Home/ Resources / Projects / CIA Pseudonyms / pseudonym: EL_GORDO

Pseudonym: El Gordo

Definition:
Luis Balbuena Calzadilla
Category:
alias
Status:
Documented
Sources:

180-10073-10072: INTERVIEW REPORT WILLIAM TURNER DECEMBER 22-24, 1977

"In connection with our interest about whether ONI would have any significant information pertinent to the investigation, we inquired about Luis Balbuena, a Cuban said to have been an ONI consultant at Guantanamo Base. Turner believes Balbuena sat on the council of anti-Castro Cubans at Guantanamo (along with Alberto 'Eddy' Bayo, among others), and that the naval contingent there must have been somewhat knowledgeable of the CIA activities that were then taking place. He specifically mentioned (Jack Modesett), the coordination officer of ONI at Guantanamo as the person most likely to be helpful. Modesett is now in Texas. Turner said Bernard Fensterwald is the person who connected Modesett with ONI. Turner also believes that ONI is involved or knowledgeable about the CIA training camp at the Old Algiers Ammo Dump near New Orleans...(Note: A Grayston Lynch memo confirmed that the CIA was involved with the ammo camp.) ONI involvement in this camp should be checked out. Bernard Barker would probably also be helpful in checking out ONI involvement, according to Turner." (Dec. 1977 HSCA interview with William Turner)

Warren Hinckle and William Turner, Deadly Secrets, pp. 114-115

"After the American Embassy was closed in January 1961, the sprawling Guantanamo naval base became doubly important as an intelligence post and clandestine staging area. The CIA collaborated closely with its naval hosts, but on this assassination plot ONI appears to have been in the driver's seat. The officer in charge was a Navy lieutenant commander (note: Hal Feeney), and one of the assassins had long been under ONI control. His name was Luis Balbuena, a thick set man called El Gordo ("the Fat One"). Also note that Balbuena was involved in an attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro and had to take sanctuary in Guantanamo when Operation Patty was busted by Cuban intelligence. Balbuena was also with the MRR and closely connected with Nino Diaz. http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=56271&relPageId=26 Also see 180-10073-10072: Turner also said that Balbuena "sat on the council of anti-Castro Cubans at Guantanamo (along with Alberto 'Eddy' Bayo, among others) and that the naval contingent there must have been somewhat knowledgeable of the CIA activities that were then taking place. He specifically mentioned Jack Moddesette (actual spelling is Modesett), the coordination officer of ONI at Guantanamo as the person most likely to be helpful. Moddesette is believed to be still alive in Texas. Turner said Bernard Fensterwald is the person who connected Modesett with ONI. Turner also believes ONI was involved or knowledgeable about the CIA training camp at the Old Algiers ammo dump near New Orleans...(Team 3 members at CIA reviewed documents on this)...Bernard Barker would probably be helpful in substantiating ONI involvement..."

180-10118-10069

Cuesta was active in Comandos L, and these men were as well: Lawrence LaBorde (AMDENIM-4), Luis Balbuena ("El Gordo", long under ONI control), Santiago Alvarez Fernandez (monitored by AMDECK-1), Santiago Alvarez Rodriguez.

https://www.maryferrell.org/php/cryptedit.php?id=AMCRAG-1

Re Summer 1961: Tad Szulc wrote, "I cannot say to what extent (JFK) knew...about a scheme elaborated by Military Intelligence officers soon after the Bay of Pigs...to kill Castro and his brother Raul...using Cuban marksmen who were to be infiltrated into Cuba from (the base at Guantanamo)" The authors write: "...the CIA collaborated closely with its naval hosts, on this assassination plot ONI appears to have been in the driver's seat. The officer in charge was a Navy lieutenant commander, and one of the assassins had long been under ONI control. His name was Luis Balbuena, a thickset man called El Gordo ('the Fat One')...a second marksman was Alonzo Gonzales, about whom little is known other than that he was an Episcopalian priest who had designs on being bishop of Cuba once Castro was deposed...Balbuena aditted to a US Senate investigator that he had worked with Gonzales out of Guantanamo in 1961 and confirmed that the ambitious priest was proficient with firearms...(in Aug 1961, at the hemispheric nations' conference in Uruguay, Che Cuevara) said the plot was for the killing to be followed by a mortar shelling of the base, giving the impression that enraged Cubans were taking revenge for Raul's death at the hands of counterrevolutionaries. The shelling would give the United States a 'clear-cut case' of Cuban aggression and provide a pretext for armed intervention - the old Guantanamo shell game." (This was also known as Operation Patty.)

