Master Sargeant Tessa M. Fontaine, in charge of the enigmatic Cuban spy case
By Miguel Fernández Díaz (Café Fuerte)
HAVANA TIMES — A yet unidentified Cuban spy convicted to 13 years in prison in the United States has come into the limelight following the bestowal of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Bronze Medal on Master Sergeant Tessa M. Fontaine.
The case was processed by the NRO Counterintelligence and Cyber-Counterintelligence Division in Chantilly, Virginia. Fontaine engaged in 148 hours of interrogation with spies and documented 16 hours of espionage activities conducted by Cuba’s Intelligence Department (DI).
According to the limited information provided by the NRO, Fontaine’s work helped protect an intelligence system valued at 5 billion dollars.
The case of the “new Cuban spy”, however, continues to be shrouded in secrecy.
Chris Simmons, the US intelligence officer in charge of the case of Ana Belen Montes, the Cuban superspy who had infiltrated the Pentagon, affirms there is utter secrecy regarding the individual under investigation and convicted thanks to Fontaine.
It has yet to be established whether the spy is of Cuban nationality or whether they are a US citizen working for Cuba.
The information was made available by the NRO at the end of May following reconnaissance activities and the promotion of officials on the occasion of Memorial Day.
Fontaine had already been named Deputy Official of the Year by the Air Force in 2013. Born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, she is currently stationed in the Lackland Air Base in San Antonio, Texas. She has served in international missions in both Kuwait and Iraq.
Cuba’s Interest in the NRO
The NRO designs, manufactures, launches and gives maintenance to all US spy satellites. Cuba has no space program and its military infrastructure is obsolete. As such, it is of little interest to the NRO, which in turn does not represent a threat to Cuba.
Everything seems to indicate that Cuba’s DI had an interest in the NRO nonetheless, in much the same way its Red Avispa wasp network was interested in US air bases.
No reference to the Cuban spy detected by Fontaine has yet been made in US public documents or media.
Cuba continues to pursue its international campaign calling for the release of the three agents from the Red Avispa who are still imprisoned in the United States, but interestingly it has never spoken on behalf of Ana Belen Montes, convicted to 25 years in prison, and for Kendal and Gwendolyn Myers, who leaked secret State Department information to Havana for decades. Kendall Myers was sentenced to life imprisonment and his wife Gwendolyn to five and a half years in prison in July of 2010.