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Cryptonym: AMPALM-4

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Angel Fernandez Varela, paramilitary leader of the MDC/MRR complex.
See 104-10335-10001: On p. 6, the ARRB asked for identification of AMPALM-4 - at p. 9, the CIA's response was that he was a "sensitive media asset".


Circa 1959: Angel Fernandez Varela is identified as AMPALM-4. 201-273453. "According to his own statements, Fernandez Varela had been a professor at Belen Jesuit School, ex-president of the ACU (Agrupacion Catolica Universitaria), former editor of the newspaper Informacion, leader of the Cuban Falangists, and an agent of the CIA from late 1959 until 1968. According to (an) anonymous source, Fernandez Varela introduced (Manuel) Artime to Frank Bender (Gerald Droller) and arranged for the incorporation of the MRR into the counterrevolutionary coalition..." Jesus Arboleya, The Cuban Counterrevolution (Ohio University Center for International Studies, 2000), p. 64.


3/4/60 memo on the unification effort of the anti-Castro forces by Wilmer Aretz, with attachments. This map of the AMPALM Group Directorate shows AMPALM-2/Laureano Batista Falla of the MDC as head of "Political Action" and Angel Fernandez Varela/AMPALM-4 of the MRR as head of "Paramilitary".


5/6/60 cable from Miami to Director: "AMPALM-4 adamant refusal to meet or be identified to key MRR people like AMPALM-10 or QDCOVE while at the same contending (he) has control and allegiance MRR beginning appear very unwholesome...in talk with AMCLATTER/1 after meeting AMBIDDY made clear he does not feel obligated (to) accept action or advice (from) AMPALM-4." Also see 104-10217-10412, 9/30/60: "ref proposition put to AMPALM-4 (marginalia - Angel Fernandez Varela) by Biniaris/James O'Mailia 28 Sept, as expected (Fernandez Varela) showed some reluctance inherent indebtedness to AMPALM-5/Jose Ignacio Rasco, but per station instructions Biniaris emphasized object of exercise was get (AMWAIL-2/Amalio Fiallo) to Escambray where he could work with AMPANIC-5/Plinio Prieto toward consolidation of AMRASP/FRD effort.


12/21/60 cable from Havana to Director: ref A HKHA-7985?, para 2N, B. HKHW-3234, C. HKHW-3651: "On 17 December AMPALM-4 met with Bernard Munoz, interventor of Potin Restaurant who frequently visited by Fidel Castro. A-4 found Munoz extremely depressed...Munoz related that his two sons deeply engaged AMYUM activities and have repeatedly told him that AMYUMS or some other anti-Castro org would kill him in process (of) overthrowing Castro since it well known he interventor of Potin which Castro's favorite restaurant. Munoz then told A-4 he would rather be killed by Castro's bodyguards in the process of his trying to destroy Castro than eventually be killed by anti-Castro forces. Feel that above info coupled with Munoz access (to) Castro offers excellent opportunity Ref B project." See 104-10315-10001, WH/4/PROP Phil Toomey's 12/29/60 memo to Havana: "HQs highly interested implementation ref operation. Advise against using substance in food or drink as danger overdose causing paralysis...pouching three small packets powder...liquid for sprinkling or lining hat band, lining shoes or clothing...powder to be dusted in socks, shoes, hat band, or any items clothing touching skin...any connection (with USA) might cause public indignation and retaliation."


4/4/61, JMWAVE to BELL: AMBUD-1, AMJAG-1 and AMDIP-1 all objected to the notion of AMPALM-4 becoming the new director of the JMHOPE program. It was felt he lacked "good judgment and political tact in choosing teammates for his new endeavor". Objection to the three men he chose to work for him: Francisco Chao Hermida was described as a gangster; FNU Alonso Avila and Miguel Suarez Fernandez were former pro-Batista congressmen. Urge you to tell Choaden/Phillips have the three men replaced and then hold the line and not replace AMPALM-4. JMWAVE urged to keep AMPALM-4 in his position and to urge Choaden/David Phillips to take action that would support him.


May 1962: A Cuban in Madrid wrote this letter to Dr. Miro Cardona/AMBUD-1: "I am sending you these lines to acquaint you with the fascist movement which was founded in Spain and Italy and called Opus Dei which is moving in the sphere of the political refugees in Miami. This movement has different ramifications and many representatives of people far from being suspected of their activities with the fascist movement of Opus Dei. The Opus Dei movement consists of industrialists, mechants, professional people and elements of the extreme right which are militating and revolutionary groups which are active in Miami. The principal ramification is represented by a well-known Jesuit priest who maintains close contact with Castiella, the Minister of Foreign Relations of France. I want to warn you, my friend, that in Miami it is represented by Fernandez Varela, the 'little priest' you remember the one that was assistant director of the newspaper 'Informacion' of Havana. Now there has come up a struggle for control of the organization between Fernandez Varela and Dr. Lasaga, who is a member of the Revolutionary Council of Miami. There is also an alienation of the directorio (presumably the DRE) or rather a fraction which was formed by the group of the directorio which originated in the University of Havana, whose base is the university Catholic action, which is involved with the fascist organization and its representatives in Miami...both (Fernandez Varela and Dr. Lasaga) want to have personal representation of the Jesuit priest who has control of the organization of Opus Dei in Miami....The letter was written to Norman Diaz but (he) is very anxious that his name not be associated in any way with this letter. He also insisted that the name of the signer of the letter be removed before a copy was made of the letter."

