Spy vs Spy
His name is Timothy Langford, a 48-year-old who has spent the past 25 as a Latin American specialist with the Central Intelligence Agency. His job is to keep tabs on what’s going on across the Straits of Florida (and in Caracas). In a low-key kind of way, of course. No grandstanding.
But they do things differently in Havana.
There, the official propaganda sheet of the Castro regime, Granma, has just published a lengthy article (in Spanish) about the supposedly well-connected Mr Langford, describing him as the “new Bush super-spy” whose job is to “continue the dirty war against Cuba”.
You know, the usual stuff we get from the regime.
But the article also includes what most probably can be read as a crude, old-fashioned warning to the new appointee: your movements have been watched very closely.
That is why Granma reports with considerable glee that Mr Langford visited Havana - as a diplomatic "guest" of the US Interest Section - during the historic 1998 visit by Pope John Paul II, but that his activities were "anything but saintly".
Cryptically, the paper says that Mr Langford “had plenty of time to enjoy the Havana lifestyle … try out our legendary rum and smoke our inimitable cigars”.
In other words, the highly-efficient and all-pervasive Cuban intelligence services kept a close eye on the visitor during his stay on the island.
All very Cold War, isn’t it? And characteristic of the way in which the Castro regime, even in its death throes, deals with those it perceives as its enemies, inside the island or out.