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Cryptonym: AMHINT-21

Definition:
Jose Jesus Basulto Leon. AMHINT-21 was infiltrated into Cuba before the Bay of Pigs invasion in April, 1961. In addition, AMHINT-21 took part in a raid on Cuba in April of 1962.
Status:
Speculative
Discussion:
According to books and a CIA document, Jose Basulto was infiltrated into Cuba before the Bay of Pigs invasion. Basulto also had extensive ties to the DRE, as shown in documents in 1962 and 1963. Jose Basulto appears to have been involved in the DRE attack on the Hotel Icar in Havana, in August of 1962. Furthermore, Basulto appears to have been a member of the DRE until around the beginning of 1963, when he moved into the orbit of Alpha-66, and by August of 1963 he was officially described as a former member of the DRE. In this month the FBI reported that Basulto was seen in the company of Carlos Hernandez and Victor Espinosa Hernandez (AMHINT-24) by a U.S. Customs official in Miami. By this time, Basulto was a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army, and was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. Moreover, in a interview to the FBI at this time, Espinosa stated that he wished Basulto was a pilot. Curiously, the following month, in a memorandum Alice B. Caponong listed Jose Basulto as being a Cuban exile pilot. In October, 1964, he was listed as being RECE's Assistant Advisor for Commando Activities.
Sources:

104-10171-10037: APRIL PROGRESS REPORT: DIRECTORIO REVOLUCIONARIO ESTUDIANTIL (DRE)

04/62, April Progress Report by Case Officer: Harold R. Noemayr. Section: PW. Asset: Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE). Page 4: ..."c. AMHINT maritime section has a secure base at Millers dock in Marathon where they have their JUANIN II berthed. They have crew quarters and have fully equipped the vessel with the exception of radar at their own expense. On 28 April a shakedown run was made from base to Elbow Key thence Varadero and Cardenas area and return to base. All equipment operated well and AMHINT-40, 21, 42, and 42 were on as crew. If WAVE support for their operations is not approved it can be expected that they will make every effort to operate independently and without the vital coordination for such operations."

104-10235-10324: SUBJECT: SUGAR PRODUCTION IN CUBA

06/18/62, Memo to Office, or Memorandum for Record (as desired): Source: J. Basulto thru Dr. Miro's Office, to Passavoy: "1. Following is the translation of a memo from J. Basulto, handed to me the evening of 17 June by Dr. Miro's secretary: Extract of letter received by Basulto from Cuba, dated 9 June, 1962: 'The situation here continues without change with respect to supplies, the cane harvest is now practically ended; I calculate the production at approximately $700,000 Spanish Long Tons. So far this year they have shipped about 3,000,000 Spanish long tons. Now it is raining in torrents for three hours. 2. The news received from the country are that the next cane harvest, whatever regime is in power, cannot exceed 3,000,000 Spanish long tons, since they say that the fields are destroyed due to the fires set this year and to the drought. They assure me that there have been sugar centrals (ingenios) which, of the total of cane that has been ground, 75% have been burned. I understand, and this you may ask if it is correct from Don Guillermo, that when a cane field is burned, it is necessary to re-sow the field at least up to 25%, so that the cane field will not have a shortage the following year, and they say that this has not been possible to do, because of the drought. They have also burned many sprouts (presumably new sprouting cane). A signature appears here of J. Basulto. Presumably signing this extract of letter he received. (This is Jose Basulto, formerly employed according to Dr. Miro's secretary at the Punta Alegre Sugar Central)." - - - 07/27/62, CIA newspaper clipping: Mentions Manuel Salvat (AMHINT-2) and Jose Basulto: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=73161&search=BASULTO#relPageId=2&tab=page

104-10171-10334: DISPATCH: OPERATIONAL/AMSPELL PROGRESS REPORT - JULY 1962

08/14/62, Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Task Force W: Attachment A: BACKGROUND AND STATUS OF INTERNAL AND EXILE ELEMENTS: Page 2: ...."6. By the advent of the April 17 abortive assault, the DRE had infiltrated AMHINT-1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21...."

