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Cryptonym: AMBANG-1

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Definition:
Manuel Ray Rivero, leader of the Revolutionary Movement of the People (MRP) and later Junta Revolucionaria Cubana (JURE).
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
WH/4/PM/Operations Calvin Hicks wrote in May 1961: "It is believed that Manolo RAY is so far "left" in his thinking that he would be as dangerous (or more so in the long run) to United States interests as Castro, if he ever got to be the power in Cuba."

http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=38478&search=%22Operation_unity%22#relPageId=3&tab=page

His assistant Jeronimo Esteve (also referred to as Esteves or Estevez) was SJ-492, second cousin of Sylvia Odio.

Ray commented on 10/23/60 that William Morgan had been recently arrested, and that "every effort should be made to help him" by the MRP. "(Morgan) had been responsible for obtaining most of the weapons that the MRP now has." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=55249&search=barnes#relPageId=131&tab=page Dec 1964: 124-10214-10381, p 23 Robert Morris, Dallas attorney for Edwin Walker, advised that Larrie Schmidt was writing an article about his experiences working with Manolo Ray in the Cuban underground movement.
Sources:

104-10308-10135: JUNTA REVOLUCIONARIA CUBANA (JURE) (CUBAN REVOLUTIONARY JUNTA)

This memo about JURE explicitly identifies Ray as AMBANG-1: "AMBANG-1 (Manuel RAY Rivero - 201-0239298) was leader of this group." See 180-10143-10456, page 6 of 48: "Ray arrived in Tampa morning of 11/10/60. MASH officer staying with him until surfacing date which depends on safe arrival from Cuba of two other arrivals. They are the last of the HUBER MATOS escape group known by Ray to still be hiding in Cuba."

180-10142-10224: 180-10142-10224

HSCA draft report: Manuel Ray was born in Cuba in 1924. He has been described as soft-spoken, unassuming, almost humble - a natural leader of the highest intellect, sincerity and conviction. In 1947, because of his outstanding performance as a civil engineer, he was granted a scholarship by the Cuban Ministry of Public Works to pursue graduate studies in engineering at the University of Utah... Page 6 of 19: "In the summer of 1960, he was actively being recruited by the CIA in Cuba to become a member of the FRD, a newly-formed anti-Castro organization sponsored by the CIA...(the Agency) facilitated his clandestine entry into the United States...Ray withdrew from the CRC shortly after the Bay of Pigs invasion. In a Miami news conference on May 28, 1961, he said the major reason for the MRP break with the CRC was that the council had failed to live up to the written promises given it in March, outlining conditions Ray had insisted on before joining the organization...The first condition had been that the council was to give first priority to the underground fighters in Cuba during the Bay of Pigs invasion."

104-10274-10162 OPERATIONAL/AMOT

6/1/61 memo by Chief of Base Stanley Zamka (David Morales): AMOT-63 reported an MRP meeting where Ray was the final speaker. Ray criticized the Bay of Pigs operation and described the Revolutionary Council/CRC/AMBUD chiefs as "ambitious". Ray announced that he has the backing of 3/4 of the Cuban unions and the majority of the underground. He had decided to separate himself from the CRC. By July 1961, Ray was publishing articles attacking the CIA by name. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=38460&search=%22roberto_suarez%22#relPageId=2&tab=page

104-10217-10327: INFORMATION REPORT: UNDERGROUND GROUPS IN CUBA

Mid-Sept 1961: The MRP, headed by Reynol Gonzalez, a Catholic, now completely separated from Ray's group..."All the Catholic groups...are now integrated into the MRP under Gonzalez."

