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Isla Vulnerable: Based on the True Story of a Cuban Exile Turned US Spy

ISBN: 9781634895927
Binding: Hardcover
Author: Ivan Luiz Hernandez
Pages: 392
Trim: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Published: 06/06/2023

Based on a true story, this international spy thriller follows a young Cuban turned CIA spy as he fights government corruption during the Cuban revolution. 

 Victor Gomez, a young Cuban exile, was just a teen when the CIA gave him two options: go to prison for dodging his US Army enlistment or join them as an unconventional spy to dismantle Castro’s regime. 

Victor wasn’t supposed to be anything more than a farmer. But when he is suddenly orphaned, one of Cuba's most esteemed judges adopts him at the pivotal moment in history when Fidel Castro is overthrowing the “old guards” of capitalism and anyone who stands in the way of his grip on the island. 

When Castro raids his adoptive family’s estate and arrests his father, Victor narrowly escapes by concealing his identity and fleeing to America. Determined to rescue his father and liberate his homeland, Victor accepts a deal with the CIA to work on covert missions against Castro.  

In a whirlwind twist of events, he reunites with a childhood crush, whose newfound fame as an actress puts his double life in unimaginable danger. 

With Cold War tension and nuclear threats looming on the horizon, Victor finds that struggle for power goes far beyond communism versus democracy to the very core of what nations hide. 

Based on the true story of author Ivan Luiz Hernandez’s father, Isla Vulnerable dramatizes a first-hand account of one of the most interesting and deceptive eras in US diplomacy—with extensive research ranging from declassified documents, historical archives, and his family’s own private records.  


This historical fiction book covers sensational true events, including: 

  • CIA covert operations in foreign affairs via militia groups, 
  • secret point-of-views and conversations surrounding JFK’s assassination,  
  • the Cuba de ayer of the 1950s and “Golden Exile” of Cubans immigrating to the US, 
  • a vivid history of the real lives affected by the Cuban revolution, and 
  • eyewitness accounts of the Cuban missile crisis. 


With the edge-of-your-seat pacing of Jack Ryan, the wilder-than-fiction CIA cover-ups of Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties, and telenova-style high-stakes drama, this book is perfect for fans of political action thrillers, crime dramas, and books about government conspiracy.  

Based on a true story, Isla Vulnerable is a gripping spy novel filled with equal parts lies and love, all surrounding a secret, deadly role in Operation Mongoose kept quiet by the CIA . . . until now.

Ivan Luiz Hernandez is a Cuban-American writer, business consultant, and entrepreneur dedicated to bringing unique stories and ideas to life. As a former brand executive and college professor of marketing, he headlined creative campaigns for global brands including Red Bull and Pepsi’s Allied Brands. Through his consultancy firm, Sociumship, he has helped executive leadership teams in consumer goods, music, gaming, legal, wellness, and other industries launch, strategize, grow, and sell their businesses. He is also the founder of Heart Energy, an organization focused on helping symptomatic heart patients live as actively as they can. 


The son of a former US spy who is the only known survivor of his unit in the Cuban Project, known as Operation Mongoose—and the adoptive grandson of Cuban Supreme Court Justice Luis Alberto Rubio, who served under President Fulgencio Batista until 1959—Ivan always felt his family was different. The unusual events he experienced as a child inspired him to finally tell his father’s riveting story in Isla Vulnerable.