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Cryptonym: AMCRAG-1

Definition:
Francisco Bilbao Alvarez, MRR chief, Oriente province, 1960-61. Worked with ONI intelligence officer Harold Feeney at Guantanamo Naval Base in the early sixties.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Worked with Lt. Commander Hal Feeney, ONI officer. Feeney had plans to overthrow Castro. Three months after the Bayo-Pawley Raid of June 1963, Angel Luis Castillo tried to convince Bilbao into having his men infiltrate Cuba. Bilbao's organization was known as the Battalon de Brigada, or the Brigade Batallion. Bilbao worked at Guantanamo. Shackley wrote that he was not with CIA. He was probably with Feeney at ONI.
Sources:

1993.08.04.11:04:14:710006: BAYO-PAWLEY AFFAIR

Compare with 104-10057-10102, below - marginalia substitutes the name "Francisco Bilbao Alvarez" in place of "CRYPT".

104-10057-10102: WITHHELD

Same as above, except the CRYPT is revealed to be AMCRAG-1. AMCRAG-1 concluded that despite Angel Luis Castillo's assurances in Sept 1963 that AMDENIM-11 (Eduardo Perez, aka Bayo) and his men were still alive in the months following the "Bayo-Pawley raid" of June, 1963, there was no hard evidence proving it. Castillo was relying on information provided by John Martino. Martino had allegedly used this information in an effort to convince Irving Cadick/Rip Robertson to infiltrate his men into Cuba, but Robertson allegedly was not interested. Martino then turned to Castillo, described as a "witting informant of AMJAGER-1". JMWAVE traces from late 1962 show that at that time Angel Luis Castillo had the "complete confidence of AMCRAG-1." "AMCRAG-1 returned to Miami from YOACRE/Guantanamo in mid-October 1963...AMCRAG-1 came to the conclusion that no one at (Guantanamo) had any direct knowledge of or contact with Eduardo Perez/AMDENIM-11."

CDR Harold Feeney, USN (Ret.) "The Night of the White Horse" (1988). http://bayofpigs2506.com/The%20night%20of%20the%20white%20horse.pdf

Late 1960: Hal Feeney became Base Intelligence Officer at Guantanamo. After diplomatic relations ended (1/61), urgent to infiltrate CIA-trained Cubans. His team included his assistant Jack Modesett, ONI civilian agents, infiltrators such as Tony Izquierdo and Rodolfo Hernandez. He met with RADM Frankel of ONI and then with CNO Arleigh Burke. The radio handles for him team was "Pete", an exile Cuban agent; Feeney was "Quijote", and Modesett was "Pecos". One of the agents recruited and trained by Pete was "Alonso Gonzalez, code-named 'Curita'." Feeney wrote that when placed before a firing squad, Gonzalez "cried out in a loud voice: Viva Cristo Rey! Long live Christ the King! To which many of us would add our fervent amen."

Deadly Secrets, Warren Hinckle and William Turner (Thunder's Mouth, 1992), pp. 113-115.

Summer 1961: Tad Szulc wrote, "I cannot say to what extent (JFK) knew, that November (of 1961) about a scheme elaborated by Military Intelligence officers soon after the Bay of Pigs...to kill Castro and his brother Raul...using Cuban marksmen who were to be infiltrated into Cuba from (the base at Guantanamo)" The authors write: "...the CIA collaborated closely with its naval hosts, on this assassination plot ONI appears to have been in the driver's seat. The officer in charge was a Navy lieutenant commander, and one of the assassins had long been under ONI control. His name was Luis Balbuena, a thickset man called El Gordo ('the Fat One')...a second marksman was Alonzo Gonzales, about whom little is known other than that he was an Episcopalian priest who had designs on being bishop of Cuba once Castro was deposed...Balbuena aditted to a US Senate investigator that he had worked with Gonzales out of Guantanamo in 1961 and confirmed that the ambitious priest was proficient with firearms...(in Aug 1961, at the hemispheric nations' conference in Uruguay, Che Cuevara) said the plot was for the killing to be followed by a mortar shelling of the base, giving the impression that enraged Cubans were taking revenge for Raul's death at the hands of counterrevolutionaries. The shelling would give the United States a 'clear-cut case' of Cuban aggression and provide a pretext for armed intervention - the old Guantanamo shell game." (This was also known as Operation Patty.)

104-10226-10274: DEBRIEFING OF HUMBERTO SORI MARIN

"WAVE attempting to bring together AMNORM-1 (note: Nino Diaz), Tova, Sori Marin and Francisco Bilbao in order plan open new front Oriente."

