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Cryptonym: AMROD

Definition:
CIA program designed to split the Castro regime, with a special focus on the Soviet-aligned Vice Minister of Defense Joaquin Ordoqui. One operation planted false papers on Cuban Cultural Attache Teresa Proenza to make it look like Ordoqui was a CIA agent who had betrayed the Soviet missile buildup in Cuba to the Americans.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Note that on 4/23/63, LITAMIL-9 reported: "In his opinion there is no chance of the Cuban govt falling because of political or economic conditions at the time. L-9 said that the Cuban people will be able to stand the conditions under which they are presently living indefinitely. He said the pronounced scarcity is that of buses, which hardly present a serious problem in terms of disaster. He said that although food is not plentiful, the people are not starving and will be able to continue to get along. In the political field, L-9 said that there is definitely a rift between the Communist left and Castro's July 26 movement, but again this is not of serious proportions and Castro appears to be handling it adroitly. L-9 that Castro dislikes both Lazaro Pena and Blas Roca intensely and might possibly rid the country of one of the two after the final tally is made on the sugar crop...on the other hand, much criticism was heard when Castro moved Joaquin Ordoqui, Cuban CP leader, up in the government hierarchy."
Sources:

John Newman, Oswald and the CIA p.387

"The CIA saw to it that false papers had been planted on Proenza, documents that made the Vice Minister of Defense (note: Soviet-aligned Joaquin Ordoqui) look like a CIA agent who had betrayed the Soviet missile buildup in Cuba to the Americans. Actually, this official was a highly placed and extreme pro-Moscow Communist - and was probably the KGB's chief agent in the Cuban government. The CIA hoped that Moscow would jump to the vice minister's defense and that a collision would result between Moscow and Havana. The Proenza deception was associated with the Agency's AMTRUNK and AMROD anti-Cuban operations, part of a general CIA strategy to 'split the Castro regime' and sour relations between Moscow and Havana. Proenza, the vice minister, the vice minister's wife, and a subordinate of the vice minister were all arrested, tried for treason, and jailed for various terms. They were all innocent."

Gus Russo, Live by the Sword p.221

"(In 1978) the CIA sent the investigators a memo...'This is but the barest outline of a highly complex operations system...The story would make the juiciest of headlines if known...In short, this file is a Pandora's Box, the opening of which would not only expose the cryptonyms of other operations of this type, but would attract unfavorable publicity for the Agency in certain quarters, and would expose hitherto secret techniques and assets (that) would make their employment in the future very difficult.'...According to another document, Proenza was Sylvia Duran's best friend. She, in fact, had recommended Duran for the job at the Cuban Consulate...Proenza's brother Alvaro told the investigators that Teresa admitted that one of Oswald's 'acquaintances' had contacted Proenza in the Embassy. FBI documents show that Teresa Proenza told a close friend that she was the first person to speak with Oswald when he entered the Embassy. In other words, protection of intelligence secrets, an investigation of which could have shed light on Proenza's knowledge of Oswald...was given a higher level of importance than the investigation of President Kennedy's assassination."

Bill Simpich, State Secret, Chapter 4: https://www.maryferrell.org/pages/State_Secret_Chapter4.html

Endnote 88: "The world of counterintelligence is revealed in LIFEAT’s monitoring of subjects of ZRKNICK interest, which included a tap on the home of Cuban commercial attaché Luisa Calderon: LIFEAT Progress Report, July 1963, NARA Record Number: 104-10413-10294; also see LIFEA Progress Report, August-October 1963, NARA Record Number: 104-10413-10293. Also see that on 11/9/63, a specific type of wiretap surveillance was conducted on the home phone of the Cuban commercial attache (HMMW-22536). This is almost certainly Luisa Calderon, whose office line was covered by LIENVOY. See reference to this in the Lopez Report, footnote 188, page 14 of footnotes." HMMW-22536 mentions that "the product...is of interest to Special Affairs Staff and JMWAVE" and that coverage of a home phone of a Cuban official was done to support the sensitive AMROD operation. A more redacted version is part of a file of Mexico City dispatches..." Also see 104-10528-10133: Charles Anderson sends a 10/4/63 AMROD memo about Mexico City officer Thomas Urquhart coming to town. The subject is 201-20481, (Joaquin Ordoqui Mesa). Joaquin Ordoqui Mesa is a key Cuban Communist figure and member of the National Directorate of the ORI (the "Integrated Revolutionary Organizations").

104-10062-10227: DOCUMENT LISTINGS

Was AMROD a reference to Carlos Rodriguez, Joaquin Ordoqui, or both? Based on this document list, HMMA-22482 and HMMA-22483 both are entitled "AMROD is 201-020481". That is the bio number for Joaquin Ordoqui, the pro-Moscow Vice Minister of Defense who was jailed for treason. However, a review of the documents reveals that neither document has that title, or anything resembling it in the title or even the body of the text. HMMA-22342: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=55297#relPageId=81&tab=page HMMA-22343: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=55297#relPageId=82&tab=page Also see HMMA 22553, a 12/5/63 document listing: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=27328#relPageId=25

