Famous Cold War spy Ana Montes is now free

Ana Montes, one of the most famous Cold War-era spies captured by the United States, has been released after serving more than 20 years in prison.

Montes, 65, was caught spying for Cuba while working as an analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency.

After his arrest in 2001, officials said Montes had exposed nearly all of the US intelligence operations in Cuba.

One official said that Montes was “the most damaging” of all the spies captured by the US.

Michelle Van Cleave, who was the head of the counterintelligence unit during the George W. Bush era, said in a statement to Congress in 2012 that “Montes has revealed everything he knows about Cuba and how they operate in Cuba”.

“So the Cubans were aware of everything we knew about them and could use it to their advantage. In addition, in conversations with his colleagues, he was able to penetrate predictions about Cuba and also had the opportunity to pass on the information he had gathered to other powers.”

Following his arrest, Montes was charged with exposing the identities of four American spies and passing on huge amounts of classified information. Sentencing 25 years in prison, the judge accused Montes of endangering “an entire nation”.

But unlike other notorious spies captured during the Cold War, Montes’ motivation was ideology. He had agreed to work with Cuban intelligence, in part because of the Reagan administration’s activities in Latin America.

According to the Department of Defense report, Montes is particularly USAHe was enraged by the support of the right-wing contra-guerrillas in Nicaragua accused of committing war crimes.

Montes was first approached by a friend at Johns Hopkins University after he expressed anger at American activities in Nicaragua. She was later introduced to a Cuban intelligence officer at a dinner party in New York.

A year after training in Havana, he joined the Defense Intelligence Agency, where he became the agency’s senior analyst on Cuban governance.

For almost 20 years, he met with Cuban contacts every few weeks at restaurants in the capital, Washington, and sent top secret information via a pager. He received his instructions through shortwave radio broadcasts.

He was arrested in September 2001 after American intelligence officials learned that a government employee was spying for Cuba.

After Montes is released, he will be detained for another five years and his internet use will be monitored. Montes will also not be able to work in public and meet strangers without permission. But Pete Lapp, one of the FBI agents who arrested Montes, said he didn’t think Montes would try to re-establish contact with Cuban agents. “That part of his life is over,” Lapp said. He did what he would do for them. “I don’t think he will jeopardize his freedom,” he said.