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Cryptonym: AMFAST

Definition:
The apparent core of Operation 40. A hundred selected Cubans trained to serve as counterintelligence (CI) officers and future government leaders. In a revolt such as the Bay of Pigs, their role was to penetrate inland as fast as possible and to identify and seize documents of the Castro government - and then serve as the intelligence arm of a temporary civilian government of Cuba.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
One member of "Operation 40" was MDC executive member, Professor Benigno Galnares: http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=55240&search=%22operation_40%22#relPageId=8&tab=page Orlando Piedra may have been a member: He was the ex-chief of Batista's secret police, who frequently met with Guy Banister. Arthur Schlesinger cites Varela Castro as an Operation 40 leader. http://cuban-exile.com/doc_351-375/doc0355.html Varela Castro later became an intelligence chief for Manuel Ray.
Sources:

104-10310-10020: FILE: DDCI Documents

5/25/61 interview with David Morales; he arrived St Miami station during October 1960. A description of AMFASTs is provided at top of this crypt. AMFASTs are misspelled as AMFATS on this document. Morales formed two other intelligence groups of Cubans, the AMOTs and the AMCHEERs.

104-10168-10194: CABLE: REQUEST HQS SUGGEST AMBUD-1 START THINKING ABOUT ORGANIZING THROUGH AMOT-2 SMALL SECURITY GROUP TO ESCORT REVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL AT THE APPROPRIATE TIME

4/10/61 memo from JMWAVE to Director: "Request HQS suggest AMBUD-1/(Carona) start thinking about organizing through AMOT-2/(Sanjenis) small security group to escort Revolutionary Council at appropriate time. Either AMOTs or AMFASTs can be used. This matter discussed with (AMOT-2) who said wants to go in at same time as council. AMOT-31 would take over AMOT duties WAVE area during interim. Thirty AMOTS have completed small arms tng (training) JMFIG. Those selected as security group would be given further tng. Advise."

104-10271-10272: DISPATCH: SUBJECT - CRISIS WITHIN THE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATS MOVEMENT

5/24/61, Dispatch from Chief of Base JMWAVE to Chief, WHD, subject Crisis within the Christian Democrats Movement...MDC: "a faction...requested Dr. Rasco's resignation from the presidency of the organization because he was not acceptable in Cuba...the anti-RASCO group had appointed AMFAST-71, of Operation 40, as the vice president of their Intelligence Commission. AMFAST-71 is no longer a member of AMFAST or consults with AMOT-2."

104-10228-10283: CABLE:RYBAT JMZIP AMOT AMFAST

4/16/61 cable BELL 4567 from WH/4/PA Howard Hunt to JMWAVE, responding to the 4/10/61 memo above. "RYBAT JMZIP AMOT AMFAST" is the slugline, and virtually all of the rest of the content appears to be whited out.

104-10235-10208: NAVAL COMMISSION-INTELLIGENCE DEPT.-LAST NIGHT I KEPT AN APPOINTMENT TO SEE MRS. ADA FALK AT HER HOME

7/18/61 memo from "D-81" who is AMCHEER-1/Julio Garcia: "The Office of Naval HQs is located at 2058 S. Dixie Highway, Miami...The Chief of the Navy is still RENATO...The Intelligence Dept is located in the house which was previously used for instruction and training of ("Operation 40" - crossed out and replaced with "AMFAST members") of the FRD Intelligence Commission, at 7650-128th Street."

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

2/13/62, PASSAVOY Memo No. 206: The house at 7650-128th Street for Operation 40 was rented initially by Jose Ariola Alvarez of the MRR, 306 NE 30th Street, Miami. It was in good condition before it was turned over to the Naval Commission, who did significant damage to the place.

1993.08.12.10:21:36:090053: ARTICLE ON INVASION OF CUBA

Paul Meskil, April 1975, NY Daily News, "A Mission to Cuba: Tale of the Doomed Raiders". Recounts how an alleged "Operation 40" squad tried a diversionary action on the north coast of Pinar del Rio while the Brigade 2506 approached from the south coast of the Island during the Bay of Pigs. Americans Frank Nelson, Alex Rorke and Frank Fiorini were part of the planning. Americans Angus McNair and Howard Anderson were caught and executed, along with Gilberto Betancourt and six other Cubans.

104-10236-10438: MEMO-BRIGADE 2506 OFFICE

8/2/63 letter by FI Henry J. Sloman/Tony Sforza to DCOS/OPS at JMWAVE: "AMTIKI-1 assisted in the establishment of the Brigade 2506 office at 2427 SW 37th Avenue, Miami. The heads of this office are...Jose MORALES Cruz and AMFAST-18...The only true function of the office...is maintenance of files of members of the Brigade, ones who joined up at the US Army at the Brigade office and the old military files of the CRC...AMTIKI-1 could claim the files of this office. AMOT-2 states that his Group could integrate these files into the AMOT files and believes they would be of interest to the Station."

104-10221-10282: CABLE: FRANK ANTHONY STURGIS, ALSO KNOWN AS FRANK FIORINI

7/23/62 cable OUT 57734 from TFW/CI Richard Tansing x 5874 to Director of FBI, DIA, Dept. of State Security, ACSI, ONI, OSI...reference is made to OUT 55026, dated 7/16/62, "reference reported that subject, according to a fairly reliable source who has been involved in previous leaflet operations against Cuba has scheduled his next overflight for 26 July 1962. This same source has reported additional information as follows on subject's recent activities. (Marginalia then states "CARNEY" - this could be Ray Carnay, originally reported as Ray Carney, who reported on similar activities during this time period.) On 6/21/62 subject delivered to Pedro Diaz Lanz an quantity of weapons including 57 mm recoilless rifles several automatic weapons and a considerable amount of ammunition." Authenticating officer CI/LIA Cal Tenney; Releasing officer William Harvey.

Nestor Carbonell, And The Russians Stayed (William Morrow and Company, New York, 1989), pp. 141-142

Nestor T. Carbonell was to become an aide to Tony Varona and the CRC's ambassador to the OAS. "Just before I left for Guatemala (in March 1961), some of my colleagues persuaded me to join a newly formed unit - "Operation Forty" - which was to be integrated into the brigade and charged iwth the occupation and temporary administration of liberated territories. (I later heard bizarre stories, echoed by noted reporters and historians, about the purported sinister task of this unit: that of eliminating 'leftist' leaders, including Miro, who might stand in the way of 'reactionary' plans!) Ths unit was composed of about eighty men, most of them young professionals known to me, and were headed by an amiable former colonel of the Cuban army, Vicente Leon, who had honored his uniform throughout his career. Phase one of our brief training was conducted in Miami, where we were subjected to polygraphic tests and apprised of our mission as guardians of public order and custodians of human rights."

Book 1 of Presidential Campaign Activities of 1972, Watergate and Related Activities, Phase I: Watergate Investigation Current Section: Barker, Bernard L., member of Watergate to break-in group of June 17, 1972, p. 375

Testimony of Bernard Barker: "Mr. (Felipe) DeDiego had been a member of Operation 40, which had been specially trained to capture documents of the Castro government, and the operation (to break into the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, the LBJ Administration officer that leaked the Pentagon Papers) was successful. (DeDiego) had received further training as an intelligence officer from the Army of the United States."

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Bill Simpich

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