104-10163-10218: LUIS BALBUENA

Index card states: "Balbuena, Luis; Res: Guantanamo." The report probably came from "201-208451" on 8/2/61. "Contact of AMTORRID-4. No further info." Marginalia then states: "Content: Through Mr. Luis Balbuena, made direct contact through Commander Finney (note: Clear reference to Harold Feeney) and Lt. Murlok, and was a member of Operation BETTY. (NOTE: Almost certainly a reference to Operation PATTY, which was planned to take place on 7/26/61). All records of his activities in Guantanamo Base."

1994.03.08.09:29:40:280007: Reel 2, Folder L - CIA FILES ON LUIS BALBUENA, 1960 - 1961, AS REVIEWED BY PM ORR.

12/15/61, Memorandum from Deputy Director of Plans to Director of Naval Intelligence (Attention: LCDR J. W. Wilson): Subject: Luis Balbuena, Cuban Employee of Guantanamo Naval Base: "1. The following information concerning Luis Balbuena was received by 12/15/61, Memorandum from Deputy Director (Plans) to Director of Naval Intelligence (Attention: LCDR J. W. Wilson): Subject: Luis Balbuena, Cuban Employee of Guantanamo Naval Base: "1. The following information concerning Luis Balbuena was received by another office of this Agency from Adalberto Moreno Martinez, a Cuban national, who is now living at 506 N.W. 23rd Place in Miami, Florida. 2. Source said he spent four months within the United States Naval Base, Guantanamo, Cuba, as a political refugee...Source said he was born on 15 March 1938 in Palma Soriano, Oriente, Cuba; he is a member of the MRR; and entered the Naval Base in Guantanamo to avoid being arrested. 3. According to Source, Subject, who is in charge of screening Cuban refugees at the Base, is an enterprising and unscrupulous person and uses his position to further himself...Source said that on Subject's recommendation, many Cubans who were wanted by the Cuban Government have been expelled and then arrested as soon as they were brought to the Base gate. Source cited Elbo Torres and Manuel Dafena as two such cases...5. The files of this office contain no further information concerning Adalberto Moreno Martinez, Elbo Torres and Manuel Dafena. 6. One Luis Balbuena was reported in July 1961 as being employed at the Guantanamo Naval Base and in contact with the Americans. According to this report, Balbuena at one time was able to enter and leave the Base at will, but is now confined to the Base. He reportedly was the head of the Patriotas de la Libertad which operates clandestinely inside the Base and is a member of the MRR. 7. This Agency would appreciate receipt of any derogatory information which the Department of the Navy may develop concerning Subject."

124-10285-10097

On 3/31/63, Luis Balbuena Calzadilla's home in Miami at 908 SW 5th Avenue was bombed, blew front door off, according to Miami News article. Balbuena blamed "Castro agents". His wife Maria was the chairwoman of the Committee Rescate de Cubanos, designed to get Cubans out of Cuba.

124-10285-10378: No Title

7/1/63 tip from MM T-1 said that Luis Balbuena was working with Dominick Bartone to get $25,000 of arms and equipment from New York to a Caribbean island where Evilio Duque would pick it up. Balbuena said Carlos Prio had Mafia connections and was trying to obtain 45 airplanes. "Bartone allegedly will try to obtain these for him."

124-10285-10183: [No Title]

1965: Maria Moreno Balbuena's husband Luis Balbuena Calzadilla is a former source of the FBI and the subject of Miami file 134-903. (At p. 2): Luis was a long-time employee of the US government at Guantanamo Naval Base - because of his activities, he and his wife had to flee. She was a doctor of pharmacy and ran a drugstore in Guantanamo prior to the time that Fidel Castro took power.

Contributors:
Bill Simpich

Search Pseudonyms

 

Search tips and techniques

© Mary Ferrell Foundation. All Rights Reserved. |Press Room |MFF Policies |Contact Us |Site Map