4. Recruitment Methods

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The CuIS will use a variety of methods and tactics to exploit individuals and organizations in order to achieve their objectives. This process includes identifying favorable individuals to target, gathering information on these individuals, and conducting an actual recruitment.

The CuIS will obtain publicly available information on universities, including details on programs of study, post-graduate programs, scholarships, and organizations. This includes personal information on a university’s executives and professors, such as political tendencies. The CuIS target specific universities due to their prestige and importance and their proximity to the Cuban diplomatic establishments in New York, New York, and Washington, DC. This information can be collected directly by intelligence officers under diplomatic cover assigned to the United States or through their recruited agents. It is also logical to assume that given the pervasiveness of academic information available on the Internet, any foreign intelligence service is capable of collecting a great deal of this information from its home country.

There are many ways in which individuals of interest can be brought to the attention of the CuIS. For instance, CuIS operatives attempt personal contact with university officials, often through exchange programs between Cuban and US institutions. Individuals of interest can also be referred by other intelligence agents. This contact will result in the collection of additional personal information, such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, family information, motivations, ambitions, and weaknesses. This information will assist the CuIS in determining if there are intelligence possibilities and what the best operational approach to take in targeting the individual. Furthermore, the CuIS maintain files for information collected through the years on universities, professors, and students. These files include information on contacts and relations of various individuals of interest to the CuIS, all of which can be useful in this process.

The relationships the CuIS develop do not necessarily result in the recruitment of clandestine agents. The CuIS will develop individuals who do not have access to secret information, but because of the individual’s political position, or political tendencies, he/she can be used unwittingly to support Cuban interests. Some of these individuals may not be told openly that they are working for the CuIS, even though it may not be too hard for them to figure out. The relationship may openly appear to be a benign mutually beneficial friendship.

The CuIS will use multiple methods to gain the cooperation of an individual target. This can include appealing to the individual’s political or ideological leanings. For instance, someone who is allied with communist or leftist ideology may assist the CuIS because of his/her personal beliefs. Similarly, someone with economic motives can be paid. The Cuban regime does not have unlimited funds to draw on, but can offer privileges and opportunities to invest in Cuba or to negotiate exclusive business deals. Some individuals are promised business opportunities once the US embargo is lifted. Such individuals can be feted in Cuba with extravagant, all-expense paid tours.

If necessary, the CuIS will also use more coercive tactics to gain control of an individual. Compromising information about an individual of interest is noted by the CuIS. This can occur passively through observation or actively through a deliberate attempt to compromise the individual target. This can include compromising videos or recordings obtained through various means including sexual entrapment. One place for this compromise to occur is when visitors travel to Cuba for planned tours. Ultimately, the CuIS can obtain control of an individual in exchange for keeping the compromising information secret.

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