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Cryptonym: AMHAWK

Definition:
Manuel Antonio (Tony) de Varona, a leader in the Cuban Revolutionary Council and other anti-Castro exile groups.
Status:
Documented
Sources:

104-10308-10042: MEMO: JMARC- GENERAL

1960 report of threat that five Castro agents planned to "abduct AMHAWK". Source was FNU Pelaez "through Barker's wife".

104-10167-10339: BIOGRAPHIC SKETCH:MANUEL ANTONIO DE VARONA LOREDO

10/27/60, biographic sketch by WH/4/PA E.W. Londregan, Jr.: After a failed insurrection that resulted in exile, Varona returned in 1933 with "an armed expedition which contributed to the overthrow of (President Gerrardo) Machado in 1933. Elected to House of Representatives in 1940 and the senate in 1944. In 1948, his PRC party split in two between followers of President Ramon Grau San Martin and those of Carlos Prio. Varona stuck with Prio; their "faction of the party became known as the Partido Autentico". "Varona engineered the kidnapping of Grau's representatives and supporters to prevent them from attending the provincial assembly of the party. With the opposition thus under control, Varona was nominated easily and was reelected to the senate in the national election that put Prio in the presidency. Prio rewarded Varona's loyalty by appointed him Prime Minister of Cuba, and Varona remained in the post for 2 years." After Batista's coup in 1952, Varona became the de facto leader of the anti-Batista movement in 1953. He was the reported to be the head of an armed clandestine group in Havana with thousands of affiliates. By late 56, there were 3 groups: The revolutionaries headed nominally by Varona; the "passive resistance", and the "loyal opposition" party. By Dec. 1957, Varona was in exile in Miami and most of his supporters had joined Castro's July 26 movement. He obtained operational approval as a CIA agent in Jan. 1958. After tolerating the Castro government for a year, Varona went to Caracas in May 1960, where he "talked with President Betancourt and arranged to use Caracas as a center for the distribution of anti-Castro propaganda." He then went to New York and agreed to work with the "Bender-Carr" group to form a government-in-exile, the FRD.

180-10143-10183: VARONA SECURITY FILE

Handwritten detailed summary of Varona file by HSCA staffer Leslie Wizelman. Noteworthy: Varona met Richard Cain in late 1960. By June 1961, Cain was "doing various jobs for the Cuban FRD". Cain was also working as the bodyguard for Jose Rasco/AMPALM-5. On 9/11/63, Cain met Serapio Montego and a Cuban named Torres. Montejo was former director of FRD in Chicago. Torres was purchasing agent of DRE in Miami. Includes Torres' physical description and that Torres felt CIA was using Cubans as a pawn.

180-10142-10306: 180-10142-10306

Typed shorter summary of Leslie Wizelman re Office of Security file on Tony Varona. Noteworthy: In 1960, Varona was "considered in connection with Project ZENITH and will be paroled into the United States under the Special Agreement between the Attorney General and the DCI". Previous info from security file on Cain reported, as well as "23 Aug 1963, Cain reported he had been approached by representative of DRE and they attempted to recruit him to be trained in Central Am. The person who contacted him spoke on the phone in his presence to someone in Miami named...Salvat (AMHINT-2) and asked if his group is sponsored by the CIA. Salvat said the group is sponsored by "the Pentagon, which is in competition with CIA, and, therefore, all activities of the Directory must be kept secret." Another Cain report on Aug 29 said that "confidential source had stated that two Cubans had told him that Dr. Olivara is the Cuban CIA representative in Chicago". This is a reference to Dr. Arturo Olivera - as of 7/31/63 Dr. Olivera was named the coordinator for the Chicago Council for a Democratic Cuba, coordinating many anti-Castro groups: http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=112774&search=%22arturo_olivera%22#relPageId=4&tab=page

104-10227-10240: UNKNOWN SUBJECTS; BOMBING OF AUTOMOBILE USED BY JOSE MIRO CARDONA, NOVEMBER 20, 1962, MIAMI, FLORIDA

One of Varona's close associates in November, 1962 was Raul Torres of New York City, who was asked about the bomb planted in the car of Miro Cardona/AMBUD-1. In 1967, New Orleans investigator David Lewis reported to the FBI that Raul Torres, Sergio Aracha Smith and Carlos Quiroga were the principal suspects of DA Jim Garrison in the killing of JFK. Lewis formerly worked in David Ferrie's squadron. http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=93473&relPageId=10&search=%22RAUL_DIAZ%20TORRES%22 The FBI reported that "our files disclose no information that can be identified with Raul Torres": https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=10094#relPageId=26&tab=page 10/20/63 Miami Herald identified Raul Diaz Torres as an "ex-rebel army major" on the Granma invading force with Castro in 56, now working against the Castro regime with Rolando Santana and fellow Granma veterans Jesus Gomez Calzadilla, Armando Rodriguez Moya, and Cesar Gomez Fernandez. http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=64836&search=%22raul_torres%22#relPageId=5&tab=page By early Sept 63, they formed the Cuban exile action group Los Juramentados to organize guerilla groups inside Cuba, working with Luis Conte/AMCORE-2: http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=105712&relPageId=355 Another founding member was Jose Rabel/AMLEO-3. http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=93473&relPageId=10

HSCA Vol X, p.57: HSCA Report, Volume X

Gaeton Fonzi wrote this investigative report: The credibility of the CRC took a severe blow in June 1963, when it was revealed in the Miami News that "a highly publicized commando raid on Cuba, purportedly made on June 21, was actually a hoax...Dr. (Antonio) Maceo resigned as president of the CRC and was succeeded by Antonio de Varona. Varona was able to hold the financially pinched CRC together for about 6 months, but he himself was forced to leave Miami in early 1964 and move to New York to seek employment, giving up his full-time activities as an anti-Castro revolutionary leader. The Cuban Revolutionary Council slowly disintegrated."

104-10260-10414: MEMORANDUM, IT IS REQUESTED THAT THE SUBJECTS OPERATIONAL APPROVAL BE AMENDED TO PERMIT HIS USE AS WITTING POLITICAL ACTION AGENT

8/27/59, memo from R. Dahlgren, C/WH/3 to C/CI/OA, attn: Drew Kohler: Tony Varona will be used as "a witting political action agent in the AMPATROL project".

Contributors:
Brian Benson • Bill Simpich

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