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Cryptonym: AMPINA-1

Armando Lora Hernandez. A cable in August of 1960 stated that AMPINA-1 introduced Edward D. Knapman (probably pseudonym for Warren E. Frank) to Francisco Chaves Figueredo, an officer of the Cuban Ministry of Transportation until June, 1960.
Chaves was a close friend of Armando Lora Hernandez, who was sub-secretary in the office of Jose Miro Cardona while he was prime minister, and was a supporter of the latter. In addition, a cable in September, 1960, mentioned that any future dealings with Lora would be through AMPINA-1. Lora was a leading figure in the MRP.


12/22/58: FBI report from Los Angeles Office by SA William J. McCauley: Titled: July 26 Club, Los Angeles, California: "Synopsis...Sergio Sanjenis of Miami, Florida, interviewed on 9/8/58, named Armando Lora (Hernandez) as contact man between Alonzo Hidalgo, former activist of the July 26th Movement in Miami, and those involved in the aborted plan for the production of parts for machine guns in Los Angeles area, who were arrested in May, 1958. Results of re-interview of Armando Lora set forth...As previously reported, Israel C. Tapanes and Guillermo Colls, President and Treasurer respectively of the July 26 Club, Los Angeles, and Armando Lora (Hernandez) were arrested at Lora's apartment at the World Motel, 11112 Long Beach Boulevard, Lynwood, California, on May 24, 1958 in connection with the arrests of Salvador Reynaldo and Victor de Jesus Lozano, Vice President of the July 26 Club, Los Angeles, in an automobile registered to one Oscar Garcia for transporting machine guns in Lynwood that same day..."


08/25/60: Cable from Havana to Director: "1. On 24 Aug 60 AMPINA-1 introduced Knapman to Francisco Chaves Figueredo, Cuban; born HAVA 1916; associated law firm Chaves, Hernandez H. Revilla; office phone 35792, home 34052; officer Cuban ministry transportation until 30 June 60 at which time retired: No additional info at this time. 2. Chaves is a close friend of Armando Lora Hernandez who was sub-secretary in office Jose Miro Cardona while he was prime minister and is Miro man. Played part Castro Govt. until mid-59, according to Chaves now disaffected by no open break. Lora was 26th July coordinator in Cienfuegos, in Batista time. Fled Cuba when things got too hot for him and Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado took over his job in Cienfuegos. Chavez describes Lora as 38-40; tall; intelligent scion rich family. Say he was close Raul Chibas and maintains contact with Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz. 3. Lora told Chaves he has organized group of about 200 men including rebel army men and ex-Batista army people Lora claims can count on two high ranking rebel army officers whom Chaves could not name. Lora told Chaves Cuban Govt. forces in Oriente, including militia, number at least 30,000 and many of them in Sierra Maestra. Says large beef ship this being sent mountains for these troops. AMPINA-1 said he had heard about meat shipments to Sierra Maestra from cattleman source. Lora also claims can count on six planes and pilot. Chaves could not name pilots nor type aircraft. According Chaves, Lora believes large segment Cuban rebel army will defect once insurrection start. Lora feels must start soon before militia fully trained and that Castro does not trust army. Like other groups Lora want arms and supplies. Feels Miro could be political leader capable uniting anti-Castro movement. 4. While provocation cannot be entirely discounted, Knapman plans meet Lora unless HQs has view to contrary after reviewing traces on him. Advise priority."


08/30/60: Cable from MASH to Director: "1. AMIGGY-1 said 29 Aug that Armando Lora told him prior departure from HAVA that he member group composed Raul Chibas, Jose Miro Cardona, Miguel Quevedo, others. Group's name was to be decided early Sept. 2. According Lora, AMIGGY-1 was second of about ten men being sent PBPRIME (U.S.) by group to organize group's activities. AMIGGY-1 was to head propaganda for group, and be given radio station to run. 3. AMIGGY-1 told by Lora that Chibas would get one million dollars from Washington for expenses of group. Salary one thousand dollars monthly promised AMIGGY-1 by Lora who continually prodded AMIGGY-1 to leave HAVA. Told him his services needed Miami soonest. Result is that counting on Lora's word and believing his story, AMIGGY-1 left HAVA hurriedly, arrived Miami with one suit, one shirt, one guayavera, two slacks, one change underwear. On 29 Aug AMIGGY-1 had one dollar to his name. Wife and four children with him. 4. AMIGGY-1 spoke with Chibas who claimed complete ignorance promises made by Lora, said he had no funds. 5. AMIGGY-1 completely disillusioned as result above. Claims could have remained Cuba though did not want to due ideological opposition. Had radio job offers MEXI and Costa Rica which he turned down to do his part against Castro in accordance Lora statements and plans..."


