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Cryptonym: AMSHAG-3

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Franciso Fesser, a military colleague of Carlos Prio. According to a dispatch in early December, 1963, AMSHAG-3 was an old member of the Autentico Party, and he was friends with Carlos Prio Socarras.
In addition, AMSHRUG-1 told a JMWAVE case officer (Zickgraff) that Prio apparently thought AMSHAG-3 was a "tough cookie" and a good leader, and would probably appoint him as one of his top military officers if a proposed plan with Somoza of Nicaragua was implemented.

See Reel 55, Folder S - CARLOS PRIO SOCARRAS [SOFT FILE], p. 49, which states that Prio is not a "neophyte" in this type of adventure. He was involved in assassinations in the 30s during the era of Gerardo Machado, and financed the 1957 attack on Batista, which failed only because old grenades from the Dominican Republic were used and failed to detonate.


1958-1961: "Title: Partido Revolucionario Cubana (Autentico) Cuban Revolutionary Party (Autentico):...II. HISTORY: As political party dates back to 1933. Opposed Batista consistently. Set up clandestine Organizacion Autentico (OA) as action arm to fight Batista and Castro, successively. Prio (for OA) and Varona (for PRC) both signed Castro's 1958 Caracas Pact. Autenticos, with long history of anti-communism, were among first political exiles after holding various high offices in initial months of Castro, Miami faction organized November 1960; New York faction, June 1961. Prio, accompanied by his secretary (Orlando Puente Perez) has worked more as individual than as PRC functionary. Considerable guerrilla and sabotage has been attributed to 'Autentico', but difficult to distinguish among PRC, OA and 'Rescate' activities..."


08/31/63: Field Information Telegram: Country: Cuba/Nicaragua. Place & Date Acq.: United States, Miami (22 August 1963). "1. On 19 August 63, Orlando Puente Perez, secretary of former Cuban President Carlos Prio Socarras, said that Prio had given him instructions to recruit persons from among his adherents and that he, Puente, send the first 100 men to Nicaragua during the next 15 days. Puente believes that about 9 September groups Cubans from various organizations would be departing from Miami for Nicaragua where they would receive military training. 2. Puente believes that more organizations will send recruits to Nicaragua, especially the ..(MRR, Movement for Revolutionary Recovery), ...(MDC, Christian Democrat Movement), and the ...(AVBC, Association of Veterans of the Bay of Pigs). Some former professional soliders who are now living in Miami and who are under the leadership of former Colonel Manuel Varela Castro also would probably be going to Nicaragua. 3. Puente believes this is a great opportunity of which the Cubans must take advantage in order to initiate the war against Fidel Castro Ruz, and that the commando-type activities which are being planned will soften resistance in preparation for the final assault...5. Puente said that for the next few weeks he would be devoting himself completely to the task of sending men to Nicaragua..."

1994.05.18.13:37:17:130005: Reel 55, Folder S - CARLOS PRIO SOCARRAS [SOFT FILE].

10/07/63: Information Report Telegram: Country: Cuba/Latin America. Place & Date Acq.: United States, Miami (4 October 1963). "1. On 30 September 1963 Francisco L. Fesser said that he had several discussions with former Cuban President Carlos Prio Socarras during the past 10 days at Prio's Miami Beach home. (Headquarters Comment: Fesser is a Cuban exile who has previous contacts with Prio). According to Fesser, Prio offered him the job of setting up a type of general staff which would be composed of professional Cuban army officers who are now living in exile. These men are to be officers who have not been charged as war criminals during the Batista regime and who would direct the military operations against Cuba from various Central American countries. 2. Fesser said he had several talks with former Colonel Eduardo Ernesto Martin y Elena, former Colonel Pedro A. Valdivia Romero and Lieutenant Saenz (FNU)...Fesser said their aim is to divide Cuba militarily into three sectors: Eastern, Central, and Western. 3...Fesser mentioned that Jose Antonio Luco, a friend of Prio, has purchased arms and airplanes during the past month in England, France, and Italy. 4. According to Fesser, Orlando Puente Perez, Prio's secretary, traveled to Japan during the past month in order to buy speed boats and mother ships. Fesser said that Prio has assured him that he had 10 million dollars with which to start operations, and that he has military bases in Haiti, Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Fesser added that Prio feels certain he can carry out his plans and destroy Castro..." This document also found at 104-10220-10105


10/19/63: Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Sluglines PRIORITY DIR CITE WAVE 6049: RYBAT TYPIC YOBITE AMWORLD: "1. AMCONCERT-1 reported 18 Oct Orlando (Puente) Perez, representing Carlos (Prio) Socarras, would depart JMWAVE area 20 Oct for BOGO and CARA to finalize plans against Cuba. 2. Defer to HQs notifying BOGO CARA if coverage desired. 3. Additional details from Puente UFGA-1194. (Also RECD 11994)."


