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Cryptonym: AMSHALE-1

Definition:
Antonia Veciana, leader of Cuban exile group ALPHA-66. Veciana told HSCA investigator Gaeton Fonzi that he had worked with a "Maurice Bishop" who Fonzi came to believe was CIA officer David Phillips. Also known as Victor Fernandez, Victor Orcarlos.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
Originally a manager at Banco Financiero, a loan company owned by Julio Lobo (AMEMBER-1). https://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=30983&relPageId=2 10/21/60: Memo from Paula K. Thybault (Chief of Base, JMASH) - could this be a pseudo for David Morales? Regarding a Dept of State memo about Veciana - which is not attached: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=66989#relPageId=2&tab=page Veciana had a plan as early as July 1962 to assassinate high Soviet leaders and other terrorist acts, as the USA did not intend to liberate Cuba. Guillermo Ruiz, described a cold-blooded killer, was allegedly ready to help. See 104-10103-10156: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=65969#relPageId=9&tab=page
Sources:

180-10141-10365: No Title

"In April 1961 Bishop (David Phillips) directed Veciana to assassinate Fidel Castro. Plans were discussed and contacts given. His contacts at the United States Embassy in Cuba were: (1) Ewing Smith, political advisor, (2) Lt. Col. Sam Kail, army attache, and (3) Joe D'Acosta, vice consul. (Fonzi interviews). As part of the assassination attempt, that apartment from which Castro would be shot (in 1961) was rented by his mother-in-law...on the evening of the attempt, when he thought by that time Castro would be dead, he took his mother-in-law to a place where they were supposed to get the boat...since she could not swim, Veciana had to get in the water with her, pull her to the boat, get in and come with her to the United States. He thought he would immediately return to Cuba but then he heard the attempt had failed and that some of his men had been captured and some eventually talked. (Veciana interview with Gaeton Fonzi, March 2, 1976) 1978, HSCA staff notes. A 11/8/61 document describes Veciana as "the sabotage man for the MRP" and that an Army sharpshooter named "Barbela" or "Barabela" (probably MRP second-in-command Bernard Parabela) and three other people were supposed to shoot Castro. Veciana concluded that they "lost their nerve or that the bazooka failed to work". Veciana was "disgusted with CIA, because CIA gave us no arms.", and he fled the country with his family: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=55456&relPageId=170&search=veciana For more on Bernard Parabela: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=48189&relPageId=4&search=parabela

104-10181-10431: ANTONIO CARLOS VECIANA BLANCH

12/29/61, Request for Approval by WH/4 Howard Gossage: Veciana was to be used as a "sabotage man" with the MRP. Veciana knew of US government interest in him, but not that it was CIA, according to the request. During June, 1962, Martha Tharpe, TFW-PA/PROP x 7824 writes about contacts made with Olien and Lobo - no mention of Phillips. Lobo said during late 1960 Veciana was "systematically destroying bank's records and equipment and Lobo believed he was planning wholesale sabotage his sugar mills". Veciana supposedly rented apt for bazooka attack as early as Oct 60. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=16620#relPageId=3&tab=page

104-10069-10094: ALPHA 66/ORGANIZATION AND PLANS

9/7/62 memo on Alpha-66 from Chief, New York office of CIA to Chief, Contact Division: Jeronimo Esteve described as the leader in Puerto Rico; Alberto Gutiarez in NYC, with Ramon Perez Daple as officer manager of Olivarria with Veciana as vice treasurer. Dedicated to sabotage and harassment. "One of their first jobs is to blow up all power stations in Cuba according to their contact man in New York."

1993.08.11.14:08:32:620006: CUBAN COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY HANDBOOK

"In October 1962, Veciana admitted having signed a secret pact with Gutierrez and admitted that Gutierrez was behind both the SFNE and Alpha 66 and responsible for planning operations for the Alpha-66 group. Many members of Alpha 66, bitter about Veciana's deceptive tactics, and because of the fact that they did not want to be associated with Gutierrez, split apart from Alpha 66 and formed a new organization which they called Comandos L-66, with Roberto Vale Ares as their new chief, and Antonio Varona del Vale as their operations officer."