09/21/60: Cable from Havana to Director: "1. Knapman had two hour session with Armando Lora 15 Sept 60. In course of discussions Lora said FOLL: A. He represents group which includes, Enrique Otulski, Orlando and Manolo Ray, Jose Miro Cardona. Las is political leader. Group organizing civil resistance movement and Lora personally has organized five nets in HAVA, and others in Camaguey and Las Villas. Lora said each net contains ten cells of 10 members each. Said group short on arms. Membership largely business and professional people. Lora claims two commandates on active duty are members of this group and that they will defect with part of their troops at appropriate time. Knapman pressed for names of these military men, but Lora adamant in refusal reveal. Said Manolo Ray knows who they are. B. Lora's group is in touch with leaders of the military forces fighting Castro in Escambray. Mentioned Sinesio Walsh, Bienvibre (FNU), Rizo (FNU) (old army), Cazola (FNU) (old army), Vargas (FNU), Lima (FNU) (26th July), Rojas (war name - former 26th of July officer) as main leaders. Said these groups total 500 in all and that 150 of them have been surrounded by Castro forces in past three days. Said Fidel Castro himself has come Las Villas from time to time to direct operation against rebels. Lora claims Escambray fighting forces willing submit to direction his group and will accept an overall military leader, but require guarantee of a flow of arms and supplies as quid pro quo. Also want specialists for training in FOLL fields: Como, mortars, machine guns, demolitions, military organization. C. Lora sympathetic AMYUM organization, but seemed only vaguely aware of its activities inside and outside Cuba. Made flattering comments re Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz and Artime. D. Re AMIGGY, Lora said he left Cuba because he was afraid of being arrested. AMIGGY supposedly told Lora he could get radio (portion garbled - being serviced)..."


09/21/60: Cable from Havana to Director: "He could get radio propaganda op going in Florida and Lora encouraged him and promised to help if AMIGGY approved successful. Said he believed AMIGGY might be in touch Raul Chibas. 2. Lora fishing for arms aid, technical aid, air drops. Said his group has drop zones and that Manolo Ray has details. Emphasized insurrectionary spark in Escambray cannot be permitted die if Castro is expected be eliminated in foreseeable future. 3. Lora tentatively planning leave Cuba clandestinely within next few weeks to join Chibas, engage in propaganda activities, and try to obtain military help. In US can be reached care of Graciela Arguelles, 265 W. Master Drive, Key Biscayne Miami. View present HAVA op milieu any future dealings with Lora will be through AMPINA-1. 4. Lora impressive keen, educated man in early thirties. Served Fidel Castro in US and elsewhere in Batista time both as propagandist and arms procurer..."


09/24/60: Cable from Havana to Director: REF HAVA 6213 (IN 15788): "Armando Lora left HAVA legally for Miami 22 Sept. Will probably join Raul Chibas. In addition to address in ref, could be reached at 236 S.W. 15th Road, Miami. Phone FR-1-0693."


11/21/60: Contact Report from Wallace A. Parlett: "1. I was informed that the current organization of the MRP in exile is tentatively as follows: Manuel Ray - Chief...Armando Lora - Organization, Juan Adler - Assistant to Lora..."

1994.05.13.15:47:51:120005: Reel 28, Folder C - MRP.

