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Cryptonym: AMBANTY-1

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Esteban Marquez Novo. His oft-used pseudonym was Colonel Francisco Abad. By late 1961, he was acting chief of MRR in Cuba. Active until his death in 1964.
The vice-commander of Rescate in Havana was Emilio Moreno - he was captured in March and executed in September 1961: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=105712&relPageId=445&search=%22emilio_moreno%22 Also known as Roberto Perez: https://maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=55651&relPageId=54&search=%22emilio_moreno%22

CIA officer "Charles E. Gneiting" is known as "Lief": https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=38081&relPageId=2 and also known as "Otto": https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=23636#relPageId=2&tab=page

Note this 9/18/61 memo about Orlando Bosch's colleague Evilio Duque (aka Marcelino Garcia) that shows who is surrounding him - at the bottom of the page, "Mr. Otto and Mr. Carl" - a probable reference to Charles Gneiting and Carl Jenkins. https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=37840&relPageId=3&search=otto

Note this June 1961 memo about Duque/Marcelino Garcia refers to "Otto" as REDACTED and "Schmidt" as Walter Koch: 104-10169-10181.

Sean D. Naylor, 1/23/19, "Operation Cobra: The untold story of how a CIA officer trained a network of agents who found the Soviet missiles in Cuba", Yahoo News. https://news.yahoo.com/operation-cobra-untold-story-cia-officer-trained-network-agents-found-soviet-missiles-cuba-100005794.html

1961: Born in Los Palacios, in western Cuba’s Pinar del Río province, to a well-to-do family, Márquez Novo was a former member of the Cuban army under Batista. With Castro’s ascent to power, the fiercely anti-communist Márquez Novo took up arms against the new government with a group of other former Batista soldiers. According to Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party’s Central Committee, Márquez Novo launched his revolt on Feb. 19, 1961, from the Sierra del Rosario mountains in Pinar del Río province. It was a short-lived rebellion. Castro militias soon captured several members of Márquez Novo’s group. In early April, Márquez Novo came down out of the mountains and slipped into Havana, where he sought political asylum at the Argentine Embassy. Argentina granted his request...but his plans changed after a visit to the U.S. Embassy in the Venezuelan capital. The CIA, which had been alerted to Márquez Novo’s departure from Cuba, flew him to the United States. In Miami, Márquez Novo was met by (CIA officer Tom) Hewitt, who took him to a safe house where he was kept isolated for roughly two months while the CIA officer debriefed him and assessed his potential as a CIA agent to be infiltrated back into Cuba. Concluding that even in middle age, Márquez Novo was a suitable agent candidate, Hewitt formally recruited him and began an intensive six months of training in what the CIA officer later referred to as “clandestine operational procedures.” During this period, Hewitt paired Márquez Novo with another Cuban exile called Yeyo Napoleon, likely a pseudonym, who was to be his radio operator...Hewitt — whom his agents knew only as 'Otto' — took a hands-on approach to the training, something he believed was essential in order to evaluate and establish rapport with Márquez Novo, whom he called 'Charlie.'..." Marquez was AMBANTY-1 and Yeye was AMBANTY-2.

Taylor Branch and George Crile, III "The Kennedy Vendetta", Harper's (1975).

Post-4/61: "In Washington, during the investigation into the CIA's handling of the invasion, (Rip) Robertson appeared as a witness and talked at length with Robert Kennedy. He told his Cuban commandos that Kennedy was all right, which they took as a high compliment, since Robertson hated all politicians...Ramon Orozco, one of his commandos, remembers what the paramilitary operations were like: "After the Bay of Pigs...I was on one of his teams, but he controlled many teams and many operations. And everything was good through 1963. Our team made more than seven big war missions. Some of them were huge: the attack on the Texaco refinery, the Russian ships in Oriente province, a big lumber yard, the Patrice Lumumba sulfuric acid plant in Santa Lucia, and the diesel plant in Casilda...at the end of December, 1961, (Orozco and other commandos) sought to escape in a rubber boat where Rip and (Rolando Martinez, one of the Watergate burglars) waited for them...Rip loaded a rubber boat with rockets and recoilless rifles, ordered another commando, Nestor Izquierdo, to get in with him, and then motored up and down the coast looking for signs of his men. He was back on Martinez' ship when Orozco called him from the shore...(Robertson's) superiors became so angry that they resorted to ordering the Cuban boat captains not to allow him to board the intermediary ships that took the teams to the shore...Rip Robertson and his paramilitary cowboys (later) joined in the (Vietnam) effort and helped run the Phoenix program."Also see 10/61 memo: "Some days ago I spoke (seven) with Antonio of the MRP. (marginalia: Arrested 10/10 Reinaldo Gonzalez/AMCALL-1) I also spoke with national coordinators Rescate and 30th of November. We still not have arrived at anything concrete yet however atmosphere at present very favorable for coordinating unity of struggle. I am trying to get MDC and DRE to take part in those conversations. Esteban (marginalia - acting chief, MRR in Cuba)."

