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Cryptonym: AMPOON-1

Definition:
Manuel Vega Perez, pseudonym "Marcos". High ranking Cuban intelligence official in Mexico City in late 1963.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Sometimes mistakenly referred to as AMSPOON-1, as in the November 1963 memo seen below. The background to AMROD and the role of Vega is that AMSTET-1 reported in June 1962 that Cuenca was the chief of G-2 in Mexico and that Manuel Vega Perez was his number two. See 104-10276-10067. AMSTET-1 then reported in October 1962 that there was no evidence that Andres Armona Ramos (note: the Cuban commercial attache known as "the redheaded Negro") had replaced Cuenca as the chief of G-2 in Mexico. The word was Cuenca had asked to move to the Cultural Section and that Manuel Vega Perez was the current number two in G-2. See 104-10276-10060. As part of the AMROD operation, SAS/SO Charles Anderson and Oliver Scantling/LIEMPTY-2 wrote a number of "dirty tricks" letters in 1963-1964 designed to mislead the Cubans in Mexico City and sow division in their ranks. Secretary Sinobas/AMRIFT-1 and intelligence head Manuel Vega were targets.
Sources:

104-10181-10143: CABLE- IDEN A MANUEL VEGA PEREZ, IDEN B OSCAR CONCEPCION MENDOZA

"IDEN A. Manuel Vega Perez, 201-334253"

04-10181-10142: CABLE- IDEN A HAS BEEN ASSIGNED CRYPT AMPOON/l, IDEN B CRYPT AMSESS/l

"IDEN A has been assigned the crypt AMPOON-1"

104-10276-10220 DISPATCH: AMPOON/1 TARGET ANALYSIS STUDY

As of August, 1964, his phone numbers were 14-92-14, 14-13-26, 25-07-95. All three of these numbers were tapped by the Americans in the autumn of 1963; at the time, two were used by Teresa Proenza and the other by Ramon Sinobas aka AMRIFT-1. See Bill Simpich, State Secret, Chapter 4. http://www.maryferrell.org/pages/State_Secret_Chapter4.html By 1964, he was known as the "ears of the Communist Party in the embassy": https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=67084#relPageId=5 At page 3 of the "target analysis study", Vega is described as the Chief of Cuban Intelligence in Mexico as of April 1964. Uses the pseudonym "Marcos".

104-10276-10234: DISPATCH: CUBAN DIPLOMATIC PERSONNEL IN MEXICO/MANUEL *VEGA PEREZ

6/22/63: Vega was described as Chief of G-2 in Mexico.

104-10276-10049: CABLE: MISSION SUCCESSFUL

7/11/63 memo, Mexico City to Director with AMROD slugline: AMRIFT-1 identified as Sinobas in marginalia. AMRIFT meets with Fortson (probably CIA officer Tony Sforza), brings a couple of tails with him but Fortson shakes them off. Fortson passes on "Cano reports" (note: probably reports that can be found on MFF from agent named Cano) AMRIFT tries to turn Fortson over to Vega, Fortson refuses, asks for better communications system. Fortson goes into hiding for few days after meeting. Scantling demands and receives apology from AMRIFT for supposed "bad faith".

104-10093-10356: CABLE:MEXI INFO INDICATES AMSPOON/1 DEPARTED PCS. NOT EXPECTED RETURN

11/9/63 AMROD memo from Mexico City to Charles Anderson saying that AMSPOON-1 was not expected to return from Cuba.

104-10101-10119: CABLE:PLEASE HAVE SCANTLING WRITE LETTER EMBODYING FOLLOWING IDEAS

12/3/63: SAS/SO Charles Anderson to Mexico City, giving directions to Scantling/LIEMPTY-2 on writing a very specific dirty tricks letter to Joaquin Armas, the Cuban ambassador. DIR 86520, very hard to read, but it's important - this provocation involves AMROD, Sinobas, and Vega. It's a complaint to Armas, pretending that Sinobas and Vega have ripped off a local merchant and have brought dishonor to the Cuban embassy. Charles Anderson Attn: 201-20481 (Ordoqui) SAS/SO 12/3/63 MEXICO CITY MEXI RYBAT TYPIC AMROD 1. "Please have Scantling write letter (illegible) following (illegible) "As you may know, for several months, I have been (illegible) in obtaining? various commercial items for Mr. Sinobas and Mr. Vega of your embassy. For a number of months these purchases went very well, and I believe both your government and I were satisfied with the arrangements and deliveries. "Since the departure of Mr. Sinobas and Mr. Vega, however, I have not been able to carry on my business in a normal manner. I have gone to much trouble to gather articles that they were interested in and to deliver them as instructed; yet, now three weeks after making my last delivery I have still not been paid. "I object to the great delays in making payment to me and request that Mr. Sinobas or his apoderado in this city be informed that I badly need the money and cannot make further deliveries until I have received the total check for 6400 and 3000 pesos. "Also request that this letter be (illegible) as (illegible) possible (mostly illegible) Signed, Marco (illegible) 2. Please date and send 7 December via registered mail Sr. Joaquin Hernandez Armas, Francisco Marquez 160, Colonia Condesa DF, using Oropeza PO box as return address, if Oropeza box servicing 6 December unproductive. Released and authenticated by JC King and Desmond Fitzgerald - looks like Fitzgerald's signature.

104-10181-10138: CABLE- SUGGEST LETTER TO AMPOON/1 OMIT REFERENCE TO NOTIONAL LETTER TO IDEN 3 REF TO MINIMIZE CHANCE IT BEING VIEWED AS INTEL OP

9/17/64: WH/SA/CI Lou DeSanti, ext. 4421, handler of FPCC activist Victor Vicente, is writing about the AMROD op, suggest letter to AMPOON/1 (sic), subject again is 201-20481 (Joaquin Ordoqui). "5 fabrications go thru PBRUMEN (Cuban) gate September 15 re AMSEVER/2". It looks like DeSanti is definitely a Cuban operations CI guy. The letters purport to implicate Joaquin Ordoqui a respected old-guard leader of the Cuban Communist Party and a high-ranking military leader, as a CIA agent. The same was done to Teresa Proenza.

See Also:
Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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