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Cryptonym: AMLEO

Definition:
"An FI propaganda operation involving the exploitation of Capt. Jose Ricardo Rabel Nunez (AMLEO-3), a high-level defector who escaped from Cuba in an INRA plane on 6 December 1962."
Status:
Documented
Sources:

104-10308-10059: MFR : AMLEO OPERATION

LAD/JFK Task Force, Feb. 1977: "An FI propaganda operation involving the exploitation of Capt. Jose Ricardo Rabel Nunez (AMLEO-3), a high-level defector who escaped from Cuba in an INRA plane on 6 December 1962...In February 1963 Rabel claimed that he had high-level anti-Communist contacts in the GOC (Government of Cuba) (whom he refused to name) who would listen to Rebel Army exiles but would take no positive action with them unless they demonstrated their power by eliminating Fidel or carrying out other strong action that would prove they had strong outside backing. Researcher comment: Seems possible that Rabel may have been CIS (Cuban intelligence service) provocation agent whose mission was to convince the CIA or some exile group to try to undertake a plot to assassinate Fidel."

104-10103-10349: OPERATIONAL PROGRESS REPORT AMLEO-3

9/19/63 memo from Chief of Station, JMWAVE to Chief, Task Force W: "...steps were initiated (on) July 24, 1963 to put the AMLEO-3 family and AMLEO-2 into asylum in the Mexican embassy in Havana...to date no secure method has yet been found to notify the Mexican embassy in Havana that asylum should be granted to the AMLEOs."

Ted Shackley, Spymaster (Potomac Books, Inc., Dulles, VA, 2005) pp. 69-70.

"...We learned that Jose Richard Rabel Nunez, a defector from the Agrarian Reform Institute who had flown a small airplane at wave-top level into Key West, Florida, in November 1962, knew a lot of senior army personnel from his own days in the Cuban Air Force, as well as from his close friendship with Fidel with whom he ha done a lot of spear fishing in 1960-1962. Consequently, we put Rabel on a special project to build files on the military commanders he knew. This worked quite well in terms of data collection. The downside was that with each passing month, Rabel became increasingly impatient with our unwillingness to run a high-risk operation to exfiltrate his wife and three children from Havana. We explained to Rabel that his family was under constant DGI surveillance; as we could not get a communications or surveillance plan to the wife securely, there could be no rescue operation. Rabel tired of this explanation and in August 1965 went back to Cuba in a small boat to get his family. The foolhardy effort failed, Rabel was arrested on September 4, and the work in Miami he had done on military personalities became known to the DGI. This in turn permitted the DCI to conclude that the CIA was looking seriously at the coup option."

Contributors:
Brian Benson

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