Jorge Castañeda Gutman, the Foreign Secretary of Mexico under former President Vicente Fox who seemed to delight in hammering the United States, was a spy for the Cuban government, according to a Mexican newspaper.
Citing a declassified report in the Mexican National Archives from the defunct Federal Security Directorate (DFS), El Universal reports that Castañeda served as a spy and agent of influence for the Castro regime from 1979 to at least 1985.
No word yet from Castañeda for his version of events.
The report says that Jorge Luis Joa Campos, chief of the Mexico section of Cuba's General Intelligence Directorate (DGI), recruited Castañeda in 1979. Castañeda reportedly "surprised" the DGI with his productivity as a spy.
The 215-page DFS report shows that Castañeda not only passed secrets to Cuban intelligence, but served as an agent of influence to make propaganda for the regime in Havana. Thirty-seven pages of the report were redacted. Castañeda is influential among US policymakers on Western Hemisphere issues. He has also been a columnist for Newsweek and the New York Times.
As Foreign Secretary under conservative President Fox, Castañeda disappointed US leaders by moving Fox sharply to the left on international issues. He shepherded Mexico on to the United Nations Security Council and used the council as an international forum to hammer Washington. Despite Fox's proclaimed "special relationship" between Mexico and the US, Castañeda made it one of his top priorities to dismantle the successful inter-American security system that had been in place since the Rio Treaty of 1947.
The September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks aborted Castañeda attempts (Brazil invoked the mutual defense treaty on the United States' behalf), but Mexico's Department of Foreign Affairs was one of the last in the world - holding out with Qatar which had been supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan, Iraq's Saddam Hussein and North Korea's Kim Jong-il - to extend official condolences to the American people.
According to the report in El Universal, published February 4, Castañeda also spied on his own father, Jorge Castañeda y Álvarez de la Rosa, who served as Foreign Secretary under President Jose Lopez Portillo in the 1980s, and "pressured him to make decisions under Havana's dictates."
El Universal reports that, as Fox's foreign secretary, he would later begin undoing Mexico's close diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Last year, Castañeda surprised observers by calling for an "ideological and political struggle" against Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez - but not without demanding a poison pill concession from the United States to allow virtually uncontrolled immigration over its southern border.