get her hands on secret data regarding the superpower’s plan in the Middle East.
Ana was arrested on 21st September, 2001 at the DIA headquarters. She pled guilty and has been serving a 25 year sentence. Ana, 65 currently, will be released this month.
Ana’s story provides a picture of how tables turned for the USA. Generally, it is the US which is always unlawfully involved in the sovereign affairs of other nations. It has employed its propaganda machinery to circulate misinformation against nations like Cuba, Venezuela and Iraq so that it can disguise its wicked atrocities. In Iraq, Bush constructed a systematic campaign by using the agenda-driven media to spread a lie which culminated in unpredictable devastation. It is very unfortunate that just to satiate its economic and political needs, the US has destroyed countless lives.
Similarly, Cuba was not able to prosper because the so-called charismatic leader, John F. Kennedy, perceived a small island nation, which dared to come out of the shadows of the West, as a “threat”. Time and again, the White House has used the same bogus justification for its senseless embargo on Cuba, therefore the Cuban regime has learnt how to effectively deal with Washington.
This is where the role of people like Ana Montes comes in. It is quite embarrassing for the US government, which despite having the FBI, CIA, military etc, was not able to detect that it had a spy within its system for 17 years. Perhaps there are many Anas in the US intelligence system, but we don’t know that for certain, for now.