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Argenpress, Argentina

The CIA in Ecuador:
Following the Steps of the
Diplomatic Agent Mark Sullivan

By Kintto Lucas

Translated By Holly Fernandez

18 March 2009

Argentina - Argenpress - Original Article (Spanish)

The revelation that supposed American diplomat, Mark Sullivan, in addition to heading a Special Investigations Unit (UIES), was director of the CIA station in Ecuador, returned to public debate the role of the CIA in Latin America.

If we were to review Sullivan’s activities in the last 25 years, in different countries around the world, we would see that he is not treated as a secondary citizen inside the CIA. He was stationed in Quito, because the CIA considers Ecuador to be an important country inside the geopolitical reality of the Andean region and South America.

Before the expulsion of Sullivan, the State Department preferred to take a moderate position, because development of a diplomatic conflict would bring to the light the history of the official as an undercover agent.

No reference exists, nor is the trajectory of Mark Sullivan mentioned in the biographic registries of the State Department. Sullivan is married to a Colombian citizen, Clara Ines Sullivan Bustamante.

According to some diplomatic and intelligence sources in recent days, before and after the attack by Colombian armed forces on the camp of Raul Reyes in Angostura, Sullivan maintained a lengthy relationship with Colombian police and military intelligence.

Some sources even suggest that Sullivan and his colleague, Michael Steere, Chief of the CIA station in Venezuela, directed the operation that produced the miles of documents appearing in the famous computer of Raul Reyes, which came to light after the bombing on March 1, 2008.

The history of this agent, decribed by some of the diplomats who deal with him as a pleasant person, goes back to the years of the Cold War. There, we find him in the [latter part of the] 80 years of espionage against the countries of Eastern Europe, in the United States Embassy in Bucharest, where Sullivan held a prominent roll recognized by his superiors of the era.

His activities were not limited to Europe. American diplomats with any length of experience know of his actions in Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Congo, where he had connections with leaders of insurgent forces from the right, supported by the CIA. But, above all, some remember a friendship with Jonas Savimbi, leader of the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), a rightist guerrilla group financed by the United States, that raised arms against Angola's revolutionary government.

In 1991, some officials of the United Nations place Sullivan in Haiti, during the coup d’état that overthrew Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Three years later, in 1994, during the American invasion that restored the Haitian ex-leader to power, the diplomatic agent reappeared.

Already in this century, between 2004 and 2006, agent Sullivan occupied, actively headed the CIA mission in Chile. From there he was transferred to Cuba, where he officially replaced Alexander George Gryschuk, as political economic first secretary of the American diplomatic office in Havana.

Completing his mission in Cuba, he was assigned to Ecuador, just when Rafael Correa was inaugurated. The work of the CIA in Ecuador is not new. For years, it developed diverse activities, including the recruitment of Ecuadorians. Its roll has not changed, but only adapted to the moments in history. Before, it operated under the façade of the USAID. Today, in many cases, it is in the shadow of institutions such as the National Foundation for Democracy or the National Institute for Democracy, entities denounced in recent years for intending to destabilize the governments of Venezuela and Bolivia.

If we continue untangling the threads, we can discover the connections these institutions have with the American CIA. And if we follow the steps of the diplomatic agent, we can determine the role of Ecuadorian intelligence before, during, and after the bombing of the Raul Reyes camp.



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