From: "Pedro Martori"
Subject: Cuban spies entangle Tampa Mayor
charset = "UTF-8"
Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 10:00:29 -0500
NNTP-Posting-Date: Thu, 28 Nov 2002 10:00:35 EST
Organization: Bell Sympatico
Asunto: Cuban spies entangle Tampa Mayor
Fecha: Mi=C3=A9rcoles, 27 de Noviembre de 2002 06:50 p.m.
In Spanish there is a saying those who sleep with babies awake wet, =
who sleep with dogs get fleas.
I kind friend brought this to my attention, thus it seems that Tampa =
Dick Greco has been keeping company with Castro spies (footnote 1)
-footnote 1 from:
Greco Tangled In Cuban Spy Story
By KEITH EPSTEIN and WILLIAM MARCH The Tampa Tribune
Published: Nov 27, 2002
TAMPA - To hear Tampa lawyer Ralph Fernandez describe it, Mayor Dick=20
Greco's trip to Cuba in July could have come out of an international spy =
thriller, replete with agents, intercepted voice mail from a top Castro=20
official, and an informant's report about the mayor to the FBI.
Fernandez, an avid anti- Castro activist, said he warned Greco in 2000=20
that a Cuban official, Oscar Redondo, ``was engaged in espionage=20
activities,'' but Greco told Fernandez he ``didn't want to even hear =
Redondo eventually helped arrange the trip for Greco and other Tampa =
leaders. And last month, Redondo, chief of Cuba's mission to the United=20
States, was kicked out of the country amid allegations of espionage.
But another version of the story is told by Washington lobbyist Albert=20
Fox, the Tampa native who organized the mayor's trip.
Fox said political ideology, not espionage, is behind Redondo's =
and Fernandez's accusations that Tampa's mayor should have known better.
``There's no truth whatsoever to the allegation that Oscar Redondo was=20
spying against the interests of the United States,'' Fox said. As for=20
Greco, ``He didn't know him. He wouldn't know him from Adam's house =
Fernandez and Fox have long engaged in a war of words over U.S.-Cuba=20
The tension has heated up as business interests have pressured the=20
government to ease trade and travel restrictions and the Bush=20
administration has resisted those pleas.
Greco's trip intensified the rhetoric. And Fox's and Fernandez's phones=20
and fax machines heated up after the expulsion of Redondo and three =
Cubans in connection with the unmasking, conviction and sentencing in=20
October of Ana Belen Montes, a Cuban spy at the top-secret Defense=20
In a fax Nov. 14 to Greco and others who took the trip, Fox sought to=20
reassure them that Redondo had been expelled by the Bush administration=20
``simply out of spite'' for helping to arrange so many trade missions to =
There was, Fox wrote, ``no proof of any illegal or inappropriate=20
activities'' by the Cuban diplomat.
Fox said the expulsion of Redondo is part of a pattern of harassment of=20
members of the Cuban interest section in Washington, which is housed in=20
the Swiss Embassy.
He said Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fisk, who voiced the=20
accusations of espionage, repeatedly has made unproven accusations =
the Cuban government.
An Earlier Conversation
Not so, countered Fernandez in a fax Tuesday to Greco and all seven =
City Council members.
Fernandez wrote that on Nov. 20, 2000, Greco called him for advice on=20
whether to attend a function hosted by Tampa's Fowler White law firm for =
Cuban diplomat - who was accompanied by Redondo.
``I informed you that Mr. Redondo was engaged in espionage activities,'' =
said Fernandez's fax to Greco, which he also provided to reporters.
``I prepared a report for the FBI. Fortuitously, I have our conversation =
documented in that report so my memory has been refreshed.
``You were surprised Cuban intelligence officers were `so close.' You =
me you didn't `want to even hear about espionage.' You did not attend =
Added Fernandez: ``Apparently, a lot has happened in the last two =
Fernandez included a transcription, by Fox, of a voice mail message left =
by Redondo as he was preparing to leave the United States. In the =
Redondo simply says goodbye, thanks Fox for his friendship and vows to=20
continue working with Fox to improve relations between the two =
Fox said he sent the transcript of his voice mail message to Greco and =
others who went to Cuba because ``I wanted the people on the trip to =
clarity because they're reading this guy's a spy. I wanted them to see=20
this guy was only working to enhance U.S.-Cuba relations - not to hurt =
Fox acknowledged working almost daily with Redondo for two years and =
``Had I found out Oscar was doing something un-American, I would have=20
reported him in a minute.''
Fox said the last time the FBI contacted him was three years ago, when =
first brought Fernando Ramirez, then the chief of the Cuban interest=20
section, to Tampa to meet with editorial writers and for private =
with lawyers at Fowler White.
Soon after, Fox recalled, two FBI agents showed up. Said Fox: ``We met. =
walked around the block. Just like in the movies.''
They haven't returned, he said.
Greco was out of town Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.
Reporter Keith Epstein can be reached at (202) 662-7673. Reporter =
March can be reached at (813) 259-7761.