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Cryptonym: AMSUM-4

Definition:
Luis Carlos Pino Couto. Head of the AMSUM group in Cuba.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
AMSUM-4 was born in February 1934, and was a graduate of the Cuban Naval School. Arrived in the Miami area in August 1962, after having participated in the naval resistance group. POA granted in February 1963. This matches Luis Carlos Pino Couto to a great extent. Pino Couto was born in February 1934, went to the Cuban Navy Academy and graduated in 1957 (slight discrepancy with AMSUM-3's reported 1956 graduation). In addition, Pino Couto was the UR Military Coordinator in Cuba, and he arrived in the U.S. in August 1962.
Sources:

104-10226-10434: DEBRIEFING REPORT OF ANTONIO ODDONEZ HERNANDAZ

05/02/62, Case Officer: Anthony B. Weldrake, Date of Debriefing: 27-28 April, 1 May 1962, Date of Report: 2 May 1962: Page 6: ..."B. Navy Group: (1) 'Cesar.' T/N Luis PINO Couta. This individual is a 1st Lieutenant in the Cuban Marine Corp and is a graduate of the Cuban Naval Academy. He is 32 years of age, dark complexion, 5'10", 140 lbs., slim build, brown hair, brown eyes, considered to be a very handsome man with large expressive eyes. Has skin trouble (acne?) on his chin. He is married and has two daughters. He was last known to reside on Calle San Francisco 661, Lawton, Habana, Cuba. He was formerly the inspector of Lineas Mambisas, a government agency that controls all Cuban commercial shipping. He was occupying this position as of 20 April 1962, but had told Subject that he expected to be transferred to a new job. This individual was the source of intelligence information on commercial shipping, and had access to cargo manifests of foreign vessels coming into Habana..."

104-10166-10226: UNIDAD REVOLUCIONARIA

CIA document: ATTACHMENT B: Page 4: ..."The naval resistance group was depicted as a largely passive element which devoted itself to intelligence collection and indoctrination of its members against communism (see Attachment A, Part III). QUSWABBY-11 was assigned to contact and train AMSUM-4 in S/W, and to relay intelligence collection requirements. On 26 July 1962 AMSUM-4 was contacted in Habana, trained in S/W, supplied with S/W materials and briefed on collection requirements. Unfortunately, AMSUM-4 was forced to leave Cuba on 3 August via PAA flight with his family; he claimed to have been denounced by a relative as a counter-revolutionary. AMSUM-4 stated he had turned over all materials and instructions given him by QUSWABBY-11 to two other members of the naval resistance group. One of these has been recruited by Hamburg Base as an AMLEG (Subject of 201-378208), the other was reported to have been seen in Habana by friends of AMSUM-4, and is apparently not under detention. Neither of these contacts has yet corresponded with AMSUM-4, which would imply either that they did not fully grasp the S/W instruction, or that they are not inclined to correspond for reasons of their own security. The general objectives of JMWAVE in attempting to develop an intelligence net based on exploitation of the UR naval resistance group are: 1. Establish a KUTUBE collection mechanism within the naval resistance group. 2. Exploit this mechanism to collect order of battle on the Cuban Navy, on its communications and cipher system, and related information based on JMWAVE current requirements. 3. Obtain all possible information on the 'defection plan' of the naval resistance group for possible operational exploitation by JMWAVE..."

104-10166-10226: UNIDAD REVOLUCIONARIA:

CIA document: ATTACHMENT B: Page 5: ...."G. AMSUM-4: Agent was the head of the AMSUM group in Cuba; arrived JMWAVE area 3 August 1962 via PAA with family. See AMSUM (General), above. Biographic: DPOB 6 February 1934, Cienfuegos; graduate Cuban Naval Academy, 1957. POA granted February 1963; LCFLUTTER December 1962; no deception noted; JMWAVE and FBI traces November 1962; negative. Agent has been recruited as a KUTUBE support asset in the JMWAVE area; as a consultant on AMSUM operations; as an overt mail contact point with AMSUM. AMSUM-4 has also indicated he possesses good CI capabilities and is under consideration for use as a CI asset...."

