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Cryptonym: AMSPICE-1

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Geraldine Shamma de Carrera aka Geraldine Shamman de Carrera, close colleague of Manuel Artime in 1960.
As seen in the final source, Ms. Shamma's cryptonym is sufficiently "documented". Although the cryptonym does not appear in the records before 1964, the AMMUG-1 (Vladimir Lahera Rodriguez) report appears that it was being used for some period before that date.

Frank Sturgis told the FBI in April 1964 that Shamma was the vice president of the International Anti-Communist Brigade: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=96053&search=SHAMMA#relPageId=10&tab=page

Hancock - no problems with the crypt but I have some concerns about the associated info. As written it suggests that Sturgis recruited her for the embassy; which is either wrong or suggest an official relationship that needs to be substantiated. On the other hand another reference describes her meeting with Morales who would obviously be in a position to officially recruit her. Resolving the recruitment would tell us something important but as it stands it could be confusing and wrong as to the recruiter.

H. P. Albarelli, Jr., A Secret Order (2013)

This book states that Shamma frequently met in Havana with David Morales and Army Intelligence officer Frank Brandstetter. June Cobb frequently met with them as well.


1959: She was involved in high-level spying on the Castros as early as 1959, obtaining pictures of their Communist Party cards. Her prison terms was for 2 1/2 years. She was married to Alfred Suarez, heir to a Cuban tobacco fortune. (1975 article) See Jim Hunt & Bob Risch, Warrior (Tom Doherty Associates, New York, 2011) p. 50: "Frank (Sturgis) met and recruited Geraldine Shamma and her husband, Arturo, during the first half of 1959. Mrs. Shamma was Lebanese and Mr. Shamma was a very wealthy Cuban, having made a fortune in tobacco. Mrs. Shamma became the CIA's main contact of anti-Castro, anti-communist Cubans still living in Cuba. The Shammas made frequent trips between Havana and Miami, where they owned a house on Brickell Avenue. After being arrested by Raul Castro and spending time in jail, they fled Cuba for good...The CIA used the Brickell Avenue residence as a safe house."

180-10108-10086: MIAMI WITNESS.

Gaeton Fonzi's witnesses in Miami, list of more than 200: "Former owner of major business operation in Havana, heavily involved in covert anti-Castro activity with Frank Fiorini Sturgis and Manuel Artime."

Round table on the topic of “Who are the real terrorists?” held in Cuban Television Studios on May 26, 2002, “Year of the heroes imprisoned by the empire” (Translation of Council of State transcripts): http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/documentos/2002/ing/m260502i.html

Re 1959-1960: Remarks of Jose Perez Fernandez, researcher of the Ministry of the Interior: "Another plan is one in which the local CIA station in the U.S. Embassy in Havana was involved. It was cooked up by Major Robert Van Horn and Colonel Jack Nichols who used their posts as military attachés as cover for their subversive and terrorist activities. These two also used agent Geraldine Shamma who had been recruited by Frank Sturgis, whom we mentioned earlier, to organize a plan to assassinate the Commander in Chief when he made one of his visits to the home of one of the Revolution’s leaders. This plan was to be implemented by terrorists from the counterrevolutionary Anti-Communist Workers’ Militias organization. Shamma acted as liaison with them. The plan was approved by the head of the CIA station, James Noel and supervised by Louis Hebert, the CIA section head for Central America and the Caribbean. He came to Havana especially for this purpose." See 124-90076-10036, p. 7 - The men referred to above were Colonel Erickson Nichols, Air Attache, US Embassy in Havana Cuba, and Major Robert Van Horn, Assistant Air Attache at the same embassy.

Fabian Escalante, The Secret War (Ocean Press, 1995), pp. 48-49.

