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Cryptonym: AMBEDEW-1

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Orlando Castro Hidalgo, an officer from the Cuban DGI, who defected to the United States on March 31, 1969.
In a September of 1969, CIA document, Castro mentioned Orlando Prendes Gutierrez (pseudo "Oberto"), Rogelio Rodriguez Lopez, Justo Cesar Gelbert Martinez and "Rolo Martinez." These names appeared in cables where AMBEDEW-1 was mentioned. In particular, in a cable in October of 1971, AMBEDEW-1 mentioned Justo Cesar Gelbert Martinez.

A CIA document in February, 1972, stated that AMBEDEW-1 knew Orlando Prendes Gutierrez as "Oberto", and reported that he was later working in the "illegals" branch of the DGI prior to a reorganization in 1966.

In a cable in April of 1969, AMBEDEW-1 stated that Marta Gonzalez, a Cuban intelligence agent, who came to Miami as an exile in around 1963, was handled by "Rolo" Martinez, a DGI case officer at the United Nations, who met Gonzalez in New York and Miami. Once again, this matches alleged Cuban intelligence figures that Orlando Castro Hidalgo mentioned in the document cited above.

AMBEDEW-1's 201 number was probably 201-815358.

It was likely that AMBEDEW-1 was the author of a number of books. In a September, 1972, cable, AMCHALK-5 (Miguel Angel Diaz Isalgue) stated that he was mentioned in three or four pages of AMBEDEW-1's latest book. Orlando Castro Hidalgo published a book in 1971 called "Spy for Fidel", with text on the front cover that read: "The thrilling, true story of the highest-ranking intelligence officer to defect from Castro's Cuba." https://www.amazon.co.uk/Spy-Fidel-Orlando-Castro-Hidalgo/dp/0912458038/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Orlando+Castro+Hidalgo&qid=1582846726&s=books&sr=1-1

104-10225-10012: CIA FILE ON ( )SHELL-5

Page 48: Biographic Profile AMCHALK-5 aka AMSTALK-1, AMICE-14: "Name: Miguel Angel Diaz Isalque (201-307337)...Operational Experience - 1961-1968: JMWAVE Team Leader and Principal Agent. Subject participated in 15 black infil operations into Cuba during this period. It is clear from AMBEDEW-1 that the DGI had penetrated his team and knew various details of their operations..."

104-10225-10012: CIA FILE ON ( )SHELL-5

04/03/69: Cable from Director to WH/Miami: (Orig: J. Sears, WH/COG/OPS): Slugline RYBAT TYPIC AMROSE AMBEDEW AMCHALK: "1. AMBEDEW-1 debriefed on ref matter 2 April. Said became aware of penetration in AMCHALK-5 group when working in counter revolutionary section. DGI collaborator who acted as principal agent this op was Marta Gonzalez, authoress of 'Bajo Parole.' Gonzalez came U.S. as exile circa 1963 and lived Miami, was handled by 'Rolo' Martinez, DGI case officer in United Nations who met Gonzalez New York and Miami. AMBEDEW-1 said Gonzalez 'bi-sexual.' 2. Gonzalez recruited at least two agents Miami, at least one of which was female. She had 'infinity' of contacts Miami and sent detailed reports to Havana on exile activities. Her mission was to penetrate Alpha 66. 3. AMBEDEW-1 recalls Gonzalez lived in house of woman she recruited. Gonzalez returned Havana sometime 1964-65 via Mexico. 4. AMBEDEW-1 recalls from reports he read: A. Gonzalez knew places where reception team would meet infiltrators of AMCHALK-5 group. B. Gonzalez knew names of fishermen who comprised reception team. C. Gonzalez knew that house of AMCHALK-5 mother was used as 'Casa de contacto' and that IDEN A was recruited there. 5. AMBEDEW-1 further stated that AMCHALK-5 has sister in Havana named IDEN B. DGI suspects IDEN B recruited by AMCHALK-5, but AMBEDEW-1 could not substantiate this other than by saying IDEN B only AMCHALK-5 brother or sister left in Cuba. IDEN B very close to AMTHUG-1 and DGI does not dare approach AMTHUG-1 on matter without proof...8. Request WH/Miami provide list of people close to AMSTALK-5 on chance AMBEDEW-1 can recall names of either of agents mentioned para 2 above. 9. Foregoing is full extent of AMBEDEW-1 knowledge of Cuban ops in Miami area. Gave no indication knowing anything about AMSTALK-AMGHOST op. 10. File 201-307337, 201-815358."


