N.Y. Daily News: Cuomo Boozed With Cuban Spy

Friday, April 24, 2015
From N.Y. Daily News:

Cuomo boozed with Cuban official who was expelled from U.S. over spying

Gov. Cuomo lunched in Cuba with a government official who was booted from the United States in a spy controversy.

Gustavo Machin Gomez, a Cuban foreign ministry official who sat next to Cuomo during a welcoming lunch Monday and was photographed drinking mojitos with the governor, was expelled from the U.S. in 2002 in retaliation for Cuban efforts to spy on the United States.

The expulsion came after a Defense Department analyst — Ana Belen Montes — was convicted of spying for Cuba.

Cuomo administration officials defended Gomez’s appearance at the lunch, noting he’s been involved in the ongoing talks to normalize relations.

“Given his high profile role in State Department negotiations, it's no surprise that he was one of the half dozen officials chosen by the Cuban government to attend a trade meeting with New York's delegation,” said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi.

Elliott Abrams, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a former State Department official, slammed Cuomo’s appearance with Gomez.

“The photos of the governor of New York laughing and toasting with a Cuban spy will demoralize the many Cubans who hope and work bravely for a free Cuba — and who have a right to expect politicians elected by free people in a democratic system to offer solidarity to them and not to their oppressor,” Abrams wrote in a blog post on the council’s website.