124-10279-10030:

11/09/62, FBI document: Page 2: "INFORMANTS:...Identity: MM T-8 is Joseph Basulto, 918 S. W. 4th Street, Miami, Florida (by request). Location: Instant report, page 12..." - - - Interview on 12/11/62, FBI document: Page 21: ..."On December 11, 1962, Mr. Jose Basulto, who resides at 1703 S.W. 3rd Avenue, which is the Headquarters of the anti-Castro organization Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE) was interviewed by Special Agent William G. Friedemann. Mr. Basulto advised that he frequents the offices of the Cuban Revolutionary Council in Miami with considerable regularity, including the office occupied by Mrs. Evora Arca, located in the Visa Waiver Section of the Council. He said he is a member of the Cuban Revolutionary Student Directorate, had been in frequent contact with Dr. Jose Miro Cardona, and with his secretary, Miss Asuncion Perez. He said that he did not obtain any information from Asuncion Perez or Arca with reference to the date of return of Dr. Miro Cardona to Miami. He said that he did not hear any comment being made by individuals frequenting the offices of the Revolutionary Council as to the travels of Dr. Miro Cardona, and the scheduled date of his return to Miami. Basulto said that he possessed no information as to who could have placed the bomb in the automobile of Perez." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=89290&search=BASULTO#relPageId=22&tab=page

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TRAINING FOR ADDITIONAL CUBAN OFFICERS IN EXILE

11/12/62, MFR No. 378: Page 100: (Rough translation): "JOSE JESUS BASULTO LEON: Military courses he has received: Member of the 2506 Brigade infiltration teams. Radiogtelegrafista conventional training and guerrilla Base Trax special training in Panama (Infiltration) and the United States. War experience: Infiltrated twice in Cuba (before and after April 17) work of clandestine intelligence and communications organization. Organized from the raid to the Hotel 'Rosita de Hornedo (military part of the operation). Specialization: Organizing agent (intelligence and clandestination). Charges and grades held by the armed forces: Degree of officer in the Liberation Army." Better copy here: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=55637&relPageId=148&search=BASULTO

124-10284-10147:

03/04/63, FBI report from Miami: Subject: Operation Alpha 66, Internal Security - Cuba; Neutrality Matters: Page 6: ..."Standing by this blue Fiberglass boat was Humberto Solis Jurado, who stated he lived at 829 S.W. First Avenue in Miami and that the person who just a moment previously left the dock, driving off in an automobile, was Jose Basulto. Solis explained that he did not know who the owner of the boat was, but that Basulto is responsible for the boat and they planned to go on a fishing trip...On February 27, 1963, MM T-1 advised that in the fall of 1962 Basulto went to Washington, D.C., and New York City to try and raise funds for the formation of an independent anti-Castro organization, but it is unknown what success he had in raising funds..."

124-10204-10283:

08/08/63, Miami FBI report by William Mayo Drew, Jr.: Titled: Victor Dominador Espinosa Hernandez...Page 4: ..."At Miami, Florida: 1. Will obtain and exhibit photographs of Victor Espinosa (Note: AMHINT-24), Rene Espinosa, Miguel Alvarez, Carlos Hernandez, Antonio Soto, and Jose Basulto to John Koch (Note: AMHINT-26), Acelo Pedroso, and Clarence Siegel for possible identification as to involvement of these individuals in this matter. 2. Will report results of interview with Gonzalo Herrero and any other logical ex-Cuban pilot, developed as a result of interview of Herrero. 3. Will report results of interview with Jose Basulto, also possibly involved in this matter." - - - Page 27: "Espinosa referred to himself as the 'coordinator' of the bombing preparations. He stated that Jose Basulto Leon, a former member of the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE), now in training at Fort Benning, Georgia, was not involved in the plans, although he wished Basulto was a pilot because he felt he could rely on Basulto to do the job..."

124-10204-10283:

08/08/63, Miami FBI report by William Mayo Drew, Jr.: Titled: Victor Dominador Espinosa Hernandez... Page 5: "On July 23, 1963, Wallace Shanley, U.S. Customs, Miami, advised that on July 19, 1963, Mr. Edgar Owens, U.S. Customs, Miami, had observed Carlos Eduardo Hernandez Sanchez, known as 'Batea,' at Miami in a green 1963 Chevrolet station wagon with 1963 Florida License 7E-40. Mr. Owens observed that Hernandez was accompanied by Victor Espinosa Hernandez and (first name unknown) Basulto. Mr. Shanley advised that Hernandez Sanchez and Espinosa Hernandez were two of the five subjects involved in preparations for a bombing raid in June, 1963, against a Cuban oil refinery when they were detained and seizure of their plane and bombs was made by U.S. Customs in a rural area of south-west Miami. Regarding (first name unknown) Basulto (Handwritten: Jose Basulto Leon), mentioned above, it is noted that one Jose de Jesus Basulto Leon, born August 8, 1940, participated, along with Carlos Hernandez Sanchez, mentioned above, in a raid against Cuba staged by the anti-Castro organization known as Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE) on August, 25, 1962..."

