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Cryptonym: AMFAST

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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.
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. Al Tarabochia of the Dade County intelligence unit wrote: ""Operation 40" had been prepared to cope with the internal uprising that was to follow the invasion. These were the men trained in the South Dade (County) residence reported by the writer in a report dated February 28, 1961 under this same case number. The officer in charge of the group, Col. LEON, is reported to have died by his own hand when the situation became unbearable on the beaches." http://cuban-exile.com/doc_026-050/doc0042.html Fidel Castro and Jose Ramon Fernandez, "Playa Giron/Bay of Pigs: Washington's First Military Defeat in the Americas", p. 110. "Operation 40...had the 'honorable mission' of 'eliminating all party and government officials who might be dangerous'...(Vicente Leon Leon) was caught by surprise together with the four or five accompanying him. He did not surrender and put up resistance. He was killed in the exchange of fire." https://www.amazon.com/dp/087348925X/ref=rdr_ext_tmb As of August 1960, Vicente Leon was manager of the Bagasse Company's Cuban factory until it was expropriated. (124-90083-10077, page 6 of 12) He worked with FRD later in 1960 - 104-10229-10009, p. 50. He worked with Prio to overthrow Batista in mid-50s - 124-10296-10176, p. 21. Felipe de Diego told William Turner that Howard Hunt was the chief; the members included Colonel Orlando Piedra and Joaquin Sanjenis/AMOT-2. (180-10073-10072, page 5 of 113) Barker states Diego was an Operation 40 member (see below).

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."

Fabian Escalante, The Plot (Ocean Press) - https://educationforum.ipbhost.com/topic/5174-william-c-bishop/page/2/

3/7/61: "The first news that we have of Operation 40 is a statement made by a mercenary of the Bay of Pigs who was the chief of military intelligence of the invading brigade and whose name was Jose Raul de Varona Gonzalez," says Escalante. "In his statement this man said the following: in the month of March, 1961, around the seventh, Mr. Vicente Leon arrived at the base in Guatemala at the head of some 53 men saying that he had been sent by the office of Mr. Joaquin Sanjenis, Chief of Civilian Intelligence, with a mission he said was called Operation 40. It was a special group that didn't have anything to do with the brigade and which would go in the rearguard occupying towns and cities. His prime mission was to take over the files of intelligence agencies, public buildings, banks, industries, and capture the heads and leaders in all of the cities and interrogate them. Interrogate them in his own way”. The individuals who comprised Operation 40 had been selected by Sangenis in Miami and taken to a nearby farm "where they took some courses and were subjected to a lie detector."


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." The response - mostly whited out - can be seen in the document 104-10228-10283: CABLE:RYBAT JMZIP AMOT AMFAST, a 4/16/61 cable BELL 4567 from WH/4/PA Howard Hunt.

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

April 1961 - Bay of Pigs account by 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.


5/19/61 memo by R.W. Herbert for Chief, WH J. C. King to Director, Central Intelligence: "(Manuel Ray said) that his own people, the MRP, were afraid that if the invasion was successful, they, too, would be executed by the invading forces or the succeeding government...he and his people had learned about 'Operation Forty' as a 'mopping-up' operation, which was to have eliminated his followers in Cuba. He said that 'Operation Forty' was composed of followers of former President Fulgencio Batista who were to follow behind the invading troops and 'purge' the captured cities and towns. He said that the operation was planned by SANJENIS and GUTIERREZ, and that one of the members was CALVINOS (fnu), a 'war criminal' who was captured in the invasion...the subject said that it was his representatives, members of the MRP, who were responsible for successful sabotage in Cuba, and said that they destroyed El Encanto, the Habana department store, and the Habana aqueduct." Also see 104-10271-10272: 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."

104-10310-10020: FILE: DDCI Documents

5/25/61 interview with David Morales; he arrived St Miami station during October 1960. AMFASTs are misspelled as AMFATS on this page. Morales formed two other intelligence groups of Cubans, the AMOTs and the AMCHEERs. At page 71: "AMFAST will be reorganized as a unilateral anti-Castro Cuban Counter Intelligence team. This team will require further KUDESK (note: CIA CI) training and plans are to request a headquarters (CIA) officer to travel to WAVE for this training." Also see http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/jfk/Operation40-CIA.pdf, 6/15/61 memo, pages 6-7 of 8: "AMOT-2/Jose Sanjenis is most discreet and WAVE had never received info, except that emanating from AMDIP-1/Miro Cardona and AMJAG/Justo Carrillo that AMOT-2 brags about KUBARK/CIA support. WAVE believes this probe on part of AMDIP-1 and AMJAG to ascertain extent of present KUBARK involvement. Re allegation 'Operation Forty' (AMFAST) designed eliminate AMBUD/CRC organization this story preposterous...AMOT-2 and his loyal followers have made such an outstanding contribution to date in terms of positive and counter intelligence and many other tasks that to plant any doubt in the mind of AMOT-2 at this time would be to destroy an extremely valuable asset."


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.


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. 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. Marginalia says "CARDED", meaning that it was recorded on a card.

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."


9/20/77, memo by Chris Hopkins of the Latin American Division: "...Operation 40 consisted of the recruitment by JMWAVE Station of a group of Cuban emigrees, trained and specialized in intelligence, who were to serve as a support group in future intelligence operations after Castro was ousted. After receiving training in Miami, the group, headed by Colonel Vicente LEON Leon, left for the FRD training camps. Colonel LEON died in the Bay of Pigs invasion." Similar accounts are provided in the Discussion, above.

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."

Bill Simpich

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