Miami Herald
September 9, 1980

Ex-Spy Blames CIA For Arrest in Cuba

TRENTON, N.J. - (AP) - A Cuban defector sent to her homeland by the CIA to spy on her husband is suing the United States for $1 million, claiming that inadequate training led to her being captured and jailed for nine years.

Carmen Mackowski charged in a federal suit filed in Trenton that proper training by the Central Intelligence Agency would have enabled her to avoid "detection, arrest, imprisonment and subsequent illness."

The former Maria del Carmen y Ruiz was instructed in espionage for a month before she returned to Cuba in the 1960s to spy on her husband, Alfredo Ruiz, then director of Cuba's "Department Against Spies," said her attorney. Robert Greenberg. She has since remarried.

Mrs. Mackowski, now 44, spent nine years in a Cuban jail. She was sentenced to 20 years after her arrest one night in mid-1968 by two Cuban agents white she tried to relay a message to the United States from a park in Havana.

"The transmission equipment was set up in the park, but the Cuban security men were waiting for her when she got there," Greenberg said.

The suit changes the CIA with 'utterly failing' to properly train Mrs. Mackowski for a "delicate and demanding assignment."

Born in Cuba, Mrs. Mackowski lived in the United States and her native island, and joined forces with Fidel Castro in 1955. She later moved to the United States as an anti-Communist, becoming a citizen.

Greenberg said she worked for the CIA from December 1964 until her release from prison in December 1977. The suit charges she was paid the "paltry and unconscionable sum" of $250 per month during her CIA work. It also says that in prison, Mrs. Mackowski contracted pneumonia, turberculosis and developed a tumor in her left lung.