124-10217-10019:

08/09/63, Dictation of FBI interview of Jose Jesus Basulto Leon by SAs Leman L. Stafford and William Mayo Drew, Jr. on 08/06/63: Page 35: ..."Basulto stated that he was born August 8, 1940 at Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, and that he is currently serving as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia. He said that he is on a furlough of 14 days and is due to report to the 21st Detachment, Second Student Battalion (DSB) at Fort Benning on August 16, 1963. He said that while in Miami he is residing with his father, Jose Basulto Cruz, at 4230 Post Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida. Basulto advised that he left Fort Benning en route to Miami on Friday afternoon, August 2, 1963, and arrived in Miami Saturday morning, August 3, 1963. He said that he had last visited Miami for a long week-end during the period July 4-7, 1963, having left Miami on July 7, 1963 to return to Fort Benning. Basulto stated that he was not aware of any plan to bomb Cuba utilizing dynamite located in the vicinity of New Orleans, Louisiana. He stated that he is a single engine pilot and had not been contacted in connection with flying an airplane on this alleged plan to bomb Cuba. Basulto stated that he is well acquainted with Carlos Hernandez and that he believes that he met Hernandez during his visit to Miami in early July, 1963. He said that Hernandez did not say anything to him at that time regarding plans for such a raid. Basulto also advised that he has known Victor Espinosa for a number of years and that Espinosa is known to him as 'Pachucho.' Basulto stated that he has not seen Espinosa for at least two months and definitely did not see him during his last two visits to Miami. Basulto advised that he could not furnish any information regarding the alleged plan to bomb Cuba but that he wished to state that as an officer in the United States Army he would not jeopardize his position by becoming involved in any such activity..."

104-10231-10331: CUBAN PILOTS IN EXILE

09/17/63, Memorandum from Alice B. Caponong, PW to Chief, IS: Reference: #122: "1. Attached to this memorandum are four lists of pilots in exile which might be of use to you in relation with reference requirement. 2. These lists were provided to us by AMBUD-1. They were prepared by AMBUD-1 and the Chief of the AMBUD Military Sector as per the request of the Departments of State and Defense when programs were being set-up with the U.S. Armed Forces to train some Cuban exiles with the Army, Navy and Air Force. There is a short biographic sketch available on each of these persons in PW. 3. These lists and biographic sketches were forwarded from Headquarters in December 1961 as per a request by Theodore F. Passavoy when he forwarded the names above to Headquarters." Page 8: "Additional Miscellaneous List Cuban Pilots in Exile (some in Liberation Air Force) (addresses available):...Jose Jesus Basulto Leon..."

1993.08.11.14:08:32:620006: CUBAN COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY HANDBOOK

10/30/64, Page 438: (Page 2 of RECE entry): ..."Jose J. Basulto Leon: Assistant Advisor for Commando Activities..." Note: The other Assistant Advisor for Commando Activities for RECE was Raul Villaverde Lamadriz (Probably AMHINT-19).

W. Hinckle and W. Turner, Deadly Secrets: The CIA-Mafia War Against Castro and the Assassination of J.F.K. (1992), p. 146:

...(In relation to the DRE raid on 08/24/62 on the Hotel Icar in Havana) "'It all went smooth until we got close enough,' said Jose Basulto, a gunner on the DRE boat Juanin. 'Then one of our extra gas tanks, made of plastic, began to leak and gas ran all over the deck. We didn't know what to do. The gas was right under the cannon, and I was going to shoot it. We were afraid the shots might spark and cause an explosion. But there was Cuba - and we were too deep in the thing to back out'"... - - - Fabian Escalante, The Cuba Project: CIA Covert Operations 1959-62 (2004), p. 63: ..."The Puerto Barrios adventure enhanced the prestige of the mercenaries who participated in it. The instructors from the United States and other countries praised them and held them up as an example for the inexperienced troops. Among the most seasoned of the soldiers were Felix Rodriguez, Segundo Borges, Jose Basulto, Javier Souto, Edgar Sopo and Rafael Garcia Rubio. They didn't know that the experience they acquired had earned them the green light to form the infiltration teams that months later would penetrate Cuba, setting in march an operation whose slogan, 'Silent War and Strategy of Terror,' meant destabilizing the country and creating propitious conditions for the military aggression..." - - - Jefferson Morley, Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA (2008), p.142: ..."David Phillips did not literally put the weapons used in the shelling of the hotel into the hands of the DRE. (A young militant, Jose Basulto, bought the cannon for $300 at a Miami pawnshop)..." - - - See also Peter Wyden's Bay of Pigs: The Untold Story (1962): page - - "Jose Basulto (right), sent to Cuba by the CIA in advance of the invasion to commit sabotage but then given nothing to do..." and Page 245: "Infiltrators abandoned in Santiago de Cuba, Jose Basulto, the CIA's man in Oriente Province..." https://www.maryferrell.org/search.html?q=BASULTO&types=B&docid=76&from=1

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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