During October 1960 "the G-2 penetrated the CIA station in the US embassy, headed by Colonel Erickson S. Nichols and Major Robert Van Horn, both military attaches. The objective of these spies was to organize the counterrevolution in the city of Havana. They were to carry out a broad subversive plan which included blowing up the Nico Lopez Oil Refinery and the Tallapiedra Electrical Plant, promoting uprisings in the Escambray and carryng out attempts on the lives of leaders of the revolution, Fidel Castro in particular. Among the most important CIA agents involved in these plans was Geraldine Shapman, a Bostonian married to a millionaire tobacco manufacturer. She was recruited by Major Van Horn and was one of the key persons coordinating the arms shipments to the Escambray. She was arrested on November 15, when a large cache of weapons and explosives was found in an apartment she owned...in (the Siboney neighborhood) in the municipality of Marianao."


11/30/60 State Dept. memo from Wayne Gilchrist to James Brown: "Shamman" was arrested at her home on 11/5/60 and held in the women's prison, accused of being the "right hand man" of Manuel Artime. She admitted to her visitor that she was working with Artime's group, while denying it to her captors. For the past several months she was a contact to Major (Robert) Van Horn and Betty Perkins of the embassy's Air Attache office. Frank Sturgis allegedly recruited Shamma. http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=105702&search=%22van_horn%22+AND+SHAMMA+SHAMMAN#relPageId=198&tab=page It should be noted that Van Horn was a frequent contact of Frank Sturgis during this same era. The 11/30/60 embassy memo was attached to this CIA memo 12/2/60, from COS Havana (signed by George D. Scorgory) to C/WH: http://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=20998#relPageId=2&tab=page


5/13/64: Memo to C/WH/3 from Harold Swenson, Chief, WH/SA/CI (chief of CI re Cuba). Discuss various Cuban government officials, who obtained info from defector AMMUG-1 (Vladimir Lahera Rodriguez). Discussion about Oscar Garcia, who it appears was meeting with AMSPICE.


12/16/65: Memo from Chief, JMWAVE to Chief, WH: AMSPICE-1 identifies her Cuban case officer as Manuel Vega Perez/AMPOON-1. Her bio number is 201-749653. A number of contacts within the AMSTRUT-2 (Juana de la Caridad Castro Ruz) network, and still recruiting new members as of 1965.


2/12/65 cable from JMWAVE to Director, classify as file number 201-269349 (Gutierrez Menoyo), ref to file number 201-769653: "WAVE (received) telegram dated 7 Feb from AMSPICE-1 urgently requesting contact with WAVE (case officer)...not wishing use phone for reasons security, WAVE dispatched AMBLINK-1 (probably Jack Stewart) Mexico City 8 Feb order determine nature AMSPICE-1 problem. 9 Feb AMBLINK-1 personally contacted AMSPICE-1 at home. She stated had (received) urgent telegram from IDEN's wife WAVE area asking her come WAVE area help her carry out campaign obtain (Cuban) government clemency for husband...unless WAVE (case officer) had strong objections she planned proceed WAVE area with children...AMBLINK-1 was instructed by WAVE inform AMSPICE-1 his superiors greatly displeased at frivolous manner in which she beckons assistance and whimsical nature her request. AMBLINK-1 further instructed AMSPICE-1 refrain from such tactics in future.


3/8/76: Her lawyers wrote the CIA about her claim: That she had set up a counter-revolutionary network after being recruited by Frank Sturgis, that she was arrested and sentenced to 10 years and had her property confiscated by the Cuban government, and that she was working as a CIA agent. The judgment names other defendants, including Reinaldo Gonzalez Gonzalez/AMCALL-1. The Agency denied that Sturgis, Van Horn, and others were CIA-affiliated in any way.


3/31/76: This memo from LAD's Chris Hopkins to William Sturbitts identifies 201-749653 as AMSPICE-1, after a long discussion about the role of Shamma. I would treat this memo as documentation of her identity.


4/6/76, memo from Richard Sampson, Chief, Latin American Division to General Counsel: "Since we have no files on Mrs. Shamma or her activities against Castro, we believe that any anti-Castro activities she engaged in were directed by the on-island MRR group."

Bill Simpich

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