Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Cryptonyms / bigram: AM / cryptonym: AMWORLD

Cryptonym: AMWORLD

Return to Main Crypts Page

Also known as Second Naval Guerilla. Designed to support and unite several Cuban exile groups under the leadership of Manuel Artime (AMBIDDY-1). The overall mission of AMWORLD was to foment a popular uprising in Cuba that would cause Castro's downfall.
Definition found in 104-10332-10023, p. 215, which also states: "AMWORLD was based in three locations. The AMWORLD propaganda efforts were based in Costa Rica. The paramilitary efforts were run out of the Nicaragua base (at Monkey Point). The third base was run out of Miami to service AMWORLD requirements including the collection of operational leads, servicing of dead drops and assisting in the vetting of AMWORLD personnel."

The AMWORLD project is plausibly interpreted as part of the effort of winding down anti-Castro activities launched from U.S. soil, in the wake of the Missile Crisis. Extensive detail on the AMWORLD project is presented in Larry Hancock's book Shadow Warfare.

The AMWORLD documents were held in extreme secrecy - they were unknown to the Church Committee and the HSCA, and even the ARRB for most of its tenure. Robert Kennedy was clearly involved in the project.

James E. Beckhoff is mentioned as setting up the AMWORLD safehouse in Mexico City. Beckhoff was also known as Henry Boysen: http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=30904#relPageId=2&tab=page Boysen was also known by his real name, Henry Hecksher. http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=42085#relPageId=2 also see http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=42085#relPageId=2

104-10308-10095: This memo from June 1964 documents continuing CIA support of the project, even to the extent that its subject is "delivery to them of 2,000 lbs. of C-4 and the leaflet bombs which we are holding for them."

Cuban intelligence analyst Fabian Esclante claims RFK met with Artime and Harry Williams in January 1963 to set up plans that would become an AMWORLD camp in Nicaragua and another one in the DR. See: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=https://weedjee.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/1963-el-complot-objetivos-jfk-y-fidel-fabian-escalante/&prev=search

Deadly Secrets, Warren Hinckle and William Turner (Thunder's Mouth Press, 1992), pp. 165-167.

"With Bobby's (RFK's) juice, Artime found himself on a CIA retainer of $1,500 a month to revive his Movement for the Recovery of the Revolution (MRR). Before long the MRR was receiving a steady $250,000 a month to launch an ambitious operation code-named Second Naval Guerilla. The objective: To attack Cuban shipping and mount commando raids on shore installations. The CIA would supply the funding and logistical support, intelligence data, and guidance. Artime would function independently but submit each operation to the CIA for approval." A naval base was set up in Monkey Point in Nicaragua and two jungle camps on the property of right-wing Colonel Vico Starki Jiminez. The "navy" was the cargo ships Joanne and Santa Maria, with the CIA allowing the MRR to borrow the speedy ex-subchaser Tejana III. The commander in Costa Rica "was the redoubtable Pepe San Roman, who had become an unofficial military advisor to Bobby Kennedy." On 9/13/64 the MRR attack vessel mistakenly attacked the Sierra Aranzazu, a Spanish vessel, mistaking it for a Cuban one. "From this point on, it was all downhill for the MRR. More blunders and a financial scandal forced Artime to pack up and leave Central America." (p. 286). The Oakland Tribune article of 10/19/86 claimed that Felix Rodriguez participated in the ill-fated Sept. 1964 raid. See https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=48737&search=ramon_AND+NICARAGUA+AND+SHIPPING#relPageId=18&tab=page


This document from late June of 1963 alerted certain CIA station chiefs to the creation of Project AMWORLD: "...it involves the unilateral commitment of AMYUM (the MRR).....directed by AMBIDDY/1 (Artime), against PBRUMEN (Cuba). It is understood that activities involved in this program are to be based outside PBPRIME (U.S.) and that any manifestations of KUBARK (CIA) participation in the planning and execution of the program are to be kept to a minimum." This lengthy memo kicking off the project in June 1963 records discussions held with Special Affairs Staff chief Desmond Fitzgerald. See 198-10004-10011, p. 5: In June 1963 Artime visited the Cuban Officer Training Program in Fort Benning, GA and recruited two officers to leave the program and join his revolutionary camp in Nicaragua. See 104-10241-10139, a 7/1/63 memo authored by Henry Hecksher, a PBSUCCESS participant who was the main project contact for AMWORLD. Also see 104-10240-10412, a 8/23/63 memo by Henry Hecksher: “Only seven ex-Brigade members are slated to join AMWORLD. No one from Fort Jackson is being considered.”

