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Cryptonym: AMCOG-2

Definition:
Mrs. (Maria) Leopoldina Grau Alsina de Agüero, aka “Polita.”
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Niece of Ramon Grau San Martin, circa 5/6/65, 104-10181-10460 and 104-10181-10461; uncle is aka “the Doctor,” Sister of AMCOG-1 and niece of AMCOG-3, 12/9/63, 104-10073-10101. Wife of Jose Aguero; 104-10073-10101. A Rescate contact, sent by Antonio Varona to work with Alberto Cruz Caso, his brother Ramon, and Manuel de Jesus Campanioni Souza (an associate and friend of Santo Trafficante) to assassinate Castro with poison pills. Seeking documentation that she was involved in Operation Pedro Pan and the assassination plots with her brother AMCOG-1.
Sources:

104-10070-10079: DISPATCH: OPERATIONAL/GYROSE-REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF AMFAUNA OPERATION

1962: Review and Analysis of AMFAUNA Operation; the ailing former Cuban President (Ramon Grau San Martin) was being coerced to remain in the AMCOG residence while his nephew, AMCOG-3, and niece, AMCOG-2, were being held in a Cuban prison for a ransom of one million dollars. References to the "identities" can be first seen at page three.

157-10014-10151: SELECT COMMITTEE ASSASSINATION REPORT

1962-1963: "The failure to make forthright disclosures to policymakers continued during the time that Richard Helms was DDP. Helms' failure to inform McCone about the underworld operation when it was reactivated under Harvey and poison pills were sent to Cuba was a grave error in judgment, and Helms' excuses are unpersuasive.

104-10181-10461: CABLE: IDEN -1

Cable Identity-1 is Ramon Grau San Martin, former President of Cuba. Identity-2 is Dr. Francisco Condom Cestino; Identity-3 is Elvira Diaz Biarte.

104-10073-10101: DEBRIEFING OF AMFAUNA-14

Debriefing of AMFAUNA-14; See Fabian Escalante, The Secret War (pp. 132-133); see also document at end of Shackley Deposition to SSCIA, 157-10014-10046.

104-10103-10183: MEMO:DOCUMENTATION OF CASTRO ASSASSINATION PLOTS

CIA response to Castro's Assassination Plots in following item: "Leopoldina Grau Alsina...a POA was granted for her use as a source of intelligence in her brother's net on 17 March 1961. However she was terminated on 18 November 1963 due to insufficient intelligence production and lack of operational security." When she was arrested in January 1965 with her brother, poisons were found in her possession...the memo states "nothing in the files" indicates that she was directed to kill Castro or that the poisons were provided by the CIA. Manuel Companioni was arrested at the same time.

157-10014-10046: TESTIMONY OF HALLEY, 19 AUG 1975

1962-1965: "...a net of CIA agents, headed by Ramon and Maria Leopoldina Grau Alsina (known as Polita)...were part of the organizations "Rescate", "Movimento Anticomunista Revolucionario" (MAR) and other organizations organized and directed by (CIA). Castro's Assassination Plots, provided by Fidel Castro to George McGovern in 1975, is attached here.

Fabian Escalante, The Secret War (Ocean Press, 1995), pp. 133-134

August 1962-March 1963: "Miguel Matamoros Valle, who had been a pilot in Batista's army, proposed to poison Commander Efgenio Ameijeras, taking advantage of the fact that he frequented El Recodo Cafeteria on the Malecon and F Street in the center of Vadado. Matamoros assured him the crime would so move the public that there would be a mass demonstration of mourning, which Fidel would certainly attend. At that moment, somebody could shoot him and then get lost in the crowd...The month of August 1962 arrived, and Alberto Cruz and Maria Leopoldina Grau were informed of the plans to provoke an uprising in the nation's capital. They quickly went to see their man in El Recodo CAfeteria, to arrange the final details of the assassination of Commander Ameijeras. Nevertheless, fate played a trick on them. The traitor who had worked there had fled the country in July, only a few days earlier...(during March 1963) they got their opportunity. One night Fidel entered the hotel cafeteria while Santos de la Caridad was on duty. He asked for a chocolate shake, which was obligingly prepared by Santos. Nobody noticed that he opened the door of the refrigerator and slid his hand back to the coil which hid the lethal capsule. He tried to take it out with his fingers, but the effects of freezing made it cling to the metal; he used a little more pressure and the capsule broke open, spilling its lethal contents down the wall of the refrigerator. Fidel drank his shake, thanked Santos, and left..."

Round table on the topic of “Who are the real terrorists?” held in Cuban Television Studios on May 26, 2002, “Year of the heroes imprisoned by the empire” (Translation of Council of State transcripts): http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/documentos/2002/ing/m260502i.html

March 1963: Attributed to Jose Perez Fernandez, a Ministry of the Interior researcher: "Another of the highly dangerous plots that the U.S. government entrusted to the CIA was that concocted in March 1963. The idea was to poison the Commander in Chief on one of the occasions when he went to the cafeteria in the Havana Libre hotel. The plan entailed putting a capsule of poison the CIA had sent into the Commander in Chief’s food. Those executing this plan were terrorists from the Rescate organization. One of its top people was Leopoldina Grau Alsina who came from one of the pseudorepublic’s politicking families and was a bastion of Catholic Women. The terrorist whose mission it was to put the poison in the food was Santos de la Caridad Pérez Nuñez, a cafeteria employee. This same plan was tried in other eating establishments the Commander in Chief frequented. The aforementioned Leopoldina, better known as Polita Grau, was also an active participant in, and to a large extent, responsible for the organization and implementation of the shadowy Operation Peter Pan.

124-90135-10117: [No Title]

January 1965: CIA report stated that Cuban officials believed former President Ramon "Grau's nephews were CIA agents involved in a plot to assassinate Fidel Castro...The capture of Grau's nephews was brought about, according to Cuban authorities, by denouncements made by Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo following his capture in the mountains of Oriente province. Headquarters comments: According to the Miami News of 2/5/65, Mrs. Leopoldina Grau Alsina de Aguero and Ramon Grau Alsina, niece and nephew of former Cuban president Ramon Grau San Martin, were arrested about 1/20/65. The Cuban government announced the arrest of Gutierrez on 1/25/65, i.e., after the arrest of the Graus." CIA report, August 1965.

Contributors:
John Newman • Arnaldo M. Fernandez • Bill Simpich

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