Fabian Escalante, The Secret War (Ocean Press, 1995), pp. 114-115

"(By) the final months of 1961...a study of the Cuban scene led (CIA) to the false belief that the most favorable territories for the uprising should meet certain criteria: for example, intricate mountain ranges which could harbor a strong and well-supplied guerrilla nucleus, distant from urban centers, scarce means of communication, and a rural population sufficiently backward culturally and politically to be easily susceptible to indoctrination by agents...one of the CIA's priorities was the reorganization of the internal front. The counterrevolutionary groups and bands were structures that already existed and should be used...William Harvey met with several of these agents during the early days of 1962, to personally instruct them in the tasks they were to carry out. These included Manuel Guillot Castellanos (AMBRONC-5), Julio Hernandez Rojo (AMOT-99), Esteban Marquez Novo (probably AMBANTY-1, head of what was called AMCOBRA in 1962, Felix Rodriguez (present for Che's death), Eugenio Martinez (the Watergate burglar), Clemente Inclan Werner, Luis Hernandez Rocha (AMHINT-53), Miguel and Ramon Orozco, Alberto del Busto, Pedro Cameron and Manuel del Valle...Guillot, Marquez Novo, Fernandez Rocha, Cameron and Del Valle would be infiltrated into Cuba to organize the counterrevolution, while the rest would take charge of marine supply. Of all of them, the greatest hope was placed in Guillot Castellanos."

Pedro Etcheverry Vazquez, 10/8/14, Granma, The Failure of a Cause That Would Never Triumph: http://www.granma.cu/cuba/2014-10-08/el-fracaso-de-una-causa-que-nunca-triunfaria

1961-1962: "(In 1962...(note: error - 1961) CIA agent Ernesto Pérez Morales/Emilio Moreno appointed Esteban Marquez Novo to lead a "Liberation Army"... to attacking civilian targets, to spread panic and to support an invasion. On 2/9/61, Márquez Novo assumed the nickname of "Comandante Valle" and was at the head of a group of Batista exmilitary officers...Shortly afterwards, in that same region, militia units under the command of Captain Manuel Borjas captured four former Batista exiles and ten collaborators, who revealed that they belonged to the "Western Front of the Liberation Army." On March 31, CIA agent Emilio Moreno was detained in the Olan Tower apartment, in front of the United States Embassy...In early April..."Comandante Valle" left his men in the mountains and headed for the capital...on May 24 he left by air to Caracas, Venezuela, where he contacted the American Consul who embarked for Miami. There he was under the control of "Otto," a CIA officer in charge of directing his training in espionage and subversion techniques. In March 1962, after spending a ten-month training in CIA camps in the Everglades, South Florida, Márquez Novo assumed the pseudonym "Valentín" and headed to the south coast of Pinar del Rio infiltrating the San Diego River in Los Palacios, along with the radar Yeyo Napoleón...[4] . He...recruited as his lieutenant Lázaro Anaya Fernández and selected several members of the MRC for his staff. From that moment the FUO had a "Regulation of the Vigilance and Espionage Service" signed with the pseudonym of "Colonel Abad"...and a "Handbook for Guerrillas" delivered by the CIA. During the Missile Crisis, in October 1962, "Valentín" and the radista were located five kilometers from the Entronque de Herradura, in Consolación del Sur, where they observed movement of troops during the withdrawal of the rockets and transmitted the information to the CIA." In 1963, Marquez Novo adopted another alias: "Placido." He was killed May 1964.


October 1962: An identification: "Colonel Abad is AMBANTY-1"

Fabian Escalante, JFK: The Cuba Files (Ocean Press, 2006), p. 220

"April 1963:...Exfiltrated from Cuba to Florida, agent Esteban Marquez Novo, alias Placido, had entered Cuba illegally the year before through Pinar del Rio, Cuba's westernmost province, and built up a subversive organization of more than 1,000 men, with three points of communication with the CIA and hundreds of weapons and other resources. Now, he was directed to speed up the plans for an uprising in conjunction with the United Western Front organization."

104-10073-10101: DEBRIEFING OF AMFAUNA-14

"During her four-day detention period in Oct. 1963, AMFAUNA-14 was handled by the following DSE officers: "Francisco ABAD: AMFAUNA-14 believes that this is his real name...He was born about 1918 and is about 5' 4" inches tall, weighs about 160 pounds, has a fat build, aquiline nose, greenish eyes, dark skin, grey-brown wavy hair, rough laborer's hands, and two teeth missing from the lower jaw...Discussing this man later in the AMCOG household, AMFAUNA-14 was told by Pedro Carrillo (who is a brother of Justo Carrillo) that Pedro knows ABAD. According to Pedro, ABAD is part Jewish and an old Communist who worked in the Havana underground on behalf of Fidel Castro during the Batista period. Pedro CARILLO thinks that ABAD may now have some regrets about the course he has taken."

