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Cryptonym: AMPARCEL-1

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Fernando Penabaz. A dispatch in November, 1963, stated that AMPARCEL-1 would be replaced as soon as a substitute has been found for him.
A dispatch in February, 1964, stated that it had been hoped to replace Penabaz "with a less controversial and more responsive program manager."

AMPARCEL-1 was often mentioned in conjunction with AMSHADY-1 ("Havana Rose" - Pepita Riera - Maria Josefa Riera Villafuerte). In addition, Pepita Riera was mentioned along with Fernando Penabaz in the February, 1964, dispatch mentioned above.

A cable in December, 1968, stated that Penabaz was apparently of operational interest to JMWAVE psychological warfare section until late 1963, which matches that of AMPARCEL-1.


03/06/63: Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Slugline TYPIC KUWOLF: "1. Fernando Penebaz-Coburn 201-263168 broadcast first of daily 15 min series 'orientation agraria' 4 Mar 0545 WMIE under UR sponsorship. 2. Penebaz UR consultant and well known specialist farm problems had program under same name over CMQ HAVA for many years. No other exile group beams prop exclusively to 'campesinos' who comprise large and important segment Cuban population."


03/21/63: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, SAS: Page 3: ..."II. Production:...Final arrangements were also made for UR sponsorship of regular broadcasts by AMSHADY/1 ("Havana Rose", also known as Pepita Riera) and AMPARCEL/1 (WAVE-5324 and WAVE-5403)..."


05/20/63: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Special Affairs Staff: Page 3: "8. Radio programs under nominal UR sponsorship were continued according to their regular schedule by AMPARCEL/1 and AMSHADY/1 ("Havana Rose", also known as Pepita Riera)..."


07/26/63: Cable from JMWAVE to Director: "1. Subsequent Ref B UR submitted superficial survey radio station heard Cuba with open time avail. UR noted spot on radio (Unintelligible) rearranged through Max Lesnick and on WRUL through AMCORE-2 (Luis Ernesto Conte Aguero). WAVE indicated amenability latter but recommended UR negotiate directly with WRUL. 2. While nominally sponsoring AMSHADY-1 ("Havana Rose", also known as Pepita Riera) and AMPARCEL-1 broadcasts, UR has no voice of its own to supplement printed PROP to Cuba and LA. One of WAVE purposes in subsidizing UR was build strong centrist organization as moderating influence now and in future Cuban politics..."


11/14/63: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, SAS: ..."II. Production: The three radio programs produced and/or sponsored by AMSCROLL (UR, also known as Unidad Revolucionaria) continued according to general JMWAVE guidance. AMPARCEL-1 will be replaced as soon as a substitute for him has been found..."

Commission Document 770 - FBI O'Connor Report of 30 Mar 1964 re: Oswald/Cuba

Circa 11/29/63: Dr. Fernando Penabaz said Miguel de Leon told him a story about how "Quintin Pino had crossed into Texas from Mexico for the purpose of rescuing Oswald after the assassination, but that the plot failed because Oswald was not wearing clothing of the prearranged color, whereby he would be readily recognized by Pino, and also, since Oswald became involved in the shooting of Dallas Patrolman Tippit, Oswald failed to reach the rendezvous at the time Pino would pick him up." Penabaz described de Leon as a "former Cuban Congressman with contacts throughout Latin America. He said that "according to de Leon, Pino was a strongman in the diplomatic service of Fidel Castro, and had been sent by Castro to Nicaragua as of 1959 to organize anti-government guerrillas there." Penabaz added that as he never received any corroboration of de Leon's story, he did not write about it nor report it to any authorities. At page 9, Miguel de Leon Rojas of 17 Marjorca, Coral Gables, Florida affirmed that he was the source of the Pino story, and that he had heard it from "someone" while visiting the home of Sixto Mesa about a week after 11/22/63. He said that from his various contacts, "he was aware that Quintin Pino had served on a Cuban assignment in Mexico to investigate activities directed against the Castro regime." At p. 10, Sixto Mesa of 285 Shore Drive, Bay Heights, Miami, said that Adolfo Vilasuso was the source of the Pino story. At p. 11, Dr. Adolfo Vilasuso of 8620 Southwest 21st St., Miami said that he heard it as a rumor. These are contained in FBI reports dated 3/25/64.

