Accused Cuban Agent Marta Rita Velázquez Allegedly Sought Polygraph Training from Cuban Intelligence Service

The Princeton Alumni Weekly identifies the woman on the right as Marta Rita Velázquez as a student on 18 March 1977.
The Princeton Alumni Weekly identifies the woman on the right as Marta Rita Velázquez (class of 1979) at an anti-apartheid demonstration in 1977.

On 25 April 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice revealed the existence of a previously sealed indictment (455 kb PDF) against former U.S. Agency for International Development employee Marta Rita Velázquez, who is charged with a single count of conspiracy to commit espionage. The indictment alleges that it was Velázquez who recruited Ana Belen Montes, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s senior Cuba analyst who in 2002 pled guilty to spying for Cuba. The indictment was secretly issued on 5 February 2004, and an arrest warrant was issued the following day. According to Jim Popkin of the Washington Post, Velázquez lives in Sweden, whose extradition treaty with the United States “does not allow extradition for spying.”

The indictment recounts details of an alleged trip to Cuba that Velázquez and Montes made together in 1985 to received training from the Cuban Intelligence Service, including the following item:

(19) In or about early April 1985, while clandestinely in Cuba, defendant VELÁZQUEZ, with Montes, asked the Cuban Intelligence Service to give them “practice” polygraphs so that they would be able to pass polygraphs they might have to take in connection with future United States government employment.

The indictment provides no further details regarding any polygraph instruction received, but a recent Washington Post magazine feature article (also by Jim Popkin) about Ana Belen Montes indicates that such training was indeed provided:

Her tradecraft was classic. In Havana, agents with the Cuban intelligence service taught Montes how to slip packages to agents innocuously, how to communicate safely in code and how to disappear if needed. They even taught Montes how to fake her way through a polygraph test. She later told investigators it involves the strategic tensing of the sphincter muscles. It’s unknown if the ploy worked, but Montes did pass a DIA-administered polygraph in 1994, after a decade of spying.

For discussion of the Montes case, see Source: Cuban Spy Ana Belen Montes Passed DIA Polygraph on the AntiPolygraph.org message board.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Current day month ye@r *