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Cryptonym: MHVIPER

Definition:
Economic sabotage operation aimed at Cuba.
Status:
Documented
Sources:

104-10301-10001: Excerpts from History: Western Hemisphere Division, 1946-1965

"One of FitzGerald's major successes against Cuba was in the field of economic warfare -- called the MHVIPER program in CIA." After a hurricane, the Cuban government planned to raise the price of sugar. "At a time when fluctuations of one cent a pound meant millions of dollars to the Cuban economy, publication of the essentially correct (US) estimate upset Castro's efforts to manipulate the market."

104-10100-10263: HIGH INTEREST IN DEBRIEFING ON CUBA

10/26/63: Cable DIR 77848 from WH/3/MEXICO to Mexico City, slugline PBRUMBEN MHVIPER: Asked Mexico City station to debrief LITAMIL-13 after return from Mexico City. Had previously left NY 10/9, left for the interior 10/11.

Dick Russell, "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (Carroll & Graf, 1992), p. 246.

An incident on 8/22/62 was probably related to MHVIPER: "...a British freighter under lease to the Soviets crept into a harbor in San Juan, Puerto Rico for repairs. Headed for a Soviet port, and carrying eighty thousand bags of Cuban sugar, the ship had damaged its propeller on a reef...CIA agents surreptitiously entered the customs shed and contaminated the sugar with a purportedly harmless - but unpalatable - substance. When a White House official came upon an intelligence report about the operation, President Kennedy was furious. Such an operation, he raged, had taken place on our territory and could set a horrible precedent for chemical sabotage. To the CIA's chagrin, Kennedy ordered the doctored sugar to not be allowed to leave Puerto Rico." Russell's source was "CIA Operations: A Plot Scuttled", New York Times, 4/28/66, p. 1.

See Also:
Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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