A review of the previous evolving structure of the Dirección General de Inteligencia (General Directorate of Intelligence, DGI, Department M, G-2) illustrated with official files. Documents present Cold War policy, directorate organizational structures, its leadership, and notable internal features.
The Director General of the DGI closely associates with many Cuban leading officials including "...Fidel Castro" for the coordination of large expenditures while overseeing the Directorate and maintains contact with "...Soviet advisers of the DGI." The Director General assigns deputies to collect intelligence and perform day-to-day operations or they might decide to have lower ranking employees report directly to them outside the normal official hierarchy.
Manuel Pinero Losada: Pinero joined Fidel Castro’s forces and quickly achieved the position of commander among the rebels for his militant commitment to revolutionary principles. Fidel Castro charged him to lead one of several Cuban intelligence groups seeking to counter attacks targeting his government's leadership and policies. Pinero was a moving force in the formative years of the DGI following a history of prior opposition to the dictatorial Batista regime. Through collaboration with the Soviet Union's KGB security group Pinero was able to adapt Soviet intelligence methods to the shores of the island nation by developing an extensive system of informers and training Cubans from nearly every lifestyle for DGI service. He in addition was a founder of the Communist Party of Cuba and became a member of the ruling Central Committee in nineteen sixty-five. From nineteen sixty-one until nineteen seventy-four Pinero was simultaneously a Deputy Minister of the Interior, the Agency that oversaw the DGI. He was reassigned to the First Vice Minister of the Interior when repeated conflicts arose regarding the growing influence of KGB advisers over DGI operations.
Jose Joaquín Méndez Cominches: He joined the revolutionary fight against the Cuban dictator Batista during nineteen fifty-two at the age of seventeen and his family would house and conceal "Moncadista" rebels the next year. Six years later the young Mendez successfully delivered a plane full of arms to 26th of July forces and rose from student revolutionary to rebel soldier. Subsequently the group's leader Fidel Castro orders Mendez to implement policy for state security in the Oriente province of Cuba and this later helped establish some of his credentials for government leadership. He was a founding member of the Communist Party of Cuba and empowered the group whenever possible with his official influence. According to multiple Cuban sources, Mendez gained control of the DGI because he aligned politically with Soviet overseen intelligence operations and this complimented reorganization efforts. He assisted in some of the earliest operations with the creation of guerrilla training schools, the regular use of double agents internationally, and later reportedly utilized drug trafficking networks.
Carlos Sixto Chain Soler: He was revolutionary fighter and became the national coordinator of the 26th of July Revolutionary Movement that sought to unify Cuban rebel groups. During nineteen fifty-eight Chain was arrested by the Cuban military, tortured, and later held at the Isle of Pines prison. Despite being extensively interrogated he did not confess to associations with rebel forces or divulge useful information about them and this led some to believe he would be killed in captivity. After Chain’s release and appointment to office in the Oriente province leadership he was reassigned following the brutal treatment of anti-Castro citizens under his command. Subsequently he became a security officer for the Cuban Ministry of the Interior and was employed as the DGI subordinate of Manuel Pinero.
The Cuban Ministry of the Interior (MININT) was founded in nineteen sixty-one and housed multiple related intelligence groups including the General Intelligence Directorate (DGI). Subsequently a delegation of fifteen hundred DGI agents led by Che Guevara consulted with the Soviet KGB to undertake the formal training of Cuban intelligence groups. Reportedly, the Directorate at this time contained several departments created by Director General Manuel Pinero that undertook important duties expanding Cuba's intelligence network.
Three administrative departments were established in nineteen sixty-two to oversee the DGI, The first is the Departamento Adminstratcion General (The General Administration Department) which "handles administration of all aspects of DGI except staff personnel matters." The General Administration Department held informative workshops on operational matters and had sections in most of the other departments. The Departmento de Personal (Personnel Department, PD) handled all matters of staffing and related policy and was the central authority for specific employee matters or communications that did not fall under the purview of the General Administration Department. A related third administrative group was the Department de Inspeccion (Inspection Department) served under the Deputy Director General and this department was "responsible for discipline in the directorate and for investigation of staff personnel". It operated similar to the CIA's Office of Security by conducting investigations, background checks on employees, and staff complaints.
Several operational departments that each pursued a facet of overall Cuban intelligence policy supported the DGI's administrative structure. Working in tandem several complimentary intelligence sections provided a layered and compartmentalized network of varying agents designed to gather data, sow natural confusion, and maximize damage to enemy intelligence targets.
The Centros Legales (Legal Centers, MS) used Cuban embassies, legal travelers, and officials to gather intelligence in host countries. The MS additionally directed all legal centers (field stations) in countries that possessed diplomatic agreements with Cuba from the island and field station chiefs reported to the Director General. This group universally acted in a support capacity for all sections of the DGI from headquarters and managed intersectional communications.
Pedro Farinas Diaz: He joined the DGI during its infancy to serve as a Cuban intelligence officer in Bolivia under embassy attaché cover. Farinas extensively traveled to orchestrate DGI operations in Mexico, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia sometimes utilizing diplomatic cover in these official pursuits. As the chief of department, Farinas administrated the coordination of intelligence from all legal field stations internationally while coordinating the support of allied department operations.