10/24/63: Cable from Caracas to Director: Slugline RYBAT TYPIC YOBITE AMWORLD: "1. Orlando Puente Perez accompanied Prio during late Sept mission to Venezuela. Reported Refs A and B. When queried about Puente 23 Oct, CIARK/1 said he generally discredited among Venezuelan officials and did not participate prior meetings with them. CIARK/1 does not believe Puente now in Venezuela. Will report arrival and info about mission if he returns. CIARK/1 doubts that Puente can accomplish any purpose other than possible collection financial contributions. 2. Index. C/S Comment: *Reportedly Orlando (Puente) Perez representing Cuban ex-President Prio visiting area on mission to finalize plans against Cuba. HQs would appreciate coverage if possible."


10/30/63: Cable from Bogota to Director: Slugline RYBAT TYPIC YOBITE AMWORLD: REF: DIR 77476: Orlando Puente Perez visited BOGO from 20-24 October. Is not known to have contacted Cuban community here. GIAGAR-7 said his known contacts here were on business matters. No political activity reported."


10/31/63: Information Report: Country: Cuba/Nicaragua/Venezuela/Colombia. Place & Date Acq.: United States, Miami (19 October 1963). "1. Orlando Puente Perez, secretary to former Cuban President Carlos Prio Socarras, said that while on a trip to the West Coast in mid-October 1963 he had talked with Luis Somoza, former Nicaraguan President, who was planning to make a trip to Japan. Somoza asked Puente to tell Prio that the latter could count on Somoza's full support, and as soon as he returned from Japan, a mobilization of men in Nicaragua would begin for attacks against Cuba. Puente strongly asserted that all equipment necessary to wage a campaign against Fidel Castro is available, including aircraft and trained pilots. 2. Prio had delegated to Puente the responsibility of completing the details of the plan with Jaime Varela Canosa, President of the...(AVEC), Aldo Vera Serafin, leader of the American Patriotic Action Movement (NAPA). Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, leader of the ..(SFNE), and Nino Diaz, all of whom have agreed to participate in Prio's plan by contributing men. According to Puente, Somoza has decided to let Prio himself carry out the plan for the fight against Castro. Puente feels that, despite Prio's indecisive character, he has decided to spend the money need for the job, since he feels that this is his last opportunity to vindicate himself in the eyes of Cuban and United States nationals. 3. Puente said that Prio had several interviews in Miami before departing for New York; he has held meetings in New York, where he has many friends, and he also held a large meeting in New Jersey on 10 October. Puente commented that he does not wish to leave Prio 'alone,' as Prio has been meeting many elements who have caused him to utter negative statements. 4. Puente said that Prio had instructed him to depart for Colombia and Venezuela on 20 October to make final arrangements for the plan."


12/05/63: Dispatch from COS, JMWAVE to Chief, Special Affairs Staff: REF: WAVE 8562 and 9563. "1. During a 26 November meeting, JMWAVE case officer Zickgraff learned from AMSHAG-3, known to be an old member of the Autentico Party, that he had spoken with his friend Carlos Prio Socarras on the previous day. According to Prio, he and Somoza, who had arrived in the country over the weekend to attend President Kennedy's funeral, had reached an agreement. Prio told Somoza that he had recruited 100 young U.S. Army trained Cuban volunteers who were now on his payroll and that he could quickly expand this to 300. Somoza promised Prio training and staging camps in Nicaragua and or Honduras for these forces, and said he would make available to him the arms that he still had in Nicaragua, which were left over from the abortive invasion. 2. According to AMSHAG-3, Prio wants to speak to someone 'in the company' about this matter. He is willing to use his own money to get the venture started but said he would need financial help to sustain the effort over a long period of time. He wants to lay his cards on the table and tell 'the company' just how far he is financially able to go. 3. AMSHAG-3 said that Prio is interested in an immediate discussion if possible so that he can have something concrete for Somoza before he returns to Nicaragua. Prio said he would like to operate out of a maximum security camp, outside of the JMWAVE area if possible, under a cover whereby direct CIA involvement could be denied. Prio said he would accept the consequences if the operation blew up. 4. AMSHRUG-1, who interpreted for Zickgraff and who knows Prio, told Zickgraff that apparently Prio thinks AMSHAG-3 is a 'tough cookie' and good leader and will probably make him one of his top military officers if such a plan materializes. 5. On 4 December 1963, AMSHAG-3 told Zickgraff that Prio's plan had been studied and a record made of it but that there was no interest in this sort of thing at this time."


