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Cryptonym: AVANT

Definition:
Unknown identity. A dispatch in March of 1961 stated that AVANT was the CIA Montevideo stations' KUCAGE (CIA Psychological and Paramilitary Operations Staff) principal agent.
Status:
Unknown
Discussion:
AVANT was mentioned in a memo in August of 1953 on the hemispheric-wide campaign against Communism in Guatemala. In addition, a cable in January of 1961 mentioned that AVANT was in contact with Garmendia. This may be a reference to Luis Vargas Garmendia, who, according to a article in The Nation magazine, in April, 1980, was believed to have planned the murders of two former Uruguayan Senators in Buenos Aires in 1976.
Sources:

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DOC_0000914827.pdf

08/24/53: Memorandum from Withheld to Col. J. C. King, C/WH: Subject: Hemispheric-Wide Campaign re Communism in Guatemala: Page 2: ..."h. (REDACTION) - 'The exploitation of the Guatemalan situation has been extremely difficult, because AVALON and AVANT, who were relied upon to develop the program, were reluctant to publish it inasmuch as they personally felt that the (REDACTION) people were completely disinterested in Guatemalan propaganda'..."

104-10163-10162: ACCORDING TRAVEL MANIFESTS AND AVANT, ARTIME NOT YET IN MONT

03/28/60: Cable from Withheld to Director: REF HAVA 3868 (IN 17775)* "1. According travel manifests and AVANT, Artime not yet in MONT. Roger Cano, assistant manager Victoria Plaza Hotel, checked records which fail reveal Artime arrival since 20 March. No mail. 2. Checking with (REDACTION) service. C/S Comment: *If Artime presently located addressees area requested use contact instructions per para 3 MEXI 5146 (IN 42564) and inform him Fidel Castro has issued orders eliminate him."

104-10167-10273: CABLE - REPORTS THAT GARMENDIA HAS RENTED APARTMENT

01/27/61: Cable from Montevideo to BELL: Slugline JMZIP KAPOK: "1. AVANT, who station KUCAGE P.A. in touch with Garmendia, reports latter has rented apartment MONT, plans base River Plate activities here. 2. Although we considering mounting anti-Castro/democratic demonstration last week in February, this not yet discussed in detail with agents and news of AMDIP-1 (Tony Varona) comes as surprise to station. Presume AMDIP-1 invited by AVENTINE-3 (Identity) without station authority. In any case station does not require presence AMDIP-1. 3. Please forward AMDIP-1 identity. C/S Comment: *Requested authority proceed with infil planning."

104-10165-10060: SAMPLE PRESS CLIPPINGS RELATIVE TO VISIT TO MONTEVIDEO.

03/23/61: Routing and Record Sheet: In the TO section at number 4 is "Toomey" (William Kent). - - - Page 2: 03/23/61: Dispatch from COS, Montevideo to Chief of Base, WAVE and Chief, WH Division: Subject: JMZIP/Oper/Luis Conte Aguero Visit to Montevideo: ..."5. Station KUCAGE (CIA Psychological and Paramilitary Operations Staff) principal agent, AVANT, reported that Conte was well pleased with the results of his visit to Montevideo and grateful for the many opportunities he had to express himself on the subject of Fidel Castro and the distortion of the Cuban Revolution. William Busweiler."

104-10165-10058: SECOND PUBLIC SESSION OF "CONGRESS FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY" TOOK PLACE NIGHT 2 JUNE IN MONT ATENEO

06/05/61: Cable from Montevideo to Director: "1. Second public session of 'Congress for Freedom and Democracy' took place night 2 June in MONT Ateneo. Hall packed mostly with younger people who enthusiastically cheered congress president Luis Aguero Conte. First speaker Uruguayan student leader Edgar Skidelski who forcefully urged freedom for Cuban student prisoner Muller and creation 'American Democratic International.' Skidelski, who FRD student rep MONT, followed by by exiled Cuban student Jorge Dorticos who urged Latin nations break with Castro and give Cubans arms to free themselves from Castro tyranny...Dorticos succeeded by Salvadoran Ricardo Ramirez who urged unity of action to unseat Castro. Next speaker Hernan Troncoso, prof labor law at Chilean University, who delivered excellent talks stressing need for economic reforms and militant democracy to defeat Castro/Communism. Argentine student leader Luis Cesar Perazo spoke out strongly against Janio Quadros noting that he will repent his 'treason.' Said Fidel obviously troubled over holding of democratic congress. Next speaker was Antonio Collado, exiled Cuban labor leader, who perhaps best of evening according AVCAPE-1 and AVANT. Said hoped congress would awake Latins to responsibilities in face Castro threat. Attacked Quadros. Said it 'criminal' that invadors of Cuba were offered tanks and planes as support but at last minute were refused. Collado has son who prisoner of Castro. Final speaker Paraguayan exile leader Epifanio Mendes Felitas. Repudiated Stroessner and Castro dictatorships. 2. Busweiler and wife attended first part of public session and were taken by great enthusiasm of public which mostly young men and women...3. AVANT expects possible trouble at 3 June session. Thus far commie reaction to congress has been subdued..."

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/docs/CIA-RDP90-00806R000100670009-8.pdf

04/26/80: CIA document: Article in The Nation magazine: Titled: C.I.A. Secret Missionaries: ..."(REDACTION) the Uruguayan Interior Ministry, Luis Vargas Garmendia, was an old CIA hand who had worked with former C.I.A. agent Philip Agee in the 1960s. The pair spent their time making life difficult for diplomats from the socialist countries accredited to Uruguay back in the days when Uruguay was still a democracy. Vargas Garmendia was generally thought to have planned the murders of two former Uruguayan Senators in Buenos Aires in 1976. He was later made secretary to President Aparicio Mendez, front man for Uruguay's repressive military regime..."

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Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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