NARA Record Number: 104-10171-10041: AMSPELL PROGRESS REPORT FOR AUGUST 1962

August 1962 report: Note that a NARA typo mistakenly describes this report as "August 1969". This report refers to Stanley Zamka (David Morales) as part of the team that is reappraising the CIA's relationship with the DRE after its attack on the Miramar section of Havana on 8/24/62. On August 30, "AMPALM-4 reported that the AMSPELL attack on Havana was part of a three-part phase plan, the second stage being an attack on a Soviet vessel in Havana harbor..."


In this post-assassination cable from early December 1963, informant AMPALM-4 (Angel Fernandez) passed along information regarding "Plan Judas" which involved "autenticos inside PBRUMEN (Cuba)." The cable adds the claim of Harry Williams that he, Williams, would lead Cuba and had been so named by GPFOCUS (Robert Kennedy). It further reported a meeting between Miguel "Cuco" Leon and the head of ODBEAT (Defense Intelligence Agency head Gen. Carroll), wherein Carroll was said to have "spoke against KUBARK (CIA) because they interfering with Plan Judas." A later document shows that on 2/24/64, Cuban exile informant Valentin Diaz, located in Venezuela, said that "An operation called 'Plan Judas' is being constructed inside Cuba" and included Juan Almeida as one of the "key figures." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=12625#relPageId=4 According to Lamar Waldron and Thom Hartmann in Legacy of Secrecy, the Almeida coup plan ended after JFK's death.

FBI 105-82555 Oswald HQ File, Section ?

12/31/63 note on White House stationery from Ralph Dungan to "Nick": "Here is the memo I told you about today. Bio data of the man who prepared it (Note: Dr. Jose Lasaga of the MRR) is on the last page. This is in the nature of a theory of the crime and is designed as a possible aid in indicating areas which might be fruitfully investigated. Having talked to the author for several hours, I was very highly impressed with his intelligence and sincerity. He is not a crackpot. One alleged fact (page 12) interested me and I have determined that it comes to the author from one Angel Fernandez Varela, an employee of La Voz de Cuba in Miami who received it from Salvador Diaz Verson who apparently was in Mexico City after the assassination doing investigative work on behalf of an unnamed principal. If this is an accurate report, it appears to me to be of some substance." Page 12 states that "Oswald held an extended interview with the Cuban Ambassador in Mexico, whom he met in a restaurant in the outskirts (of Mexico City)."


FBI's list of hoaxes: "On December 31, 1963, Dr. Jose I. Lasaga, a psychologist associated with Catholic Welfare Services, Miami, Florida, who is a Cuban exile, presented to the staff of the White House a treatise on possible psychological motivations in the assassination of President Kennedy...The treatise contained the statement that 'through very reliable sources' it had been ascertained that Oswald held an extended interview with the Cuban ambassador to Mexico City whom he met in a restaurant on the outskirts of Mexico City...Pressed by a White House staffer for the source of this information, Lasaga said he received it from Angel Fernandez Varela, an exiled Cuban attorney and editor, who in turn received the information from Salvador Diaz Verson, an exiled Cuban newspaperman. Lasaga volunteered the information that Diaz Verson developed the information in Mexico City where, after the assassination, he was doing assassination work in behalf of an unnamed principal...Fernandez Varela admitted passing the foregoing information to Dr. Lasaga telling Dr. Lasaga that in his opinion all of the statements of Diaz Verson/AMPALM-26 might not be true as he believed that Diaz Verson was inclined to embellish a story to make it more interesting. Fernandez Varela denied telling Dr. Lasaga that Diaz Verson was in Mexico acting on behalf of an unnamed principal." On 12/31/1963, Ralph Dungan at the White House provided a copy of Lasaga's treatise to "Nick", possibly an FBI agent. FBI file 100-82555-1184. Lasaga's treatise can be reviewed at https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=57737#relPageId=1

Harold Weisberg reviews notes from Tony Summers, 1983: http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/O%20Disk/Oswald%20Lee%20Harvey%20Mexico/107.pdf

Notes indicated that Angel Fernandez Varela was one of five disinformation agents in Mexico City, and that four of them were controlled by David Phillips. Fernandez Varela and Salvador Diaz Verson/AMPALM-26 were two of them.

Fred Landis, "Opus Dei: Secret Order Vies for Power", Covert Action Information Bulletin

1965: It was estimated that "by 1965, Opus Dei controlled about half of Franco's cabinet and about a third of his legislature...only two per cent (of Opus Dei) are priests...the rest are lay members who raise the money...Opus Dei moved its headquarters from Spain to Rome in 1947 but remains primarily a Spanish sect...the relationship between the CIA and the Vatican is an old and natural one...Joseph B. Smith, former head of the World Propaganda Desk at the CIA, stated that he never felt like he fitted into the clandestine service because everybody else was Catholic..."

MFF • Bill Simpich

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