In order to make a modest contribution to what appears to be a great confusion when translating, I gave myself the task of searching in dictionaries, to clarify for that great actor who often visits us, Danny Glover, and who is said to be such a friend of Cuba (meaning the government), the true meaning of the word “spy,” which he so often confuses with “hero.”
According to the Larousse dictionary, illustrated manual (1969, pages 365 and 474):
Spy: a person charged with gathering secret information on a foreign power.
A person who on the sly observes the actions of another or tries to know his secrets (this last meaning suits the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution).
Hero: Someone who performs a heroic deed.
Main character of a literary work, adventure story, film.
Person who performs an action that requires courage.
I hope this helps clarify any confusion about the use of these two nouns, which are so often misused in our media.
Translated by Regina Anavy
September 20 2011