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Cryptonym: AMHAM-1

Definition:
Juan Felaifel Canahan testified against Rolando Cubela and others at the 1966 criminal trial in Cuba.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Was he a double agent? The Cuban government claimed he was. His brother Anis Felaifel claimed that he was not. Anis was an agent for the CIA - he was chief of intelligence for the MRR. These two brothers were Lebanese Cubans, with a last name similar to the popular Middle East wrapped sandwich known as felafel.
Sources:

124-90019-10174: No Title

5/7/63, FBI interview with Juan Felaifel Canhan, right after his defection from Cuba to the United States.

Claudia Furiati, ZRRIFLE (Ocean Press, 1994), p. 150

Re 11/22/63: Cuban intelligence chief quotes part of Felaifel's confidential report to the Cubans: "When the assassination of Kennedy occurred in Dallas, Texas, and given the earlier propaganda against him, great joy was expressed by the exiled Cubans and the CIA officials. They declared that now they would take firm steps against the Cuban revolution, something that the heads of the CIA task force in Miami themselves made public. This joy was demonstrated in the behavior of 'Robert', a high official of this task force, of Italian descent, who at the moment the assassination took place in Dallas, was with us in a safe house in Miami, watching the president's motorcade on television. (Note: The motorcade was not televised.) At that time, when the announcer reported the death of Kennedy, he exclaimed, 'We finally got the pinko out of the White House!'"

104-10234-10393: QUESTIONS ABOUT AMHAM-1

3/12/66 cable, from Director to JMWAVE: "While arguments can be made supporting either position, HQS tends to agree with WAVE that AMHAM-1 was not (a double agent)...Horace D. Bickelhaupt, AMHAM-1 (case officer) from Dec 63 to July 64 remembered AMHAM-1 as hard-working, conscientious, and added that only misgivings he had were (FBI) allegations which resolved to (case officer's) satisfaction following talks with and satisfaction by AMWOO-1 in spring 1964. HQs recommends interrogation and (polygraph) of AMBASS-1..."

104-10234-10391: PRESS COVERAGE OF AMLASH TRIAL

3/14/66 memo from JMWAVE states that the Carlos Martinez article is the most important article about the Cubela trial. "Article claim(s) AMHAM-1 took eight LCFLUTTER tests and had passed them all. Names of three alleged (CIA) agents in MIami (two of them correct). Fact his chief was American Lt. Col. who called self Smith (this is AMOZON case officer Leifeshe who used alias Smith). AMHAM-1 work as double agent made easier because his brother, AMBASS-1, was intel chief for MRR.

104-10234-10188: CABLE: FOLL SUMMARY DEVELOPMENTS SUBJ AFFAIR 11-12 MARCH

3/15/66 JMWAVE memo: "AMBASS-1 does not believe AMHAM-1 was a double agent. AMHAM-1 loved wife dearly and worried for her during his absences from Miami. AMHAM-1 basically not interested in political and social problems which disturbed most (Cuban) exiles, more interested in leisure activities than trying pick up info re Cuban exiles..."

Carlos Martinez, Chicago Daily News Service, "Castro Death Plot Figure Claims He Infiltrated CIA",

Carlos Martinez article, actual publication date 3/15/66: "The key testimony came from Juan Felaifel Canavar (sic), 24, who claimed he infiltrated the operation of the Central Intelligence Agency in Florida as a Castro spy...Felaifel further testified that he had taken eight lie detector tests as part of CIA internal security checks and passed them all...his brother Anis was chief of intelligence for the (MRR), a Cuban exile group headed by Manuel Artime. Anis Felaifel in 1959 unsuccessfully attempted to assassinate Ernesto (Che) Guevara, and escaped to Miami after machine-gunning the wrong car."

1994.05.16.14:12:04:280005: Reel 51, Folder I - ROLANDO CUBELA SECADES.

3/16/66 trial transcript was released, with Felaifel's testimony: "In Miami, there are persons who...act as intermediaries for the Americans who draw up the plans...such as recruiting mercenaries for the Congo and the Dominican Republic. One of these gentlemen is Jose Enrique Daus. (Note: AMWOO-1) He used to be a lawyer in Havana. Another is Otto Giner (phonetic), owner of some enterprises here in Havana. Another is Alberto Fernandez (note: AMDENIM-1)...There are innumberable differences among the counterrevolutionaries in Miami. There are two outstanding factions: The Batistianos, who belonged to or sympathized with the Batista government, and the so-called revolutionaries. These groups assail and blame each other for everything that has happened, for having lost everything. They throw in each others' faces the fact that "We lost everything because of the tyrant's (faults). No, we lost everything because of yours."

104-10234-10113: CABLE RE: IN THREE HOUR MEETING AT SPRANGE HOME 29 MAR

3/30/66 cable: "...Concerning Rolando Cubela's affair: (AMBRAY-1) said it is believed that a certain (Felafiel/AMHAM-1 - in marginalia) who is an AMTHUG agent visited (Cubans) in Miami where his brother is active in (anti-Cuban) affairs. At this time he heard of Cubela's plans from brother and reported them to AMTHUG-1/Fidel Castro on his return to (Cuba).

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Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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