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Cryptonym: AMCOBRA

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Paramilitary operation of internal resistance in Cuba, renamed AMBANTY, rolled up by Castro in 1964. One of the two teams infiltrated into Cuba during the Cuban missile crisis.
John Prados, Safe for Democracy (Ivan R. Dee, Chicago: 2006) p. 307: "On March 12, 1962, Team Cobra infiltrated Pinar del Rio province, creating a network active for some time. In June, AMTORRID went into Oriente, but most of it left in a few months. The one remaining agent and a fresh radioman set up in Santiago de Cuba as a spy mission."

Also see 124-90139-10130: Cuban headlines of 11/14/62: "Four Hundred Miners Would Have Died if Terrorist Plan Succeeded", if the Batistiano Lieutenant Miguel Orozco had succeeded in the plans to blow up the mines in Matahambre and Nicaro. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=121717&relPageId=2&search=%22miguel_orozco%22

Pedro Etcheverry Vazquez, 10/8/14, Granma, The Failure of a Cause That Would Never Triumph: http://www.granma.cu/cuba/2014-10-08/el-fracaso-de-una-causa-que-nunca-triunfaria

"In 1962, in the context of the US-led Operation of Mongoose against Cuba, ...(CIA) created an extensive espionage and subversion structure dedicated to transmitting political, economic and mainly military information to the JM / WAVE station in Miami, while creating conditions to carry out terrorist actions and support an internal uprising or an invasion from abroad. This clandestine organization, usually made up of former Batista military personnel, relatives of counterrevolutionary prisoners, and individuals affected by popular benefit laws, which ran from Guane in Pinar del Rio to the boundaries of Havana with Matanzas, and included Isla de Pinos , received the name of Frente Occidental Unión (FUO). The tasks of this network, which had its center in Pinar del Río, were to obtain information, train its members in matters of subversion and terrorism, store weapons and keep the forces available to take action at the right time. The scenario created in a region where more than twenty bands of rebels were acting, supported by various clandestine organizations financed and promoted from Florida, was projected - in terms of means and methods - similarly to what is now known as " conventional in limited war scenarios " [1] , based on the concept that" the forces of resistance must limit the open exposure of their forces and have a support infrastructure that allows the operations to be sustained for a long time " [2] . The main leader of the FUO was Esteban Marquez, a member of the regular army during the Batista tyranny, and registered as an "electronic technician" on the payroll of the Instituto Cultural Cubano Norteamericano, based in Vedado, an institution dedicated to working of influence and penetration in the scientific, academic and cultural sectors of Cuban society, under the control of the US Information Agency. With this background, in 1960 Márquez Novo entered the counterrevolutionary organization Constitutional Recovery Movement (MRC), (see below)...

Pedro Etcheverry Vazquez, 10/8/14, Granma, The Failure of a Cause That Would Never Triumph: http://www.granma.cu/cuba/2014-10-08/el-fracaso-de-una-causa-que-nunca-triunfaria

Part 2 of story above: "...directed by CIA agent Ernesto Pérez Morales (Emilio Moreno), who appointed him to head a so-called "Liberation Army" would dedicate to attacking civilian targets, to spread panic and to support an invasion. On 2/9/61, Márquez Novo assumed the nickname of "Comandante Valle" and was at the head of a group of Batista exmilitary officers...Shortly afterwards, in that same region, militia units under the command of Captain Manuel Borjas captured four former Batista exiles and ten collaborators, who revealed that they belonged to the "Western Front of the Liberation Army." On March 31, CIA agent Emilio Moreno was detained in the Olan Tower apartment, in front of the United States Embassy, ​​where a radio plant, number pads, MRC documents and a revolver were occupied...In early April..."Comandante Valle" left his men in the mountains and headed for the capital...on May 24 he left by air to Caracas, Venezuela, where he contacted the American Consul who embarked for Miami. There he was under the control of "Otto," a CIA officer in charge of directing his training in espionage and subversion techniques. In March 1962, after spending a ten-month training in CIA camps in the Everglades, South Florida, Márquez Novo assumed the pseudonym "Valentín" and headed to the south coast of Pinar del Rio infiltrating the San Diego River in Los Palacios, along with the radar Yeyo Napoleón...[4] . He...recruited as his lieutenant Lázaro Anaya Fernández and selected several members of the MRC for his staff. From that moment the FUO had a "Regulation of the Vigilance and Espionage Service" signed with the pseudonym of "Colonel Abad"...and a "Handbook for Guerrillas" delivered by the CIA. During the Missile Crisis, in October 1962, "Valentín" and the radista were located five kilometers from the Entronque de Herradura, in Consolación del Sur, where they observed movement of troops during the withdrawal of the rockets and transmitted the information to the CIA."


March 1962: "The original AMCOBRA operation consisted of a two-man PM team (AMBANTY-1 and 2) recruited and trained in the U.S. and subsequently infiltrated clandestinely into Cuba March 1962. They recruited inside Cuba. There were over 400 assets in the intel/resistance complex as of May 1964 when the operation was rolled up by Cuban authorities."


