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Cryptonym: ZRSIGN

Definition:
A program using American labor organizer and CIA agent Serafino Romualdi.
Status:
Probable
Discussion:
The pseudonym for Serafino Romualdi was "Charles Guymers". In his 1975 book "CIA Diary", Philip Agee described him as "the principal CIA agent for labor operations in Latin America".
Sources:

104-10100-10229: TDY TRAVEL TO MEXICO CITY

10/17/63 cable DIR 76398 from CA/4 to Mexico City and Panama City, slugline DTDORIC ZRSIGN: "GUYMERS ETA Mexico City 17 Oct...with QRSAFE. GUYMERS staying Continental Hilton will return HQS 20 Oct. Suggest station contact as "friend of BOBBY" to monitor and debrief GUYMERS of ZRSIGN activities."

104-10093-10082: CABLE: STATION UNABLE TO MAKE CONTACT WITH GUYMERS

10/22/63 cable MEXI 6599 from Mexico City to CA/O 4 at HQS, slugline DTDORIC ZRSIGN: "Regret despite repeated efforts 18 and 19 Oct station unable contact GUYMERS."

104-10100-10270: UNSUCCESSFUL EFFORTS TO MAKE CONTACT

10/24/63 cable DIR 78000 from CA/4 to Mexico City, slugline DTDORIC ZRSIGN: "HQS appreciates station efforts. Subject sick returned early."

104-10076-10007: JMWAVE CABLE RE ANTI CUBAN OPERATIONS

12/3/63: cable WAVE 8469 from JMWAVE to CA/0 4, slugline DTDORIC ZRFANON PBRUMEN: "...prefer arrange train potential labor leaders among Cuban exiles among auspices (of) FORDC as discussed with IDEN on recent TDY WAVE. Henry P. REBHOLTZ will outline proposal at HQS 4-6 Dec."

104-10077-10445: DIRECTOR CABLE RE FILLED COURSE

12/13/63 cable DIR 89054 from CA/4 to Panama City, info WAVE, slugline DTDORIC/ZRFANON/ZRSIGN/PBRUMEN: "GUYMERS January course already filled including five ORIT Mexi but no Cubans. He suggested possibility for April course. Will advise."

1993.07.12.16:30:46:250340: SCHEERCASE - RE SIDNEY LENS (TRUE NAME: SIDNEY OKUN)

In 1965, while reporting for Nation magazine, Sidney Lens tried to interview Jay Lovestone Director of the AFL-CIO International Department about its role in labor affairs in British Guiana. (Note: Lovestone was a witting source for CI chief James Angleton)...Others interviewed included Serafino ROMUALDI of the AIFLD (American Institute for Free Labor Development). "Lens accused Romualdi of being a CIA agent, and he characterized both the AFL-CIO International Department and the AIFLD of being "fronts for CIA". At page 3 of 12, CI director James Angleton indicates his concern that Lens may be working with the Communists, and asks the FBI to keep him apprised of Lens' movements.

Philip Agee, Inside the Company

Speaking of the AIFLD's creation in 1962, he states that AIFLD is "Washington's answer to the limitations of current labor programs undertaken through AID as well as through ORIT and CIA stations." The problem, says Agee, was "how to accelerate expansion of labor organizing activities in Latin America in order to deny workers to labor unions dominated by the extreme left and to reverse communist and Castroite penetration." "AID programs," says Agee, "are limited because of their direct dependence on the U.S. government.... ORIT (note: Inter-American Regional Labor Organization - Romualdi was its director in the 1950s) programs are limited because its affiliates are weak or non-existent in some countries....The CIA station programs are limited by personnel problems, but more so by the limits on the amount of money that can be channeled covertly through the stations and through international organizations like ORIT and ICFTU. Under the official cover of "adult education," AIFLD sets up social projects such as workers' housing, credit unions and cooperatives. AIFLD's major task, however, is similar to ORIT's in that it seeks to organize anti-communist labor unions in Latin America. To this end, AIFLD set up training institutes which would carry on the teaching of courses presently being given by AIFLD members. And although administrate control of the training institutes in Washington would be by AIFLD, it was hoped that the institutes themselves would be headed by salaried CIA agents under operational control of the local CIA station...In 1956, Romualdi, along with labor attaché Irving Salert and U.S. ambassador James C. Dunn, arranged to have Brazilian labor leaders visit the U.S. AIFLD's goal was the "development of a core of labor leaders who, by commanding the enthusiastic support of the rank and file, could turn back Communist attempts to capture the Brazilian labor movement."

104-10261-10051: MEMORANDUM: MEETING BETWEEN GUYMERS

6/26/60, Memorandum for the Record: Guymers said to Eusebio Mujal it must be done thru the FRD, and with Cuban workers themselves deciding the labor group to work with the FRD. Mujal told Guymers the FBI told him to tell his supporters not to try to assassinate the Castros, Che Guevara, etc. Guymers told Mujal the FBI cannot deport anyone without a court hearing and "tell the FBI to mind its own business".

104-10061-10115: LIST OF NAMES RE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION INVESTIGATION

This list of pseudonyms provided to the HSCA by the CIA identifies "CHARLES GUYMERS" as a pseudonym for #65. Another document provided by the CIA to HSCA identifies #65 as "SERAFINO ROMUADLI". See 104-10079-10014, page 12 of 16.

Harry Kelber, The AFL-CIO's Dark Past (2004): http://www.laboreducator.org/darkpast4.htm

Romualdi, it turned out, was “the principal CIA agent for labor operations in Latin America,” says Philip Agee in his book, “CIA Diary.” Agee worked for the Central Intelligence Agency as a field officer in Latin America for most of a dozen years. Romualdi had ties with the CIA even before he became the ORIT director and continued to serve the spy agency into the early 1960’s...AFL-CIO President George Meany became unhappy with ORIT; there was too much squabbling among its member countries and not much was being accomplished. After nine years, ORIT ceased to exist, and in 1962 Meany set up a new international labor organization that he could control, the American Institute of Free Labor Development (AIFLD). The new organization invited some of the most powerful American businessmen with heavy investments in Latin America to sit on its board, including representatives of Exxon and Shell oil corporations, IBM, Koppers and Gillette. It even made J. Peter Grace, head of the United Fruit Company, the biggest foreign landowner in Latin America, as its chairman.

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Contributors:
Bill Simpich

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