Primicia Rolando Sarraff Trujillo
Preso político Cuba.Tenía 32 años cuando lo detuvieron, lleva 20 años tras las rejas y fue liberado hoy.
In the early 1990s, Captain José Cohen Valdés served in the Science & Technology Department (“M-VI”) of Cuba’s Directorate of Intelligence (DI). In 1994, he was on an educational sabbatical learning English at the Instituto Superior Inteligencia (ISI) prior to his reassignment to the elite “U.S. Targets” Department (known as “M-I”). At this point, Cohen had already decided to defect, but lacked the placement and access to classified information he desperately needed to enhance his value to the CIA and U.S. Intelligence. As such, he convinced Lieutenant Rolando “Roly” Sarraf Trujillo, a colleague assigned to Department M-XV (“Agent Communications”), to steal information and give it to him for passage to the CIA. M-XV handled agent communications in a broad sense, to include non-airwave communications and intelligence technologies (i.e., concealment devices). Cohen planned to bring Sarraf Trujillo and another individual with him in a mass defection.
According to a former DI M-VI Officer, after Sarraf Trujillo started passing files, Cohen began indiscreetly spending the considerable cash the CIA paid for Sarraf Trujillo’s treasure trove of intelligence. In short order, the two men came under surveillance. Cohen reportedly noted the surveillance and had his brother-in-law signal the CIA Station in Havana for an emergency extraction. Cuban Counterintelligence videotaped his brother-in-law’s assistance, for which he was subsequently jailed. Cohen and the second individual successfully escaped, despite the extensive Counterintelligence coverage. Sarraf Trujillo was arrested and sent to prison. Reportedly, the only thing that saved him from execution was the fact that both his parents were retired senior intelligence officers.
Cohen’s defection so thoroughly compromised M-VI that Havana dismantled it and rebuilt the entire Department, suspending collection against its Science and Technology requirements for at least six months. Compromised officers were reassigned, agents put on hold, and an extensive case review undertaken. The DI issued guidance that personnel were not to use or trust anything that was tainted by the Cohen defection.
The sudden loss its Science & Technology (S&T) program forced the Cuban Mission to the United Nations, the major hub for Havana’s U.S.-based espionage, to undertake high-risk endeavors to fulfill its urgent requirements. Incredibly, it reportedly began using Cuban sympathizers known to the FBI in desperate efforts to maintain its New York-based S&T collection. After M-VI was rebuilt, the forementioned operations ended, even though strategic S&T capabilities were lessened based on the DI’s decision to reduce the Department’s staff to roughly 15 personnel.