1994.06.18.10:34:30:500005: Reel 67, Folder K - AMBUD ((DELETION)) MEMOS

PASSAVOY Memorandum For Record No. 200: "Dr. Miro Cardona informed me that on the evening 7 February (1962)...he received a visit, previously arranged, with Mr. BILBAO and a U.S. Navy officer, Mr. HAROLD FEENEY (FINNEY), whose rank he believed was a Commander or a Lt. Commander. This officer was wearing the blue uniform of the U.S. Navy...he spoke Spanish very well...he believed it was necessary to fight Castro..." Also see 104-10133-10227 - Feeney met with anti-Castro jurist Julio Garceran, displayed his ONI credentials, and presented a plan to overthrow the Castro regime by staging air attacks from Guatemala. Finney set it up with RADM Frankel, and then met with Admiral Arleigh Burke. On radio calls, Burke was "Pete", Feeney was "Quijote", and Modesett was "Pecos".

124-10279-10032: No Title

This is a poorly reproduced copy of the Cuban Counterrevolutionary Handbook, circa late 1962. On Secondary Organizations: I. IDENTIFYING DATA: Common title: B. B. Title: Batallon de Brigada Brigade Battalion Member of internal FND, suspected of being G-2 vehicle in Mid-1962; composed of ex and actual military men. Organization made up of cells. Political orientation not known. Claim large number of members and operations from Habana to Oriente. Leading Personalities: in U. S.: Domingo FALBER VILLASANTE. Coord. Gen, Exile; In Cuba: Guillermo CADENA (war name), Coord Gen and FND rep, in prison; Alfredo CORDERO (aka "TOBITA"); Rigoberto VALDES, Coord. Gen. Habana; Pedro FORMENTAL; and Francisco BILBAO. II. HISTORY Organized prior April 1961, Cuba. Primary activity: commando type acts against small guerrilla groups, and sabotage to strategic installations. Claims to have accomplished many of its plans. III. CURRENT STATUS Not known. Basically operates in Cuba. May have suffered drastically from GCC roll-up resulting from planned "uprising" of 1962, as did FND." Easier copy to read can be found here: http://cuban-exile.com/doc_376-400/doc0386.html The FND was a coalition of the Batallon de Brigada and about 12 other military-oriented groups. Most of the leadership was arrested in April 1962 due to infiltration by Castro's G-2. http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=105712&search=%22batallon_de+brigada%22#relPageId=305&tab=page

104-10171-10340: CABLE: AMCRAG-1 RECEIVED LETTER FROM VICTOR BALBUENA, ANGEL LUIS

During Dec. 1962, AMCRAG-1 got a letter from Victor Balbuena, Angel Luis Castillo and Jorge Caseno, writing on behalf of FUNC, the Frente Undio Nacional Cubano. The plan was for refugees at Guantanamo Naval Base and Cubans on the island to conduct actions designed to overthrow Castro. Considering having AMCRAG-1 debrief Alberto Espino re more on FUNC activities.

104-10529-10298: CABLE-SUBJECT IS DOCTOR RENE VALLEJO ORTIZ, PERSONAL PHYSICAN OF FIDEL CASTRO

On 10/9/63, SAS/EOB Dave Ronis wrote a cable about Dr. Rene Vallejo, Fidel's personal physician. "One of Castro's closest companions in work, sports and play." Reported elsewhere as Fidel's confidant in the ongoing negotiations between the USA and Cuba towards rapprochement. "Suggest station... determine if (_)GRIP can reasibly (sic) cultivate subj...WAVE: HQS file indicates (Vallejo) contact with AMOT asset AMCRAG-1..." Query AMCRAG-1 about any current correspondence with Vallejo and any additional information.

104-10216-10422: DISPATCH: OPERATIONAL MADRID CONTACTS OF CUBAN REFUGEE MIGUEL DE LEON ROJAS

5/1/65 Reuterman (Ted Shackley) memo: "Cuco" Leon told AMCRAG-1 that he is concerned about GROWERY's actions with his contacts in Europe. Growery is trying to get AMLASH-2 and AMLASH-3 to work for him (note: this is right during the time of a failed attempt to kill Castro in April 1965 that involved the AMLASH net). There is an unfavorable attitude towards GROWERY among the Cuban officials in Europe working with Castro's opponents - they would prefer to work with the "Miami group". "FYI, AMCRAG-1 is not known as being associated with KUBARK (CIA) and has mainly dedicated himself to private business. He has maintained close relationship with AMBIDDY and AMBIDDY's followers."

124-90152-10074: No Title

4/1/65, one of a series of biographic data reports of prominent anti-Castro leaders issued by State Department Cuban expert Harvey Summ: "Did considerable earth-moving contract work for US Naval Base, Guantanamo Bay...Head of Revolutionary Recovery Movement (MRR), anti-Castro underground movement, for Oriente province, 1960-61...Bilbao is bright, honest, trustworthy, steady and mature. He is a good executive. He is highly respected as an underground resistance leader, both against Batista and against Castro, in Oriente province."

104-10216-10369: DISPATCH: OPERATIONAL/KEYWAY/PBRUMEN/AMOT/AMLASH/AMWORLD MADRID CONTACTS OF CUBAN REFUGEE MIGUEL DE LEON ROJAS

4/21/65 cable from Chief of Station, JMWAVE to Chief of Station, REDACTED: By 1965, AMCRAG-1 was described as "a member of the AMOT group".

Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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