Undated HSCA document from CIA: Subject: Orestes Guillermo Ruiz Perez: Page 2: ..."Msg 4/30/69 IN 48023: Re: Recall of AMAGONIZE-1 (Vera Borodowksy Jackiewich), who is very bitter about Cuban recall. Expressed these feelings to AMAUTO-1's (Orestes Guillermo Ruiz-Perez) wife. Concern re: another defection like AMBEDEW-1. Considering approach for 'pitch' to AMAGONIZE-1..."


07/10/69: Cable from Director to Madrid (Info: WH/Miami): Slugline RYBAT TYPIC AMROSE AMBEDEW (Orig: Emmy Pryor, Unit: WH/COG/OPS): "1. Photos forwarded with Ref A shown to AMBEDEW-1 who identifies following, numbered per ref (REDACTION) former (REDACTION) No. 4. identified as (REDACTION Guillermo (Ruiz). A-1 added that Ruiz was very 'dictatorial' in his dealings with (REDACTION) officers, and that he had serious personality conflict with (REDACTION) No. 6. recognized as the man A-1 thinks replaced (REDACTION) whose pseudo is (REDACTION). 2. Although A-1 thought photo no. 2 looked very familiar, he unable identify. Did not recognize any of remainder photos. 3. Based on fact photos submitted with Ref A represent small percentage number (REDACTION) to utilize commercial office personnel, believe it worthwhile request from liaison photos of all (REDACTION) assigned (REDACTION) for possible additional identifications by A-1, as requested Ref B..."


09/02/69: Intelligence Information Report: Subject: The Organization of the Cuban General Directorate of Intelligence. Country: Cuba. DOI: 1965-March 1969. ACQ: 31 March-15 July 1969. "Source: Orlando Castro Hidalgo, a Cuban intelligence official familiar with the activities of the General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) in Havana and abroad. He recently defected with DGI documents which are considered authentic. His reporting is believed to be reliable...(Headquarters Comment: On 31 March 1969, Orlando Castro Hidalgo, an officer of the Cuban General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) assigned to the DGI Center in France, defected to the United States bringing with him approximately 20 pounds of secret DGI documents. The defector had been employed in the DGI since 1965...United Nations...21. The COC at the CMUN/NY is either Jose Raul Viera Linares or Orlando Prendes Gutierrez. Both were assigned to the UN desk under Section III (Illegals) at DGI headquarters in 1966. 22. The following are the DGI officers now at the CMUN/NY: ...DGI Position: Possible COC. Pseudonym: 'Oberto'. True Name: Orlando Prendez Gutierrez. Official Cover: First Secretary. DGI Position: Officer. True Name: Rogelio Rodriguez Lopez. Official Cover: First Secretary...23...Gelbert (Justo Cesar Gelbert Martinez), who received training in the USSR, and Pinero both were members of the CIA and Counter-Revolution office in 1966...24. DGI officers formerly stationed at the CMUN/NY are: 'Rolo Martinez' (Chafik Homero Saker Zenni), who was First Secretary from 1965-67..."

