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Cryptonym: GPBEFIT

Definition:
Keith Botsford, a case officer with the Congress for Cultural Freedom.
Status:
Probable
Sources:

104-10529-10354: Cable Reacheduling TDY MEXI 21 Oct thru 24 Oct

10/16/63 memo from. CA/B3 Walter Raymond to Mexico City re GPBEFIT's letter about Revista Mexicana de Literatura. Another version is at 104-10100-10224.

104-10098-10060: OPERATIONAL CABLE

10/16/63 from Chief, KUWOLF ("Adrian B. Maslott") to Chief, Mexico City, slugline DTDORIC/Operational QKOPERA/Mexican programming: "Checklist of personnel Huyette may in contact with in Mexico City includes Ramon Xirau of Centro Mexicano de Escriteres, Juan Garcia Ponce of the Revista Mexicano de Literatura, GPBEFIT, and many others...forwarded USO are several recent letters to and from GPBEFIT. They reflect further refinements in the idea of an intellectual exchange between American and Mexican writers and artists. It is probable that this will result in several very small groups coming. This will be discussed further when Huyette is in Mexico. We are intrigued by GPBEFIT's reference to the Revista Mexicana de Literatura situation. As Mexi station knows from earlier contacts with Huyette, he had noted this journal as a possible one on which to develop a larger effort." GPBEFIT reported on 10 September that there has been "a recent explosion in the Siempre and three editors in the Revista find themselves 'disposable', I think they want to make their magazine into a suitable alternative for the only good part (formerly) of Siempre, the cultural section."

104-10211-10314: DISPATCH: LIST OF PERSONNEL OF COVERT ACTION INTEREST

10/16/63 from Chief of KUWOLF, Adrian Maslott to Chief of Mexico City, same as post above: LIst of personnel Huyette may be in contact with while in Mexico City. All communications can be passed on from HQ to Huyette and Bastear. GPBEFIT is on this list, which is dominated by artists, intellectuals, and politicIans.

104-10098-10091: OPERATIONAL - MEXICAN PROGRAM

Adrian B. Maslott post to Mexico City station, 10/31/63: "KUWOLF is very pleased with the successful talks concerning QKOPERA programming held in Mexico City by HQs, Station officers and HUYETTE and TICHBORN...HUYETTE says that GPBEFIT is working with (Margaret Shedd) to ease Ramon Xirau out of CME. She wants to replace Xirau with someone like Juan Rulfo, she feels Xirau has so many commitments that he is not able to devote sufficient time to CME. (For the background of the story behind Margaret Shedd, Ramon Xirau, and the writers' organization CME that they worked in, see https://patrickiber.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/iber-cme-pre-copy-edit-for-web.pdf - page 29 of 36)...FYI, GPBEFIT has been commissioned by Iden C to do a study on "Two Revolutions" (Cuba and Algeria) and plans a trip to Cuba and Algeria in January and February. We will discuss this and other problems concerning GPBEFIT when QKOPERA staff agent WINTERROWD visits HQs early in November."

104-10211-10045: DISPATCH: MEXICAN PROGRAM

10/28/63, from Win Scott to Chief KUWOLF, and DTDORIC/QKOPERA/DTGODOWN slugline: "From 21-25 October Keith J. Bastear and Geoffrey T. Huyette met with Mexico Station officers and Edward G. Tichborn to discuss the further development of the DTGODOWN program. The major focus was on the creation of a Mexican intellectual journal." They were seeking the "target core for the DTGODOWN program. They are the center of the advanced group of intellectual thought in Mexico". GPBEFIT is a central figure in this plan. It is thought that he could bring Saul Bellow into the project, and would be useful in tending Robert Lowell. "It was agreed by all save Huyette that small groups of approximately two intellectuals without wives would be lost. Huyette, however, has evidently committed himself to en masse trip by the Trillings, Lowells, Podheretz and the Epsteins. On the third page, the suggestion is made that Octavio Paz might become a member of an "advisory editorial board" - Paz's name was not on the list shown above - that may mean that his partner is GPBEFIT...Paz's wife was the playwright Elena Garro.

