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Cryptonym: AMBEND-1

Definition:
Robert M. Geddes. A dispatch in March, 1964, stated that in February, 1963, AMCARBON-1 (Al Burt) had reported that AMBEND-1 was back in Miami after being released from a Havana prison, and was the object of a great deal of media interest. A UR document stated that Geddes was released in February, 1963, matching AMBEND-1.
Status:
Probable
Discussion:
AMCARBON-1 also thought that AMBEND-1 would probably be a knowledgeable source on the present activities of the UR in Cuba. The media interest in AMBEND-1 apparently did not continue, as AMCARBON-1 could not get in contact with A-1. In addition, a cable in November of 1961, mentioned that the Chief of Station, BARR, had requested full details on AMBEND-2 contacting a/the boat dealer at BARR on behalf of two Cubans in an attempt purchase a high speed boat. The cable itself mentioned AMDENIM-1 (Alberto Fernandez Hechevarria), AMDENIM-4 (Larry Laborde) and Mrs. Geddes, wife of Robert Geddes.
Sources:

104-10226-10014: CABLE RE: ACCORDING ROBERT GEDDES, MEMBER UNIDAD REVOLUCIONARIA, CUBAN NAVY HAS PLAN FOR ALL

03/13/61, Cable from JMWAVE to BELL: "1. According to Robert Geddes (Handwritten: British subject) member Unidad Revolucionaria, Cuban navy has plan for all seaworthy vessels make attack on local pro-Castro facilities and then leave Cuba sometime about 22 March. He thinks they do not yet have arrangements concerning where they will go and that this may delay operation. 2. If this plan verified does HQs wish WAVE pass instructions where vessels should proceed? 3. FYI: Geddes possible (REDACTION) agent but resident Cuban and trusted member Unidad Revolucionaria. His American wife lives Boca Raton and Geddes arrived PBPRIME (U.S.) from Havana 11 March. Works with AMGLAD-1 (Ralph Diaz Hanscom) and makes frequent trips. Willing carry concealment device."

104-10226-10262: ARREST OF MRR AND UNIDAD REVOLUCIONARIA MEMBERS

3/22/61 cable from WAVE to BELL: "Robert Geddes returned WAVE area 21 March reports meeting held night 18 March to finalize working agreement between MRR and Unidad Revolucionaria surprised by G-2 agents. AMGLAD-1 and AMRUNG-1 taken prisoner together with one Fernandez and several other persons unknown to Geddes. Sori Marin ran but was shot in hip about two blocks away...Geddes says many members MRR arrested but no other key members Unidad Revolucionaria arrested so far. AMGLAD-1 had trained substitute known as Jorge...Geddes feels only chance to free prisoners is buy their way out. Says already ascertained through intermediaries price for Sori Marin forty thousand pesos. Price for Ramon's wife who was taken prisoner at same time is five thousand. AMGLAD-1 had received money and additive packed in Crisco cans..."

104-10226-10173: FORMER HAVANA BUSINESSMAN, ARTURO VILLAR

05/30/61, Cable from JMWAVE to BELL: "1. Former Havana businessman, Arturo Villar, uses war name Javier and is now reported to be in asylum in either Venezuelan or Brazilian Embassy. Villar was one of early members of Unidad Revolucionaria and long-time friend of AMGLAD-1, Geddes, and other members OXNUR. In debriefing Henry Sanz (see Ref B above) he reported Javier mainspring of UR after arrest AMGLAD-1. Very probable he trying to help re-organize UR from his position in asylum..."

104-10226-10165: SUBJECT: STATUS OF UNIDAD REVOLUCIONARIA MOVEMENT

06/20/61, Field Information Report: Page 2: "9. Robert Geddes, a British national and former manager of Pepsi-Cola, is in special detention and has been given extremely bad treatment. For example he has been forced to dig his own grave and stand against the wall. The firing squad took their places and fired, but only used blanks. Geddes was then taken back for more interrogation in the hope that he would crack, but he has never said a word. As of 6 June Geddes was not at G-2 or at Cabana. I last saw him on 8 May at G-2 headquarters..."

