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Cryptonym: OPERATION40

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Counter-intelligence team which was to be integrated into the brigade and charged with the occupation and temporary administration of liberated territories. Comprised of AMFASTs and AMOTs. Military leader was Vicente Leon Leon who died at Bay of Pigs; overall leader was Joaquin Sangenes.
Book 1 of Presidential Campaign Activities of 1972, Watergate and Related Activities, Phase I: Watergate Investigation Current Section: Barker, Bernard L., member of Watergate to break-in group of June 17, 1972: "Mr. (Felipe) DeDiego had been a member of Operation 40, which had been specially trained to capture documents of the Castro government, and the operation (to break into the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, the LBJ Administration officer that leaked the Pentagon Papers) was successful. (DeDiego) had received further training as an intelligence officer from the Army of the United States." (At MFF reference 145050-381

Also see 180-10073-10072: Bill Turner said that Operation 40 "brought along assassins since it was believed that some of the Cuban leaders would have to be removed permanently. Members of this group included Colonel Piedra, who was also said to be in contact with Carlos Bringuier, and Joaquin Sanjenis...Sturgis' case officer. Howard Hunt was also said to be part of this group.

Also see 104-10231-10008 p. 29 - references to Operation 40 personnel. Also see 157-10005-10125, p. 113 of 154, Frank Sturgis states at deposition that the CIA had three Cuban groups, the Revolutionary Council led by Howard Hunt, the 2506 Brigade led by Col. Erneido Oliva, and Operation 40 led by Jose Joaquin Sangenes. Proper spelling of his last name affirmed at p. 102 and also at 180-10108-10086, p. 17 of 21. Page 115: Funded by CIA, trained by CIA and US Army. Frank Bender aka Drecher is the "top CIA official who was in charge of the CIA operation in South Florida for this mess."

Nestor Carbonell, And The Russians Stayed (William Morrow and Company, New York, 1989), pp. 141-142.

Nestor T. Carbonell was to become an aide to Tony Varona and the CRC's ambassador to the OAS. "Just before I left for Guatemala (in March 1961), some of my colleagues persuaded me to join a newly formed unit - "Operation Forty" - which was to be integrated into the brigade and charged with the occupation and temporary administration of liberated territories. (I later heard bizarre stories, echoed by noted reporters and historians, about the purported sinister task of this unit: that of eliminating 'leftist' leaders, including Miro, who might stand in the way of 'reactionary' plans!) The unit was composed of about eighty men, most of them young professionals known to me, and were headed by an amiable former colonel of the Cuban army, Vicente Leon, who had honored his uniform throughout his career. Phase one of our brief training was conducted in Miami, where we were subjected to polygraphic tests and apprised of our mission as guardians of public order and custodians of human rights."

Fidel Castro and Jose Ramon Fernandez, "Playa Giron/Bay of Pigs: Washington's First Military Defeat in the Americas", p. 110. https://www.amazon.com/dp/087348925X/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

"Operation 40...had the 'honorable mission' of 'eliminating all party and government officials who might be dangerous'...(Vicente Leon Leon) was caught by surprise together with the four or five accompanying him. He did not surrender and put up resistance. He was killed in the exchange of fire." See 124-90083-10077, page 6 of 12 - As of August 1960, Vicente Leon was manager of the Bagasse Company's Cuban factory until it was expropriated. He was also the building manager at the Focsa building in Havana between 1956-1960: http://havana5060.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_archive.html


"...Operation 40 consisted of the recruitment by JMWAVE Station of a group of Cuban emigrees, trained and specialized in intelligence, who were to serve as a support group in future intelligence operations after Castro was ousted. After receiving training in Miami, the group, headed by Colonel Vicente LEON Leon, left for the FRD training camps. Colonel LEON died in the Bay of Pigs invasion." Similar accounts are provided in the Discussion, above. See 9/20/77, memo by Chris Hopkins of the Latin American Division. Also see Chronology of Military Operations for the BOP's Operation, May 1961: http://cuban-exile.com/doc_026-050/doc0042.html - 5/10/61, (CI 153-D), Al Tarabochia of the Dade County intelligence unit wrote: ""Operation 40" had been prepared to cope with the internal uprising that was to follow the invasion. These were the men trained in the South Dade (County) residence reported by the writer in a report dated February 28, 1961 under this same case number. The officer in charge of the group, Col. LEON, is reported to have died by his own hand when the situation became unbearable on the beaches."