Miami News, 10/28/62, "2 Exile Groups Unite to Work Against Fidel": http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/belligerence/Alpha-66-1962-1979.pdf

Veciana announces in news article that Alpha-66 and SFE (Second Front of the Escambray) have united and will be working together against Fidel Castro's government. (See page 4 of this Alpha-66 collection of news clips). On 10/31/62, Brig. Gen. Lansdale wrote an MFR: "John McCone (told me)...at the Executive Council meeting this morning, the President had decided to hold back Operation Mongoose for the time being. Also, during the negotiations re Soviet missile bases in Cuba, there were to be no Mongoose sabotage or similar militant operations. McCone said that he had informed General Carter of this, but was letting me know, as Chief of Operations, to let the operations team know; he mentioned that Alpha 66 and the approved sabotage of Cuban shipping were to be held, specifically." See https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/docid-32977093.pdf

124-90135-10117: No Title

"The Justice Department furnished a letter from CIA dated 1/14/63, which stated that (the) Agency had no operational interest or contact with Alpha-66. CIA stated that it had no value because of its discrediting in the Cuban exile community by the disclosure of the secret alliance between its leader, Veciana, and Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, the head of SNFE...on 2/4/63, CIA sent a memo to many agencies saying: "this agency is unable to determine whether the Alpha-66 in the referenced cable is Veciana's Alpha-66 organization or...L-66, the dissident element of Alpha 66." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=90077&search=%22jose_orta%22#relPageId=3&tab=page Under their alliance, Gutierrez diverted Alpha-66 funds to finance SNFE paramilitary operations and ran them as Alpha-66 activities. The Alpha-66 combat element had no exploitable military value because it was either identical with or heavily penetrated by the Gutierrez action group." Another document reveals that CIA did have an interest in the dissident faction, the one that called itself L66: 124-90137-10275, http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=119096#relPageId=2&tab=page

124-10306-10071: No Title

As of 10/3/63, MRP pr officer Joaquin Godoy/AMRAZZ-1 said that its headquarters was still at 160 NW 29th St., Miami. It continues to work with SNFE and Alpha-66. Those two organizations share an office at 109 SW 12th Avenue, Miami, with Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo as SNFE head and Veciana as Alpha-66 head. SNFE has planned for six months to return to Cuba via Plan Omega, overthrow of Castro by infiltration and internal uprising, but still has no definite date. See 180-10143-10209, p 8: As of Nov. 1963, Gutierrez was military chief of Plan Omega. See 104-10192-10335, p. 3: On 3/23/64 Veciana and Gutierrez met and agreed this would be their last meeting in the United States. 124-90102-10135, p. 5: By 1965, Gutierrez Menoyo had been captured and Veciana had resigned.

104-10102-10176: VECIANA, ANTONIO CARLOS BLANCH 201-312966 DPOB 1928, CUBA

May 1977, Latin American Division Task Force: Four page chronology about Antonio Veciana. Highly informative.

104-10103-10160: CABLE REGARDING ANTONIO CARLOS VECIANA BLANCH

8/2/68 cable from JMCOBRA to Madrid: Memo discussed how Veciana thought his cousin-in-law Guillermo Ruiz might be recruitable - but the writer was doubtful - didn't think that Veciana knew much about Ruiz's present circumstances.

180-10140-10457: 180-10140-10457

3/8/78 memo from HSCA to Patrick Carpentier, Office of Legislative Counsel, CIA: Asking for records on Antonio Veciana Blanch, aka Victor Fernandez, Victor Orcarlos - Cuban exile leader who co-founded Alpha 66 with Jose Manuel Gutierrez.

Contributors:
Roy Bierma • Bill Simpich • Larry Hancock

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