Wednesday, July 9, 2014
WASHINGTON. Sen. Robert “Bob” Menendez has asked the U.S. Justice Department. US. to investigate whether the Cuban government hatched a plot to accuse him of having links with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic, according to The Washington Post.
Menendez is one of the biggest critics of the regime of Raul Castro (and before Fidel) and considered a major obstacle to any approach to the island, both in Congress and in the White House, because of its influence on the Barack Obama.
“I would not be surprised that the [Cuban] regime had done everything possible to prevent me achieve a position that would slow their hopes of maintaining a different relationship with US.” Said Menendez CNN after the publication of the alleged Cuban involvement .
The Post, citing sources familiar with the situation unidentified, says lawyer Menendez sent a letter to the Justice Department in holding that the plot sought to thwart the reelection of Menendez as chairman of the influential House Committee on Foreign Affairs senate.
The letter was sent last April but has not been made public, reports the U.S. newspaper.
Menendez’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, The Post confirmed sending the letter, but declined to reveal the contents of the same.
“It is really alarming that a foreign government which is hostile to U.S. intelligence. UU. Could you try to influence U.S. policy to discredit an elected official who is an opponent of the Cuban regime,” said Ryan.
The allegations against Menendez came to light in November 2012 when the Daily Caller, a conservative website, quoted two Dominican women who claimed that the senator had been paid for sex with him.
The federal police (FBI) opened an investigation but was unable to corroborate the veracity of the allegations.
Last year, three Dominican women who had initially secured Menendez receiving money for sleeping with them retracted.
The Post reports that a former senior U.S. official, familiar with the situation says that the CIA has obtained credible evidence of the involvement of Cuba, including internet addresses that link to Cuban agents with accusations of use of prostitutes, as well as plans for release in the history of U.S. media. UU. and Latin America.
The alleged Cuban connection is detailed in an intelligence report that was delivered last year to U.S. officials and sent to the counterintelligence division of the FBI, according to sources who spoke to the Post.
The intelligence claims that Cuban agents created a fake snitch, by the name of Pete Williams as saying the FBI had information about the participation of Menéndez in the Dominican Republic parties with underage prostitutes.
Sen. stayed during their vacation in the Dominican Republic, at the residence of his friend, the millionaire ophthalmologist Melgen Dominican Salomon, who is also giving legislator.
The FBI never got Menendez flirting with prostitution services in Dominican Republic. Nor could link the emails “Pete Williams” with a “real person.”
Parents Democratic senator from New Jersey left Cuba in 1953 fleeing the regime of Fulgencio Batista and settled in New York City in which Menendez was born in 1954.
His parents later would move to New Jersey, where the lawyer and senator styled his political career.
Meanwhile, yesterday, senators from both major U.S. parties. UU., Interviewed by The Record, Northern New Jersey, supported the request for Menendez to the Justice Department investigate a possible Cuban connection in an attempt to discredit him.
I think we should really get to the bottom of this, “he told The Record Republican Senator John McCain.
“If it’s true, and it seems that it is, I think Senator Menendez have raised a calumny,” said the veteran lawmaker from Arizona.
“I think it is your right to know the truth,” said meanwhile Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticutt and federal former prosecutor. “That kind of unscrupulous trickery, potentially illegal, should be investigated.”
Sen. Benjamin Cardin, Democrat of Maryland and member of the Foreign Relations Committee chaired Menendez said he already had a low opinion of Cuba, due to the imprisonment of Alan Gross, a constituent who worked for a foreign aid program of the United States.
“But this goes beyond what can be expected from the behavior of a legitimate government,” Cardin said. He added that although the Senate can do very little in favor of Cuba, the incident could hamper future relaxations of trade restrictions.
“It will make much more problematic improve relations,” Cardin said.
Although not commented directly on Menendez, fellow Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio said that the U.S. underestimated the intelligence of the Cuban government.
“In fact, it is one of the three or four most active intelligence agencies in the U.S.. UU.” Said Rubio.
“This is an ongoing challenge for all governments,” Rubio, Florida native of Cuban descent who is a member of both the Intelligence Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations said.
“It’s a matter of espionage. When it comes to the collection of information and the ability to conduct intelligence operations, the Cuban government hits well above its actual weight,” he said.
In Havana, the only response was an article in the official web CubaDebate entitled “Bob Menendez try to wash their dirty laundry with Cuba.”-AGENCIES