104-10322-10181: MEMO:HSCA REQUEST FOR SENSITIVE CIA FILE

"Pursuant to instructions from the 303 Committee of the Kennedy Administration, the CIA established among its objectives against Fidel Castro's Cuba the fragmenting of its governing coalition and the undermining of its relations with the USSR. This decision was taken prior to the Cuban missile crisis. As a result of this decision a number of non-violent operations were carried out...On 3 April 1963 a set of spurious documents falsely ascribed to a disaffected CIA agent in Mexico were passed REDACTED to the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City. The documents made it appear that the Cuban Vice Minister of Defense, a highly placed and extreme Moscow-line Communist (who had been in Moscow when the missile build-up was planned in early 1962), was actually a CIA agent who had betrayed the build-up. The purpose of this disinformation was to cause a great strain in the relations between the Cuban Communist Party (then known as the PSP) and the other partners in the coalition...The Cubans accepted the spurious papers and paid for them per our demand...(on 11/13/63) a delivery of documents was again being made, several were included revealing the presence of another 'CIA agent' in the Cuban government, this time within the Cuban Embassy in Mexico. This target was Teresa Proenza Proenza, long-time Cuban Communist and contact of the Soviet intelligence in Mexico, who was acting as the Cuban Cultural Attache. She also was a close contact of the Vice Minister of Defense. On 10 December 1963 Miss Proenza was informed of her sudden transfer back to Cuba; she actually departed on 23 January 1964...On 18 November 1964 the Vice Minister of Defense was arrested on charges of treason and removed from his post, as was his wife who also held cabinet rank. They were jailed as was Teresa Proenza. After terms in prison all three were released to house arrest..."

104-10062-10227: DOCUMENT LISTINGS

10/31/63: There is an anomaly in these AMROD documents: HMMA-22408, 22409 and 22410 are shown with the title: "AMROD is 201-020481". But review of pages 35-37 in document 1994.08.10.16:50:27:160028 and pages 34-36 in document 1993.07.19.17:14:30:620340 do not display this heading.

104-10052-10208: REQUEST FOR PROJECT RENEWAL

11/23/63 cable DIR 84916 from C/WH/3 John Whitten/John Scelso to Mexico City: "Arrest of Silvia Duran is extremely serious matter which could prejudice (US) freedom of action on entire question of (Cuban) responsibility. With full regard for Mexican interests, request you ensure that her arrest is kept absolutely secret, that no information from her is published or leaked, that all such info is cabled to us, and that fact of her arrest and her statements are not spread to leftist or disloyal circles in the Mexican government. We are trying to get more info on Oswald from (FBI) and will advise direct or through (FBI) Mexico."

104-10513-10091: WITHHELD

1/5/64 report by Robert Shaw/"Lawrence Barker" on his meeting in his car with LITAMIL-9. "LITAMIL-9 reported on the recent firing of Teresa Proenza Proenza and this was made the subject of two cables to Headquarters in view of her importance in the AMROD operation. (See MEXI 7613 and MEXI 7625)."

124-10003-10386: [No Title]

1/20/64 memo from SA Nathan Farris to Legat, Mexico, FBI: "On 1/13/64, MEX-18 and MEX-19 orally informed the writer that on that date ELIZABETH MORA had told them of a conversation she had held with TERESA PROENZA, the cultural attache of the Cuban Embassy. According to MORA, TERESA PROENZA had told her that Oswald walked in 'cold' to the Cuban Embassy and the first person he talked to was TERESA. She does not speak English, however, and therefore she turned him over to the nearest person (not identified by MORA) who was higher in rank and who spoke English. TERESA PROENZA claimed that the purpose of OSWALD's visit to the Cuban Embassy was to obtain a visa to go to Russia. The informants could obtain no information from MORA why OSWALD would have gone to the Cuban Embassy which is difficult to find rather than going straight to the Soviet Embassy which is much easier to locate."

1993.07.19.18:07:44:460150: DISMISSAL OF TERESA PROENZA PROENZA, CUBAN CULTURAL ATTACHE IN MEXICO

1/30/64 CIA report: "Teresa Proenza Proenza, Cultural Attache at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, was dismissed from her job as a result of an open cable received from Raul Roa Garcia, Cuban Foreign Minister, on about 10 or 12 December 1963. The dismissal was evidently brought on by a remark Proenza made to the sister-in-law of Roa to the effect that Roa's strong note to the Mexican government regarding the detention of Silvia Duran was a diplomatic error. Proenza, who appeared to be greatly disturbed, attributed her dismissal to the fact that she was a Communist and Roa was not...on 15 January 1964 a one-way ticket to Cuba for Proenza was received by the Cubana Airlines office in Mexico City..."

https://vault.fbi.gov/solo/solo-part-59-of/view

4/20/64 FBI memo from SAC, New York to Director, FBI re SOLO, pp. 7-9: Quotes a 4/16/64 letter from CPUSA representative to Cuba Beatrice Johnson to CPUSA chair Gus Hall stating: "I discussed a number of things you referred to with Rod and was advised not to raise anything pertaining to the past relationships." A footnote at p. 9 states that "Rod...according to NY-694-S (Jack Childs) probably refers to Carlos Rodriguez, Director of the Cuban CP newspaper 'Hoy'."

104-10322-10181: MEMO:HSCA REQUEST FOR SENSITIVE CIA FILE

5/25/78 memo from Charles W. Anderson to SA/DO/O: "On 13 November 1963 this Agency initiated an operation to counter Miss Proenza's effective exploitation of her contacts in Mexico, a work which frequently had strong anti-U.S. overtones...at no time has this Agency maintained contact with Miss Proenza."

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MFF • Bill Simpich

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