The CIA’s Latin America Division has run many spies in Cuba, though Rolando Sarraff Trujillo was in a category all his own.
From his roost as a cryptographer in Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence, Sarraff was means to yield information that regularly helped a U.S. comprehension village moment encoded messages a Communist supervision was promulgation around shortwave radio.
This week, American officials pronounced Sarraff’s information contributed to a FBI’s dismantling of 3 vital view networks in a United States. The final of them enclosed a organisation of operatives famous as a “Cuban Five,” who were convicted of espionage and done headlines again Wednesday when a 3 who were still in jail were liberated as partial of a thespian view barter that enclosed Sarraff.
Former U.S. officials, while not vocalization about Sarraff’s box directly, suggested his position in a Cuban comprehension apparatus would have done him an well-developed asset.
“You wish a masculine who handles a communications,” pronounced Gerald Komisar, a former CIA officer who was concerned in Cuba operations in a 1990s and ran a Latin America Division. “He’s goning to have many of a secrets we want.”
Sarraff’s locale remained a poser Thursday. Vilma Sarraff, his sister, pronounced that her parents, who live in Cuba, went to see their son Monday though that a family had not been sensitive about his release.
“We don’t know where he is,” she pronounced in a phone talk from Spain, where she lives. “We don’t know if he’s in Cuba, if he’s in a United States. Our relatives are looking everywhere.”
Rolando Sarraff was arrested in 1995 on espionage and other charges in Cuba and after was condemned to 25 years in prison. In a blog they kept to pull courtesy to his case, his family recounted a sentencing.
“How is it probable that we authorised my son though display one singular square of evidence?” Sarraff’s father asked.
The decider replied: “In Cuba you’re possibly with Fidel [Castro], or against. Your son pronounced he is against.”
Although a family pronounced there was no justification to support a conviction, Sarraff had tricked his local Cuba to assistance a United States, officials said. In further to assisting U.S. authorities brand a Cuban Five, Sarraff’s information authorised a FBI to detain long-running spies during a State Department and Defense Intelligence Agency.
Robert Booth, a former tactful confidence representative with an endless counterintelligence background, was deeply concerned in flushing out a moles Sarraff helped brand during a State Department: Walter Kendall Myers and his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers.
In 2007, a FBI suggested to Booth that a National Security Agency had decrypted countless Cuban shortwave radio transmissions. It seemed to him, he pronounced in an interview, that a FBI had had a decrypted messages for years.
Though he pronounced he never knew Sarraff had supposing a essential information, Booth became a beneficiary.
Based on a intercepts, Booth and FBI counterintelligence agents put together a pattern of personal characteristics of a mole. They insincere a view was male, married, had a laxity with Morse code, worked in a State Department and didn’t pronounce Spanish. He also was a polite menial employee, not a Foreign Service officer, that was essential to squeezing a pool of suspects.
Within 30 days, Booth identified Walter Myers, who was arrested dual years after by a FBI in a worldly counterintelligence operation. He was condemned to life in jail in 2010; his mother perceived scarcely 7 years.
During a march of his dual decades in captivity, Sarraff
was hold in several prisons, including a Cuban government’s highest-security facility, Villa Marista, where he was during a time of his release.
Middle-of-the-night interrogations during a jail were common. “While being interrogated, a categorical technique was to implicitly vanquish we completely,” his family wrote in their blog.
They also posted letters they pronounced Sarraff wrote from prison.
“My suggestion is still strong, full of hope, and my respect intact,” Sarraff, now 51, wrote in 2012. “I confront this savagery and serious punishment with a pinnacle dignity, though though losing my tenderness, a clarity of probity and my singular ability to offer love.”
In a talk Thursday, Vilma Sarraff pronounced her hermit was a painter and a poet. Some of his work is featured on a blog. He is a “sweet person,” she said, adding, “He gives us strength.”
Komisar, a former CIA officer, pronounced conjunction a United States nor Cuba can explain feat in their view war. In a end, he said, it has been a draw.
“We had some successes,” he said. “They had some successes. We had some failures, and they had some failures.”
Julie Tate and Marlon Correa contributed to this report.