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Cryptonym: LITAG-1

Definition:
Jaime Varela Canosa, naval attache at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City until he defected in March 1960.
Status:
Documented
Sources:

104-10414-10124: MEXICO CITY STATION HISTORY

"LITAINT-1 (Cuban air attache) was recruited by Hazlett in August 1959 and cooperated with CIA until April 1960 when he defected to the United States." LITAINT-1 was flown into San Antonio Texas on an airplane arranged by LIENVOY-1. At page 65 of 239, the history states, "On August 1959, two officers of the Cuban Embassy in Mexico (LITAG-1, 201-267743, naval attache, and LITAINT-1, 201-98818, air attache) walked into the US embassy office of the naval attache and expressed their dissatisfaction with the Communist influence over the Castro government. Hazlett talked with them and they agreed to remain in their positions and cooperate with CIA." LITAG-1 defected on March 30, 1960, driving into Laredo, Texas. LITAINT-1 was flown to San Antonio, Texas, in a private plane of LIENVOY-1 on April 12, 1960 through arrangements made by the station in Mexico...Both officers were subsequently handled by the Miami station."

104-10220-10000: CABLE RE: AFTERNOON 9 SEPT CMDR JAIME VARELA CANOSA CUBAN NAVATT CALLED U.S. NAVATT

9/11/59 cable from Mexico City to Director: "Afternoon 9 Sept Cmdr. Jaime Varela Canosa Cuban (naval attache) called US (naval attache) Mexi and set meeting...Shryock (Tom Hazlett) present with same REDACTED Villafana (note: LITAINT-1) meeting references...Varela plans (to go to) Havana 11 Sept after getting more details from Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo by phone. Varela suspects Manuel Villafana, military attache, had (handed in) his denunciation during latter's trip (to Havana)...(Varela) did say if forced to resign (he) will request residence visa (to) US...(A) few months ago Varela made cladestine contact (in the) outskirts (of) Mexico City with Santiago Alvarez, leader (of the) anti-Castro faction (in Mexico)..."

1993.07.14.15:07:44:590280: INTERVIEW WITH POW (FORMER BAY OF PIGS PRISONER)

Interview with former BoP prisoner Edgardo Antonio Buttari Puig, Jr., son of the mayor of Havana: "Colonel (FNU) Vallejo, an American officer of Philippine extraction, was the head of the American personnel assigned to (JMTRAX, the Trax base in Guatelmala)...Late in November, 1960, Col. Vallejo left and was replaced by an American known to me as "Frank"...Frank arrived with a group of others among whom I recall "Burnie", "Gordon", Pat, and one known as "C. B."..."Frank" reorganized the whole setup. He dissolved the teams and organized the Brigade 2506. On 30 January 1961, Manuel Villafana, head of the Cuban Air Force in exile attached to the Brigade 2506, visited Trax Base. Villafana (circulated a letter to the FRD) demanding, in the name of the members of Brigade 2506, to remove the general staff of the Directorate, FRD, and reinstate Jaime Vanosa Carela (LITAG-1) as Navy chief...Villafana had the approval of the Brigade headquarters, but the opposition of the majority of the Brigade members. We considered this an act of insubordination to the Chief of the Joint Staff and to the civil authorities of the FRD. This incident caused a mass disturbance within Trax Base...the 2nd and 3rd infantry battalions refused to continue training until FRD representatives arrived at Trax Base...the principal American instruction, "Burnie"...on 31 January 1961...told us that Jose Perez San Roman was to be reinstated as supreme head of the Brigade...all Brigade members left the platform area and returned to their barracks. Villafana and San Roman remained alone...Some men refused to continue training until an acceptable solution was reached. About 14 of these men were sent under arrest to Peten plains where they were fed by airdrops...the 2nd and 3rd infantry battalions were combined and reorganized..." (Interview conducted 12/23/62)

104-10102-10223 PROGRESS REPORT ON DEFECTION AND RECRUITMENT ACTIVITY IN LATIN AMERICA

Written by "Station Mexico", apparently in 1962: "Since around January 1960, Station Mexico has been involved in 11 defections and 'recruitments' of Cuban officials, mostly from the Cuban embassy in Mexico City. The most important of these was by Jose Pardo Llada, who was not an official and not from the Embassy, but was next to Castro himself, the most popular voice among the Cuban masses...besides Jose Pardo Llada, the above-mentioned defections - all successful KUWOLF actions - included: A. Manuel Villafana Martinez - Cuban air attache; B. Jaime Varela Canosa - Cuban naval attache..."

1993.08.05.10:41:34:710005: HSCA MATERIAL REVIEWED AT HEADQUARTERS -- CUBAN COUNTERREVOLUTIONARY H

Probably the largest organization of veterans of Brigade 2506 was founded principally by Jaime Varela Canosa in March 1963, the Asociacion de Veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos - AVBC. "(Varela) was a graduate of Mariel Naval Academy in Cuba, and of the US Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California. He served as Cuban Naval Attache in Mexico from February 1959 to March 1960, when he defected to the US. He participated in the Bay of Pigs invasion as the Naval and Air Liaison Officer of Brigade Headquarters, was imprisoned in Cuba and returned to the US as one of the ransomed prisoners in December 1962." Besides Varela, its officers in 1963 included Juan J. Peruyero Rodriguez and Bernardo G. de Torres.

Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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