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Cryptonym: UNSIERRA

Definition:
UNSIERRA may have been a joint CIA-French intelligence (possibly SDECE) surveillance operation focused on the Cuban Embassy in Paris. A memo in April of 1977, by Chris Hopkins (LAD/JFK Task Force), referred to UNSIERRA as "defunct" and stated that the files were located in archives in Warrenton.
Status:
Speculative
Discussion:
A CIA cable in December 21, 1963, refers to UNSIERRA being dead, but that the revelation of it would be embarrassing to the CIA's liaison relationship. However, a cable in October 1964 refers to UNSIERRA again, as it states: "Please watch UNSIERRA carefully since Martha Frayde and NIELOPE close friends." Therefore, it is clear that UNSIERRA is not a person/agent/asset, and UNSIERRA was most likely to have been a joint CIA-French intelligence surveillance operation on the Cuban Embassy in Paris.
Sources:

104-10103-10250: CABLE: 18 OCT-18 NOV AMLASH HIGHLIGHTS, PARIS

11/27/63, Cable from Paris to Director: Slugline KAPOK KEYWAY PBRUMEN UNSIERRA: "UNSIERRA highlights period 18 Oct thru 18 Nov 63: 1. 21 Oct. UNSNAFU/16 states Flora Diaz Parrado to be promoted to minister rank and retired at same time. She to receive retirement pay abroad (i.e. in France). UNSNAFU/12 very bitter about this unusual action. 2. 29 Oct targets visited by Jao Santiago. Santiago complains bitterly that Gramatges trying to fire him. States she writing letter to important officials in Cuba exposing situation in embassy. Santiago states embassy received letter from one Mr. Touzet (Comment: of Touzet Laboratories, Paris) who taking court action freeze embassy Hurricane Flora relief bank account. Action based on expropriated Touzet property in Cuba. Santiago states he will withdraw relief fund from bank on 30 Oct. If he can. UNSNAFU-16 mentions embassy may have to move. (Comment: This subject has been mentioned several times UNSIERRA and UNSOX but no definite word as yet. (REDACTION) has been queried). UNSNAFU/12 states Mario Garcia (Handwritten: Varela, the code clerk??, INT CI DDI Rpt 3 SO/N) was recalled to Cuba and states he drinking heavily. 3. 30 Oct. UNSNAFU/12 complains bitterly about official visitors to Paris and how they denigrate revolution. States she wishes she had concealed tape recorder to record these conversations. She includes Papipo Serguera (as transcriber) and Rolando Cubelas in this group. 4. 7 Nov. Wilfredo Lam visits. Telephone call from Edith Sorel in which Sorel states 'Franqui is leaving on the 12th.' Lam confirms this, stating Franqui wrote Lam saying he coming PARI, LOND, then Prague and HAVA. Mention of Tete Casuso and fear Casuso will try talk with Lam and UNSNAFU/12 (Comment: Via UNRUMBLE/2, PARI having Casuso attempt talk with both Lam and UNSNAFU/12). Lam discussed possible trip to Spain but states he would only go with diplomatic passport for fear of arrest. (CONTINUED BELOW)