104-10225-10012: CIA FILE ON ( )SHELL-5

02/11/70: Cable from Director to Ottawa (Info: WH/Miami) (Orig: Withheld, WH/COG/OPS): Slugline RYBAT TYPIC SMADD AMROSE: "1. FYI only, reliable info from sensitive source has indicated Fidel Castro angry at DGI because two DGI officers PNG'd from United Nations during summer 1969. End FYI. Also defections AMBEDEW-1 and AMDELAY-1 have contributed to what is possibly waning influence of DGI within Cuban Government structure. PNG of Ramirez may contribute further if he indeed DGI. Only info that he might be DGI is from SMABOVE (Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Security and Intelligence). Tend agree SMABOVE supposition based on seeing him with Araoz before and after contact with AMCHALK-5 (Miguel Angel Diaz Isalgue). Also, SMABOVE considered him CUIS suspect before and apart from AMCHALK-5 operation, per OCOA 14598, 15 Aug 69. SMABOVE may have additional details confirming Ramirez DGI connection. 2. HQs interested in knowing if SMABOVE has something specific in mind as regards any operational opportunity. 3. AMBEDEW-1 did not recognize Ramirez photo, which being pouched priority to WH/Miami..."


03/21/71: Memo from the record from William J. Devine, WH/COG/OPS: "1. The purpose of this memorandum is to advise those WH/COG officers concerned with defectors and/or former agents now residing in the United States that there may be an obligation to register such persons with the U.S. Attorney General...For WH/COG's purpose, it includes defectors who formerly worked for the Cuban foreign intelligence service (the DGI), such as AMMUG-1 (Vladimir Lahera Rodriguez) and AMBEDEW-1...3. As a result of the research involved in recent case which required WH/COG to request an exemption for AMBEDEW-1, it was found that CIA has only sporadically requested such exemptions..."

104-10063-10322: INFO ON QUESADA

10/02/71: Cable from Headquarters to WH/Miami: Slugline RYBAT MHCURB MHCHAOS: "1. HQs comparison photo of Cuban countersurveillant, requested para 2 Ref C, with mugbook photo of Justo Cesar Gelabert Martinez, indicates the two are not identical. 2. As WH/Miami points out, HYSAGE/Thelma King info on 'Quesada' is indeed most tenuous and incomplete. It appears doubtful that a Cuban 'illegal' resident in U.S. would be identifiable with Cuban diplomat assigned (Gelabert) or once PNG'd (Rogelio Rodriguez) from U.S. 3. AMBEDEW-1 info (1969) confirms Gelabert is demolitions expert and extremely dangerous. AMMUG-1 (Vladimir Lahera Rodriguez) info (1964) states Rodriguez was HYSAGE-1/Thelma King's case officer while stationed Mexico 1964 and passed monies to HYSAGE-1 during this period. Both Rodriguez and Gelabert in general fit physical description provided for 'Quesada', but neither has any scars. Based on all HYSAGE-1 info on 'Quesada', Rodriguez seems more likely to be identifiable. This assumption based primarily on his 1964 activities Mexico. Latest info on Rodriquez is that he traveled to Chile 4 Jun 71 for UNDP meeting as representative Intentional Organizations Directorate, MINREX. Returned Cuba about 16 Jun 71. 4. If WH/Miami has no objection, HQs will query AMBEDEW-1 for possible identification subject Ref C. Station may wish query AMMUG-1, who served Mexico 1964..."


10/04/71: Cable from Miami to Headquarters: Slugline RYBAT MHCURB MHCHAOS: REF: HEADQUARTERS 5365: "1. Re para 4 ref, Station has no objections to querying AMBEDEW-1. We plan forward photos of eight suspect DSE agents in Miami area for review by AMBEDEW-1. We are showing these to AMMUG-1 (Vladimir Lahera Rodriguez) and AMCARD-1. These were shown to AMGAME-1, who could not identify. 2. Two points in ref are worthy of comment in that we are taking word of person like HYSAGE-1 in this matter. First, just because she called Cuban an 'illegal' does not necessarily mean that such is case. She might be saying this to throw us off or on other hand she might have been told this by Cubans. Thus, do not believe we can dismiss completely possibility that Cuban in question is diplomat. Secondly, question of scar should not be accepted as gospel, since it could be contrived mark or even subterfuge on part of HYSAGE-1. 3. Since traffic this matter now MHCHAOS, please advise if we can communicate laterally with Mexico City and Caracas through this channel.


