Victor Alvarez stood alone in the grass parking lot. It was still dark out, but the horizon glowed orange in the distance as the sun began its upward trek. He hated morning, especially South Florida mornings. The air was almost completely saturated with moisture, and although it was officially fall, it was still eighty degrees.
The parking lot was relatively isolated. It had taken him twenty minutes of driving down a dirt road to reach it. It had previously served as a parking lot for field workers to drop off their vehicles, but with the recent recession and the foreclosure of the landowner, it was now just a vacant lot. He was in an area known as the Redlands of Homestead. Only minutes from the Everglades, it was mostly open farmland with a few houses scattered here and there. It was the perfect place to escape the congestion of Miami, or the eyes of an unwelcome third party observer.
Alvarez leaned against his car as a lone pair of headlights approached from the distance. It was almost six a.m.. He pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and wiped the sweat away from his brow. Despite having spent his whole life in this climate, he had still never fully embraced it.
The car pulled to a stop next to his. The silver Honda Civic was much louder than he expected. It must have had a broken muffler or something, he reasoned. Not quite what he was expecting from a man like the one he was about to meet, but in this business, he had learned not to assume anything, especially not when dealing with Americans.
Alvarez ran his fingers through his jet black hair and casually approached the car. He was holding a small envelope in his left hand and resting his hand on his holstered gun with his right. The man in the battered Civic was right on time and at the right place, but that didn’t make him trust the stranger just yet.
“Are you Victor?” the man in the car asked. It was too dark in the car to make out his face.
“Yes, do you have the documents?” he replied with a thick Spanish accent.
“Here’s everything you asked for, flying schedules, personnel files..everything,” the man responded nervously, handing Alvarez a thick manila envelope through the car’s window.
Alvarez leaned on the roof of the car. He was a tall man, and the low ride height of the car brought the window only up to waist level. He took the envelope from the man and put it on the roof of the car. He handed the man the small envelope that he had been holding.
“These are your instructions. The first of the funds has already been transferred. The rest will be delivered upon completion of this operation.“
“Oh…ok.. uh.. But no one knows my name right? There’s nothing pointing to me when this is over, right? “ The man was fidgeting in his seat. He was obviously a first timer.
“Your government will never find out,” Alvarez reassured him. “Don’t worry.”
Alvarez had seen it many times before. He had been an agent with the Cuban Directrio General de Inteligencia for ten years. He had spent most of them in South Miami. It was easy to blend in there. The majority of the population was Cuban or Hispanic, and almost everyone spoke Spanish fluently. No one even raised an eyebrow. He had used Americans many times before. Occasionally it was for intel, but often it was for assistance. They always tried to justify what they were doing, whether it was for their families or some political reason. Alvarez didn’t care, but he didn’t respect them. He needed them for his operations, but they were traitors to their country, plain and simple.
Alvarez watched as the man opened the envelope and read the instructions. He looked for any signs of hesitation or weakness. He had been assured that his new contact would follow through, but he was more than ready to terminate their arrangement with a 9MM round to the man’s temple at the first sign of weakness.
“Do you have any questions?” he asked with a toothy grin.
“No, I can do it. “
“Good. Go. You’ll be just fine.” Alvarez grabbed the files off the roof of the car and pulled out his cell phone as he walked back toward his car. The little Civic sounded like a bumblebee as it sped off into the now rising sun. He dialed the number. It was time to check in.
“How did it go?” the voice asked.
“It is done. We have everything we need to proceed.” Alvarez knew his cell phone was probably being monitored. The Dirección General de Inteligencia was the main state intelligence agency of Cuba. Since opening for business in late 1961, the DGI had been involved in intelligence and espionage operations across the globe. They had been involved in aiding leftist revolutionary movements in Africa, the Middle East, and mostly Latin America. In the United States, the DGI had been heavily involved with international drug trade, assisting homegrown terrorist cells, and intelligence gathering operations for third party countries. The CIA, NSA, and FBI all had them on their watch lists.
“Excellent. Select the target and do what is necessary.“
“Yes, jefe. I will not fail.” He hung up the phone and tossed the documents on the passenger seat of his car. This was the first operation he had undertaken without the knowledge of his government. It was going to make him a hero, and wildly rich. He had a lot of work ahead of him, and a very short timeline.