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Cryptonym: AMPALM-2

Definition:
Laureano Batista Falla, military chief for the MDC. JMWAVE gave US Army permission to use Batista in 1962. Batista then became head of training site in Lacombe, Louisiana, and told Garrison the trainees were going to Manuel Artime's base in Nicaragua.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Batista and the MDC had a strong relationship within the MRR in 1960.
Sources:

104-10164-10030: PROVISIONAL OPERATIONAL APPROVAL ISSUED ON LAUREANO BATISTA

12/14/59: Request for Approval: Provisional Operational Approval is granted. Laureano Batista is given cryptonym of AMPALM-2, bio number of 201-268277.

1994.03.04.09:18:30:310005: Reel 3, Folder I - BATISTA FALLA, LAUREANO

12/11/59: Personal Record Questionnaire (PRQ). Described as a strong Catholic, active member of the Cuban Catholic Democratic Movement (also known as the MDC). Trained in banking. "Associated with most prominent members of the banking community in Cuba, including Dr. Felipe Bazos, Dr. Justo Carrillo and Rufo Lopez Fresquet."

HSCA Report, Volume X Current Section: VII. Movimiento Democrata Cristiano (MDC)

The MDC broke into factions after the Bay of Pigs. The largest faction was known as the Rasco faction in 1961 - it became the Batista faction in 1962 - due to the efforts of its independently wealthy military chief, Laureano Batista Falla, who organized and financed its infiltration attempts. "It was one of the most active and effective underground groups in Cuba during the early 1960s...many MDC members joined the (Truth About) Cuba Committee in 1962, which was formed to counteract the propaganda of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro organization in the United States...a group of about 18 Cubans did arrive in New Orleans during the summer of 1963. Leading them was a well-known Cuban exile, Victor Paneque. (His uncle,) Batista Falla provid(ed) the manpower for the training camp." Lee Harvey Oswald claimed to be a member of the FPCC in 1963. The uncle-nephew relationship of Batista Falla and Paneque is documented by Peter Dale Scott, Deep Politics and the Death of JFK, p. 340.

104-10192-10352: CABLE RE: STATION HAS.NO RECORD ANY FUNDS PASSED TRUTH ABOUT CUBA COMMITTEE PAST OR PRESENT

6/21/62: From JMWAVE to Director (probably directed to John Tilton - his name is prominently written on the page): "Station has no record any funds passed (to) Truth About Cuba Committee past or present...info from AMCLATTER-1...on committee say it created to counteract the Fair Play for Cuba Committee...AMCLATTER says committee is creation of Dr. Fermin Peinado, member executive committee MDC...financially supported by Pepin Bosch of Bacardi Rum Company."

104-10271-10039: DISPATCH: OPERATIONAL/ ORGANIZATION

The preceding page describes him as a "bank employee" who answered to Oscar Echevarria/AMPALM-1...the following page describes AMPALM-1 as in charge of "propaganda and student action", AMPALM-2 as in charge of the "MDC - political action", AMPALM-3 in charge of "intelligence and communication", and AMPALM-4 as in charge of "MRR - paramilitary". The succeeding page describes a key contact as "station contact KUTUBE only - Nelson Raynock" -- Henry Hecksher.

1993.08.11.13:32:23:870007: NOVEL PACKAGE: KENNEDY ASSASSINATION - GARRISON - 1967, FOLDER #3

"Carlos Quiroga identified Paneque to Garrison as having been in charge of training at a military camp located at Lacombe, Louisiana, in August 1963.

Warren Hinckle and William Turner, Deadly Secrets (Thunder's Mouth Press, 1992), p. 226

"The camp had been set up (in 1962) by Gerry Hemming and Frank Sturgis at the request of the New Orleans branch of the Cuban Revolutionary Council. At the time of the FBI raid Sturgis' training camp was occupied by the...MDC under the guise of training security guards for a lumber mill in Guatemala. But the MDC military chief, Laureano Batista, later admitted to the New Orleans district attorney that the trainees actually were destined, with the approval of General Somoza, for the CIA-supported naval guerilla base of Manuel Artime in Guatemala. (Note: AMWORLD). The camp was used by various groups of the exile far right - the DRE, 30th of November Movement, and MIRR - all of which huddled under the wing of Paulino Sierra's short-lived, mob-connected provisional government. In 1976 the Senate Intelligence Committee disclosed that the camp 'was directed by the same individuals who were involved in procuring the dynamite the FBI seized,' a reference to Rich Lauchli and Sam Benton and his Cubans, who had moved from the moribund Triple A (AMEER) to the growing MIRR (AMDITTO) of Dr. Orlando Bosch, a fanatical ex-pediatrician so far to the right that he considered the Miami Herald a tropical version of the Daily Worker."

Claudia Furati, ZRRIFLE, p. 157

Furati states that the 1978 HSCA Report referred to the Pontchartrain camp as "the serpent's egg".

The Third Decade, Volume 3, Issue 5 Current Section: Dead Suspects - Part 4, by Scott Van Wynsberghe

Van Wynsberghe offers background on the Pontchartain camp and Batista in particular, describing him as coming from a wealthy family. Van Wynsberghe offers evidence that Batista was closely allied with Luis Somoza, the president of Nicaragua.

104-10164-10168: CABLE: LOCAL ODIBEX REQUESTED ROUTINE WAVE TRACES AND ANY

5/28/62 cable from JMWAVE to Director: Chief of Station reported a message stating "Liaison reports they have WAVE permission to utilize AMPALM Two. Please confirm by morning May 28." Chief of Station reply was "ODIBEX advised A-2 not connected with WAVE for over year, nor was any current use planned and WAVE had no objection they use."

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Contributors:
John Newman • Bill Simpich

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