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Pseudonym: Diego, Commandante

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Victor Paneque


10/19/60 dispatch from Lowell Lunger, JMASH Base to Chief, Havana Base: "According to AMPANIC-1, (AMRUG-5/Victor Paneque, aka Commandante Diego) had been in contact with the anti-Castro forces in the Escambray area. (Paneque) stated that these guerrilla forces were broken down as follows: Frente Camilio Cienfuegos, whose chief was the late Captain Sinecio Watts...Second Front of the Escambray, led by Alfredo Pena and Commander fnu Antola. Another group, known as the Escambray Libre (EL), was preparing to go to the hills to join the Second Front. (Paneque) stated that Plinio Prieto was with the Second Front..." AMPANIC-1/Jorge Eduardo Mallo Cardisi was trying to determine which side Victor Paneque was on.


01/22/64: Airtel from SAC, New York to Director: ..."NY T-1 (REDACTION)." Page 4: "Detective Henry Suarez of the Bureau of Special Services of the New York City Police Department, on January 13, 1964, advised that he interviewed Gaspar Vilato, Jr., on January 9, 1964, at the Hotel Bradford and he obtained the following information:...Vilato, Jr. is a member of the Christian Democratic Movement (MDC), an anti-Castro organization, and he had been trained in Guatemala for the ill-fated invasion of Cuba which took place in April, 1961. Vilato, Jr. did not participate in this invasion. Vilato previously had a Miami address of 1817 Southwest 17th Street, Miami, Florida, and currently he resides with his parents at the Hotel Bradford, Suite 408, 210 West 70th Street, New York City. Vilato currently is employed with the Grolier Corporation, 24 West 45th Street, New York City. Vilato advised that Victor Paneque, who is commonly known as Commandante Diego, is connected with the MDC and frequently travels to New York in order to pick up money, supplies, and explosives for the anti-Castro activities of the MDC. Vilato stated that Paneque was in New York recently and departed several days ago and was driving a green Volkswagen in which he was carrying 'something.' Vilato declined to identify the material which Paneque took back with him to the Miami area. Vilato stated that the green Volkswagen is the property of Laureano Batista Falla who is in charge of the action group of the MDC in the Miami area...Detective Henry Suarez advised that Gaspar Vilato, Jr. appeared cooperative during his interview, but he apparently had a story already prepared for the police in the event he was questioned about the activities of Victor Paneque. Detective Suarez advised that Vilato, Jr. said that he did not know the destination of the material which was being taken by Paneque to Miami, but presumed that it was being delivered to Laureano Batista."


03/27/64: Memorandum for the record from Stanley M. Figolak: "1. A-1 called Figolak to say that he was having dinner with Oscar (Unintelligible) that evening. Figolak told A-1 to gain as much information as he could, without raising (Unintelligible)'s suspicions, about (Unintelligible)'s thoughts on his source at the Christian Democratic School in Caracas. A-1 said he would learn all he could and send Figolak the details. He said that (Unintelligible) had been offered a year's scholarship in West Germany, but was still undecided as to what he would do. 2. A-1 also reported that the planned attempt of the MDC (Movimiento Democratico Cristiano) group headed by Laureano Batista Falla against a Russian or other foreign freighter delivering goods to Cuba had been postponed. The MDC has committed itself to another resupply mission and will have to delay the freighter attack. A further phone call from A-1 on 21 March indicated that the resupply mission was imminent. A-1 said that Gaspar Villato had casually said he would be in Cuba by Sunday, March 22. Furthermore, Victor Paneque, aka 'Commandante Diego,' had left New York for Miami carrying a handbag with 25 grenades. The Miami branch of the MDC requested that the New York branch supply 10 M-1 carbines and assorted other goods. This request has thrown Gaspar Villato (201-291742) into a blue funk since M-1 carbines cost approximately $60 each. A-1 further reported that the Swedish grenades had been shipped to Miami, leaving New York during the week of March 10-14. The driver for the shipment was Eduardo Nodarse, who also carried some Spanish 9 mm pistols and explosive cord. He had unfortunately left the primers in his apartment in New York. A-1 lastly reported that the MDC had acquired a 400 h.p. Volvo engine for the 33' cruiser, at the cost of $2500. Figolak commented that the MDC finances seemed to be improving. A-1 said they had received $3,000 from the MDC in Venezuela."

Bill Simpich

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