From Turner's Cuba manuscript, provided to the HSCA: "Through Felipe de Diego, Turner was able to get some information on Operation 40. De Diego had gone to intelligence school at Fort Benning prior to the Bay of Pigs. He had gained more recent notoriety following his indictment in connection with the Ellsberg break-in. He told Turner about Operation 40, a spin-off group of the 2506 Brigade which was to coordinate the political transition after the removal of Castro in the invasion. Turner stated that Operation 40 was the intelligence branch of the 2506 Brigade and brought along assassins because it was believed that some of the Cuban leaders would to be eliminated permanently. Members of this group included Colonel Piedra, who was also said to be in contact with Carlos Bringuier, and Joaquin Sanjenis...who was alleged by Frank Sturgis to be his CIA 'contact officer'. E. Howard Hunt is also supposed to have been in charge of this group.


5/19/61 memo by R.W. Herbert for Chief, WH J. C. King to Director, Central Intelligence: "(Manuel Ray said) that his own people, the MRP, were afraid that if the invasion was successful, they, too, would be executed by the invading forces or the succeeding government...he and his people had learned about 'Operation Forty' as a 'mopping-up' operation, which was to have eliminated his followers in Cuba. He said that 'Operation Forty' was composed of followers of former President Fulgencio Batista who were to follow behind the invading troops and 'purge' the captured cities and towns. He said that the operation was planned by SANJENIS and GUTIERREZ, and that one of the members was CALVINOS (fnu), a 'war criminal' who was captured in the invasion (Note: This is a reference to Ramon Calvino Insua, who was executed with several others for alleged Batista-era crimes 9/8/61) ...the subject said that it was his representatives, members of the MRP, who were responsible for successful sabotage in Cuba, and said that they destroyed El Encanto, the Habana department store, and the Habana aqueduct."


5/24/61: Memorandum to the Director from Stanley Grogan, Assistant to the Director: "Sam Halper (of Time magazine) alleged that Captain Luis Sanjenis was fired from his job as director of intelligence for the Revolutionary Council by Tony Varona and replaced by Capt. Luis Despaigne in March of this year. After this, thugs of Sanjenis raided the office, extracted the files and stole a considerable amount of money (several hundred dollars) that had been designated for deposit for utility companies supplying the Council's electricity, telephone, etc. Then Despaigne went to 'Jimmy', a CIA agent who had been supplying aid to the Council...Operation 40 was, according to Mr. Halper, an organization being trained by CIA to perform police functions in Cuba after Castro's fall...In main the individuals in Operation 40 were being trained in how to extract information from people. He said patriotic Cuban exiles were alarmed and worried about it since it implied a CIA intention to exert considerable control over the Cuban government that was to succeed Castro's."


5/24/61, Dispatch from Chief of Base JMWAVE to Chief, WHD, subject Crisis within the Christian Democrats Movement...MDC: "a faction...requested Dr. Rasco's resignation from the presidency of the organization because he was not acceptable in Cuba...the anti-RASCO group had appointed AMFAST-71, of Operation 40, as the vice president of their Intelligence Commission. AMFAST-71 is no longer a member of AMFAST or consults with AMOT-2."


6/15/61 cable from WAVE to BELL: "WAVE aware AMDIP-1 (Tony Varona) has been planting...stories for some time in an attempt to undermine AMOT-2 (Joaquin Sanjenis)...AMOT-2 is most discreet and WAVE has never received info, except those emanating from AMDIP-1 and AMJAG, that AMOT-2 brags about (CIA) support. WAVE believes this probe on part of AMDIP-1 and AMJAG to ascertain extent of present (CIA) involvement. Re allegation 'Operation Forty' (AMFAST) designed eliminate AMBUD organization this story preposterous."


7/18/61 memo from "D-81" who is AMCHEER-1/Julio Garcia: "The Office of Naval HQs is located at 2058 S. Dixie Highway, Miami...The Chief of the Navy is still RENATO...The Intelligence Dept is located in the house which was previously used for instruction and training of ("Operation 40" - crossed out and replaced with "AMFAST members") of the FRD Intelligence Commission, at 7650-128th Street." Marginalia indicates that the head of the FRD Naval Intelligence is Diego Ruiz. Marginalia indicates that the head of FRD Naval Intelligence is Diego Ruiz. "D-81" is asked to organize a filing system.

