Dirección de Inteligencia

Coordinates: 23°08′18″N 82°23′55″W / 23.1384°N 82.3986°W / 23.1384; -82.3986
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Dirección de Inteligencia
(DI / G2)
Agency overview
JurisdictionMinistry of the Interior (MININT)
HeadquartersHavana, Cuba
Minister responsible
Agency executive

The Intelligence Directorate (Spanish: Dirección de Inteligencia, DI), commonly known as G2 and, until 1989, named Dirección General de Inteligencia (DGI),[3] is the main state intelligence agency of the government of Cuba. The DI was founded in late 1961 by Cuba's Ministry of the Interior shortly after the Cuban Revolution. The DI is responsible for all foreign intelligence collection and comprises six divisions divided into two categories, which are the Operational Divisions and the Support Divisions.

Manuel "Redbeard" Piñeiro was the first director of the DI in 1961, and his term lasted until 1964. Another top leader who directed the famous office, located on Linea and A, Vedado, was the now retired Div. General, Jesús Bermúdez Cutiño. He was transferred from being the chief of the Army Intelligence (DIM) to the Ministry of Interior after the corruption trials and executions of Arnaldo Ochoa and José Abrantes Fernández in 1989. The current head of the DI is Brig. Gen. Eduardo Delgado Rodríguez.

The total number of people working for the DI is about 15,000.[1][2]

Recruiting techniques[edit]

New recruits do research within the ministry, mostly on counterintelligence fields (which has its own five-year career academy) and also, over regular college students, who are recruited around the second year on their programs. Those students mostly study languages, history, communications, and sociology. Once they get their diplomas, they undergo several months of official intelligence training, and a year or so after, they receive the rank of lieutenant.

KGB and StB relationship[edit]

The Soviet Union's KGB and the Cuban DI had a complex relationship, marked by times of extremely close cooperation and by periods of extreme competition. The Soviet Union saw the new revolutionary government in Cuba as an excellent proxy agent in areas of the world where Soviet involvement lacked popular local-level support. Nikolai Leonov, the KGB chief in Mexico City, one of the first Soviet officials to recognize Fidel Castro's potential as a revolutionary, urged the Soviet administration to strengthen ties with the new Cuban leader. Moscow saw Cuba as having far more appeal with new revolutionary movements, western intellectuals, and members of the New Left with Cuba's perceived David and Goliath struggle against U.S. imperialism.

However, in the early 1960s, Czechoslovak intelligence (StB) had more intensive contacts with emerging Cuban DI than KGB. Czechoslovaks provided Cubans with intelligence reports, spy equipment, and training. Manuel Piñeiro was in regular contact with the StB station chief in Cuba and appreciated the quality of Czechoslovak intelligence reports that were important for sustaining the Cuban revolution in its early years. Cubans wanted to rely on the StB in building DI and the Ministry of Interior. However the Soviets soon stopped such initiatives.[5]

Czechoslovak intelligence cooperated with DI on top secret Operation Manuel which lasted from 1962 to 1969, moving 1179 Latin American revolutionaries via Prague back to Latin America. Czechoslovak intelligence helped DI to falsify the passports of Latin Americans who trained in Cuba to become guerrillas.[5]

Shortly after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Moscow invited 1,500 DI agents, including Che Guevara, to the KGB's Moscow Center for intensive training in intelligence operations.

Dismayed by Cuban debâcles in Zaire (1977 and 1978) and in Bolivia (1966–67) as well as by a perceived growing independence from Moscow, the Soviets sought a more active role in shaping the DI. In 1970 a team of KGB advisers led by Gen. Viktor Semyonov was sent to the DI to purge it of officers and agents considered anti-Soviet by the KGB. Manuel Piñeiro, becoming increasingly upset at the co-option of the DI by the Soviets, was removed during the 1970 purge and replaced with the pro-Soviet José Méndez Cominches as head of the DI.

Semyonov also took this opportunity to oversee a rapid expansion of the DI's "western" operations. By 1971, 70 percent of the Cuban diplomats in London were actually DI agents and proved invaluable to Moscow after the British government's mass expulsion of Soviet intelligence officers.[citation needed]

In 1962 the Soviet Union opened its largest foreign SIGINT site in Lourdes, Cuba, approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Havana. The Lourdes facility is reported[by whom?] to cover a 28 square-mile (73 km2) area, with 1,000 to 1,500 Soviet and later solely Russian engineers, technicians, and military personnel working at the base. Those familiar with the Lourdes facility have confirmed that the base has multiple groups of tracking dishes and its own satellite system, with some groups used to intercept telephone calls, faxes, and computer communications in general, and with other groups used to cover targeted telephones and devices.[6]

The Soviets also collaborated with the DI to assist Central Intelligence Agency defector Philip Agee in the publication of the Covert Action Information Bulletin.[citation needed]

Operations abroad[edit]

Throughout its 40-year history the DI has been actively involved in aiding leftist movements, primarily in Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.[7]

There have also been allegations that Cuban DI agents interrogated U.S. POWs held at the Cu Loc POW camp in North Vietnam.[8]


Shortly after the election of Salvador Allende as president of Chile in November 1970, the DI worked extremely closely to strengthen Allende's increasingly precarious position.[9] The Cuban DI station chief Luis Fernández Oña married Allende's daughter Beatriz, who later committed suicide in Cuba.


