America Department (DA)
Communist Party of Cuba
In December 1974 the independent National Liberation Directorate [DLN] was reorganized into the America Department (DA) under the Communist Party of Cuba Centra Committee. The DA centralized control over covert Cuban activities for supporting national liberation movements and the efforts of regimes such as those of Nicaragua and Grenada. This DA was responsible for planning and coordinating Cuba's secret guerrilla and terrorist training camps, networks for the covert movement of personnel and material from Cuba, and a propaganda apparatus. DA agents also operated in Europe and other regions in support of operations in the Americas.
The DA is organized into four regional sections - Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and North America - as well as a Center for Latin American Studies (CEAL) and a Center for North American Studies (CEA). Covers used by DA staff include diplomats, Cuba's Prensa Latina news agency, Cubana Airlines, the Institute for Friendship With the Peoples (ICAP), and Cuban-front companies.
Although usually overlooked by most analysts, the DA is reportedly the most powerful branch of the Cuban security apparatus. DA personnel regard themselves as the elite of the various Cuban security agencies. In 1983 the DA had between 200 and 300 members. The DA draws on the expertise and support of the DGI, sharing manpower to conduct specific operations.
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