Review of Manuel Ray y Rivero Files, Vol. VII, July-August 1962

Summary of files by Betsy Palmer, HSCA. During July 1962, Alfonso Rodriguez told William Harvey, Chief, TFW: "Ray has indicated to WAVE sources that whereas he is not persona grata with the Agency, he has important political connections in Washington and is thus kept informed of much of the Agency's activities...Ray's new organization will cooperate with the Consejo (CRC/AMBUD) and attempt to move in on it with the ultimate aim of taking over and dominating it." During that same month, Jack Malone, the former manager of Kings Ranch in Cuba reported that "some (of Malone's sources) believe (Ray) may not have completely severed his relations with Castro and think he may still be in contact with him." (Compiled April 1978) Also see Palmer's Nov. 1978 summary, 180-10143-10455, p. 7: "Ray freely admitted (that his new organization, JURE) would cooperate with the CRC but ultimately hoped to dominate it. Concurrent with his JURE activities, Ray began giving information to the CIA regarding possible recruitment or defection of Castro officials. Specifically, he discussed plans with the CIA to approach the Cuban ambassador to Mexico. The CIA, deciding he had such capabilities, recommended that he be given $84,000 over a six month period to set up an intelligence network inside Cuba and create a recruitment or defection capability in selected Latin American countries. The degree of Ray's success in this area is not documented, but his efforts continued into the summer of 1963 and involved recruitment efforts into France and Belgium. The Chief of Station in Paris was so impressed with Ray's abilities that he recommended he be used more extensively in this capacity." Palmer's sources are footnoted in this summary.

104-10269-10065 AMOT-2 ON 9 JULY 1962 FROM P-11, ONE OF HIS SUB-SOURCES, FROM DANILE MESA, WHO USED TO BE SUB SECRETARY FOR THE RECOVERY OF

7/11/62 memo: Ray wanted to set up a military junta among all the Cuban exile forces: "There is considerable operational interest in Ray, particularly with respect to any interactions between RAY and ODACID/State Dept. ZAMKA (David Morales), WAVE PM recommends that Chief TFW (Bill Harvey) be consulted prior to dissemination of this report, and in any event Chief TFW should be afforded an opportunity to see this information."

Lamar Waldron, Ultimate Sacrifice p. 143

5/28/63 memo by the White House "Cuban Coordinator" - probably Cyrus Vance, that expresses the hope that Menoyo could work with a more progressive group like "Manolo Ray's Revolutionary Junta (JURE)." Having Menoyo work with Ray "would increase the influence of this grouping" since Ray's liberal JURE "has the most potential appeal to Castro's opponents within Cuba." Bobby Kennedy and Harry Williams thought so too...However, Vance's memo points out the political reality that Ray was considered so liberal that he "is an object of concern to more conservative exiles." Menoyo and Ray were seen by some in the CIA as being so liberal that they were practically Communist. E. Howard Hunt had resigned from the Bay of Pigs rather than include someone as liberal as Ray in that operation. 6/3/63, 104-10180-10060, p. 26 of 219: Card stating: "Plan of subj (Ray) to infiltrate the ranks of the CIA." Bill Simpich, State Secret, Chapter 3: "As AMTRUNK got underway, JURE had its intelligence unit spy on the CIA. Special officer Alfonso Rodriguez already had his ace agent AMTAUP-2 (Alanis Angulo) in place, providing dozens of reports on JURE to the Cuba division. As soon as the Administration’s March admonition was issued, JURE began a program designed to infiltrate other Cuban exile groups and other US governmental agencies. This made it inevitable that others would do the same to JURE. Morales’ paramilitary colleague and close ally Tony Sforza, using his aforementioned Henry Sloman pseudonym, wrote a number of AMOT field reports on JURE for the JMWAVE chiefs throughout 1963."

104-10243-10059: CABLE: AMOT REPORT DD 39 CONTAINS FOLLOWING REPORT BY AMTAUP-2 WHO SPOKE WITH ROGELIO CISNEROS ON 6 SEPT

9/11/63, JMWAVE to Director: "Cisneros said at last meeting between GPFOCUS and AMBANG-1, the private secretary of Romulo Betancourt was present. Cisneros said JURE objective is (to) have different prominent figures (of) Latin American governments witness promises made by ODYOKE/USA...JURE fully aware (CIA in) WAVE area dislike for JURE but (CIA) WAVE area would have to comply with ZRMETAL (Washington) orders since pact has been made." Also see James Douglass, JFK and the Unspeakable, p. 160: “The CIA saw Manila Ray and JURE too closely related to a President who had become a national security risk. The encounter at Silvia Odis’s door (note - in late September 1963) would link the man portrayed as Kennedy’s assassin-to-be with a group the CIA wanted to contaminate.”