Guillermo Sheridan, 7/14/17, "One more installment in the history of the CIA project for financing a cultural magazine in Mexico in the 1960s": http://www.letraslibres.com/mexico/historia/la-cia-apadrina-una-revista-mexicana

In 1963...the CIA's cultural operators designed the magazine they planned to baptize CRÍTICA. Well, it ended up being called Dialogos and appeared in December 1964, directed...by the philosopher and poet Ramón Xirau (1925) and a man we know as "Enrique P. López"...Dialogos was one of the essential magazines of Mexico, and the most relevant of the period between the Revista Mexicana de Literatura (irregular, 1955-1965) and Plural (1971-1976)....Why did they choose Xirau? Not only because of his talent and training, but because he was an exemplary Rockefeller fellow; because he supervised the cultural area of ​​the Foundation in Mexico (especially Mexico City College and the Mexican Center for Writers, CME, of which Xirau was the "intellectual base"); because he was a friend of the best writers, he did not collaborate with the "communists" and did not support Fidel Castro... While in Oxford, a plot took Xirau out of the CME...a document reports that ...the director, Margaret Shedd - want(ed) to replace him: She wants to replace XIRAU with someone like Juan RULFO. She believes that XIRAU has too many responsibilities and is not giving enough time to ITEM B [the CME]. She believes that RULFO knows a lot about Mexico and it would be an excellent option...Lopez (worked with) other agents - among them Keith Bastear (I believe this is a pseudonym of Keith Botsford, who will do the same with Monegal and Mundo Nuevo later)."

Joel Whitney, Finks (2017)

"Botsford returned (to Buenos Aires) to find (Robert) Lowell even worse...at the Spanish poet Rafael Alberti's party. Lowell had thrown away his pills (for his bipolar condition)...Botsford lured Lowell to a hotel where it took six men to wrestle him into a straitjacket. Lowell was dragged to the Clinica Bethlehem in Buenos Aires, where he was dosed with Thorazine...Botsford was born in Brussels to an aristocratic family, which, after fleeing the Nazis, wound up in Balboa, California...Multilingual, Botsford was raised around classical music, which would prove important to his duties as a CIA culture wrangler...John Hunt was an old Iowa friend of Botsford's, a CIA man and National Book Award-winning novelist who became the CCF boss Josselson's own 'lieutenant'. Like Botsford, Hunt had ample experience in Latin America and one of their most infamous (and dubiously successful) missions was to deny (Pablo) Neruda the Nobel Prize...to damage Neruda's credibility, Hunt and the CCF wrote a white paper linking Neruda to Stalin...the CCF also alleged that Neruda was involved in the 1940 attempt to murder Leon Trotsky in Mexico...in an acrobatic feat...when the CIA and Botsford launched Latin America's Mundo Nuevo, its editor solicited Neruda's poetry from the beginning. The CIA was learning to make its public enemies into private cultural ambassadors to curtail blowback from its policies and, by doing so, to 'leash' or rein them in when necessary."

http://www.letraslibres.com/mexico/historia/la-cia-planea-una-revista-cultural-mexicana

Guillermo Sheridan, 7/7/17, The Mexican Cultural Magazine Commissioned by the CIA: Mr. Edward Tichborn (note: true name Henry Lopez) passed for being a prosperous lawyer, executive of the American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, friend of the culture, investor in the cinema. He had arrived in 1960 and a year later had already infiltrated business environments and, in his spare time, intellectuals and academics, about whose activities he reported. I also had deals with our old friend June Cobb, the "Mysterious Gringa" and obeyed orders from one "Keith Bastear" who asked me if he would not be one of the names of the 86th super agent for cultural affairs in Latin America, Keith Botsford, whom I already referred to before. On page 4 of this document, Tichborn says that, after working on electoral issues in Latin America, he is a CIA full-time agent in Mexico since 1961, where I help Mexico Station by creating and administering the magazine [name testado] addressed to Latin American intellectuals and reporting on activities and attitudes of left-wing intellectuals (...) His file indicates that he tried to make an in-depth study of the PRI, which he abandoned in 1967 for the resistance of their contacts to discuss sensitive issues and to present it with other informants.

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Bill Simpich

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