Today's Miami Herald publishes an article by Pablo Bachelet which describes that "Washington... is now largely ignorant of what is happening within the inner circles in Havana." You don't say!
Bachelet's article seems to be supported by interviews with about a dozen people who are closely familiar with US intelligence gathering on Cuba. While these anonymous persons state that US intelligence on Cuba is ''pretty good'' in general, they also believe the US has "little credible information on events at the top levels" of the Cuban government.
The article basically mentions three US reports that were "off the mark." One was the 2002 allegation by the ever-belligerent John Bolton of a biological weapons "program" in Cuba. These "serious" allegations have since been dismissed by people who are well aware of Cuba's biological capabilities, and the current administration. The Center for Defense Information believes that this allegation was politically driven and lacked strong evidence.
The second "off the mark" intelligence report mentioned is Fidel's diagnosis of Parkinson's disease by the CIA. But, I don't think this is really "intelligence" since it is based on public (not secret) information. The CIA basically examined Fidel's public speeches. Otherwise, there's no strong evidence to consider.
And, the final "intelligence" report mentioned by Bachelet is last year's allegation by John D. Negroponte, director of US National Intelligence (term used loosely), stating that "[e]verything we see indicates it will not be much longer . . . months, not years [for Fidel]." Its been months John.
One of the definitions of "intelligence" is the capacity to APPLY knowledge. Those who are aware of the long diplomatic history between Cuba and the US know well that this definition of knowledge is not being applied. There is ample evidence to show that US policy will not succeed, but that knowledge is ignored. There is sufficient findings that indicate that Americans disagree with US policy towards Cuba, but that is also ignored. There is also good reason to believe that the majority of Cuban dissidents are opposed to current US policy towards Cuba, but they too are ignored.
It seems Washington is largely ignorant of many important things that are related to Cuba.