HSCA Segregated CIA Collection (staff notes): 180-10141-10251

Cisneros stated that he believed that Ray had planned his whole return-to-Cuba angle with JFK and the 1964 election in mind. Ray made JURE "the outstanding liberal group and democratic exile group with the thought that prior to the 1964 elections, Mr. Kennedy would have to do something about Cuba. With Kennedy's death...all of Ray's plans went awry."

124-10220-10368: No Title

12/23/63 FBI memo from SAC, San Juan to Director and SACs Miami and Dallas: Ray believed that any JURE reps that might have visited Odio would have been from Miami or more likely Dallas. It is unusual for JURE reps to travel to another city. Dallas rep is Jorge Rodriguez, 1919 Llewellyn, Apt. A, Dallas, TX 75224. "...if any members of JURE had been in contact with (Oswald), he would have heard of it."

124-10214-10371: [No Title]

A publicity man in Cuba believed if Ray established force in Cuba in May, 1964, he would receive active support from just a few Cubans but probably passive support...from many others. He headed one of two groups training in Costa Rica. (HUMAP-9/Lt. Col. Fernando Figuls, head of Costa Rica's Security Agency was source). On 5/3/64 informant Andrew St. George met with Ray and agreed to accompany him and JURE members Jose Gomez, Orlando Castro and Jesus Becquer into Cuba on 5/20/64. (See 1994.03.17.10:47:51:060005 - 5/13/64 memo by DDP Richard Helms to all intelligence agencies notifying hi that Ray was poised and ready to infiltrate several teams into Cuba that month while avoiding direct confrontation with Castro's troops.) CIA aided Ray to ensure he made Cuba his target on 5/20/64 - however, "CIA felt that Ray would be unsuccessful in his undertaking and thus had eliminated Ray and turned to Artime." See 104-10274-10210: "AMBANG-1 will walk into (US government) trap on purpose and be detained (in) order (to) blame his inability (to) carry out attack plans on (US government)." See 104-10180-10329 - 7/5/64 NY Herald Tribune article on how Ray's May 20 raid failed. 104-101080-10327: Earl Williamson/Alfonso Rodriguez offers his own lengthy analysis.

FBI 105-82555 Oswald HQ File, Section 237

9/9/64, Ray told the FBI that he had met Sylvia Odio on 5-6 occasions, originally at the home of Jeronimo Esteve. Esteve was interviewed the next day, and stated that Odio was his second cousin: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=59640&relPageId=123 Here Esteve is described as SJ-492-S, and says that Odio was under psychiatric care in Ponce and in Dallas: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10111&relPageId=280 124-10225-10206, p. 4: During March 1965, Rivero was FBI source SJ T-1. See 124-10225-10176, April 1964, based on source with reliability unestablished: (CIA) furnished information that Ray was friendly with members of Puerto Rican group which plotted to kill President Truman. He (Ray) is good friend of Puerto Rican Communist Pedro Albizu Campos. Ray had Puerto Rican ancestors. When the White House was being renovated, Ray had contact with Puerto Ricans engaged in that work. Made many calls to United States (particularly Washington DC) while he still lived in Cuba. Made calls from home of Carlos Govantes who is an architect (NOTE: RAY was an engineer) and may live in Kansas City, Missouri, probably employed by Klipper Company. Carlos has a brother Henry in Silver Spring, MD. Ray has many enemies in Cuba that know him as a Communist. Some of his supporters are working with Communists in Cuba. This memo reported by FBI at 180-10089-10432, p. 5.

Contributors:
MFF • Bill Simpich

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