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Cryptonym: CAMANTILLA

Definition:
CAMANTILLA was the American Friends of Russian Freedom. This group would resettle in Germany or prepare for immigration to the US anyone of interest to the clandestine services, but primarily defectors or ex-agents.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
CAMANTILLA was a field type project based in Frankfurt, closely aligned with CABEZONE (the Defector Reception Center at Camp King in Frankfurt) and HARVARD (a broad program of operational aid, resettlement and rehabilitation of defectors, agents, and agent-trainees). A HARVARD Project Briefing in July of 1963 mentioned that "If State Department withdraws USEP funds (Note: USEP was the US Escapee Program) HARVARD will be faced with an increased burden in the resettlement of CIA cases. This is particularly important in the case of USEP support to American Friends of Russian Freedom (CIA support in Project CAMANTILLA)." Page 7 of this document referred to the "CAMANTILLA organization" operating under the USEP program: https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/HARVARD%20PROJECT%20RENEWALS%20%20%20VOL.%202_0010.pdf One of their members in the 50s was the future CIA director William Casey.
Sources:

104-10182-10069: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE.

12/12/62: Dispatch from COS, Germany to Chief, AF via Chief, EE (Info: Chief, WH): Subject: RYBAT/WIROGUE Final Resettlement of WIROGUE: "1. WIROGUE (David Tzitzichvili) has received political recognition from the West German government and is fully documented in the name of Georg Frank Sanders. This was accomplished with the cooperation of ODIBEX (U.S. Army) on the basis of the fabricated story stating that Subject is a Georgian who defected from East Berlin on 14 July 1962 while with a tourist group. It was necessary to acquire political recognition for Subject because this was the only sure means to backstop him if and when he applies for immigration to South America. A Fremdenpass would not withstand the investigation required by immigration authorities. 2. All the South American Consulates in West Germany were contacted with the assistance of CAMANTILLA in an attempt to collect information which would enable HARVARD (a broad program of operational aid, resettlement and rehabilitation of defectors, agents, and agent-trainees) to select the most likely country to which Subject could immigrate based on his personal preference, opportunities for emigrants, immigration requirements, etc. Colombia, Chile or Peru offer the best possibility...Carl T. Updill."

https://www.google.com/books/edition/Foreign_Operations_Appropriations_for_19/8RdEAQAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=%22usep+program%22+%22american+friends+of+russian+freedom%22&pg=PA989&printsec=frontcover

Foreign Operations Appropriations for 1963, Hearings - pp. 988-989: "With respect to the direct programs, such as we operate with USEP (US Escapee Program), they are handled under contracts with American and international voluntary agencies which have been accredited for operation overseas..." Office of Refugee and Migration Affairs includes groups such as American Friends of Russian Freedom, National Catholic Welfare Conference (JMCLIPPER), Church World Services, World Council of Churches, International Rescue Committee, Tolstoy Foundation, the YMCA, and others. Also see Benjamin Tromly, Cold War Exiles and the CIA, p. 225, discussing how the Tolstoy Foundation and the the American Friends of Russian Freedom developed "grandiose" ideas for helping the population of Russian defectors in Germany, while refusing to cooperate together in this effort.

104-10182-10069: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE

04/24/63: Dispatch from COS, Germany to COS, Geneva: Subject: WIROGUE/Resettlement: "1. In May 1962 HARVARD (a broad program of operational aid, resettlement and rehabilitation of defectors, agents, and agent-trainees) took over the task of resettling WIROGUE (David Tzitzichvili), a former REDSOX (illegal operations mounted into the USSR) agent candidate and later African Division agent. Per WIROGUE's request and with Headquarters concurrence, HARVARD agreed to help subject in immigrating to South America...5. HARVARD discussed the basic outline of the problem with the Chief, Refugee Migration Section, American Consulate General, Munich and Chief, CAMANTILLA, and established that subject's processing through IC (Unintelligible) would include a security investigation and detailed interviews and job testing, since IC (Unintelligible) is determined that only 'high-level' types will immigrate through time to South America. HARVARD proposes to continue with the immigration plans and, although Chief (Unintelligible) and Chief, CAMANTILLA have been most helpful and have been able to learn IC (Unintelligible) procedures taken on refugee migration applicants, they have been forced to refrain from appearing too inquisitive..."