Warren Hinckle and William Turner, Deadly Secrets (Thunder's Mouth Press, 1992), p. 226

Summer of 1963: "The (MDC camp in Lacombe, Louisiana) had been set up (in 1962) by Gerry Hemming and Frank Sturgis at the request of the New Orleans branch of the Cuban Revolutionary Council. At the time of the FBI raid Sturgis' training camp was occupied by the...MDC under the guise of training security guards for a lumber mill in Guatemala. But the MDC military chief, Laureano Batista, later admitted to the New Orleans district attorney that the trainees actually were destined, with the approval of General Somoza, for the CIA-supported naval guerilla base of Manuel Artime in Guatemala. (Note: AMWORLD). The camp was used by various groups of the exile far right - the DRE, 30th of November Movement, and MIRR - all of which huddled under the wing of Paulino Sierra's short-lived, mob-connected provisional government. In 1976 the Senate Intelligence Committee disclosed that the camp 'was directed by the same individuals who were involved in procuring the dynamite the FBI seized,' a reference to Rich Lauchli and Sam Benton and his Cubans, who had moved from the moribund Triple A (AMEER) to the growing MIRR (AMDITTO) of Dr. Orlando Bosch, a fanatical ex-pediatrician so far to the right that he considered the Miami Herald a tropical version of the Daily Worker."


9/10/63 memo from JMWAVE to Director: "Gilberto (Rodriguez) Hernandez, responsible for military affairs (in) Paulino Sierra's organizing committee, told AMLINT-1 that in his opinion entire "maneuver" of Central American countries and Nicaragua re training bases for (Cuba) nothing but political maneuver of (RFK) to protect (JFK) in coming elections and also harm plans of Sierra's committee. Committee is feared as already has $650,000 in Miami bank to make war on (Cuba). Rodriguez said (Manuel Artime) and Ruiz Williams just fakers at service of (White House) and (White House) had to create an intel agency, (DIA), for these objectives because (CIA) so discredited already that not even (White House officials) had any respect for it."

Don Bohning, The Castro Obsession (Potomac Books, Washington, 2005), p. 190

"By late 1963 the camps were up and running. In Nicaragua the maritime operation was at Monkey Point. The commandos - numbering about ninety people - were at Puerto Cabezas. In Costa Rica the infiltration teams were at the Orlich farm in Sarapiqui. A radio operators' base and a weapons barge were at Tortuguero. "So we are talking now about five bases plus one other camp because we had the communications center in San Jose. So we had six places that we had to look out for, secure, and get people for," said (Rafael) Quintero/AMJAVA-4. There also was a refueling base in the Dominican Republic. The total number of exiles in the Central American camps eventually reached about three hundred."


10/31/63: A safehouse for AMWORLD is set up in Mexico City by Station reps and James E. Beckhoff/Henry Hecksher. Whether or not it was true, reps were told to let it slip that Beckhoff/Hecksher was a "publicity expert".


11/14/63: Fitzgerald wrote Shackley about why Artime has been chosen as the leader of the Cuban exile forces: "What we are trying to put across (and AMYUM-19 should be made to grasp this) is to counteract an outstanding Cuban characteristic viz instead of rallying in the face of common peril, to break up into contending factions. To combat this, the federative approach has been tried in the past and found impracticable. We do not intend to try again." Also see 198-10004-10011, p. 4: ACSI reports that RFK met with Enrique Jose Ruiz Williams Alfert, Manuel Artime, and the San Roman brothers.


