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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 11, 1963

LETTER FROM DUTCH EMBASSY, HAVANA (POS), 11 NOVEMBER 1963

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    R.H. Pos, the Dutch Ambassador to Cuba, writes home to Amsterdam reporting on attempts at espionage in the Dutch Embassy. The gardener reported to the Embassy staff that he was invited to take a seat in an automobile used by the Cuban secret service. He was asked by the Cuban government to observe which Cubans and foreigners frequent the Dutch Embassy. He refused them point blank, which the Dutch Embassy thanked.
    "Letter from Dutch Embassy, Havana (Pos), 11 November 1963," November 11, 1963, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, National Archives, The Hague, Archive of the Dutch Legation (later Embassy) in Cuba, 1955-1964, 2.05.169, inv. 120. Obtained for CWIHP by Rimko van der Maar and translated for CWIHP by Bastiaan Bouwman. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115710
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2248/411-GS.60

Havana, 11 November 1963.

SECRET

Espionage in Dutch Embassy.

With reference to letters from our part d[ate]d 30 June 1962 and 24 October the same year, resp. no. 1395/359-GS.67 and no. 2345/550 confidential, it is my honor to report the following to Your Excellency.

Today the gardener of the Embassy, Mario HERNANDEZ, reported to Dr. Reinink that on the 7th of this month upon leaving the Embassy he was invited to take a seat in an automobile without license plates in which there were four persons employed by the Cuban secret service. He recognized one of the passengers because he had been present at a first interrogation which was the subject of aforementioned letter of 24 October. Two of the passengers belonged, according to Hernández, to the white race while the other two were mulattos.

In contrast to the first time Hernández said this time he was not taken to a secret service office. During a ride through town Hernández was, according to him, urged to render certain services for Cuba and his revolution in his capacity as gardener of the Embassy. He could make himself truly meritorious by closely observing which Cubans and foreigners frequented the chancellery of the Embassy and by noting the numbers of their automobiles, if any.

As he did the first time, Hernández this time too forcefully denied the request of his interrogators and stated that he was, given his work, not only unable but moreover not willing to act as a spy against his Dutch principals. Thereupon they had offered him money for such services but Hernández said he did not accept this offer either. Finally they had urged him not to let the Embassy know of this conversation. If he would nevertheless do so - and they claimed to have means to discover this - he would come to regret this. Hernández told Dr. Reinink he had then made clear to his interrogators that he indeed would be reporting about this matter immediately.

The Embassy council has thanked Hernández for his report and his firm attitude yet at the same time advised him to be prudent and to avoid that the Cuban agents in question would as a consequence of overly emotional reactions from his side be more agitated than would be strictly necessary.

For the record it is to be noted that the conversation related above took place in the garden of the Embassy.

The Ambassador,

Dr.R.H.Pos.