The Miami Herald
February 22, 2001

Cuba: Alpha 66 made payments to dissident

                                      BY ELAINE DE VALLE

                                      The Cuban government has accused a Miami exile paramilitary group
                                      of making payments to a dissident who was arrested for allegedly
                                      threatening Mexican diplomats and news organizations on the island.

                                      Cuba's Interior Ministry announced Wednesday the arrest of Elizardo
                                      San Pedro Marín, who allegedly worked for Alpha 66.

                                      A rare statement from Cuba's Interior Ministry said San Pedro had
                                      confessed to sending messages that hinted at actions against
                                      Mexico's new envoy to Cuba, Ricardo Pascoe, viewed as
                                      sympathetic to President Fidel Castro's communist government.
                                      Pascoe announced in January that he would close his doors to
                                      Cuban dissidents.

                                      San Pedro allegedly confessed to working for Alpha 66 under the
                                      code name ``Adrian'' and taking $1,200 from group for his role
                                      ``terrorizing'' those favoring ties with the Cuban government, the
                                      Communist Party daily Granma said.

                                      Nazario denied working with San Pedro, but admitted sending a
                                      telegram. The Interior Ministry said San Pedro sent it to the Mexican

                                      Nazario said he sent it to Pascoe and Mexican Foreign Minister
                                      Jorge Castañeda because Mexico seemed to be softening its stance
                                      toward Castro.

                                      ``But it was not a threat,'' Nazario insisted.

                                      ``We weren't going to do them any harm. We even told them not to
                                      be scared. It was just to call their attention to the matter.''

                                      ``Adrian'' does exist, Nazario and other Alpha 66 members say, but
                                      he's not San Pedro. ``Adrian'' is a group, they say.