3. The Cuban Intelligence Services

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Given the academic environment, it is not surprising why the CuIS, as well as other foreign intelligence services, target US academia. The situation provides a favorable environment to operate in and a significant target base to exploit. However, one additional reason the CuIS target this sector is because the cash-strapped Cuban regime’s general lack of resources does not permit an extensive reliance on monetary incentives for recruiting sources. Therefore, the CuIS have perfected the work of placing agents that includes aggressively targeting US universities under the assumption that a percentage of students will eventually move on to positions within the USG that can provide access to information of use to the CuIS.

The CuIS devote a significant amount of resources to targeting and exploiting US academia. A large part of the work and effort of CuIS departments targeting the United States is devoted to influencing American and Cuban-American academics, to recruiting them if possible, and to converting them into Cuban intelligence agents. Likewise, students from these universities are the subjects of assessment and recruitment because many of them, after completing their studies, are going to hold important posts in private enterprise or the USG.

The CuIS will also use various front organizations to approach US targets. For instance, the CuIS have developed a network of collaborators and agents located in Cuban universities and cultural centers, who are used to recruit and influence their counterparts in the United States or third countries, under the guidance and instruction of Cuban intelligence officers, who instruct them on what steps to follow.

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Learn More: Basic Types of Intelligence Operatives

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