12/30/60: Memorandum from Chief, Miami Field Office to Chief, Contact Division: Subject: Memorandum of Visit to Raul Chibas, Armando Lora, Juan R. Adler: ..."3. Two friends introduced to Rodriguez by Adler were Raul Chibas, former director of the nationalized Cuban railroads and who defected in August 1960, and Armando Lora, a gentleman farmer from Cienfuegos and leader of the underground in that area during the Batista regime. Lora, who acted as spokesman for the group, is the Secretary of Foreign Relations of the MRP...4. Lora initiated the conversation by saying that their experience with representatives of the US intelligence agencies has been most frustrating in the sense that the United States wants to impose, as replacement for the Castro regime, a 'Made in the USA' government. 5. He stated that the intense nationalism of the Cuban people will reject any formula which does not represent the sentiments of the people for social, political and economical reform. A return to the past, regardless of the support given by the US, will only bring more unrest and bloodshed...10. The top leaders of the MRP are Manuel Ray, former Minister of Public Works; Humberto Sori Marin, former Minister of Agriculture; Raul Chibas, FNU Valdespino; Armando Lora and Col. Barquin..."


03/17/61: FBI dictation of interview of Manuel Gonzalez by SAs Richard L. Cromwell, WM. J. McCauley in LA, California on 03/16/61: Page 2: ..."Lora A. as Armando Lora, the former Vice Prime Minister of Cuba. He denied having ever corresponded with Lora and said Lora ceased to be Vice Prime Minister and returned to private life (in 1959) because his main intention had always been only to be a 'big shot.'"...


12/07/61: FBI Report from Miami Office: Titled: Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo (MRP), Internal Security - Cuba: ..."Ignacio Mendoza de la Torre (201-308722) arrived from Cuba in July, 1961 to serve as Coordinator General in Exile of the MRP in Miami. He demoted his predecessor, Armando Lora, and an internal dispute within the MRP followed. Armando Lora, one of the previous leaders of the MRP in Miami, contended Mendoza came to Miami only as a delegate from the MRP in Cuba and not as the Coordinator in exile..." Pages 5-6: Lora commented on arrest of Reinol Gonzalez and others in the MRP.


10/22/63: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Special Affairs Staff: "The following information from AMDECK-1 was not published because of possible AMBANG-1 involvement: 'As of 10 August 1963 Armando *Lora Hernandez and his two brothers, Raul *Lora Hernandez and Gustavo *Lora Hernandez had proposed to an unidentified ODYOKE (U.S. Government) employee a plan to raid Cuba. Armando was interested in obtaining some information on certain turbine power boats that were being offered for sale either in Nassau or Jamaica by the British Government. When told that the boats would cost about $79,000 each, Armando replied: 'if our plan goes through, we are not going to have any financial problems. 'Armando, Raul and Gustavo keep in touch with AMBANG-1 and see him whenever he is in Miami. AMBANG-1 appears to be involved in their plans. Gustavo was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was expecting to attend a special course in Washington, D.C. in September 1963."

124-90102-10237: No Title

12/14/73: FBI teletype from Miami to Director: Titled: Garvin Wells, et al, Neutrality Matter-Panama: This was about a plan by former Batistianos "to overthrow the Panamanian government from a base in Costa Rica. Shortly afterwards Colonel Sanjur and Otoniel Pena traveled to Costa Rica in connection with this plan..." The backers amassed an arms cache. "Playa Bonita is near Puerto Limon, Costa Rica. The cache consists of a large amount of explosives, approximately 200 M-1 carbines, 50 submachine guns, 24 .30 caliber submachine guns, and about 4000 fragmentation grenades. These arms and munitions were allegedly taken to Costa Rica in a boat which was contracted for by Orlando Piedra...The group has various men as contacts in Costa Rica including Armando Lora, his brother Manolo Lora, and Oscar Rizo, who is an anti-Jose Figueres Costa Rican. The exact nature of the role of these contacts is not known. Source said he has learned that the plan is allegedly largely directed by (FNU) Williamson, who is reported to be agent of the Central Intelligence Agency in Costa Rica. The plan is named 'Operacion Limon.' The group believes their plan was partially discovered and news of the plan was sent to Panamanian head of state Omar Torrijos by Max Lesnick, a Cuban newspaper man living in Miami. The group believes that Rodriguez was arrested as a result of Lesnick's actions, however, the group expects to go ahead as previously planned..."

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Gavin McDonald

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