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Cryptonym: AMGUN-1

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Probably Rafael Martinez Pupo, spokesman for the Comando Mambises. A dispatch in February, 1964, mentioned that AMGUN-1 was "primarily used in support of AMLILAC/AMTABBY/AMANCHOR Operations."
AMLILAC was the cryptonym for "Commando Groups" (Comandos Mambises and others) involved in infiltrations into Cuba. AMTABBY was the cryptonym for a major paramilitary operation consisting of numerous sabotage operations against on-island targets. At least some of these operations were reviewed and approved by the Special Group (Augmented). AMANCHOR was probably the cryptonym for an elite CIA team of anti-Castro Cubans involved in Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) or "frogmen" operations.

According to the dispatch mentioned above AMGUN-1 had a 201 number of 201-728388. This dispatch also noted that AMGUN-1 went to Guatemala on January 5, 1964, was in contact with Jose 'Pepe' Dutriz, of "Prensa Grafica", in El Salvador on January 8th, met him the following day, and then met Ricardo Castro in Costa Rica on January 10th. AMGUN-1 was debriefed by his case officer in New Orleans on January 27, 1964, and returned to Costa Rica on January 28th (see dispatch on newspaper story in "La Nacion" in San Jose). During this debriefing, AMGUN-1 asked for a check on Luis Aguilar DeLeon, who was then currently assigned to secretary to Guatemalan president Enrique Peralta. AMGUN-1 also stated that one Paulino A. Sierra had been introduced to him by Dr. Nicomedes Viejo Llorente. Furthermore, the dispatch stated that AMGUN-1 was due to travel to Bogota, Colombia.

The AMGUN-1 Project appeared to focus on propagandizing Comandos Mambises actions/activities. In addition, the dispatch mentioned Richard Lauchli, and Steve Wilson, a member of Gerry Hemming's Intercontinental Penetration Forces (INTERPEN). Harry Williams was the case officer for Paulino Sierra. We only have a few files on Harry Williams. AMGUN-1 met Paulino Sierra in early 1964. They only had a minor acquaintance, and AMGUN-1 was ordered to stay away from Sierra.


4/25/60: Cable MIAM 044 from Miami to Director. Marginalia states that AMCLATTER-1 (Bernard Barker) asked AMCLATTER-4 to obtain a tourist visa for Adolfo Pascual Rey Perez to US. Expenses would be paid by Rafael Martinez Pupo.


The AMCANOE files show that Paulino Sierra Martinez met with 43 exile groups in Miami on 5/7/63 claiming he had $30 million to overthrow Castro. Allegedly received money pledge from businessman William Trull. Lansky and Trafficante interests part of this group. Attached 2/12/64 memo from Chief, JMWAVE to Chief, SAS: AMGUN-1 reports Sierra "said nothing constructive and appeared to want to take an active role in the Mambises organization...Sierra wanted to purchase arms from one (fnu) Lauchli, and on his return to Miami contacted Steve Wilson to bring the arms from Illinois to Florida...AMGUN-1 has been instructed to avoid contact with subject." AMGUN-1 continued to work with case officer to "add to the further confusion of the Castro government as different outlets are used for propagandizing 'Mambises' actions." (A June 77 cover memo identifies Sierra as 201-739652 and President of the Illinois Bar Association). AMGUN-1 is identified as 201-728838.

Associated Press article - May 10, 1963

The May 10, 1963, Associated Press article: A new all-out drive to unify Cuban refugees into a single, powerful organization to topple the Fidel Castro regime was disclosed today by exile sources. The plan calls for formation of a junta in exile to mount a three-cornered thrust consisting of sabotage, infiltration, and ultimately invasion. The exile sources said the plan had been discussed with Cuban leaders by US Central Intelligence agents. Seeking to put together the junta was Enrique Ruiz Williams, a Bay of Pigs invasion veteran and friend of US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. Cuban leaders said intensive sabotage and guerrilla activities inside Cuba might start in a in a month to spark a possible uprising. Hundreds of exiles, reported itching for action and resentful of US-imposed curbs against the anti-Castro raids will be recruited to infiltrate Cuba..." Reprinted by Lamar Waldron, Ultimate Sacrifice, p. 36.


6/19/63 memo to the ICCOCA (Interdepartmental Coordinating Committee on Cuban Affairs). Members included Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, Captain Earle Wheeler (JCS), Major General W. B. Rosson, Rear Admiral W. Wendt, USN, Major General J. W. Carpenter, III, USAF, Brigadier General H. M. Elwood, Marines, re US position on Cuban exiles efforts to achieve unity. At page 6: Harry Ruiz-Williams formed a Unity Committee and claims the personal support of RFK. At p. 9: Concluded that the US government for now should take a hands-off attitude towards unity efforts.

