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Cryptonym: AMREEF-1

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AMREEF-1 may possibly have been Cira (aka Cirata) Lopez Cejas. AMREEF-1 acted as a liaison between the CIA Havana Station and Manuel Ray Rivero (AMBANG-1) in the latter part of 1960.
A cable from Havana on October 21, 1960, stated that AMREEF-1 had requested station assistance in sending several thousand dollars worth of bonds printed by the Manuel Ray group to Miami. A cable from Havana on November 4, 1960, mentioned that Cira Lopez Cejas (aka Cirita) was a confidant of Manuel Ray. She had informed U.S. Embassy political officer, Bowdler, on November 3rd, that Rufo Lopez Fresquet, member of Ray's MRP, went to the U.S. on his own volition, without the authorization of Ray. A cable from Havana on November 30, 1960, stated that Manuel Ray had sent Olien (James Noel) a message via AMREEF-1 to Paul F. Sirett, who had returned to Havana from JMASH (forward operating base - CIA, Miami, original name for JMWAVE) on November 28th, that he was anxious see Olien or "someone designated by him" at the earliest possible time.

A cable from Havana on December 2, 1960, stated that AMREEF-1 returned to Havana from Miami on the evening of November 29th. Prior to departing A-1 had a long talk with Ray, and Ray asked AMREEF-1 to pass a message to Olien to the effect that he would like very much see to him the next time he came to Miami. A dispatch on December 22, 1960, stated that AMREEF-1 had two investigators, AMPAIN-4 and 5, working for him/her. AMREEF-1 provided information on Dr. Alfredo Guevara Valdes, the director of Cine Cubano.

A FBI report from Miami in March, 1961, stated that Cirita Lopez Cejas told the FBI she was residing in Miami, and had been used in the underground as a messenger by Manuel Ray. Lopez said she had assisted in the defection and fleeing to the United States of former Castro rebel army leaders, such as Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo and Armando Fleites-Diaz, and had hidden five or six of the revolutionaries in her house in Havana. She also mentioned Alfredo Guevara, who AMREEF-1 had remarked on in the dispatch on December 22, 1960.


10/21/60: Cable from Havana to Director: "1. AMREEF-1 has requested Station assistance in sending several thousand dollars worth bonds printed by Manolo Ray Rivero group to Miami. Proceeds of sale will be used to purchase arms and other items to equip men in the field. Does HQs have any objections to Station assisting Ray group this manner."


11/04/60: Cable from Havana to Director: JMNET: "1. Cira Lopez Cejas aka Cirita confidant of Manolo Ray informed emb pol officer Bowdler on 3 Nov that Rufo Lopez Fresquet, member of Ray's MRP, went to U.S. on own hook without authorization of Ray and without any mission. Lopez according to Cirita is a member inner circles Ray group. 2. Cirita also said Ramiro Estevez and Raul Chibas are 'O.K.' But that Julio Duarte more closely interprets Ray's thinking. She told Bowdler that Ignacio Mendoza is now in Miami but station was able confirm Mendoza still in HAVA but hopes get permission to travel to New York on legitimate business from which he will not return. C/S Comment: *Re Fresquet arrival Key West 29 Oct."


11/30/60: Cable from Havana to Director: JMNET: "1. Manolo Ray sent Olien (James Noel) message via AMREEF-1 to Paul F. Sirett who returned HAVA from MASH on 28 Nov that he anxious see Olien or 'someone designated by him' at earliest possible moment. No indication received as to reason for requested meeting. Message stated Manolo could be located 1938 N.W. 3rd Street, Miami or meeting could be arranged by calling 'Ramiro' (handwritten: Estevez Beniz (?) at Franklin 3-5813, Miami. 2. Above for info HQs and MASH and any action they may deem appropriate."


12/02/60: Cable from Havana to Director: JMNET: "1. AMREEF-1 returned HAVA from Miami eve 29 Nov. Prior to departure had long talk with Ray. Ray asked AMREEF-1 pass message to Olien (James Noel) to effect he would like very much see him next time he comes to Miami. Said he would prefer talk Olien personally rather than a designate. Gave AMREEF-1 no clue as to reasons behind request but Olien agrees with ref that Ray undoubtedly wishes discuss 'problems' he has run into in endeavoring gain support for his movement. 2. Olien sees no objection FOLL thru with suggestion contained para 4 ref in view willingness expressed initially to talk with a designate if Olien not able come personally. 3. Olien obviously defers to HQs judgement manner in which Ray group should be handled but nonetheless is constrained to comment that by forcing this important movement into an unwanted marriage or other onerous arrangement we may run real risk of alienating a group of now pro-American Cubans who, whether we like it or not, will probably play an important part in the political life of Cuba during the post-Castro era."