11/22/63, cable DIR 84804 from Director to JMWAVE, slugline RYBAT TYPIC YOBITE AMWORLD: "Nasin (sp? Nacin) Elias has asked Navy in Guantanamo Base to pass following message to AMYUM-19: General uprising scheduled for December 1 . Participating groups FMD, MRR and MID. On 14 Nov Nasin's source met with unidentified coordinator-general of FMD who indicated FMD, MRR, MID and sub organizations plan general uprising before 1 Dec. Uprising planned as result of Military Service Act which in opinion of group leaders would tremendously reduce clandestine involvement in Cuba. Since many anti-regime personnel have remained inactive (and) waiting for chance (to) take effective action, source felt probably they will join fight, even without weapons. It decided groups would maintain passive status until 23 Nov in order (to) enable overall coordinator Arime Buesa to provide instructions and supplies. If uprising were supported, immediate supply of equipment would be unable to back down once committed. Elias will forward Miami instructions to 'El Hermano Diablo'.


11/26/63, cable WAVE 8177 from JMWAVE to Director, slugline RYBAT TYPIC YOBITE AMWORLD: "AMJAVA-4 informed of ref msg from Nacin Elias 23 Nov. A-4 had no info on groups allegedly to participate in uprising and will inform AMBIDDY-1 for his decision in how answer Nacin. Guertler told A-4 that in absence further details he unable evaluate info and that he had no further info on plans. A-4 views any action this time unwise. Station views report of planned uprising possible GOC (Government of Cuba) effort (to) surface anti-regime elements prior to implementing Military Service Act." Also see 124-90090-10194, p. 3: Jose Elias Nacin aka Jose Elias Thumas, a member of the violent terrorist group Pragmatistas was convicted in 1975 of conspiracy to commit murder of anti-Castro exile Luciano Nieves.

104-10109-10170: PROJECT REPORT

10/16/64 memo: AMWORLD was an "autonomous" operation. Hecksher and the CIA would provide funds and materials. Control was in the hands of Artime/AMBIDDY-1. His second in command was Rafael Quintero; third in command was Cesar Baro/AMYUM-19. Hecksher's staff was his secretary Bobbie Hernandez, her husband Raul Hernandez, Carl Jenkins, Dick Beal, a career Logistics employee assigned to AMWORLD, and Beal's secretary Miss Gwen Thornton. Four pages on, the writer adds, "To my knowledge, Project AMWORLD is the only Agency activity authorized by the White House to conduct sabotage operations against and in Cuba. It was this group that raided and devastated the sugar mill in approximately the spring of this year. To my knowledge, by Presidential request, no sabotage operations have been launched from JMWAVE since the first of the year. I gathered that personnel at JMWAVE possessed certain ill feelings toward AMWORLD and toward ARTIME since it was the only operation that was allowed to conduct sabotage operations."

124-10281-10077: No Title

"Felix I. Rodriguez, 215 N 114th St., Miami, Florida, advised that in 1964 he was in charge of a (MRR) training camp in Monkey Point, Nicaragua...Rodriguez said that he knew and remembered Gabriel Albuerne as a Cuban exile who joined the MRR to go the military training camp in Nicaragua...The MRR later ascertained Albuerne was an agent of the government of Cuba. (Albuerne's statement of innocence can be found at page 4, and an FBI report at page 23). 12/4/75 FBI memo. (Note that in 1963, Albuerne, former Cuban Rebel Army captain Humberto Gustavo Julio Rodriguez Diaz and others were involved in OESA, also known as the right-wing "Secret Army": https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=123022&search=albuerne#relPageId=3&tab=page

124-10219-10093: No Title

3/17/65 Washington Post reported that Cuban exiles and Dominican Republic military officers had been kicked out of Costa Rica for trying to foment a rightist, neo-Nazi coup that would have assassinated the country's president Francisco Orlich and former president Jose Figueras who was one of the original leaders of Latin America's democratic left. "The 90-odd Cubans who were expelled have set up a training camp in Monkey's Point just across the border in Nicaragua."

MFF • Bill Simpich

© Mary Ferrell Foundation. All Rights Reserved. |Site Map |MFF Policies |Contact Us