1994.06.18.10:34:30:500005 Reel 67, Folder K - AMBUD ((DELETION)) MEMOS.

2/13/62, PASSAVOY Memo No. 206: The house at 7650-128th Street for Operation 40 was rented initially by Jose Ariola Alvarez of the MRR, 306 NE 30th Street, Miami. It was in good condition before it was turned over to the Naval Commission, who did significant damage to the place...The house situated on SW 128th Street was occupied by the personnel of the Navy (Cuban Naval Personnel) for some time, during which 40 people lived there...the steel beds that were in the house were the property of the Command of 'Operation 40' and were sold by the owner of the house."

Website for Members of Brigade 2506: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://bayofpigs2506.com/nueva%2520pagina%2520miembros%2520de%2520la%2520brigada.html&prev=search

Operation 40 members are listed in this publication by the veterans of the Bay of Pigs: 3612 Vicente de Leon Leon, Chief of Operations; 3611 Vicente R. Zorrilla Zorrilla, 2nd in Command; 3613 Felix Pena Rodriguez de la Torre, Unidad Chief; 3843 Dr. Omelio Sosa Cabrera, medicine; 3572 Mario Fuentes Macias, quartermaster; 3586 Manuel A. Alvarez Casado, radio operator; 3587 Wilfredo Agusti Marrero; 3593 Raul F J Costo Garcia; 3583 Arsenio Felipe de Diego Aday; 3577 Raul de la Torre Urrutia; 3582 Jorge L. Fernandez Lopez-Callejas; 3928 Abel de Varona Juarez; 3826 Alberto J. Farinas Alzugaray; 3574 Federico M. Flaquer Ca4ballar; 3594 Federico Garcia Gelli; 3581 Francisco M. Gonzalez Muniz; 3605 Jorge Jones Castro; 3846 Jose A. Llama Munoz; 3842 Mario Lopez Demestre; 3597 Eduardo Martinez Vazquez; 3602 Jose A. Medina Mouriz; 3595 Alberto M. Muinas Bonas; 3825 Juan G. Noriega Pais; 3588 Ruben Dario Otero Rodriguez; 3615 Eduardo Perez Bengochea; 3608 Roman Perez Veitia; 3591 Pedro S. Puig Gomez; 3585 Raul R. E. Rodriguez Portuondo; 3576 Antonio A. Sanchez Grandal; 3598 Jaime Torano Rodriguez; 3609 Reinaldo A. Torrente Espina; 3845 Rogerio Zayas-Bazan Loret de Mola Luis J. de Lamar Maza; 3824 Francisco Alonso Meso; 3575 Jose M. Alvarez Pascual; 3596 Manuel A. Armada Martinez; 3592 Fausto Capote Ferrer; 3831 Nestor Carbonell Cortina; 3601 Enrique J. Casares Blanco; 3584 Miguel Cosio Rosales; 3599 Rafael D. de Arce Godinez; 3573 Carlos A. de Diego Aday; 3606 Hector A. D. de Lamar Maza; 3928 Abel de Varona Juarez; 3570 Gustavo P. Fernandez Vidales; 3841 Javier Fernandez Llanes Rouco; 3491 Inocente R. Garcia Fonseca; 3821 Miguel A. Gonzalez Constantin; 3828 Julian A. Izquierdo Ruiz; 3652 Eugenio O Llano Garcia; 3847 Ramon Llama Munoz; 3571 Luciano Martinez Ortega; 3834 Raul Masvidal Juri; 3610 Fernando J. Milanes Morales; 3833 Tarsicio F. Nieto Planes; 3600 Isidoro Noriega Ruiz; 3614 Ramon E. Pages Morales; 3580 Alfredo M. Perez Martin; 3844 Ramon Pia Perez; (continued below)

Website for Members of Brigade 2506: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://bayofpigs2506.com/nueva%2520pagina%2520miembros%2520de%2520la%2520brigada.html&prev=search

Operation 40 Members, continued: 3604 Jose Manuel Reboso Bello; 3578 Manuel de J. Rodriguez Fleitas; 3589 Rene Silva Soublette; 3603 Raul Torano Rodriguez; 3590 Julian V. Vazquez Dominguez; 3579 Enrique Zayas-Bayan Maso.

See Also:
Bill Simpich

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