12/22/60: Dispatch from Acting Chief of Station, Habana to Chief, WHD (Info: Chief, WE): "1. On 15 December 1960 AMREEF-1 through investigators AMPAIN-4 and 5, furnished the following information on Espaha Errante: This organization is part of the Movement for Spanish Liberation (Movimiento de Liberacion Espanol), which also includes the Spanish Republican Movement (Movimiento Republicano Espanol). The national co-ordinator of the movement in Cuba is Rodrigo Diaz Altuna. The head of the 'military' part of the movement or group is Rebel Army Major Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo. The co-ordinator for the Province of Habana is Manuel Barrenas, a Jai-Alai player who at the present time is not in Cuba. During his absence he is being replaced by his brother Jose Barrenas, also a Jai-Alai player. The Barrenas brothers are both Spaniards. There are also provincial co-ordinators in the different provinces, and some of the municipalities also have co-ordinators. The offices of the movement are located on Calle Paseo, between Calle 15 and Calle 17, in Vedado, Habana. The exact number of the location has not yet been determined, since there are no signs to indicate in which building it is. This matter is being investigated further...One of the AMPAIN investigators has been asked to be the co-ordinator of the movement at the Municipality of Marianao, Habana. He will accept this position unless he receives orders to the contrary..." (CONTINUED BELOW)


12/22/60: Dispatch from Acting Chief of Station, Habana to Chief, WHD (Info: Chief, WE): Page 2: ..."3. AMREEF-1 furnished the following information on 21 December: On Fridays, over Channel-4 of TV-Revolucion, between 10:00 and 10:30 p.m., there is a program called 'Espana al Dia.' TV personality involved in Spanish exile activities Cuba, Eugenio Rodriguez Casas, is in charge of the program which is related to events in connection with the Cuban Government's campaign against the Franco regime. On 16 December Dr. Alfredo Guevara Valdes, the director of Cine Cubano, was mentioned on the program as having called a meeting of all Spanish organizations to ask for the release of political prisoners in Spain...(Signed) Paula Thyfault."

124-90102-10159: No Title

03/08/61: FBI report from Miami: Titled: Military and Naval Matters - Cuba: Pages 7-10: ..."On February 23, 1961, Cirita Lopez Cejas furnished the following information: She is residing in Miami and had been used in the underground as a messenger by Manuel Ray. She assisted in the arrangements for the defection and fleeing to the United States of the former Castro rebel army leaders Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, Armando Fleites-Diaz, and numerous other defectees who arrived at Key West, Florida on January 27, 1961. She stated that dynamite has been placed in the city hall, and holes and tunnels have been dug in many of the most important public buildings in Havana. She stated that she had been in direct contact with the wife of imprisoned Major Hubert Matos, Luisa. Lopez stated no one has been allowed to visit the political prisoners on the Isle of Pines since December, 1960. She stated the defense preparations of January 1 to 20, 1961, reminded her of a giant playground, except for the extremely depressive atmosphere over the entire city of Havana...She stated that in her opinion, Alfredo Guevara is the instructor of Fidel Castro and assists him in preparing the propaganda he uses. She stated this Guevara was a member of the Communist Youth Movement in Cuba, had been to Russia, is extremely intelligent, associates constantly with Raul Castro and the latter's wife, Vilma Espin, and is in no way related to 'Che' Guevara. She stated Manuel Ray had helped Gutierrez Menoyo and the group who came with him, to flee from Cuba for various reasons. She declared she had hidden five or six of the revolutionaries in her house in Havana. She stated the propagandist and radio announcer, Max Lesnik, was not originally a part of the group, but he got in as a 'hanger on', and rather than jeopardize the escape of the entire group, he was allowed to come with them..."


12/26/62: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Task Force W: "1. AMTHRILL-1 (Julio Kouri Barreto, diplomat and brother-in-law of Cuban foreign minister Raul Roa Garcia) has reported that two close friends and collaborators of Subject are: Cira Lopez Cejas (handwritten: no 201) and her husband Frank Martinez (handwritten: no 201) both of whom live in Miami, exact address unknown, telephone 758-0483. 2. They worked closely with Subject during the underground struggle against Batista, later during Subject's tour in the Ministry of Public Works, and still later in clandestine resistance against Castro. Subject entrusted particularly important missions to Cira Lopez Cejas, including attempts to establish contact with high government figures including Raul Roa and gain their cooperation in the struggle against Castro. 3. Cira Lopez Cejas pretends, even to her husband, that she has broken with Subject, but in reality she continues working for him. She told AMTHRILL-1 that Subject is working tirelessly in the creation of an anti-Castro organization, and in the formation of plans for a future government of Cuba. She believes that she may soon be sent to Cuba to organize Subject's clandestine movement inside the country."

Gavin McDonald

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