Commission Document 643 - FBI Williams Report of 03 Mar 1964 re: Oswald

2/23/64: FBI agent "Malford O. Eid learned that Reverend Frederick Curtis Fowler, Presbyterian Church, Duluth, Minnesota...played a tape of a recording between Lee Harvey Oswald and Carlos Bringuier...(the voice of) Billy Jean Hargis, publisher of the 'Weekly Crusader', Tulsa, Oklahoma...(was) dubbed in to replace the original moderator...Reverend Fowler related that he attended an Anti-Communist Faculty Meeting in Shreveport, Louisiana between February 17-21, 1964. Representatives from twenty-five states attended, among these were General Walker, Billy Jean Hargis, and Fernando Penabaz, a newspaper reporter for the 'Fort Lauderdale News"...General Walker stated (one night during the meeting) Lee Oswald had shot at him and deliberately missed as part of a prearranged plan by the Communists. He stated the Communists felt that if, he, Walker, a conservative, were also shot at, that would make his shooting and the shooting of President Kennedy appear as the work of a crank...Penabaz said Oswald did not wear a jacket of the prescribed color and therefore was not picked up by (Quintin) Pino's representative...Reverend Fowler also stated the garage mechanic who furnished information about Oswald entering the Dallas, Texas theater after the assassination has since been mysteriously killed."


02/25/64: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Special Affairs Staff: ..."5...b. WMIE Programs - The Pepita Riera broadcasts are the subject of a separate operational report. The Fernando Penabaz broadcasts to the farm population continued as usual during the month, although it had been hoped to replace Penabaz with a less controversial and more responsive program manager. Penabaz, who speaks English without a trace of foreign accent, has become increasingly involved with U.S. political elements who are highly critical of the current administration. Apart from the fact that such politicking is contrary to UR policy, Penabaz is so distracted by his other entanglements that the UR 'campesino' broadcasts suffer from lack of planning and preparation. The search for a suitable replacement is continuing..."

Warren Commission Document 770 - FBI O'Connor Report of 30 Mar 1964 re: Oswald/Cuba

3/30/64 report of FBI agent James J. O'Connor: "Dr. Fernando Penabaz (of Miami)...is currently active in preparation of radio programs broadcast over 110 stations in eleven Latin American countries. He said these programs are directed against the Castro regime...he was invited to speak at the national anti-communist leadership school, sponsored by the Christian Crusade, in Shreveport. He was speaking with Billy Jean Hargis and Edwin Walker. He said he heard from Artime's aide Miguel de Leon Rojas that Oswald allegedly went to Cuba and returned with Quintin Pino, who was supposed to rescue Oswald after the assassination, but Oswald wasn't wearing clothes of the proper color and then got caught up in the Tippit shooting and missed being picked up by Pino. De Leon said Pino was a strongman in the diplomatic corps, and was sent to Nicaragua in 1959 to organize anti-government guerrillas and to teach sabotage. De Leon said he learned the story about Pino and Oswald about a week after 11/22/63 at the home of Sixto Mesa. Dr. Adolfo Vilabubo took credit as the source of the story, and said it was common rumor among the Cuban exile colony in Miami.

1994.06.02.15:14:41:500005: Reel 61, Folder G - UNIDAD REVOLUTIONARIA

04/23/64: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Special Affairs Staff: Subject: Operational UR; Progress Report - March 1964: Pages 2-3: ..."3. Radio:...b. WMIE. Two programs - one by Pepita Riera targetted at the G-2, the militia and the 'block committee' informers, and the other by Fernando Penabaz appealing to the rural population to resist Castro-Communism by whatever means available - are sponsored by the UR, but the narrators retain a good measure of editorial independence. While direct contact with the former assures JMWAVE of necessary controls (see separate report on this activity), such is not the case of the latter. Penabaz is an outstanding journalist and a recognized authority on Cuban rural affairs, but he broadcasts from cryptic notes and does not report to the UR in adequate detail on the content of his program. For some time both UR and JMWAVE have been seeking a qualified replacement for Penabaz. It is anticipated that a change will be made by the end of next month..."


12/03/68: Cable from WH/Miami to Withheld: Slugline RYBAT TYPIC: "1. Fernando Penabaz of ref is probably identical with Fernando Penabaz Coburn (201-271566), DPOB: Circa 1921, Baltimore, Maryland. According to an AMOT report dated 15 October 1963, Penabaz, a lawyer and journalist, attended Duke University at same time as President elect Richard Nixon and is good friend of Nixon. Penabaz practised law in Santiago de Cuba and reportedly forfeited U.S. citizenship when he took oath as Cuban lawyer. Returned to U.S. in 1960. Station file is sketchy but he apparently was of ops interest to JMWAVE psych warfare section until late 1963 when he dropped because of involvement in U.S. politics. Miami Herald of 24 August 64 reported he had been appointed advisor to Republican National Committee on Cuban Affairs. An AMOT report dated 15 November 1966 states Penabaz was member of the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade (CACC), a rightist group organized along lines of John Birch Society, and until at least 1965 was on payroll of CACC as Director for Latin American Affairs. According to UFG-7798, 15 December 1965, from a usually reliable source, Penabaz, an associate of General Edwin Walker, was arranging a meeting between General Walker and General Elias Wessin y Wessin..."

Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

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