104-10103-10250: 18 OCT-18 NOV AMLASH HIGHLIGHTS, PARIS

11/27/63, Cable from Paris to Director: Slugline KAPOK KEYWAY PBRUMEN UNSIERRA: "5. 9 Nov. UNSNAFU/12 gives HAVA address of Nay Revnelta: Calle 22 No. 3704, 3/37 Y 41, Miramar tele 25936. UNSNAFU/16 states 'any day now we will be given 30 days to move out of the embassy.' 6. 12 Nov. UNSNAFU/12 reacts to Juan Marinello appointment with anger, frustration, and tears. (Comment: Apparently feels betrayed but no firm indication what course of action she will take). 7. 13 Nov. More talk about Marinello. UNSNAFU/12 states she feels desperate and will attend to her private affairs. UNSNAFU/16 states she may bring evidence of embassy chaos and corruption home for safekeeping and UNSNAFU/12 encourages her to do so. Andres Moreno, who visiting, states Corona may have trouble being accepted by French in view his Communist agitator past. States Corona has seen French Ambassador (Unintelligible) several times (unintelligible) support for his nomination. UNSNAFU/12 comments that Fidel Castro making personnel changes now so that when Khrushchev visits Cuba it will imply his tacit acknowledgement of these changes. UNSNAFU/12 mentions that Fidel is afraid of her because of recordings of conversations which took place in 1958 which UNSNAFU/12 has in her possession. (Comment: No further clarification and possibly be typical UNSNAFU/12 boasting). Further comment about Marinello and UNSNAFU/12 states she may have to vacate apartment. States 'we will find something but I don't believe we will be here for many more months.' 3. Comment. Scattered comments through out later transcripts to effect that many personnel changes going on in Cuba and that told 26 July people seem to be gaining strength. UNSNAFU/12 seems feel that Marinello and Corona being sent abroad to get rid of them for a while."

104-10422-10223: CABLE: FOR 24 AND 25 NOV GIVES TARGET REACTION TO KENNEDY ASSASSINATION.

12/10/63, Cable from Paris to Director: Slugline RYBAT GPFLOOR: "1. UNSIERRA for 24 and 25 Nov gives target reaction to Kennedy assassination. UNSNAFU/12 and UNSNAFU/16 appear happy about it, and sorry for Oswald. Comment that Oswald id 'dead duck' since to be judged in Texas. 25 Nov after Oswald shot, UNSNAFU/12 states Oswald poor boy and 'he had nothing to do with Kennedy's murder.' Targets laugh when hearing of Chinese reaction to assassination. 2. No index. C/S Comment: *Requested stations screen all audiotapes since 22 November 1963 for comments on assassination of President Kennedy."

http://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/jfk/NARA-Oct2017/2018/104-10216-10245.pdf

12/21/63, Cable from Paris to Director: Slugline RYBAT KEYWAY UNSNAFU: "1. Re para 4 Ref, have not had time make thorough review file for complete analysis UNSNAFU/5 knowledgeability but following is basic count of cases he knows:...D. UNSIERRA. While UNSIERRA now dead, revelation even post facto would be embarrassing CIA liaison relationship..."

104-10216-10324: CABLE RE: REQUEST CAREFUL WATCH AND PRIORITY REPORTING

10/02/64, Cable from Director to Mexico City: Slugline TYPIC NIFAGOTIN MHAPRON AMLASH AMWORLD: "1. Request careful watch and priority reporting NIELOPE activities and travel or planned travel due his recently reported involvement with AMLASH-1 group and effort this group establish contact with AMWORLD. Please report any travel also on CMDTE. Efigenio Ameijeiras Delgado...3. For PARI: Please watch UNSIERRA carefully since Martha Frayde and NIELOPE close friends..."

104-10102-10043: IDENTIFICATION OF SENSITIVE SOURCE.

04/20/77, Memorandum from Chris Hopkins, LAD/Task Force (JFK): "The sensitive source cited in paragraph 4, page 29, of Book V - Final Report of SSC to Study Governmental Operations (REDACTION) in Paris, France encrypted UNSIERRA. It is defunct and the files are retained in Archives in Warrenton. The French Desk will order for us if needed. A copy of the referenced communication, PARI 1664 (IN 69266) dated 27 November 1963, is attached. It was located in Volume 4 of Rolando Cubela's official file, 201-252234. UNSNAFU-12, cited in paragraph 3 of that cable, is (REDACTION) a Cuban alternate delegate to UNESCO and an unwitting FI source at that time. Please note that a copy of this cable was provided to Mr. Breckinridge to carry to a meeting on 11 June 1976 with Senators Hart and Schweiker."

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Contributors:
Bill Simpich • Gavin McDonald

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