Shortly after a popular bloodless coup in Grenada, led by Maurice Bishop, the Cuban DI sent advisers to the island nation to assist the new government. The DI was also instrumental in persuading the Soviet Union to aid Grenada, aid that Grenadian general Hudson Austin called essential to the success of the Caribbean anti-imperialist movement. The DI coordinated 780 Cuban engineers and intelligence operatives.[citation needed]


Beginning in 1967 the DI had begun to establish ties with various Nicaraguan revolutionary organizations. The Soviets were upset at what they saw as Cuba upstaging the KGB in Nicaragua.[citation needed] By 1970 the DI had managed to train hundreds of Sandinista guerrilla leaders and had vast influence over the organization. In 1969 the DI had financed and organized an operation to free the jailed Sandinistan leader Carlos Fonseca from his prison in Costa Rica. Fonseca was captured shortly after the jail break, but after a plane carrying executives from the United Fruit Company was hijacked by the Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), he was freed and allowed to travel to Cuba.

DI chief Manuel Piñeiro commented that "of all the countries in Latin America, the most active work being carried out by us is in Nicaragua."[10]

The DI, with Fidel Castro's personal blessing, also collaborated with the FSLN on the botched assassination attempt of Turner B. Shelton, the U.S. ambassador in Managua and a close friend to the Somoza family.[11] The FSLN managed to secure several hostages, exchanging them for safe passage to Cuba and a $1 million ransom. After the successful ousting of Anastasio Somoza, DI involvement in the new Sandinista government expanded rapidly. An early indication of the central role that the DI would play in the Cuban–Nicaraguan relationship a meeting in Havana on 27 July 1979, at which diplomatic ties between the two countries were re-established after over 25 years. Julián López Díaz, a prominent DI agent, was named ambassador to Nicaragua.

Cuban military and DI advisers initially brought in during the Sandinistan insurgency, would swell to over 2,500 and operated at all levels of the new Nicaraguan government. Sandinista defector Álvaro Baldizón confirmed that Cuban influence in Nicaragua's Interior Ministry (MINT) was more extensive than was widely believed at the time, and Cuban "advice" and "observations" were treated as though they were orders.[citation needed]

Puerto Rico[edit]

The DI sought to aid the growing Puerto Rican separatist movement.[12] Dr. Daniel James testified before a U.S. Senate subcommittee that the DGI, working through Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, organized and trained the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN) in 1974.

In October 1974, Ojeda was arrested and charged with terrorist acts against American hotels in Puerto Rico. Authorities found a substantial amount of Cuban government documents and secret codes in his possession. Shortly after his release on bail he disappeared but was credited with the 1979 unification of Puerto Rico's five principal terrorist groups into the Cuban-directed National Revolutionary Command (CRN). According to the former chief investigator of the U.S. Senate, Alfonso Tarabochia, the DGI began directing criminal activities in Puerto Rico and the eastern and midwestern United States as early as 1974. That June the secretary general of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party, Juan Marí Bras, met in Havana with Fidel Castro to consolidate party solidarity.

Beginning in September 1974, the incidence of bombings by Puerto Rican extremists, particularly the FALN, escalated sharply. Targets included U.S. companies and public places. The FALN was responsible for a bombing that killed four and wounded dozens at the historic Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan on January 25, 1975. Later that year, Fidel Castro sponsored the First World Solidarity Conference for the Independence of Puerto Rico in Havana.

Ríos was killed by the FBI on Friday, September 23, 2005, in the town of Hormigueros, Puerto Rico.[13]

Camp Matanzas[edit]

Camp Matanzas is a training facility operated by the DI and is located outside Havana since early 1962. It has hosted the likes of Carlos the Jackal.[14]


  1. ^ a b Chris Hippner, "A Study Into the Size of the World's Intelligence Industry" (Master's Thesis, December 2009), 90
  2. ^ a b "Edward González and Kevin McCarthy, "Cuba After Castro: Legacies, Challenges, and Impediments," RAND (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2004), 44" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2006-06-14. Retrieved 2014-09-13.
  3. ^ a b c (in Spanish) Dirección de Inteligencia on cubamilitar.org
  4. ^ (in Spanish) Eduardo Delgado Rodríguez on cubamilitar.org
  5. ^ a b Koura, Jan; Waters, Robert Anthony (2019-12-01). "'Africanos' versus 'Africanitos' the Soviet-Czechoslovak Competition to Protect the Cuban Revolution". The International History Review. 43: 72–89. doi:10.1080/07075332.2019.1692892. ISSN 0707-5332. S2CID 213918708.
  6. ^ "Lourdes Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) facility". Federation of American Scientists. October 2001.
  7. ^ Mihai Pacepa, Ion (10 August 2006). "Who Is Raúl Castro?". National Review. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  8. ^ Benge, Michael D. (4 October 1999). "Cuban War Crimes Against American POWs". Autentico. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  9. ^ Reyez, José (1 April 2015). "Inteligencia cubana intentó evitar golpe de Estado de Pinochet en Chile". CONTRALÍNEA. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  10. ^ Andrew, Christopher; Mitrokhin, Vasili (1999). The sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB. Basic Books. p. 386.
  11. ^ Robert Moskin, J. (2013). American Statecraft: The Story of the U.S. Foreign Service. Macmillan. ISBN 9781250037466. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  12. ^ "Directorate General of Intelligence (DGI)". Global Security. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  13. ^ Harding, Colin (26 September 2005). "Filiberto Ojeda Rios". The Independent. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  14. ^ Ovid Demaris (7 November 1977). "Carlos: The Most Dangerous Man In The World". New York Magazine. p. 35.

External links[edit]

23°08′18″N 82°23′55″W / 23.1384°N 82.3986°W / 23.1384; -82.3986