104-10166-10226: UNIDAD REVOLUCIONARIA

CIA document: ATTACHMENT D: Page 22: ..."203. PINO Couto, Luis Carlos, AKA 'CESAR': 201-341926: DOB: 6 February 34: graduate Cuban Naval Academy 1956; studied U.S.; in Cuban Navy to 1961; with Lineas Mambisas, Habana, in charge tugboat operations to February 1962 and Inspector to August 1962; active in naval resistance group; UR Military Coordinator Cuba; source of UR intel re shipping; arrived U.S. August 1962 with forged visa; brought first reports re Soviet buildup July-August 1962; numerous contacts in Navy and Habana dock area. (27;50;55;59;127)..."

124-90107-10181: [No Title]

3/28/63 FBI memo from SAC Miami to Director: "MM 492-S (Jeronimo Estevez) reported this morning that Radio Reloj, issued newscast datelined New York that group of exiles belonging to Commando L, a subsidiary of Alpha 66, had shot and sunk a small ship off port of Caibarien, Cuba. This message emphasized this attack was not identical with one made off Port of Isabela de Sagua on night of March 18 last by Alpha 66...broadcast Miami WMET radio station PSI under development Luis Carlos Pino Couto, former official in charge of embarkations in Cuba, closely associated with violent anti Castro groups, but with whom insufficient contact has been had to establish reliability, confirmed above and stated that he had heard Commando L 66 had planned to rig dynamite to prow of small speedy boat to be driven by remote control into a Russian boat."

124-10281-10077 No Title

Personal statement of Gabriel Albuerne Fernandez: "...Approximately in October 1963, Mr. Luis Pino Couto, who kept working for Mr. Joaquin, introduced me to an Officer of the Cuban Navy, who I personally did not know and whose name I do not recall. Both Mr. Pino Couto and the mentioned officer told me that now things would be done well in order to liberate Cuba because they were going to be done in a sure and secret manner. The Officer then took me to the MRR of Mr. Manuel Artime. Later, in November 25, 1963, I was called to the MRR offices where I was interviewed by Mr. Manuel Gutierrez who was better known in the MRR as Manolin Gutierrez, Chief of the MRR Marine..."

104-10075-10094: JMWAVE CABLE RE MILITARY INSTALLATION BEHIND MENELAO HORA COOPERATIVE FARM

11/27/63, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Slugline INTEL TYPIC: "SUPDATA: AMCOVE-1 WT 54 received 23 Nov. Farm could not be located. AMSUM-4 provided location, received 26 Nov. AMCOVE-1 from AMCOVE-5 from friend in confidence of A-5 who Miliciano at site. Ref WAVE 8120 (IN 67247). RID no index...DOI: 19 Nov 63. PADA: United States, Miami (23 Nov 63). UFG 4129. SOURCE: A Cuban who has professional contact with relatives of officials in Cuban Government circles and a variety of contacts in western Cuba. Source is an experienced reporter. He obtained this information from a former businessman who has many contacts among the Cuban military. The latter obtained the information from a laborer on the cooperative who had some military training and who personally observed the equipment."

104-10076-10049: JMWAVE CABLE LISTING INDIVIDUALS IN OVERT PERSONAL CORRESPONDENCE WITH WAVE AREA.

12/04/63, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Slugline RYBAT TYPIC MHAPRON CASAILOR AMSUM: "1. Regret delay follow-up Ref A. Re para 3 Ref A following individuals Cuba now in overt personal correspondence with AMSUM-4 WAVE area (as of Nov 63) utilizing alias and letter drops, and have indicated willingness collaborate any way possible anti-regime activities: A. (REDACTION) PDOB - Regla, Havana CA 17. Works for "Empresa Consolidada de Consignatarias y Terminales Mambisas" as (REDACTION) servicing commercial vessels calling HAVA. Many connections merchant marine circles. No WAVE identifiable traces. B. (REDACTION) DOB CA 11. Ex senior lieutenant Cuban Navy until 62. Now works for "Instituto Cubano del Petroleo" as (REDACTION). Good connections navy and merchant marine. No identifiable WAVE traces. C. (REDACTION) DOB CA 27. Served as noncom Cuban Navy until 62. Previously worked naval resistance group in collection naval intelligence from ex comrades Cuban Navy in provinces Habana, Matanzas, and Pinar del Rio. WAVE traces reflect one (REDACTION) whom may be identical who radio op all sign (REDACTION) resides (REDACTION) HAVA. Source clall book nag spring 62. 2. Above individuals in combination with (REDACTION) brothers para 3 Ref A considered be strong nucleus for KUTUBE collection shipping and naval info Cuba and for development MHAPRON sources Cuban Navy. 3. Request HQs traces. Assignment 201's (REDACTION) and subjects para 1 above. 4. Request latest info available re location, travel CASAILOR-24. C/S Comment: *Pls advise status of reply to ref DIR 82772."