104-10166-10226: UNIDAD REVOLUCIONARIA

"An incident occurred in June 1961 concerning the alleged ransom of Robert Geddes, who had served as a contact between (CIA) and the UR...The UK embassy first learned on 31 May 1961 that Geddes had escaped from G-2 while en route to a doctor's office for medical attention...an (FBI) source subsequently reported he had learned the ransom attempt had been a plot to expose members of the UR underground in (Cuba) and that during the escape attempt Geddes had been under control of the UR." Mrs. Geddes had been lobbying hard for the ransom to secure his release. Geddes was reported in Sept 61 as receiving a 30 year sentence. Geddes was released by the Cubans during Feb. 1963. Julio Villanueva (an attorney for Pepsi-Cola) and Donald Kendall (the president of Pepsi-Cola) were among those involved in the ransom attempt. Villaneuva and others were arrested for their efforts.

104-10172-10177: CABLE ONE ANTONIO CUESTA, FORMER CREWMEMBER TEJANA.

11/25/61, Cable from BARR to Director: Slugline JMZIP KUSODA KUDESK: "1. One of Mrs. Geddes associates per Ref B, one Antonio Cuesta, former crew member Tejana III friend of AMDENIM-1. 2. Source of info Ref B is (REDACTION) local business contact. Believe very reliable. 3. Mrs. Geddes has not returned however Cuesta continues to make inquiries re boat. 4. FYI AMDENIM-4 reports Cuesta may return Cuba soon. 5. A-4 not aware BARR interest Mrs. Geddes. C/S Comment: *Requested fullest details re AMBEND-2 contacting boat dealer at BARR on behalf two Cubans in attempt purchase high speed boat."

202-10002-10017: CUBA- BACK UP PAPERS AND A SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF CCA

01/22/63, Originator: NSC/Department of State document: Memorandum from Coordinator of Cuban Affairs to the National Security Council's Executive Committee (Prepared for the Meeting of Thursday, January 23, 1963 at 10 a.m.): Subject: Current Problems Concerning Cuba: "1. Verification of withdrawal of missiles. 2. Removal of Soviet troops from Cuba. 3. Release of all Americans in Cuban prisons plus Mr. Robert Geddes, British subject married to a U.S. citizen..."

104-10512-10081: CABLE: SINCE TERMINATION ODYOKE SUBSIDY AMBUD HAS CEASED

10/01/63, Cable from Director to RIOD (Info: JMWAVE) (Handwritten under CITE: Caponong, Rebholtz): "1. Since termination ODYOKE (U.S. Government) subsidy early 62 AMBUD has ceased to have any importance as exile org. TYPIC funds not available for travel or otherwise support individual on basis AMBUD rep. No objection however Station use any person still associated with remnants of AMBUD. Strongly endorse plan (ref para 4) advise AMARAB-1 not to associate with Geddes. 2. Ref para 2, please advise HQRS how plan to raise funds for anti-Cuban ops originated. Is proposal connected with Geddes activities? 3. For WAVE: Ref (B) advised certain stations and bases there should be no (KUBARK) CIA staff or agent contact with Robert Morton Geddes. Pouching copy." (Handwritten: PW).

104-10072-10289: SPECIAL ACTIVITIES REPORT ON A JMWAVE RELATIONSHIP WITH AMCARBON-1

03/19/64, Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Special Affairs Staff: Page 4: ..."6. Operational Intelligence: In the period February 1963 to February 1964, AMCARBON-1 has furnished JMWAVE with operational intelligence as outlined below: a. In WAVE 4836, dated 21 February 1963, AMCARBON-1 reported that AMBEND-1 was back in Miami and was the object of a great deal of press interest in view of AMBEND-1's release from a Havana prison. AMCARBON-1 also indicated that AMBEND-1 would probably be a knowledgeable source on the current activities of the UR in Cuba. This operational intelligence was most helpful in terms of keeping JMWAVE informed on AMBEND-1's movements. Subsequent developments revealed that AMCARBON-1 could not contact AMBEND-1, and thus AMBEND-1's return to the United States did not cause the publicity stir that was initially anticipated..."

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

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