The truth about arrest of Czech citizens who encouraged subversion
• Ivan Pilip and Jan Bubenix were working on missions assigned to them
United States by the counterrevolutionary organization Freedom House, with
the intention of destabilizing the country • ‘If you desire a decent solution to the
problem, you should admit that we are right, appeal to our generosity, and never
again commit the error of questioning our truth nor putting our resolution to the
test,’ confirms a declaration from the Cuban Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
A detailed report from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MINREX)
highlights that the detention of Czech citizens Ivan Pilip and Jan
Bubenix, caught while encouraging internal subversion in the country, on
the orders of the U.S. counterrevolutionary organization Freedom
House, was a legitimate act of defense of Cuba against those who
violated its laws and assaulted its security.
"The government of the Czech Republic, as part of the campaign
launched to question the Cuban charges, have continued to maintain that
our country’s accusations against the two Czech citizens are false.
"Out of lack of information, prejudice or malice, representatives of other
countries have echoed this fountain of lies and have expressed opinions
which, due to their content and nature, are damaging to the people and
government of Cuba," asserts the document which has been released to
the press and published on the Foreign Ministry’s website.
Ivan Pilip and Jan Bubenix violated their status as tourists
and—complying with directives given by Freedom House—held
meetings of a conspiratorial nature with members of small subversive
groups in Ciego de Avila province, to whom they tried to provide the
resources necessary to complete their program of subversive activities,
designed by the U.S. government through the guise of Freedom House
to undermine the Revolution.
The report specifies that both agents arrived in Cuba at José Martí
International Airport on January 8, on flight CBE-7538 from Cancún,
Mexico. Before their arrival in our country they had spent a few days in
the United States, where they met with Freedom House officials
including Robert Pontichera, the institution’s program director, who
proposed to pay for a visit by Pilip to Cuba, accompanied by a friend,
with the aim of contacting small subversive groups there.
The investigations undertaken by the Cuban authorities confirmed that
Pilip and Bubenix arrived in New York at the beginning of January. On
January 6, during a dinner, Pontichera gave them the names of people
opposed to the Cuban government whom they were to contact in Cuba,
and instructed the Czechs to converse with them to gain information
about the country’s political, economic and social situation.
Pontichera gave them a list of names and $1,400 USD to cover
accommodations, rentals and meals, for which they would have to
provide receipts, and provided them with a laptop computer and various
accessories including floppy discs and compact discs to be handed over
to the people they would meet with in Cuba. He explained to them that
on their return from the island they should contact the Freedom House
representative and brief him on the outcome of the visit and the
The two agents’ return itinerary would be
Havana-Cancún-Miami-Washington, and they would spend a few days
at that final destination.
Pontichera also informed them that the names of the people with whom
they met in Cuba should be registered in their electronic organizer using
a code to prevent Cuban authorities from obtaining the information in
case of arrest.
From investigations into the Czechs’ stay in Cuba, it is known that when
they arrived in our country they rented a car with the plates T-005267
which they used to travel to Matanzas, Cienfuegos and Sancti Spíritus,
like the average tourist taking a trip around western Cuba. On January
11 they moved on to Ciego de Avila, the first point of contact, according
to the list of names given to them in the United States.
In this province they visited two known counterrevolutionaries with
whom they discussed the topics specified by Pontichera, and tried to
gain the information desired by Freedom House. The list of names and
addresses was protected by electronic security.
"The task entrusted to Pilip and Bubenix is nothing new in our country.
It represents yet another example of the Czech Republic’s attempts to
interfere with and destabilize the Cuban revolutionary process," states
the report, which recounts in detail these attempts over the last 10 years.
Information from MINREX confirms that in reply to the arrest, Czech
President Vaclav Havel has made statements against our country, aimed
at offending and slandering a people whose bravery, heroism and
devotion to the truth is impossible for him to imagine. It emphasizes that
one day the world will know the truth about these "democratic defenders
of human rights"—that is, if any memory of them is preserved in
"The Czech government forgets that Cuba is a sovereign country which
does not allow its laws to be violated with impunity and has the right and
the jurisdiction to try and punish those who commit crimes in our
Republic, as is the case with Mr. Pilip and Mr. Bubenix."
"They have put forward the argument that Mr. Pilip is a deputy in the
Czech Parliament, but Mr. Pilip traveled to Cuba as a tourist, not as a
politician. Therefore, according to international law and the Vienna
Conventions concerning Diplomatic Relations and Special Missions, that
Czech citizen does not qualify for immunity because he was neither
acting as a diplomatic agent nor as a member of a special mission. What
is more, in these cases international law states that he should obtain
permission for the visit from the Cuban state, which he did not do,"
according to the report.
"We have irrefutable proof of the facts published in this report about
conduct of the above-mentioned Czech diplomatic officials and the
arrested citizens Ivan Pilip and Jan Bubenix," assures MINREX.
Further on, the report adds: "At the height of our present moral and
political strength, we cannot harbor feelings of revenge against any
nation or any citizen in this world. Above all, we are following the truth
and defending our honor.
"Recognize with honesty what has happened and apologize to our
people. This will have more effect than all the lies and insults; more than
all international pressure; more than NATO and its bombings and
missiles; more than the power of all the rich countries and all their
money rolled into one.
"If you desire a decent solution to the problem, you should admit that
we are right, appeal to our generosity, and never again commit the error
of questioning our truth nor of putting our resolution to the test,"
confirms the declaration issued by the Cuban Ministry for Foreign