12/06/63: Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Sluglines DIR CITE WAVE 8563: RYBAT TYPIC YOBITE AMPALM-4: REF WAVE 8562 (IN 74653) "1. AMPALM-4 said Francisco Chao repeat Chao Hermida attended 10 Nov meeting with Miguel A. 'Cuco' Leon which attended by Noel del Pino repeat Pino Perez, trusted confidant Felix Lancis of Autenticos. According Chao, Autenticos, including Arturo Hernandez repeat Hernandez Tellaheche, involved Plan Judas. Plan includes Autenticos inside Cuba. 2. Pino Perez very angry about declarations Prio because those Autenticos involved in plan not followers Prio. Pino Perez asked Leon how Prio learned of contents document and Leon finally admitted he had shown document to Orlando Puente repeat Puente Perez, Prio's secretary. However, Leon claimed he did not think Prio would publish contents. 3. Sevilla Sacasas, dean DIPL corps and AMB Nicaragua, told Leon in Washington, D.C. he intended recommend to Somoza when he arrived on 18 Nov that he break with Prio because this relationship prejudicial to Somoza. 4. Leon told Chao that while in Washington, D.C. he met with Enrique Ruiz repeat Ruiz Williams. Leon claims latter informed him that he, Ruiz, was to lead new Cuban Republic. He had been so named by GPFOCUS who had gone New York to interview him. GPFOCUS said Ruiz could work with any or every sector he wished, but important point was that Ruiz was to be boss. Ruiz called AMING-2 to Washington, D.C. to name him future health minister. AMBANG-1 is also to be in cabinet. Ruiz told Leon that he had arranged exit from Cuba of Carlos Franqui with his accumulated wealth. 5. Leon said he had meeting in automobile with Chief ODBEAT (Defense Intelligence Agency - DIA) who spoke against activities CIA because they interfering with Plan Judas. 6. Chao has prepared document attacking Prio for his declarations. This is part of personal feud between two. Chao going to hold that Prio delaying liberation of Cuba by his ill-timed statements. CS Comment: *Attached."


12/06/63: Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Sluglines DIR CITE WAVE 8562: RYBAT TYPIC YOBITE AMCONCERT-1 AMWORLD: REF WAVE 8563 (IN 74654): "1. AMCONCERT-1 learned from Carlos Prio repeat Prio Socarras' secretary, Orlando Puente repeat Puente Perez, on 14 Nov 63 that Prio's declarations wherein he accused U.S. Government of agreement with FJSTEAL/USSR to replace AMTHUG with Tito-type Government originated with Guillermo Alonso repeat Alonso Pujol in Washington, D.C. and was received by Prio through Guillermo Belt. Alonso Pujol has friendly relations with certain members diplomatic circle Washington, D.C. and thinks he well informed although he lives in Europe. 2. Guillermo Marquez, publisher of New York weekly Ahora repeat Ahora, and Carlos Marquez Sterling are both part of Prio's plan and have allegedly become associated Richard Nixon in accordance with Republican Party plan bring up Cuba case before elections. 3. Prio disgusted and waiting for Somoza return to transfer men to Nicaragua to go into action as soon as possible, to return to Cuba with prestige in eyes of his people. According Prio, at end first two years after freedom, general election will have to take place. For this event he and colleagues will have to present themselves as liberators to Cuban people. They have advantage of knowing how to organize political party better than other young elements. 4. Prio has sent various men to join MRR. He has verified CIA backing AMBIDDY-1 who nothing more than screen in whole process. Prio claims AMBIDDY-1 accepted because he very ambitious and also has backing Jesuits. At right time Prio plans denounce these plans so that Cuban people will know truth and will not let themselves be directed as they are in Spain. To complement whole plan, Jesuits bringing forth Jose Ignacio Rivero, publisher Diario de la Marina..which official voice of Jesuits in Cuba..."


This 12/20/63 memo indicates that AMSHAG-3 was a source, and is probably the same source who was "a Cuban exile who is a long-time member of the Autentico Party..." This source said that Prio and Somoza had reached a deal about training camps in Nicaragua and/or Honduras for 100 young Cuban volunteers, trained by the US Army.


04/27/64: Field Information report: Country: Cuba. Place & Date Acq.: United States, Miami (7 April 1964): "Source: Former Latin American Military Officer who at one time resided in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and who still maintains fairly close relationships with officials of those countries. Source also maintains contact with leading Cuban exiles in the Miami area. Source is a trained reporter and his information has been reliable in the past. This information was obtained from Dr. Francisco Leon Fesser. 1. According to Dr. Francisco Leon Fesser, close friend of former Cuban President Carlos Prio Socarras, Prio's secretary, Dr. Orlando Puente Perez, said that he was in charge of the funds which Prio is giving to certain Cuban exile figures in Miami. Sometime before the fifth day of each month, Prio has been giving $1,000 to Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, leader of the Segundo Frente Nacional de Escambray (SFNE, Second National Front of the Escambray). 2. Beginning in April 1964, Prio plans to give $1,000 a month to Comandos L and the same amount to Alpha 66 as a subsidy for these groups to help carry out their activities against Cuba or shipping to Cuba. 3. Prio believes that these action groups are the only ones who will be able to do anything effective against Castro. He feels that the money will be spent to its best advantage by these groups."

See Also:
Gavin McDonald • Bill Simpich

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