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Cryptonym: AMSKIF-4

Definition:
Joaquin Bembibre (sometimes Membibre in documents) Vasquez. Documents 104-10077-10151 and 104-10075-10201 appear to show that there was a AMSKIF-5, and possibly an AMSKIF-6 as well (104-10193-10307).
Status:
Speculative
Discussion:
A cable in September, 1960, used AMSKIF-4 as a source. AMSKIF-4 was described as a leader of an organized anti-Castro group. The cable was about the resistance groups in the Sierra Escambray mountains. In addition, a January, 1961 cable used AMDIP-3 as a source and he stated that there were three main groups operating in the Sierra Escambray region. The largest was headed by Evelio Duque, another group was under the joint leadership of Adiel Montiel and Joaquin Bembibre, while a third was lead by Osvaldo Ramirez. Another cable in January, 1961, reported from AMGLAD-1 (Ralph Diaz Hanscom) that Bembibre, Duque, and Lina had signed the declaration of the Unidad Revolucionaria (UR). Furthermore, a cable in March, 1961, used as its source Joaquin Bembibre Vasquez, who was described as a leader of a counterrevolutionary group in the Escambray mountains. A dispatch in the same month contained a report written by AMRUNG-1 (Rogelio Gonzalez y Corso), and submitted by Major Membibre (or Bembibre), on the subject of the faltering revolt in the Escambray area of Cuba. It mentioned that Bembibre had fought under the command of Plinio Prieto (probably AMPANIC-5) against Batista. An FBI report in late March, 1961, stated that Bembibre was leading the MIRR group in the Escambray. Also, a CIA memorandum in April, 1961, stated that Bembibre was one of the leaders of the anti-Castro guerrillas in the Escambray mountains. On the other hand, an FBI report stated that Justin Gleichauf, of the CIA, had advised that the Agency had no interest in MIRR, but did admit that Bembibre and his followers were given assistance to get out of Cuba.
Sources:

104-10262-10039: CABLE: SUPDATA SOURCE AMSNIF-4 REF HAVA 6145 FILED 132008Z

09/14/60, Cable from Havana to Director: "SUPDATA source AMSKIF-4 ref HAVA 6145...SUBJ: Armed Action Against the Castro Regime. DOI: Sept 60 PADA Cuba, Habana 13 Sept 62. Apr 3 - Source leader of an organized anti-Castro group (F) 1. There are 14 groups operating in the Sierra Escambray, and unity under the direction of Sinesio Walsh may be effected soon. At least 40 of Castro's militiamen have been killed by anti-Castro forces in the vicinity of Trinidad, Las Villas, during September. 2. A small front of about 25 men will be opened in the Loma San Miguel de los Banos, near Coliseo, Matanzas, by the end of September. This group, which represents the Frente de Liberacion Nacional (FLN, National Liberation Front, originally led by Dr. Arturo Hernandez Tellahece (sp)), will be under Lt. Piche (FNU), a former 26 of July officer. 3. Field Dissem: State, Army, Navy, Air, FBI. C/S Comment: *No record in cable secretariat as of 1030 14 Sep 60. **Dissemination applicable to JMNET cables."

104-10165-10101: DEVELOPMENTS IN DEMOCRATIC REVOLUTIONARY FRONT(FRD), LIST OF FRD LEADERS

10/15/60, Cable from Withheld to Director: ..."2. There are three fronts in Escambray fighting: A. Hills of San Juan, leader is ex rebel soldier Sinicio (Handwritten: Walsh - now dead). B. Hills of Banao. Batista groups here. C. Hills of Santa Lucia. Areas of Manacuitas and Capiro. Here leaders are Vasquez and Cardenas. These groups are all receiving aid from Miami, as is another group led by Gonzalez Orue, a former Mayor of Marianao. 3. William Morgan is reported to have taken to Escambray hills. (Handwritten: Jail). 4. There very few soldiers or police in Havana now, only militia groups. The other forces are occupied with Escambray..."

104-10226-10278: SIGNING OF DOCUMENTS OF UNIDAD REVOLUCIONARIA

01/28/61, Cable from JMWAVE to BELL: "1. AMGLAD/1 (Rafael Diaz Hanscom) reports he was informed 25 Jan that leaders in Escambray, Duque, Bembibre, and Lina had signed declaration of Unidad Revolucionaria. Info brought to AMGLAD/1 by Celestino Borron Carreras, member AMGLAD/1 intel net Havana. 2. AMGLAD/1 says four copies document sent Escambray late Dec or early Jan. Says Borron reports signed copies brought Havana few days ago by officer from Escambray and left with Wilfredo Brito another member AMGLAD/1 group."