1993.08.04.17:01:53:840028: DIRECTOR CABLES, DIR 86487 - 87114.

12/4/63 cable DIR 86699 from Director to JMWAVE, slugline RYBAT TYPIC YOBITE AMBANTY: "In view of...recent reports such as...'Insurgency and Civil Unrest'...HQ concerned possibility AMBANTY people may be involved. Suggest WAVE instruct AMBANTY again not repeat not become involved any uprising Pinar del Rio, but report any info he have re such uprisings. END OF MESSAGE. SAS comment: Concerns AMBANTY threat to 'go to war' with his people against Castro because of new military draft laws."

1993.08.04.16:35:00:870028: JMWAVE CABLES, WAVE 8500 - 8599.

12/6/63 cable WAVE 8598 from JMWAVE to Director, slugline RYBAT TYPIC AMBANTY FEDGUR COMMO: "Following sent - Placido, thank you for sincere condolences on the death of President Kennedy. We have received several reports of an insurrection to begin around the first part of December in Pinar in the Sierra de Los Organos and possibly Havana province. Believe these uprisings are provocations repeat provocations by the DSE to expose those people who are against the regime. Warn your people not to become involved in or to fall for this trick. Report urgently any repeat any information you receive about impending insurrections repeat insurrections against the regime...Otto."


A memo from Otto on 12/9/63: "El Liberal, El Grande and Chan send felicitations to Don Quijote on his saints day. Otto." WAVE adds a note saying Don Quijote is their "father". http://bayofpigs2506.com/The%20night%20of%20the%20white%20horse.pdf Their names are blacked out in one version, but here they are revealed as AMBANTY-4, 5, and 7. Don Quijote was an alias for Harold Feeney - is it the same Don Quijote here? "El Grande" is identified elsewhere as AMFAUNA-25. (Friend of Ignacio Otero) Carmina is identified elsewhere as AMCUTLER-2. AMCOBRA was later called AMBANTY. AMCOBRA was originally AMBANTY-1 AND 2 infiltrating Cuba in March 62; by Oct 62 it was one of the two teams Harvey got inside before RFK stopped him. Note this 9/18/61 memo about Duque that shows who is surrounding him - at the bottom of the page, "Mr. Otto and Mr. Carl" - a probable reference to Charles Gneiting and Carl Jenkins...see https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html? docId=37840&relPageId=3&search=otto See follow-up post of 12/11/63: 104-10076-10298.


12/13/63 cable WAVE 8980 from JMWAVE to Director, slugline RYBAT TYPIC AMBANTY FEDGUR COMMO: "Following is translation of (WAVE 8874 and WAVE 8875: Friend Otto. I understand that the booklet on vigilance and espionage is propaganda for the Frente Union Occidental (Western Union Front) and you cannot publish it for me...Please let me know if you contacted the husband and daughter of Irene. I am waiting for an answer. War name of Jose Campos is Edison. (also rec'd iden) Please give radio test to all men of Libertad 12. Don Quijote and Patria are well. They send regards to their sons. I am sending metascope (sp?) without flashlight. Marti lost it at sea on last operation...tell us if the cache is possible. Received message 91. Placido."

Myriam Marquez, Miami Herald, December 2008, "In Defiance: Cuba's Women Prisoners": http://elcubanocafe.blogspot.com/2008/12/in-defiance-cubas-women-prisoners.html

May 1964: "...(Aracelis Rodriguez San Roman) came from a big family of 11 siblings, country folks who grew rice, tobacco, malanga and corn in Pinar del Río. With only a sixth-grade education, Rodríguez is scrappy smart. She kept the books for the Frente Union Occidental, the Eastern Union Front (sic: should state "Western Union Front"), an anti-Castro group her uncle ran to disrupt commerce by bombing bridges. That uncle, Esteban Marquez Novo, escaped to the United States, trained with the CIA, and returned to Cuba to run missions and bring out some of his nephews between 1961 and 1964. Two of Rodríguez's brothers also returned on May 13, 1964. Gilberto was killed in combat. ''He had a machine gun, so he killed two or three of them,'' Rodríguez said. Her brother Arsenio escaped but was on the lam for almost a quarter century -- hiding in Cuba until he left on a boat. When news of nephew Gilberto's death reached Marquez Novo, who ran the Frente, he grabbed his pistol and killed himself."

MFF • Bill Simpich

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