The Miami Herald
Wed, Sep. 30, 2009

Defamation suit settled in Cuban 'agent' case


A defamation lawsuit filed by a Cuban American anti-embargo activist against a U.S. counterintelligence expert who branded her a Havana "agent'' has been settled, both sides say.

"The case of Silvia Wilhelm vs. Chris Simmons has been settled. The terms of the resolution are confidential,'' the two sides said in identical statements issued late Tuesday.

Wilhelm's Fort Lauderdale lawyer, Bruce Rogow, declined comment on the settlement. "The language of the announcement speaks for itself.'' But he denied media reports that she had dropped the lawsuit.

Court documents show that on Sept. 2 Rogow filed an "Agreed Notice of Resolution,'' reporting that on Aug. 26, "the parties resolved this dispute, with one aspect of the resolution to be completed by Sept. 25.''

Simmons, a retired Cuba counter-intelligence expert with the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), also declined further comment.

Appearing in a Miami Spanish-language talk show last October, Simmons said that convicted Cuban agent Carlos Alvarez, a former professor at Florida International University, had identified Wilhelm in his confession.

Simmons, who played a key role in identifying Ana Belen Montes, the DIA's top Cuba analyst, as a Havana spy, also identified six others as Cuban agents during his Miami television appearances.

Wilhelm, a Cuban American active in opposing the U.S. embargo on Havana, flatly denied the allegation and filed a lawsuit against Simmons for malicious slander in December before U.S. District Court Judge Marcia G. Cook

Simmons has said he based his allegations on declassified records, interviews with Cuban intelligence defectors and other witnesses he didn't identify.