104-10262-10031: CABLE: UFG 75 CUBA SUBJ STATUS REPORT ON FIGHTING IN ESCAMBRAY REGION

01/31/61, Cable from WAVE to BELL: "SUPDATA source AMDIP-3. SUBJ: Status Report on Fighting in Escambray Region. DOI: 23-27 January 1961 PADA Cuba Habana...1. There are three main resistance groups now operating in the Sierra Escambray region of Las Villas Province. The largest of these groups, comprised of between 300 to 400 men and headed by Evelio Duque, is still operating in the general vicinity of Topes de Collantes...A group of approximately 300 men is fighting in the area of Magua...This group is under the joint leadership of Adiel Montiel and Joaquin Membibre. A third group of about 150 men and headed by Osvaldo Ramirez operates near La Sierra...2. Of the three groups, the one headed by Ramirez still remaining in the most perilous position. In addition to being completely encircled and subject to continually strong pressure by Castro troops, this group is handicapped by a continual lack of arms and ammunition. Furthermore, the Ramirez group was the only one of the three unable to obtain some of the arms that were aerially supplied to the patriots during the last week of January. (Source Comment: Because of the lack of arms, Ramirez has had to dissuade approximately 300 sympathizers from joining his force. Unarmed, these sympathizers were handicapping Ramirez in using his strongest asset up to now: Nobility)..."

104-10262-10022: CABLE: REQUEST ODURGE SP TREATMENT FOR 4 CUBANS TO BE EXFILRATED

3/20/61 cable from JMWAVE to BELL: Station asks for ODURGE/INS "SP treatment" for four Cubans to be emigrated into the US during "Operation Rutabega" on March 21-22. The four Cubans were Bemimbre (spelled incorrectly), "Merejo" aka Ricardo Rodriguez Ramirez traveling as Juan Gonzalez, Juan Consuegra Valdes, and one other unidentified Cuban.

104-10193-10275: DISPATCH: OPERATIONAL REPORT ON ESCAMBRAY

03/22/61 memo, Chief of Base, JMWAVE to Chief, WHD: "The attached report...was received on 10 March 1961 via courier. AMRUNG-1 wrote the report as submitted by Major Membibre (also spelled Bembibre in other documents) from the Escambray. (Signed) Theodore R. Windecker." Page 3: "Report from Escambray: This report is submitted by Major Membibre, one of the leaders of the Escambray. During the Batista dictatorship Membibre fought under the command of Plinio Prieto (Note: probably AMPANIC-5) ...Membibre made his first efforts in the struggle against Fidel when he joined the conspiracy of some members of the Rebel Army together with Sinesio, when they decided to revolt with 200 men. Membibre revolted with soldiers from the Camajuani garrison. A few days later Sinesio joined him and together they joined their forces with those led by Perfirio Ramirez. At that time they were among the first ten to revolt. When Plinio Prieto climbed the Escambray he went to Sinesio's camp but since the encirclement was already in effect he could not get in to his camp. Turning around for Havana's Plinio and his deputy Lt. Zaldivar were taken prisoner. The encirclement destroyed Sinesio and Ramirez and scattered Membibre's forces. Later he made contact with Evelio Duque who had close to 70 men, with Osvaldo Ramirez, Nando Lima, Edel Montiel. These are the main groups in the struggle for the Escambray...The encirclement lasted until end of February, after great vicissitudes and the loss of almost all his men. He considers the Escambray lost and to have destroyed all his groups. He supposes Lima to be captured or dead, Edel Montiel in flight and all his troops scattered. About the others he has no reliable news. In his opinion nothing can be done for the time being, except hoard weapons and prepare a big revolt or invasion by thousands of men. He would like to get out to investigate what's there. Francisco. (aka AMRUNG-1/Rogelio Gonzalez Corso)" An easier-to-read version at 104-10262-10025.

104-10262-10021: CABLE: REQUEST SP FOR FOLLOWING 11 INDIVIDUALS WHO ENTERED AT KEY

March 24, 1961, "Request SP for the 11" who arrived on the Swasp and the Reefer II from Cuba, came into Key West...Pedro Garcia Chaviano, Hector Careno Alfonso, Felide Leon Leon, Felix Rodriguez Mendigutia, Domingo Morales Arencivia, Vincente Mendez Fernandez, Andres Perez Guerra, Drosdado Mesa Becerra, Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez, Mauricio del Hierro Undandidel.

104-10262-10018: CABLE: SUPDATA SOURCE JOAQUIN BEMBEBRE VASQUEZ WHO ARRIVED WAVE AREA

03/26/61, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: "SUPDATA source Joaquin Bembibre Vasquez who arrived WAVE area 24 March. DOI: 1 March 61 appr 2 PADA Florida 24 March 61. SUBJ: Collapse of Counterrevolutionary Resistance in the Escambray Area. Source: Leader of a counterrevolutionary group in Escambray mountains (F). 1. For all practical purposes organized counterrevolutionary resistance in the Escambray region of Las Villas Province has ended for the present time. Of the four or five different counterrevolutionary groups that had fought at one time in the Escambray only the one commanded by Evelio Duque is believed to be still there. However, Duque's main force is believed to have been divided up into small bands, with each band lacking contact with one another and shifting for itself. 2. The plight of the counterrevolutionary groups began in late January when the Castro government shifted a concentration of militiamen to the Escambray, mainly near Manicaragua, and began large scale offensive operations. Armed with Czech sub machine guns and R-2 rifles, Belgian FAL rifles, mortars, bazookas and artillery pieces, the militia units contacted isolated groups and encircled the counterrevolutionary groups. In a standard plan of attack the Castro forces would use helicopters to pinpoint the concentration of counterrevolutionary units within the encircled area. Then, once the patriots were spotted, an artillery barrage was launched as a prelude to an assault by specially trained militia riflemen..."

