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Cryptonym: ERLOOP-1

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Ernesto Despaigne, assistant to Miro Cardona, and then assistant to Luis Somoza, the dictator of Nicaragua. ERLOOP-1 was recruiting men in Miami to come to Nicaragua to fight against Castro in mid-1963.
A business partner of IUSTEER. IUSTEER was apparently also a business partner with AMTABBY-27. Both IUSTEER and AMTABBY-27 were pilots, and ERLOOP-1 was probably also a pilot with ties to Nicaragua.

The September 1963 chronology makes the reader wonder if William Pawley could have been ERLOOP-1.

In 1961, Despaigne was chief of FRD intelligence and he interacted with Diego Ruiz, chief of Naval Intelligence for the anti-Castro forces. See the report of D-81 in 104-10235-10208, p. 3, 7/18/61, as well as the report of C-90 in 104-10299-10017, 8/14/61. See 104-10235-10241 - C-90 was AMCHEER-1. See 104-10235-10219 - D-81 was also id'd as AMCHEER-1.

1994.05.19.09:59:59:320005: Reel 63, Folder D - CUBAN REVOLUTIONARY COUNCIL (CRC) - POLICY.

3/17/62, PASSAVOY memo #254: "(Dr. Miro) has pointed out to (Roberto Perez) San Ramon (who was seeking to be chief of Brigade 2506) that DESPAIGNE is in no way a commander or a chief, he is merely the liaison between the military sector and the (CRC/AMBUD) and that he feels that San Roman, likewise, should be the liaison between the military sector of the Brigade and he himself, Miro/AMBUD-1, the president of the (CRC)."


"(In early June 1962), Dr. Miro/AMBUD-1 and his military assistant, at that time Captain Ernesto Despaigne, brought me biographical sketches of 48 officers of the Rebel Army, who are now in exile, almost all having participated in the campaigns of Castro in 1958, and some also saw action in the 1961 invasion of Cuba."


9/21/62 dispatch from Chief of Station, JMWAVE to Chief, TFW: "Individuals below are no longer of operational interest to the Station. It is requested that POAs be cancelled. The first name listed is Ernesto Despaigne Perez, 201-310981. "These agents were part of the AMBUD Military Section which was to recruit and train infiltree candidates from the independent exile groups. This program was never initiated, and finally dropped, as the AMBUD Military Section could not recruit any worthwhile infiltree candidates. (CIA) maintained liaison contact with Ernesto Despaigne Perez, head of the AMBUD Military Section, through Horace D. Bickelhaupt for the purpose of monitoring the activities of the AMBUD Military Section, provide guidance, establish a training program, and provide other necessary support as required." Also see hsca segregated cia collection, box 63/ 000-00000-00000, MISC FBI DOCUMENTS IN AARC CIA COLLECTION, BOX 114, p. 14: On 10/18/62, it was reported that "the first three former Cuban Army officers" were to receive advanced training at a "United States military staff school". Despaigne was one of the three. See 104-10299-10017: The previous year, as head of FRD intelligence, he had worked with Diego Ruiz of naval intelligence until he left in August 1961.


Mid-1963: Eduardo (Teddy) Whitehouse Insua, civil and commercial pilot and air force commander, with the Legion Bolivar (LB), formed in mid-1963. The group established contact with former president Luis Somoza of Nicaragua and other governmental leaders. Also see180-10145-10210, p. 45: Whitehouse is described as formerly of the "Cuban Civil Aeronautical Association", and associated with the mobster Norman Rothman during the early 60s as Rothman sought a base of operations in the Yucatan.

104-10179-10179: MEETING WITH AMBIDDY-1 13 TO 17 AUGUST 1963

On 7/19/63, AMBIDDY-1 learned that AMWORM-1 and ERLOOP-1 had left for Managua the same day. When AMBIDDY-1 arrived in Managua, AMWORM-1 brought him together with ERLOOP-1. ERLOOP-1 issued visas to AMBIDDY-1, AMJAVA-4 and AMWORLD-3...ERLOOP-1 became intoxicated and told AMBIDDY-1: "Do you know who fouled you up with ODACID (the US State Dept)? It is AMBANG-1/Manolo Ray, who is (the US State Dept's) man."

124-10204-10493: No Title

Information acquired 7/27/63: Laureano Batista Falla/AMPALM-2, a leader of MDC, is enroute to Nicaragua from Costa Rica, with Jose Angel Ortega, former MDC president, Enrique Rodriguez, MDC president, and Pepin Canal, former MDC coordinator in Oriente Province...While in Caracas, Batista spoke with members of COPEI (Social Christian Democratic Party), which will join him in the 'Somoza Plan'. The Somoza Plan presumably refers to informal soundings taken by Luis Somoza/ERACERB-1 among the leadership of Cuban exile movements with a view towards setting up a unified resistance movement on Nicaraguan soil. Captain Ernest Despaigne, former CRC chief of intelligence, is recruiting men to go to Nicaragua.