104-10182-10069: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE.

05/01 - 05/31/63: HARVARD SUMMARY OF RESETTLEMENT ACTIVITY...Page 98: ..."III. MISCELLANEOUS ACTIVITY: A. Effective 10 May 1963, Arthur A. Lifall, Chief, HARVARD (a broad program of operational aid, resettlement and rehabilitation of defectors, agents, and agent-trainees), became the Station Case Officer for Project CAMANTILLA (See EGOA-19737)..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/HARVARD%20DEVELOPMENT%20AND%20PLANS%20%20%20VOL.%201_0040.pdf

06/07/63: Dispatch by teletape from Chief, EE to COS, Germany: Subject: CABEZONE/HARVARD/CAMANTILLA: Request from Chief, EE, that the three projects above be combined.

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/HARVARD%20PROJECT%20RENEWALS%20%20%20VOL.%202_0011.pdf

07/16/63: HARVARD PROJECT BRIEFING: "ACTION: ADDP Approval of renewal. PURPOSE: Project supports a facility for the resettlement and rehabilitation of defectors and agent personnel. Project is responsible for all DRC cases and its services are available to other Agency components and to other U.S. intelligence agencies in the European area...PROBLEM: If State Department withdraws USEP funds HARVARD (a broad program of operational aid, resettlement and rehabilitation of defectors, agents, and agent-trainees) will be faced with an increased burden in the resettlement of CIA cases. This is particularly important in the case of USEP support to American Friends of Russian Freedom (CIA support in Project CAMANTILLA)..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/HARVARD%20DEVELOPMENT%20AND%20PLANS%20%20%20VOL.%201_0042.pdf

07/16/63: Dispatch from Chief, CSB, Frankfurt to Chief, EE: Subject: CABEZONE/HARVARD/CAMANTILLA/HARVARD COMMENTS REGARDING CAMANTILLA PROJECT RENEWAL FOR FYI 64: "1. In response to the referenced request, HARVARD (a broad program of operational aid, resettlement and rehabilitation of defectors, agents, and agent-trainees) would like to submit the following facts and comments pertaining to the part currently played by CAMANTILLA in connection with the resettlement of KUBARK (CIA) agents and defectors. 2. Since the last reports discussing this same general topic were written, CAMANTILLA has become more and more the 'outside arm' of HARVARD (a broad program of operational aid, resettlement and rehabilitation of defectors, agents, and agent-trainees), performing those resettlement and rehabilitation tasks which would be extremely difficult for a KUBARK organization under official cover to handle. By referring to CAMANTILLA as the 'outside arm' of HARVARD we mean to convey the fact that CAMANTILLA does not resettle some cases, while HARVARD performs the identical functions for others...Certain functions, e.g., the setting up of job interviews with West German employers - contacts and correspondence with local housing, medical, educational and welfare organizations - the sponsoring of individuals for immigration to the U.S. - etc, can be far more effectively accomplished by a private refugee organization bearing none of the stigma of ODIBEX (U.S. Army) or ODIBEX intelligence...The complementary relationship between HARVARD and CAMANTILLA /one official and one non-official/ provides the highly desirable degree of control and flexibility needed to cope with the often complex problems encountered in rehabilitation work." Page 2 mentioned that CAMANTILLA assisted 41 out of 62 HARVARD resettlement cases from 1 July, 1962 to 30 June, 1963.

104-10182-10069: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE.