124-10277-10380: No Title

March 28, 1961 list of men initially described on 3/24/61 as having "entered at Key West" list corrected - these appear to be real names - was the previous list their aliases?: Andres Terez Guevarra, Domingo Morales Arencivia, Trosdado Mesa Becerra, Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez, Manuel de Hiervo Urdambidelus, Pedro Garcia Chaviano, Felipe Leon Leon, Joaquin Bembibre Vazquez, Rodriguez Mendiguita, Hector Careno Alfonso, Jose Marrero Garcia NOTE: "Rodriguez Mendiguita" is almost certainly Felix Rodriguez Mendigutia/AMJOKE-1. (Two other men who arrived at same time from boat 'Tejano' were: Ramon F. Font Saumell and Enrique Barroso Dorta - not included in index)

124-10277-10380:

03/30/61, FBI report from George E. Davis, Jr.: Subject: Movimiento Insurrecional de Recuperacion Revolucionario (MIRR): "Synopsis:...On 3/27/61, Bosch admitted he sent group of five men, including an American, Angus McNair, under command of Captain Marciano Bello Martinez, aboard the 'Jolly Roger' piloted by Rodriguez, to point off coast of Cabanas, Cuba, where this party of five went ashore in the 'Diana Lee', with small quantity of arms, destined to Los Organos Hills, Pinar del Rio Province, in order to take pressure off MIRR men fighting in Escambray Mountains of Cuba under Joaquin Bembibre Vazquez...On 3/27/61, Joaquin Bembibre Vazquez, who arrived Key West, Fla. by boat from Cuba on 3/24/61 with other members of MIRR who were forced to flee Cuba, stated that armed resistance in the Escambray has completely collapsed...the Castro regime, beginning in 11/60, began blocking the Escambray area with militiamen who numbered approximately 70,000 by the time of his departure Bemimbre's men were without food, arms, or ammunition, and were receiving no aid from outside. Bemimbre claimed that Fidel Castro now has an army of 300,000 fully armed men, and has established military positions throughout Cuba, thus precluding establishment of another resistance front inside Cuba. Bembibre believes that only a large and powerful armed force can now defeat Castro. Bembibre and Bosch are willing to cooperate with an anti-Castro unity movement, but are bitter toward the Frente Revolucionario Democratico (FRD), an anti-Fidel Castro unity movement, which they blame for their failure to receive help from the U.S..."

124-10277-10380:

03/30/61, FBI report by George E. Davis, Jr.: Subject: Changed, Movimiento Insurrecional de Recuperacion Revolucionario: Page 8: ..."On March 29, 1961, Mr. Justin Gleichauf, CIA, advised that Orlando Bosch is persona non grata so far as CIA is concerned, and that CIA has no interest in Bosch's organization, the MIRR; however, Bembibre and his companions were assisted out of Cuba by CIA." Also see p. 54: "Bembibre said that WILLIAM ALEXANDER MORGAN, who was recently executed in Havana by the Castro regime for allegedly counterrevolutionary activities, did send Bembibre and his friends many weapons. It was because of this, according to Bembibre, that Morgan was arrested by the Castro regime."

1993.07.15.20:12:17:620620: MEMORANDUM OF VISIT TO JOAQUIN BEMBIBRE

04/07/61, Memorandum from Justin Gleichauf, Chief, Miami Office to Chief, Contact Division: "1. This visit was effected by Luis C. Rodriguez in order to evaluate Subject's potentialities and capabilities inasmuch as he was one of the leaders of the anti-Castro guerrillas in the Escambray range. 2. Subject's knowledge of the situation in Escambray is rather sketchy which he attributes to lack of adequate communications and intelligence. He is convinced that the entire Escambray front has collapsed and that scattered groups remain in the area with no capabilities to represent a real threat to the Castro regime. 3. Subject stated that he rebelled against the Batista regime in (19-REDACTED) and joined forces operating in Escambray under the late Major William Morgan. After the establishment of the Revolutionary Government he was assigned Commander of the military garrison of Cumanayagua, Province of Las Villas (unintelligible) the rank of First Lieutenant. His association with the late Captain Sinesio Walsh, who was executed by the Castro Government, made him a suspect (unintelligible) was subject to all types of harassments by the Cuban G-2 until he decided to revolt, taking with him the entire garrison of Cumanayagua....Subject traveled to Havana where members of the underground arranged for his clandestine trip to the U.S..."

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Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

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