The Chatter Podcast: Ana Montes, the American who Spied for Cuba, with Jim Popkin

By David Priess
Thursday, January 12, 2023, 10:18 AM

In 2001, the FBI arrested a top U.S. intelligence officer who had spied for Cuba for nearly two decades. The story of Ana Montes, whose colleagues called her “The Queen of Cuba,” has all the hallmarks of an espionage thriller. She was among the most damaging spies of her generation, and yet her story remains lesser known than more notorious Cold War-era turncoats. 

In his new book, journalist Jim Popkin tells the story of Montes’ radicalization, her recruitment by Cuban intelligence, and how she managed to spy so long undetected. Montes was released from prison earlier this month, after serving a lengthy prison sentence. New details of her story have come to light in Poplin’s book, Code Name Blue Wren: The True Story of America's Most Dangerous Female Spy—and the Sister She Betrayed

Popkin sat down with Shane to talk about Montes’ story, what drove her to become a spy, and the investigation that brought her to justice.  

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad.

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Popkin's book

Popkin’s feature on Montes in The Washington Post magazine

Popkin on Twitter