Discussion of April 1962 meeting. This DIA memo was a look at AMCOBRA. It discusses Commander Harold Feeney's Operation COBRA, a plan to use military aircraft in Guatemala to attack strategic sites in Cuba. He used his ONI credentials, and had the cooperation of Guatemala's President Ydigoras.


"File opened Oct 62. PM Operation. Original AMCOBRA operation consisted of a two-man PM team (AMBANTY-1 and 2) recruited and trained in the U.S. and subsequently infiltrated clandestinely into Cuba March 1962. They recruited inside Cuba - There were over 400 assets in the intel/resistance complex as of May 1964 when the operation was rolled up by Cuban authorities." Radio traffic for years is reported, commencing during August, 1962.

Taylor Branch and George Crile, III "The Kennedy Vendetta", Harper's (1975).

"On October 15, the day Kennedy was told that U-2 photographs confirmed the existence of Russian missiles in Cuba, (Rolando Martinez, one of the Watergate burglars) and his boat crew were called to their base at Summer Land Key and told that they would leave immediately on a mission. For several months, they had been preparing for one of their biggest missions -the destruction of the Matahambre copper mines in Pinar del Rio province. The ore from the mines, which accounted for 1 per cent of Cuba's gross national product, was carried to the Port of Santa Lucia along a twelve-kilometer elevated cable car system, supported by giant towers. CIA planners had determined that production could be halted for a full year if the towers were knocked out...(on October 16) Martinez, his boat crew, and the eight commandos left base on the Agency's 150 foot mother ship. By the time they left the mother ship for Martinez's intermediary boat on October 18, one of the largest amphibious invasion forces since World War II was beginning to assemble in Florida and neighboring states...in all, the Army gathered 100,000 troops in the southern United States..." Martinez's commandos reached the shore of Pinar del Rio, but were spotted before they were able to plant C-4 charges on the towers.

Harold Feeney Obituary: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/8572-harold-hal-feeney/?page=2

During the Cuban missile crisis, Feeney was appointed the head of the Cuban branch of the DIA. He served as an advisor of the Executive Committee of the National Security Council chaired by JFK at the White House.

UPI, November 1962 "Castro Claims CIA Tried to Blow Up Mines": https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP75-00149R000600110001-6.pdf

"A government statement said secret police captured Miguel Angel Orozco Crespo, described as 'the CIA's main leader in Cuba', Nov. 2 in Pinar del Rio. He was described as a former Cuban Army career officer...also captured with Mr. Orozco was a man identified as Pedro Vera Ortiz...the plot to blow up the formerly US-owned Matahambre copper mines in Pinar del Rio was foiled when workers spotted explosives in two towers supporting a cable railway...the group (also) planned to blow up the former-US government-owned Nicaro nickel mines in Oriente province...the government statement said the CIA had a special Cuba group in Miami headed by a "Robert Wall" identified only as a close friend of Attorney General Robert Kennedy...

Fabian Escalante, The Secret War (Ocean Press, 1995) https://archive.org/stream/FabianEscalanteSecretWarCubaCIA/Fabian%20Escalante%20Secret%20War%20Cuba%20CIA_djvu.txt

After his capture, Orozco Crespo said he had conducted 25 similar special missions against Cuba in 1962 , and that his chiefs in Florida were CIA officers, "Rip" Robertson and Robert Wall. (William "Rip" Robertson was one of the Americans who landed with the mercenary brigade of Playa Girón, on April 17, 1961 ). He also said that he had recruited people for Alpha-66 and participated in the training of these forces.

AP, November 13, 1962, "Cuba Reports Plotters' Arrest; Charges US Trained Saboteurs: https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP75-00149R000800010016-9.pdf

This version mentions Robert Wall, but does not identify him as a friend of Robert Kennedy. It adds the portion folded-over and hidden in the UPI clipping above: "The CIA is preparing a force of Cuban exiles for a simulated invasion of Nicaragua in connivance with President Luis Anastasio Somoza Deboyle to provide an excuse for the invasion of Cuba by accusing Premier Fidel Castro's regime of aggression."

178-10003-10297: Outline of Covert Actions. https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/docid-32113008.pdf

10/31/62, Col. Edward Lansdale Memo for the Record: "I talked to Bruce Cheever (who was acting for Bill Harvey while Harvey was out of town. (The purpose was) to get a fix for Gilpatric as one of the US negotiators with the Soviets on whether or not all actions (sabotage, etc.) had come to a stop...I asked about covert operational assets both inside Cuba and outside, if they had stop orders on actions." Cheever wasn't sure if the Cubans would abide by such an order. Cheever said the only assets were "the two action teams, a small one (Central Cuba) and the big one (200-man in Western Cuba, but they were definitely on intelligence collection...CIA couldn't guarantee any groups not under CIA control."


May 1963: The AMCOBRA operation is described as "an Agency on-island intel/resistance complex...one Juan Reyes Martinez was reportedly chief of the AMCOBRA operation in the Vinales area of Cuba in May 1963, assigned the war name "Poncho Villa" and cited in FEDGUR and HUZNUG (AMCOBRA op) radio traffic...rolled up by the Cuban authorities in May 1964."

MFF • Bill Simpich

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