San Juan Star
July 24, 1983

Cuban defected?

MIAMI (UPI) - A high-ranking Cuban government official defected to the United States during a trip to New York City last week, a Spanish language radio station reported.

Jesus Raul Perez Mendez, a member of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), has requested political asylum, the station said Friday.

U.S. officials would neither confirm nor deny the report.

According to Central Intelligence Agency documents, Perez is chief of the Overseas Community Department at ICAP. The department specializes in relations between Cuba and Cuban exiles.

WRHC news director Tomas Regalado said Perez was on an "official mission to New York" when he decided to defect. Regalado quoted unidentified U.S. intelligence sources as saying Perez held the rank of captain in the Directorio General de Inteligencia, the Cuban intelligence organization.