Cuba intel mission struggling after death of Jimmy Buffett
Recipe for good lechon asado still escaping everyone north of Everglades City
Yes, he was a pirate. Of secrets.
JOINT BASE ANACOSTIA-BOLLING, Washington, D.C. — The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is struggling to rebuild its Cuban intelligence program after the death of DIA officer Jimmy Buffett, sources confirm. Buffet was widely considered the entirety of the intelligence collection, analysis, and production program for Cuba and the broader Caribbean.
“His ability to glean intel on Fidel Castro's regime was unmatched,” DIA Director Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier told Buffett’s family & friends at a “celebration of life” event held in the agency’s courtyard. “If you read anything about Cuba on the top secret JWICS ‘World Fact Book,’ it’s all from Jimmy Buffett. He will be sorely missed.”
The popular singer & beach bum entrepreneur began his DIA career when his song “Margaritaville” played on coastal radio stations in 1977. “He started venturing long distances in his new boat and got within five nautical miles of Cuba’s territorial waters,” Burns said. Excited Cuban naval officers recognized the singer and Buffett offered them signed copies of his album.
“We caught it all on our listening post at Homestead Air Force Base,” said Burns. “Jimmy got recruited into the DIA within a week.”
Attitudes and latitudes have in fact changed
Buffett’s favorite espionage tactic was to “stuff his boat with limes and cases of Margaritaville Tequila,” Burns told the grieving family. “He’d sail to Havana yelling ‘I lost my shaker of salt’ on the emergency channel, and half of Cuba’s navy would greet him. The problem was all the Colombian drug boats swarmed him too.”
“Sometimes we extracted spies and their families during Jimmy’s flotilla parties,” Burns said. “So many people in Little Havana owe their lives to him.”
“There was that time during Operation Toasted Cubano,” Burns recalled, “when a SEAL team ran our mini-sub aground at El Zanjón. We rushed a cargo ship out to resupply Jimmy, who earned the Distinguished Intelligence Cross Medal that weekend.”
Longtime competitor and retired Honduras CIA station chief Terry Ward praised Buffett’s innate talent for spying. “I’d sit on [Mount] Cerro Las Minas with equipment pointed at Havana,” he said as he wiped a tear from his eye, “and I’d listen to their navy playing ‘Margaritaville’ on every frequency. Meanwhile, ‘Castro’s Commodore’ is wearing a wire and drunk officers are blabbing to him like they’re Admiral Erik Ross.”
“Buffett made our station in Honduras obsolete,” Ward said. “I mean, no one cared when Hurricane Andrew destroyed our listening post on Homestead. Jimmy was doing all the real work for us.”
Burns admired the “low price” DIA paid for Buffett’s work. “In my first briefing as the director, I asked ‘Why do we let him expense the retail cost for his tequila?’” This evoked laughter from the solemn audience. “The response was, ‘you’ll pay a hundred times more for one-tenth the intel.’ And they were right.”
“Whatever we do next to monitor Cuba will cost a fortune,” Burns told the grieving attendees. “For example, Jimmy took unpaid leave in 2013 for his ‘Songs From St. Somewhere’ tour. We hired Jay-Z and Beyoncé to visit Cuba that year, but it was too much money for too little intel.”
Burns told Buffett’s family & friends, “We’re finding it hard to replace him. We know of a young man who can shred a flamenco guitar, but he’s from Poland of all places. Landlocked Poland!”
“I’ll bring Gloria Estefan out of retirement if I have to,” Burns sighed. “It could work because your average ‘57 Chevy in Cuba is blasting the Miami Sound Machine on 8-track. I’ll give you one guess how I know that.”
Robin Berger stepped on a pop top and blew out his flip-flop with no discernable changes in attitude.