HAVANA – Philip Agee, a former CIA agent who caused outrage by naming former colleagues, has died following ulcer surgeries, Cuban state media reported Wednesday. He was 72.
Agee quit the CIA in 1969 after 12 years working mostly in Latin America at a time when leftist movements were gaining prominence and sympathizers.
His 1975 book "Inside the Company: CIA Diary" alleged CIA misdeeds against leftists in the region and included a 22-page list of purported agency operatives, infuriating U.S. officials who said it had endangered agents' lives.
Agee's U.S. passport was revoked in 1979. After years of living in Germany — occasionally underground, fearing CIA retribution — Agee moved to Havana.
Granma, Cuba's Communist Party newspaper, said Agee died Monday night and described him as "a loyal friend of Cuba and fervent defender of the peoples' fight for a better world."
Bernie Dwyer, a journalist with state-run Radio Havana, said in a Tuesday message posted to a Cuba e-mail group that Agee's wife "rang this evening to say he had died in hospital" where he had he been since Dec. 15.
"He had several operations for perforated ulcers and didn't survive all the surgery," Dwyer wrote, adding that Agee was cremated Tuesday and that friends planned a remembrance ceremony for him Sunday at his Havana apartment.
In 2000, Agee joined European investors and a state-run travel agent in opening a Web site to bring American tourists to Cuba. The site, cubalinda.com, offers package tours and other help with Cuban tourism that is largely outlawed for Americans.
There was no word of Agee's death on the site Wednesday.
One of Agee's last essays was published in Granma International newspaper in May 2003 shortly after a Cuban government crackdown led to the arrest of 75 leading dissidents and political activists.
"To think that the dissidents were creating an independent, free civil society is absurd, for they were funded and controlled by a hostile foreign power and to that degree, which was total, they were not free or independent in the least," he wrote.
Agee has also been accused of receiving up to US$1 million in payments from the Cuban intelligence service. He denied the accusations, which were first made by a high-ranking Cuban intelligence officer who defected.