A former U.S. intelligence analyst walked out of prison last week in Fort Worth, Texas, after having served 20 years of a 25-year sentence for spying for Cuba.
Ana Belén Montes, 65, was arrested Sept. 21, 2001, and charged with conspiracy to deliver defense information to Cuba. At the time, she was the top Cuba analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Cuban intelligence agents recruited Montes when she was studying for a graduate degree at Johns Hopkins University while working for the Justice Department. She came to their attention for her public criticism of the Reagan administration’s support of anti-communist rebels in Latin America.
Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, said Montes was no “harmless informant.”
“Her treason against the U.S. accomplished nothing for the Cuban people. On the contrary, by helping the criminal Casto regime, Montes strengthened the Cuban people’s worst enemy,” Mr. Rubio said in a statement following her release.
Unlike other turncoats such as former FBI agent Robert Hanssen and former CIA case officer Aldrich Ames, Montes was driven by ideology. She took no money from her Cuban handlers during almost two decades working on behalf of Havana, officials said.
Her leaks resulted in the covers being blown for hundreds of American agents working in Latin America. The information she provided also enabled Fidel Castro’s forces in 1996 to shoot down two U.S. planes flown by Cuban exiles who were assisting refugees fleeing the island by boat.
“Montes also sabotaged a top-secret satellite program,” Mr. Rubio said. “New reporting also reveals that Montes was willing to undermine the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan, even if it meant the death of her fellow Americans.”
According to reports, Montes is living in Puerto Rico following her release from prison.
“Americans should remember Ana Belen Montes for who she really is, despite the fact that she has served her time in prison,” Mr. Rubio said. “If we forget this spy’s story, it will surely repeat itself.”