Friday, February 7, 2014

Néstor Baguer con boina

When Cuban Néstor Baguer died, aged 83 in 2004, it was the end of a number of interesting careers.
Baguer started his professional life at 14, when he published his first newspaper articles. He worked for numerous Cuban newspapers and radio stations and was co-founder of the journalist’s union. For his works on the Spanish language, he was made a distinguished member of the Cuban Academy of the Language.
Another career was that of dissident and outspoken agitator, using Miami-based news agencies and websites to campaign for over a decade against Fidel Castro and expose the miseries of everyday life under the dictatorship. Fêted by the anti-communist lobby in exile as the doyen of domestic resistance, he was an honoured guest and protegé in the United States Interest Section at the Swiss Embassy in Havana. Reviled by his former colleagues in the Cuban media, he was expelled from the Academy and his press credentials were withdrawn.
His third career was being the priceless “agent Octavio” for the Cuban secret service, infiltrating dissident circles and filing meticulous reports on their activities and funding. His espionage only came to light when he gave crucial testimony against 75 activists jailed last April for “conspiracy with the USA to undermine Cuba’s national sovereignty”. His cover blown, public honours were restored and he was acclaimed as a hero of the revolution.

It shows again that not every beret wearer is as honourable as he looks under his beret…

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