University staffers charged as covert agents.
UNIVERSITY STAFFERS CHARGED AS COVERT AGENTS. Two Cuban-Americans
have been charged with being covert agents for Cuba's government
for almost three decades and were denied bail when they made their first
court appearance in Miami, reports AFP (Jan.10, 2006). Carlos Alvarez,
61, a Florida International University professor, and his wife Elsa
Alvarez, 55, who also works at the university, were both charged with
one count of failing to register as agents of a foreign government. The
indictment alleges Carlos Alvarez worked for Cuba's Directorate of
Intelligence (DI) and its predecessor agencies since 1977, while his
wife worked as a covert agent since 1982. The defendants gathered
information for the DI in the United States, informing on groups and
individuals who oppose Cuban President Fidel Castro, "and carrying
out other operational directives," the indictment said. The
prosecutor said the two confessed to their activities last year.
"They admitted serving as spies," he said, adding that the two
naturalized US citizens conceded their "primary allegiance is to
Cuba." But an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation who
testified at the hearing said he had no information suggesting the
couple were paid by Cuba. He also admitted that the two apparently did
not have access to top secret information or military intelligence. If
convicted, they could each face up to 10 years in jail and a maximum
fine of US$250,000.