104-10076-10120: JMWAVE CABLE RE HAND CARRYING PERSONAL DOCUMENTS.

12/06/63, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Slugline KEYWAY PBRUMEN AMSUM: "1. Daniel F. Gussow hand carrying personal documents of Pelayo (Balbis) Torregrosa, PDOB Cienfuegos, Las Villas, 12 Sept 15, who plans arrive MADR via Iberia FLT from HAVA 7 Dec 63. Subject is father in law AMSUM-4, retired naval officer, and should be knowledgeable activities various developmental leads AMSUM-4 HAVA. 2. Request MADR contact Subject on arrival and pass personal docs to him that needed by Subject for U.S. visa application ODACID (U.S. State Department), including letter from AMSUM-4 to Subject telling him cooperate with QUWEB debriefers. WAVE has interest determine info Subject has re willingness following individuals collaborate with U.S. Government KUTUBE activities Cuba: A. Jose Miguel (Adul) Cabezas. B. Mario (Rivero). C. Ramon (Calderon) Llera. D. Jesus (Salgado). E. Emiliano (Diaz) Miniet. 3. If Subject cooperative would appreciate MADR assist if possible in expediting U.S. visa application local level."

104-10018-10046: CABLE RE INTERVIEW OF PEDRO ALVAREZ GANDARILLA AND WIFE GRACIELA SANCHEX MANDULEY FOR THE PURPOSE OF NAME IDENTIFICATION

12/10/63, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Slugline RYBAT GPFLOOR PBRUMEN AMSUM: "1. Re para 2 reference, AMSUM-4 interviewed Pedro (Alvarez) Ganarilla and wife Graciela (Sanchez) Manduley (A-13 315 5341), night 9 Dec and asked them identify if possible spread of 6 names, including several variations name Saavedra found WAVE files, all of whom supposedly friends of sister Celia (Sanchez). 2. Subjects unable identify any variation of name Saavedra as friend of Celia (Sanchez) Gandarilla outspokenly cooperative. Wife Graciela (Sanchez) cooperative but sensitive to questions concerning her family and possible she may withhold info concerning family." C/S Comment: *Station was unable to identify Saavedra."

104-10076-10371: JMWAVE CABLE - TRAVEL OF SOVIETS FROM BATABANO TO ISLA DE PINOS; CARGO TRAFFIC BETWEEN ISLA DE PINOS AND BATABANAO.

12/12/63, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: "SUPDATA:....Field comments are from AMSUM-4 monitoring of CLT." Pages 2 and 3: "1....(Field Comment: A usually reliable source reported that the Isle de Tesoro, the regular ferry to Isla de Pinos, departed from Batabano for Gerona, Isla de Pinos, on the night of 6 November)...3....(Field Comment: A usually reliable source reported that on 28 October Zil trucks were on board the Isla de Tesoro ferry which sailed for Gerona).."

104-10076-10431: JMWAVE CABLE RE HAND CARRYING PERSONAL DOCUMENT.

12/13/63, Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Sluglines KEYWAY PBRUMEN AMSUM: REF WAVE 8605 (IN 75515)*: Subject para 1 ref cabled AMSUM-4 stating he residing 'Pension Anamar, Conde de Romanones Number 9, Quinto Piso, Der, Madrid 12.' C/S Comment: *Daniel Gussow hand carrying personal document of (REDACTION) who plans arrive MADR 7 Dec 63."

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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