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Cryptonym: AMPEARL-1

Definition:
Adolfo Merino, UPI Miami representative.
Status:
Speculative
Discussion:
A cable in February 1965 stated that AMPEARL-1 learned from the Miami United Press International representative that the UPI in New York were questioning UPI in Havana about Fidel Castro's health. However, given the UPI Miami rep was Adolfo Merino, who had documented close links with Miro Cardona and other anti-Castro Cuban activists over a period of at least two years, it is possibly more likely that AMPEARL-1 was Adolfo Merino.
Sources:

104-10298-10135: CABLE - INFO ON GOC MINING CUBAN COASTLINE WAS RECEIVED

12/01/62, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: "1. Info on GOC mining Cuban coastline was received by Hector Garmendia, CRC number two man RIOD from source inside Cuba. Garmendia forwareded report last week to Tomas Gamba, head of CRC delegations, which falls under office Public and Foreign Relations headed by Tony Varona. Gamba unaware this info being released to press. Miro unaware report existed. Miro much annoyed by Varona uncoordinated release to press and Gamba lack bring info Miro attention. Appropriate reprimands made by Miro. 2. William S. Wilbalda checked with UPI. Adolfo Merino, UPI Spanish section man, stated item given to him personally by Varona PM 27 Nov...."

104-10237-10003: DISPATCH: INTEL/TYPIC PROGRESS REPORT FOR MARCH

04/04/63, Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Special Affairs Staff: "During the month of March 1963 139 reports were forwarded to Headquarters by WAVE. This represented 411 pages of information; 98 of these reports were forwarded by cable. These 139 reports reflected raw information received from 371 sources." Page 3: ...."SOURCE: AMBASAL-1 (Adolfo Merino). UFG: 2599 (cable). PAGES: 5. SUBJECT: Background to Recent Newspaper Articles on (Unintelligible) of Carlos Marquez Sterling to Head Cuban Exile..."

1994.05.19.09:49:54:160005: Reel 63, Folder J - CUBAN REVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL (CRC) - POLICY

04/12/63, Memorandum for Record No._. Subject: Views and Comments of Dr. Miro Cardona relative to his resignation and the present crisis in the Council. Page 2: ...."9. Dr. Miro also informed me that Adolfo Merino of the U.P.I. had telephoned to one of the girls in his office (Cuca) by telephone and tried to get more information from her as to what Dr. Miro was going to do; Cuca had given him a bawling out and refused to tell him anything and accused him of twisting everything that he did write. He was somewhat indignant and she was much upset by it so Dr. Miro Cardona personally called Merino to smooth things out. Merino declared his friendship for the Doctor and that he was preparing a campaign in favor of Dr. Miro in the press and that he was looking for material for it..."

104-10232-10268: CABLE: PASSAVOY ON 12 AND 13 APRIL IN MEETINGS WITH MIRO

04/13/63, Cable from Repts: Page 4: ..."8. Miro said that Adolfo Merino of United Press International had told him (Miro) that he (Merino) was preparing a campaign in favor of Miro; Merino said that there appears to be a campaign in Washington to depreciate Miro, and that Merino wants to do everything to counter this campaign. Merino also told Miro that he (Merino) knew the contents of Miro's original 25 page document although he (Merino) had not seen it...."

Commission Document 984 - FBI Letter from Director of 26 May 1964 with Attached Reports re: Oswald/Cuba

09/03/63, Warren Commission Document Number 984: Page 5: ..."THE CHARGE by Adolfo G. Merino. MIAMI, Sept. 3 (UPI) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation today questioned a 'confessed spy' for Communist Cuba who says that the subversive and espionage activities for all America are directed by the Cuban ambassadors in the United States and in Brazil. Fernando Fernandez, young exiled journalist, made a complete 'confession' of his presumed espionage activities in a recording which he gave to the Christian Democratic Movement, directed by Laureano Batista (no relation to the ex-dictator Fulgencio Batista). In the recorded statement, Fernandez says that the so-called forces of National Liberation which are operating in Venezuela 'receive arms from Mexico and Cuba, and that the transfer is made on the high seas.' He adds that the network of subversion and espionage extends from the United States as far as the Bahamas and the distant South American 'Southern Cone', and that the leaders of the network are 'Ambassador Carlos Lechuga, formerly in Mexico and now head of the Cuban delegation in the United Nations, and the newly-appointed Ambassador to Brazil, Raul Roa Kouri, son of the Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations.' He indicated that the strategic 'Southern Cone' also has as its leader a journalist, 'Jose Rodriguez Mendez, Cultural Attache to the Cuban Embassy in Brazil', and that in the Bahamas 'lives the immediate superior of the Miami network, named Diego Valero...'"