09/01 - 09/30/63: "HARVARD SUMMARY of RESETTLEMENT ACTIVITY: I. DEFECTOR CASES: A. On Hand at Beginning of Reporting Period: Case Name: DS-109. Action Taken: Subject moved out of HARVARD (a broad program of operational aid, resettlement and rehabilitation of defectors, agents, and agent-trainees) housing during the month after having located appropriate employment with CAMANTILLA's assistance...DS-129: Through the assistance of MKTOPAZ (CIA Technical Services Division) and ODIBEX (U.S. Army), Subject received his Fremdenpass and was interviewed for FEDREP political recognition. Shortly after being turned over to CAMANTILLA, who is assisting him in his efforts to obtain local employment, the need for additional interrogation arose...IDEN 271*: Subject immigrated to the U.S. 19 September 1963 without HARVARD assistance or CAMANTILLA sponsorship. B. Received During Reporting Period...DS-130 (Cont): HARVARD Resettlement Aims: Subject's processing for immigration to the U.S. under Public Law 414 has already been completed. He is scheduled to depart 28 October 1963 via an ICEM flight for New York where CAMANTILLA will meet and assist. Until this departure date he will occupy HARVARD housing and continue his study of English...II. AGENT CASES: A. On Hand at Beginning of Reporting Period...IDEN-274: With the assistance of CAMANTILLA Subject commenced his photographic training in Hamburg on 10 September. Upon completion of his schooling (in early 1964) he will be given the monetary grant awarded by Headquarters as compensation for his eight-year imprisonment..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/HARVARD%20DEVELOPMENT%20AND%20PLANS%20%20%20VOL.%201_0045.pdf

03/06/64: Dispatch from Chief, EE to COS, Germany: Subject: Operational CABEZONE/HARVARD/CAMANTILLA: CAMANTILLA is described as a field type project based in Frankfurt. The memo urges that all three activities be renewed under Project CABEZONE.

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/HARVARD%20DEVELOPMENT%20AND%20PLANS%20%20%20VOL.%201_0046.pdf

07/29/64: Dispatch from Chief, EE to Chief, CSB, Frankfurt (Info: COS, Germany): Subject: ADMIN/FINAN FY 65 FAN FOR HARVARD: The request mentioned in the dispatch above looked to have been granted: ..."Record all obligations and expenditures for CAMANTILLA and HARVARD to CABEZONE FAN 5139-2116."

Richard H. Cummings, Cold War Frequencies, pp. 56-61 - https://books.google.com/books?id=iPclEAAAQBAJ&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=CIA+and+Defectors+from+USSR:+Project+CAMANTILLA:+The+American+Friends+of+Russian+Freedom+AFRF&source=bl&ots=8KqPBuMeaU&sig=ACfU3U0tKndTmUj85Ag0B-yWc2N1Jwdo9g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjot8L847TxAhWNvp4KHQhbAXQQ6AEwBXoECAkQAw#v=onepage&q=CIA%20and%20Defectors%20from%20USSR%3A%20Project%20CAMANTILLA%3A%20The%20American%20Friends%20of%20Russian%20Freedom%20AFRF&f=false

"In the early Cold War years, a myriad group of organizations, associations and foundations in the US and Europe were formed to aid and assist those persons known as exiles, emigres, refugees, escapees and defectors from the USSR: The International Rescue Committee, the Tolstoy Foundation, and the American Friends of Russian Freedom (AFRF - CIA cryptonyms CAMANTILLA and AEMANTILLA)...(in 1951, the president of the AFRF was Felix Cole...members included Mrs. Ivan Tolstoy, Eugene Lyons, Bert Jolis, and Bill Casey. Gene Lyons was the editor of Reader's Digest magazine...Casey was a former member of the International Rescue Committee and a future CIA director in Pres. Ronald Reagan's administration...AFRF was described in 1955 as "active in Europe in assisting, feeding, rehabilitating and resettling new refugees from the USSR..." In 1960, this group would resettle in Germany or prepare for immigration to the US anyone of interest to the clandestine services, but primarily defectors or ex-agents.

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Contributors:
Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

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