02/05/72: Routing and Record Sheet: Subject: CI/SO Summary on: Orlando Prendes Gutierrez (201-330002). From: C/CI/SO - Rober. "Comments: This information is not to be disseminated outside CI/SO without prior approval of Chief, Special Operations Group, CI Staff...Source: Cryptonym: AMWHEN/1 soft Field Station..." - - - Page 3: "1. Orlando Prendes Gutierrez, Cuban Mission to the United Nations First Secretary and Chief of the Cuban General Directorate of Intelligence Center in New York, was declared persona non grata on 9 October 1970 and departed New York PCS on 11 October. Rogelio Rodriguez Lopez (201-332665), CMUN Counsellor and DGI officer, also was expelled at the same time...4. One source reported that Prendes was an activist with considerable experience in clandestine operations and sabotage. He further reported that Prendes was working with the Departamento de Servicios de Information (DSI) of the DGI while in Havana. The DSI was then responsible for collecting information necessary for placing and maintaining CUIS agents overseas. (AMSTROKE-1). Another source (AMBEDEW-1), who knew him as 'Oberto' reported that he was later working in the 'illegals' branch of the DGI prior to the 1966 reorganization..."

104-10188-10020: ( )AFGHAN OPERATIONS (VOL I).

03/10/72: Dispatch from Chief, Western Hemisphere Division to COS, Mexico City: Subject: PBRUMEN/KDAFGHAN - Comments on Proposal to Terminate KDAFGHAN-1 and KDAFGHAN-2 and Recruit New OP Site Team: Page 2: ..."3. While we are more than a little ambivalent concerning the over-all value of this activity as presently constituted, given the priority need for coverage of the AMSTAFF (probably DGI (Direccion General de Inteligencia, aka the General Directorate of Intelligence, Cuba's foreign intelligence service) personnel stationed at the PBRUMEN (Cuban) Embassy and the relative dearth of PBRUMEN target access agents, we believe that this activity should be continued. We share the Station's concern about our inability to identify the photographs of non-PBRUMEN personnel who visit the Embassy or Consulate, but appreciate the difficult technical problems involved. On a more positive note, the recent group of photographs of PBRUMEN Embassy staffers forwarded to Headquarters for review by AMBEDEW-1 and AMWHEN-1 (the latter has not yet been completed) were of high quality. As a result of the high quality of these photographs, AMBEDEW-1 was able to identify still another AMSTAFFer assigned to the Embassy...Meanwhile, the high rate of identification of PBRUMEN visitors to the Embassy currently being achieved by the Station testifies to your determined efforts to obtain the maximum 'take' from this operation..."

104-10225-10012: CIA FILE ON ( )SHELL-5

09/15/72: Telepouch from COS, WH/Miami to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division: Subject: TYPIC/AKULE - AMCHALK/5: "1. During the 12 September 1972 meeting mentioned in reference, AMCHALK/5 (Miguel Angel Diaz Isalgue) commented on AMBEDEW-1's latest book and the fact that he was mention in three or four pages. Sensing AMCHALK/5's discomposure, Pachankis (probably Jack Stewart) inquired as to the reason. AMCHALK/5 replied, 'It's not that I'm upset or not. I just see no reason to bring me out in this book.' 2. The above is forwarded to Headquarters for whatever interest it may have, especially in light of the proposed use of AMCHALK/5 in the AMWOLF/1 (Eduardo Araos Agero) operation. Stanley F. Speckler." - - - 01/13/73: Telepouch from COS, WH/Miami to Chief, Western Hemisphere Division: Page 2: ..."5. Please note that Henry S. Pachankis is in periodic contact with AMMUG/1 (Vladimir Lahera Rodriguez) and is currently debriefing him on the CUIS names provided by AMBEDEW/1. A dispatch on these debriefings is under preparation..." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=154785&relPageId=3

Gavin McDonald

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