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Cryptonym: AMCORE-2

Definition:
Luis Ernesto Conte Aguero, former radio and TV commentator in Cuba who subsequently "worked on propaganda for the FRD" under AMCORE-1.
Status:
Documented
Sources:

104-10061-10115: LIST OF NAMES RE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION INVESTIGATION

#18 on this list given to HSCA by CIA identifies AMCORE-2 as Luis Conte Aguero.

Meg Laughlin. "Castro - From Ally to Enemy", Tampa Bay Times, 8/12/07. http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/fidel/conte-aguero.htm

Conte explains the history of his relationship with Fidel - here is the early portion: "Their relationship began when the two young men were at the University of Havana in the late 1940s. Castro was a law student, Conte Aguero a graduate student in philosophy. They met when Castro argued with him at a student meeting, then apologized...When the beloved founder and leader of the organization, Havana radio commentator Eddy Chibas, committed suicide on Aug. 5, 1952, Castro and Conte Aguero were there. After a poignant radio speech calling for reform in Cuba, Chibas shoved a loaded pistol in his gut and pulled the trigger. "Fidel and I carried Eddy's bleeding body to a car," said Conte Aguero. "This tragedy cemented our friendship for many years." With the loss of Chibas, who may well have been elected as president, a political vacuum was created in Cuba. Former President Fulgencio Batista then took over in a coup d'etat in 1952. Castro, with Conte Aguero's blessing, organized an attack against Batista's soldiers, which landed Castro in prison. It was from a cell at the Isle of Pines prison, where he served from late 1953 to the spring of 1955, that Castro wrote the letters to Conte Aguero and others. The letters, sneaked out by a prison worker, were not censored, Conte Aguero says. They went by ferry through several hands until they made their way to the house of Castro's sister in Havana, where Conte Aguero picked them up...Ann Louise Bardach, who writes about Cuba for the New York Times and Vanity Fair, found a rare Cuban copy of the letters and made the deal to publish them. She wrote the introduction to the bilingual version, calling the 21 letters "a Rosetta Stone for historians, biographers and journalists seeking to understand the man who would become Cuba's ruler for life."...By the end of (1959), Conte Aguero had become disenchanted, he says, "because he refused to allow any political parties that weren't communist."

124-90041-10128: Jose Ignacio Rasco Bermudez file

Conte was a television commentator and a friend of Fidel Castro. Conte wrote the preface to Fidel's book "History Will Absolve Me". When he criticized Fidel in public in March 1960, he was forced to flee the country. "Student agitators, led by the President of the Student Federation at the University of Havana (FEU), Rebel Army Major Rolando Cubela, attacked and broke up anti-Communist meetings at which Conte Aguero was to speak." Conte took asylum in the Argentina embassy (see page 11 of 12 of this document).

104-10165-10185: ROUTING RECORD SHEET

Subsequent to 5/12/60, Conte was working for Agency asset AMCORE-1 (Abel Mestre) "on propaganda for the FRD". In March 1961, Office of Security formally requested INS for parole of Conte into the United States "in the furtherance of the national intelligence mission".

104-10166-10003: HEADQUARTERS HAS REVIEWED AMCORE-S' BOOK PARODON, AND CONSIDERS THIS PUBLICATION TO BE AN EXTREMELY USEFUL PIECE OF PROPAGANDA

11/5/62 memo from Bill Harvey to Ted Shackley, originated by John Tilton. Headquarters found Conte's book Paredon extremely useful, and planned to work with Conte to subsidize distribution of this book throughout Latin America.

104-10166-10374 DISPATCH: GYROSE/OPERATIONAL AMCORE-2 BROADCASTS

2/4/63 memo from Bruce McMasters of the Special Affairs Staff (SAS) to JMWAVE: "Headquarters suggests that AMCORE-2 be guided to follow the puppet them with appeals to Cuban maturity. Why should Cuba continue forever to play the role of kid brother in someone else's scheme of things?"

104-10166-10395: DISPATCH: TYPIC/OPERATIONAL AMCORE-2 PROGRESS REPORT FOR JULY 1963

8/5/63 dispatch from Chief of Station, JMWAVE to Chief, SAS: "(AMCORE-2's) listener response continued at the same high level, as reported by William S. Wibalda in his JMHOPE overall count of listener responses. The gradual systemization of the Subject's listener response as an information gathering device (any listener who writes reports is automatically referred to by Subject as a Centinela de la Libertad - Sentinel of Liberty) was started during July, as Subject was directed to request specific and detailed data on military installations, relations between indigenous and foreign personnel, electric plants, telephone systems, identification and method of informer mechanisms, and foci and expressions of resistance. Subject agreed not to read on the air any information received through letters other than acts of resistance and sabotage which should be emulated."

104-10075-10058: JMWAVE CABLE RE KENNEDY MEMORIALS BY CUBAN REFUGEES IN MIAMI

"On WMIE 22 Nov Luis Conte Aguero said he advised Senate Committee that members Fair Play for Cuba Committee be imprisoned as traitors to U.S. Conte said on WNET 23 Nov Castro responsible for Kennedy's death and assassination carefully planned. Conte warned there will be further assassinations unless Castro is dealt with, and said Betancourt is a prime target (of) Communists."

Reel 5, Folder D - LUIS CONTE AGUERO: Reel 5, Folder D - LUIS CONTE AGUERO

(Aguero), leader of the Sentinels of Liberty Underground organization, said in Miami that according to reports smuggled out of Cuba the Soviets were summoned to bolster the militia in an offensive June 8 (1963) at Loma de Gavilanes at the Escambray Mountain zone. The outcome of the battle was unknown, he said." A set of notes compiled by Tony Summers in 1983 said that Conte Aguero was one of five disinformation agents, four of whom were handled by David Phillips. See page 7 of 8: http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/O%20Disk/Oswald%20Lee%20Harvey%20Mexico/107.pdf

Contributors:
Dr. Juan B. Giusti • Bill Simpich

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