A second complementary department to the Legal Centers was the Departmento Ilegal (Illegal Department) that utilized illegal agents to gather intelligence and conduct subversive activities in foreign countries. The department was responsible for illegal agent recruitment, training, clandestine communications, travel, and reporting operations. The Illegal Department notably did not "deal with members of the Communist Parties or leftist organizations, nor with persons in contact with official Cuban personnel abroad." Instead this group focused on "the penetration of local governments and Cuban exile groups; the collection of information on the internal political situation, foreign installations, and military activities of the country which they are assigned." The department had three main intelligence desks that operated in Europe, Central America, and South America and several country desks throughout the western hemisphere.
Ramon Cesar Cuenca Montoto: (Central American Section Chief) He was a reported hardcore Communist that collaborated with several international leftist groups in the course of his operational work and during nineteen-sixty two Cuenca led the DGI intelligence network in Mexico from the Cuban Embassy as its commercial attaché. He used his business cover to undertake "espionage and counter-espionage work in Mexico, and was the man in charge of taking care of every important personage who passed through Mexico." By nineteen sixty-four Cuenca led the DGI's vast multiple nation web of illegal agents as Chief of the Illegal Department's Central American section.
Seccion B (Central American Section)
Central America represented an important area of focus for the Castro government's revolutionary incitement efforts and the DGI had infiltrated agents or made contacts in every Central American nation during the nineteen sixties and seventies. Using these external agents the Cuban government could exert pressure and order damaging operations in countries where they did not possess any formal diplomatic status.
Another operational department working in conjunction with the Legal Centers and Illegal departments was the Departmento de Liberacion Nacional (National Liberation Department, LN). This department is responsible for "promotion and direction of revolutionary activity, including guerrilla warfare and it acts mostly in cooperation with Communist Parties or organized leftists groups..." abroad. The LN directed support for guerrilla operations separately from Illegal Department operations by providing training, arms, and funds to recruits.
Guillermo Jimenez Soler: (Central American Section Chief) He was a commander in the Revolutionary Army, later served in the Ministry of Foreign Relations, and was associated with the National Bank of Cuba. Jimenez served as both the Liberation Department Section Chief and Chief of the Information Services Department simultaneously undertaking a wide array of operations abroad that supplied and directed illegal revolutionary forces throughout the Americas. His position leading the Information Services Department allowed Jimenez's access to reports that feasibly informed later decisions for inciting foreign revolutionary activities.
Seccion Central (Central American Section)
This section of the National Liberation Department "organizes…guerrilla activities in the Central American and Caribbean countries and its employees "direct activities and arrange for funds, arms supplies, and other support to agents". The geographic jurisdiction of this group contained some Cold War flash point areas in the proxy war struggle between Communist and Capitalist nations that are still currently active.
The Departamento Centrol Ilegales (Department of Illegal Centers, MO) oversaw the collection of intelligence about foreigners visiting Cuba, spotting possible candidates for recruitment, surveillance of civilian foreign communications, and debriefing visitors to Cuba. The Department similar to the Illegal Department did not collaborate with Communist agents but directed them to the National Liberation Department.
The Departamento Escuelas Especiales (Department of Special Schools, EE) was designed expressly for training guerrilla warfare forces to use in paramilitary operations abroad. The department staff of fifty was comprised entirely of DGI agents that were Cuban Army personnel in this quasi-military organization that displays the overlap between intelligence and military personnel. This department similar to the Illegal Department did not collaborate with Communist agents but directed them to the National Liberation Department.
Luis Jesus Perez Martinez: He was recruited by Cuban intelligence and performed operations in Latin America and Haiti as a military attaché during nineteen fifty-nine. During the nineteen sixties Perez served in the Cuban Department of State Security (DSE) and became a delegate to the Organization of American States while later residing under diplomatic cover in both Venezuela and Bolivia. He would later rise to lead the Department of Special Schools while simultaneously serving as a captain in the Cuban Army.
The Departmento de Soporte Technico Operacinal (Department of Technical Operational Support, MI) is "responsible for training individual intelligence agents and providing them technical operational intelligence" and related supplies from the M Compound headquarters. They were responsible for all operational department requests for support training, instruction of agents, and the maintenance of all technological holdings of the DGI.
Guillermo Arastaguia Fundora: (MI Department Chief) He attained the rank of First Lieutenant in the Cuban Ministry of Armed Forces (MINFAR) and served as the staff secretary of a high-ranking leader of the Cuban Department of State Security (DSE). Arastaguia was reassigned to the DGI as a technician, later traveled abroad to represent the DGI at diplomatic gatherings, and he subsequently was promoted to lead the MI Department.
Laboratorio Fotografico (Photographic Laboratory, LF)
The DGI's photo lab was responsible for producing operational photography, the creation of forged papers, and provided clandestine communication systems for agents and processed related messages.
The Departmento Servicios de Informacion (Department of Information Services, IS) directed some of the National Liberation Department's "operational activities" but the department's primary responsibility was the collection and maintenance of operational information and files related to all fields of Cuban national security. Another internal function of its sections was the assessment of potential operational recruits and reporting suitable candidates to related departments.
Guillermo Jimenez Soler: (Information Services Chief, see description for Jimenez in Liberation Department above)
Infromacion Operativa (Operational Information Section, IO)
This section collected "all information necessary for placing and maintaining an agent in a foreign country, such as the travel and identity documents required" and interpreted data from other departments to obtain the current intelligence within areas of illegal operation. The IO section additionally handles the debriefing of some staff members and the publication of false information on foreign intelligence targets by using gathered data from their assessments.
Research by: C.A.A. Savastano