104-10243-10017: CABLE: AMTAUP-2 REPORTED 4 JUNE 64 THAT AMBANG ORGANIZATION GOING MAKE STATEMENT TO ADOLFO MERINO OF AP BLAMING KUBARK FOR FAILURE AMBAnG-1 NOT ENTERING PBRUMEN

06/04/64, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Slugline RYBAT TYPIC YOBITE AMTAUP-2 AMBANG: "1. AMTAUP-2 reported 4 June 64 that AMBANG organization going make statement to Adolfo Merino of AP blaming CIA for failure AMBANG-1 not entering Cuba. 2. On 4 June William S. Wibalda's wife told Leon C. Fluteo (P) that Rogelio Cisneros Diaz laying groundwork story AMBANG-1 apprehended on way out of Cuba."

104-10274-10283: CABLE: HAVE UNDERTAKEN SYSTEMATIC CANVASS EXILE Document View

06/08/64, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Slugline RYBAT TYPIC ROTIE AMBANG: Page 2: ..."D. AMPEARL-1 repeat AMPEARL-1: Most exiles claim Ray wanted get caught. Charitable minority feels he should not be judged till given chance explain. Ray prestige diminished..."

104-10234-10198: CABLE RE: SINCE FORWARDING REF HAVE CONTINUED QUERY ALL AVAILABLE SOURCES FOR INFO

11/25/64, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: "1. Since forwarding ref have continued query all available source for info on Ordoqui arrest and impact this might have on power structure Cuba. AMCONCERT-1 reported 24 Nov he was 'authoritative exile source' mentioned UPI article 20 Nov which written by Adolfo Merino. AMCONCERT-1 elaboration re this incident reveals following sequence of events: A. 18 Nov A-1 received telephone call from Raul Granja free lance journalist who stated had heard HAVA CMQ broadcast 2300 hours saying Ordoqui arrested. 2315 hours A-1 passed this info WAVE. B. 19 Nov circa 0930 hours A-1 called Merino of UPI for routine chat. During telecon Ordoqui arrest discussed and A-1 put forth info Favio Bravo, Luis Mas Martin, Julio Suarez, Juan Escalona and Derminio Escalona had also been arrested as they involved conspiracy kill Castro. Merino did not ask how A-1 knew this info but merely said it interesting and would be included Merino report on Ordoqui arrest. C. 19 Nov after Merino wrote UPI story Merino called his various Cuban radio contacts and told them essence his UPI story. These contacts then reported para 1 B info on their programs and in so doing they gave false confirmation Merino UPI story. 2. When questioned why he told Merino about arrests of para 1 B individuals when it pure fabrication, A-1 stated he thought this was good target of opportunity put heat on known commies and in so doing would set framework for plausible denial if Castro later assassinated by non commie elements. A-1 used Bravo, Mas, Suarez and Escalona names as these individuals well known as commies. 3. Have instructed A-1 never undertake such unilateral uncoordinated PW effort in future. Have made clear to him now such action compounds problem of making intelligent intel estimates and analyzing situation in Cuba. Believe it not likely there will be repetition this type action by A-1. Handwritten note: *Re Miami Herald 20 Nov story."

104-10234-10379: CABLE: CIRCA 2000 HOURS 15 FEB RUMORS STARTED CIRCULATING MIAMI EXILE COLONY THAT FIDEL CASTRO HAD BEEN KILLED.

02/16/65, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: "1. Circa 2000 hours 15 Feb rumors started circulating Miami exile colony that Fidel Castro had been killed. WAVE investigation this rumor reveals it appears to have its origins in Spanish Embassy Washington but there no hard intel available to confirm this rumor. 2. AMBLEAK-1 states he one of several Miami exiles who received telecons 15 Feb from Washington contacts telling them Spanish Embassy Washington had obtained coded cable 15 Feb from Havana saying Fidel had been killed. AMBLEAK-1 states he received call from Mr. Enrique Lindner who learned of rumor from Mr. Fernandez Shaw, employee Spanish Embassy Washington. 3. AMPEARL-1 states UPI New York querying UPI Havana 16 Feb re Fidel health. AMPEARL-1 learned about this UPI query from UPI rep. Miami Adolfo Merino."

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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