Week of July 29, 1963, memo by Henry Hecksher: "Show-down meeting" between Manuel Artime/AMBIDDY-1 and President Luis Somoza of Nicaragua. "The following is AMBIDDY-1's description of a showdown with ERACERB-1...ERACERB-1 stated that he had been called by ERLOOP-1 from Miami to tell him that Tony Varona and (Carlos) Prio desired to talk with ERACERB-1. He would receive them (in) order to set their minds at rest and to make sure that they bother neither Nicaragua nor AMBIDDY-1...(ERACERB-1 said) he knew that perhaps the only individual who could clear him among the America was AMBIDDY-1. He understood that Carlos Prio did not have the prestige to say that ERACERB-1 was not a dictator. Besides, Prio says many things today and others tomorrow. Prio was one of the men who had launched an invasion against Nicaragua in the days of ERACERB-1's father (Anastasio Somoza Garcia, dictator from 1936 until his assassination in 1956) and he would never forget it...After this discourse, AMBIDDY-1 told ERACERB-1 that AMWORLD-2 had called to say that ERLOOP-1 had created a mess in Miami, drawing up lists of candidates, recruits, and other things. AMBIDDY-1 told ERACERB-1 that it was his impression that ERLOOP-1 was recruiting on his own. This plan, AMBIDDY-1 pointed out, will not work because his camps were going to be small camps. ERACERB-1 could imagine 10,000 Cubans who wanted to fight. Where will we keep them? Who will take care of 10,000 Cubans?...ERACERB-1, in answering, accepted full blame for ERLOOP-1's activities, having told him, thinking of a subsequent invasion, to recruit Cubans willing to participate in it. ERACERB-1 promised to order ERLOOP-1 the following day when he expected him to suspend permanently all recruiting. AMBIDDY-1 is sure of this because Captain Perez told him that ERACERB-1 in fact told ERLOOP-1 to stop recruiting."

180-10113-10416: WILLIAM D. PAWLEY

A 1963 Pawley chrono created by CIA. Note that the meetings at the end of September 1963 feature Artime, Somoza, Prio and Pauley. Could Pauley be ERLOOP-1?

124-10203-10303: No Title

7/31/63 memo from SAC, Miami to Director, FBI: "Fermin Fleites (protect identity) is an officer in the Lucas Babue faction of the MDC. This faction continues to belong to the CRC/AMBUD. Fleites has furnished reliable information in the past. On July 30, 1963, Fleites advised that Miguel (Cuco) Leon/AMWORM-1, former CRC delegate to Nicaragua, returned to Miami with Nicaraguan military officer, name unknown. The Nicaraguan claimed to be an army lieutenant and for years to have been an assistant to General Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua. He acted tough, talked about assassination, and left no doubt he is a Nicaraguan military man...The Nicaraguan said that so far there are no Cubans training in Nicaragua but that he recently spoke to Manuel Artime Buesa and Laureano Batista Falla in Nicaragua. Artime is head of the MRR. Batista is the military head of the other MDC faction. The Nicaraguan said he plans to open a recruiting and coordinating office in Miami to further recruit Cubans to be sent to Nicaragua...Fleites is attempting to obtain more information concerning identity of the Nicaraguan. Efforts are being made to identify this Nicaraguan, and when identified the Bureau will be advised..."


8/6/63 extract from cable WAVE 2269, source QDDALE: "Manuel Artime. Artime's activities (in) Nicaragua were discussed and when QDDALE made critical remarks re fanfare with which Artime was attempting (to) establish ops bases in Nicaragua, Luis Somoza defended Artime. This defense rested on Luis Somoza's contention fanfare was (US government) inspired due to insistence (US government) must be afforded plausible denial (of) any anti-Castro activities mounted from Nicaragua...QDDALE gained impression Luis Somoza was hoping some responsible individual from (the USA) would attempt (to) coordinate Artime's and Luis Somoza's concepts and programs. (WAVE comment: Implication being that QDDALE was totally suited for coordinator's role.) Also see 124-90012-10026: On 8/22/63, Bernardo de Torres Alvarez discussed how his group, the Association of Veterans of the Bay of Pigs, Brigade 2506, was recruiting people to fight the Castro regime, and expected a base to be set up in a Central American country, possibly Nicaragua.


2/10/69: ERLOOP-1 is identified as "781872" - which may or may not be a reference to his 201 number. Appears to be a business partner of IUSTEER-1, who may be 201-283488 - and who may be Fausto Gomez Gomez. AMTABBY-27 identified as an "executive pilot" and another business partner of IUSTEER with the IRD (Interrogation Research Division) number of C-87513. The 201 number for AMTABBY-27 is probably the pilot 201-287180/Rafael Garcia Pujol, but possibly 201-323565 or even something else entirely.


7/30/69 cable from WH/2/HD&ES to WH/Miami, slugline IUSTEER: "...IUSTEER phoned HQS case officer and stated (Eduardo Whitehouse) (201-300614) and an unidentified American attempting hire Cuban pilots Miami area to fly T-51 aircraft to El Salvador. IUSTEER sources, who were four Cuban pilots who refused offer, said (Whitehouse) and associate began recruitment effort circa 14 July 1969...File: 201-283488 and 201-300614."

Bill Simpich

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