Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Cryptonyms / cryptonym: OPERATION_RAPHAEL

Cryptonym: OPERATION_RAPHAEL

Definition:
A plan to kill Fidel Castro and maybe others during December 1963. Not to be confused with the attempt to kill education minister Carlos Rafael Rodriguez on 9/13/61, or at other times.
Status:
Probable
Sources:

180-10090-10232: No Title

Re 9/13/61: "Among (the plans of MRP, FRD and the Nov 30 organization) was also the failed plot against Dr. Carlos Rafael Rodriguez, which was attempted on September 13, 1961, when he was coming back from Matanzas to Havana. With that purpose, a group of counterrevolutionary individuals, belonging to the organizations mentioned above, contacted representatives of the (MRR). The group's leader was Juan Jose Martore Silva." Castro's report provided to Sen. George McGovern, 1975.

1993.08.11.10:16:34:650060: DOCUMENTATION OF CASTRO ASSASSINATION PLOTS

"13 September 1961: There is nothing in the files reviewed to link CIA with this incident. One of those mentioned in the report was once considered for use in paramilitary operations but was not actually used in any operation." (1975 memo by AC/Latin American Division Raymond Warren)

104-10267-10100: DRAFT MEMORANDA (4): JORGE NOBREGAS - TRYING TO SELL A BOAT, GRENADES, LIGHT WEAPONS, AND RADIO EQUIPMENT

Re 1961-1962: "Subject: Antonio Bustillo Perez, ex Revolutionary Police Lieutenant, who knows Cesar Cuenca, Chief of the G-2 in Mexico: Antonio Bustillo Perez arrived at Miami from Rio de Janeiro on 3 March 1962. He left Havana on 5 January 1962 through the Brazilian Embassy. He was in exile in Miami in 1957 and after the fall of the Batista regime he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary Police because he was a personal friend of Efiginio Ameijeras. In 1960 he was removed from his position because he was an anti-communist known to the old guard Communists because since he was very young he had been involved in student fights against the Communists in the Vedado Institute of Secondary Education and in the University of Havana. On some occasions his group and the Communists had bloody fights. Bustillo was conspiring against the Castro regime. The regime discovered a plan which he was organizing to assassinate the Communist labor leader Lazaro Pena and Carlos Rafael Rodriguez. As result of this he was persecuted and he sought asylum in the Brazilian Embassy in Havana." Also see 104-10177-10217, p. 45: "Antonio Bustillo Perez, 201-756656, a member of the WKTANGO-1 group." (WKTANGO-1 was Orlando Garcia Vasquez, head of DISIP intelligence service in Venezuela.)

104-10506-10024: JUAN FALCON TAMAR

LAD JFK Task Force: "On 17 July 1962 Cuban station 'Radio Rebelde' interviewed Juan Falcon Tamar (note: AMFOX-1) alleged national coordinator of the MRR - Revolutionary Recovery Movement - under arrest in Cuba. Falcon stated that they engaged in a series of sabotages, such as burning the 'Petroquimica' of Cotorro; a plan to destroy national transport in general; destruction of 3 buses of Route #33; a plan for systematic destruction of the economy which included, among other things, the poisoning of cattle. Falcon admitted planning the assassination of Carlos Rafael Rodriguez; which he attributed to CIA; and also mentioned assassination of Fidel Castro. Falcon said that the assassinations were being planned when he was arrested. Falcon claimed to have the support of the CIA. For document, see MRR Section of Task Force material."

Fabian Escalante, The Cuban Files, p. 231

"Operation Rafael, a CIA-sponsored project to assassinate Fidel Castro during the July 26 Moncada commemoration in Revolution Plaza was set in motion. The CIA sent the conspirators a gun with a telescopic sight and a silencer. Mario Salabarria and US intelligence agents Alberto Cruz Caso and Arturo Varona took part. The plan was frustrated by security."

104-10113-10082: MEMO:FIELD OFFICE MEMO OF 11 JUNE 1969 . CHARLES GOVEA AND FRANCISCO WILFREDO "PANCHO" VARONA (ALONSO)

"...Re the information that 'Frank'/Tony Sforza was in possession of information which could have resulted in the assassination of Fidel Castro, the following comment must be made: That refers to the Plan Raphael which involved Mr. Varona's brother. The Case Officer for the RAPHAEL operation, if one considers that there was a case officer, would have been Stephen P. Mangello...No member of Varona's family was molested by Castro until the exfiltration of Varona's brother in 1964...Varona's brother and probably his wife, and possibly other members of the family knew of Plan RAPHAEL. (1969 memo)

104-10506-10030: ` JULIO SALABARRIA AQUIAR (AMTURVY-4) 201-89013

Summer 1963: "At his first meeting with AMTURVY-1 (Arturo Varona), in the summer of 1963, Salabarria said he was a member of a group plotting Castro's death, and needed money and weapons in order to carry out the plan (AMCROAK-1 was also a member of this group). In return for this assistance, Salabarria offered to carry out minor sabotage operations for AMTURVY-1's 'American contacts' (how he knew of these contacts is unknown, unless AMTURVY-1 told him)." On page 4, after seven numbered paragraphs, #8 is teed up - in handwriting, the question is asked: "What was Operation Rafael?" The question is signed by "Belcher".

Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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