124-10286-10463: No Title

8/17/63: Orlando Bosch claimed to have no information about Comando Mambises or their spokesman, Rafael Martinez Pupo, who made a statement in Guatemala "claiming credit for the August 17, 1963 attack" which Fidel Castro occurred "at Casilda in Las Villas province".


"13 Nov (1963) AMRAZZ-1, Eloy (Gutierrez) Menoyo, (exiled dentist, Dr. Luis) Duany and Esteban (Zorrilla) Jr. met at (Enrique Ruiz Williams') home...Ruiz said (he) had no doubt GPIDEAL/JFK would resolve problem (re Cuba' future) before elections...Ruiz said he coordinator between offices of this country and (Cuban) groups. Had dedicated himself (to) smoothing things over after GPFOCUS and AMBIDDY-1 had strong discussions following prisoner release. After Ruiz talked with GPFOCUS twice, the latter received AMBIDDY-1/Artime again in ZRMETAL/Washington DC...Ruiz was asked whether AMBIDDY-1 affair could be (US) maneuver to put AMBIDDY-1 out of the way by submerging him in Nicaragua...Ruiz replied anything possible...(also said) it would be difficult for anybody to stop AMBIDDY-1."


12/4/63 memo: "PM (Paramilitary): AMGUN-1 departed WAVE area for Guatemala City morning 4 December after undergoing briefing and debriefing. A-1 also assisted by station in procuring updated documents to assist him in traveling in Central America when on missions."


2/12/64 memo from Chief of Station, JMWAVE to Chief, SAS, re AMGUN-1 Progress Report for January 1964: AMGUN-1 (201-728388) went to Guatemala on 1/5/64, then met with Jose 'Pepe' Dutriz in El Salvador on 1/8/64, then Ricardo Castro in Costa Rica on 1/10/64. AMGUN-1 was debriefed by his case officer in New Orleans on 1/27/64. During debriefing AMGUN-1 asked for a check on Luis Aguilar DeLeon, who is currently assigned to secretary to Guatemalan president Enrique Peralta. AMGUN-1 also informed that one Paulino A. Sierra, believed to be identical with Paulino A. Sierra (201-739652) had been introduced to him (AMGUN-1) by Dr. Nicomedes Viejo Llorente. According to AMGUN-1, Sierra was very talkative, said nothing constructive and appeared to want to take an active part in the (Commando Mambises) organization...reported (as) head of an anti-Castro organization known as a 'Junta' of a government of Cuba in exile. Sierra wanted to purchase arms from one (Rich Lauchli)...AMGUN-1 has been instructed to avoid contact with subject. See https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=48696&relPageId=20&search=%22paulino_sierra%22 - Peter Dale Scott found that Sierra's case officer was Harry Ruiz-Williams, and recounts the story of RFK telling Ruiz Williams "one of your boys did it" on 11/22/63. The CIA suspected Sierra of recruiting exiles they mistrusted for an operation sponsored by Robert Kennedy.

Rafael Martínez Pupo Papers Relating to Comandos Mambises - https://findingaids.uflib.ufl.edu/repositories/2/resources/738

Scope and Content: "The first part of this collection consists of Martínez Pupo's correspondence with Cuban exiles, news agents, and government officials. The second group of documents contains expense reports and receipts. The third part consists of photocopies of newspaper clippings of the commando's attacks on Cuban soil. These clippings come from U.S. and Latin American newspapers. The collection also includes a magnetic tape of a communiqué sent to Salvador Lew to be aired on Miami radio, and a book written by Alejandro de la Cruz, Rafael Martínez Pupo's grandson...When sugar prices skyrocketed at the beginning of World War II, Martínez Pupo became a millionaire. He then expanded his business to include several smaller stores, a shipping line, two pasta factories, and the representation of certain American companies. In 1948, he expanded his business to Havana, and later, he opened a radio transmission company in Guatemala: Intercomunicadora Electrónica, S.A. During the 26th of July Movement, Martínez Pupo sent convoys of provisions and supplies to the rebels, only later to see Fidel Castro nationalize his belongings and his business empire in 1959. In 1960, he and his family went into exile. While his daughter and her family remained in Miami, he and his wife went to Guatemala. In 1963, the CIA recruited Martínez Pupo to lead a campaign of guerrilla warfare and sabotage by a commando group constituted by Cuban exiles. He called this group Comandos Mambises in honor of the Cuban insurgents who fought against Spain. The unit's mission was to sabotage strategic targets in Cuba in order to inflict economic and psychological damage to Castro's regime. In 1964, as U.S. involvement in Vietnam escalated, the CIA and President Lyndon Johnson decided to close down the Comandos Mambises. One of the reasons for this was fear that the group would act against U.S. broader policy. (See Don Bohning, The Castro Obsession. U.S. Covert Operations Against Cuba 1959-1965...)"

Bill Simpich • Gavin McDonald

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