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Cryptonym: AMSTAND

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Unknown identity. A cable in January of 1965 from JMWAVE included AMSTAND as a slug, along with AMSWIRL-1 (Cesar Diosdado).
The cable mentioned that JMWAVE had an operational interest, presumably either in the boat, the crew members, or the refugee group. The crew members were Andres Andres Pelegrino, Orlando Vega Herrera, and Luis Garcia Lescanso. The cable stated that the crew were carrying three handguns and two M-1 rifles. They were due to return around February 10, 1965, with a refugee group. The cable also mentioned that Cesar Diosdado, the Customs agent, was to be informed of this development.

In terms of the crew members, Orlando Vega Herrera took part in the attack at Isabela de Sagua in March of 1963. Vega was a member of the Second National Front of the Escambray (SNFE), and a follower of Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo. Vega was granted a POA by the CIA in April, 1964, and was used as a maritime engineer in Miami, Florida. However, he was terminated on June 16, 1964; apparently for leaving his post aboard his assigned vessel.

Andres Andres Pelegrino was mentioned in a 1968 FBI report on Epifanio Romero Delgado, a suspected Cuban intelligence asset.


04/26/63: Report by William Mayo Drew, Jr. of FBI Miami Office: Titled: Second National Front of Escambray (SNFE) (Operation Alpha 66): ..."Nicolas Salado Mata admitted participating in attacks in 10/62 and 12/62 by SNFE and also piloting attack launch to Isabela de Sagua, Cuba, on 3/17/63. Said plans and instructions for attack were made by Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo. Roger Redondo Gonzalez identified participants in 3/17/63 attack as himself, Salado, Orlando Vega, Charles Paez and Agustin Gutierrez. Said guns and supplies of group had been stored on islands in international waters. He said he had no information regarding the purchase of equipment or handling of funds of the SNFE."


05/24/63: Interview of Orlando Vega Herrera by SA Francis J. O'Brien in New York City: "Orlando Vega Herrera, 442 Amsterdam Avenue, Apartment 4S, New York City, was interviewed at the headquarters of the Second National Front of Escambray (SNFE) - Alpha 66 on May 22, 1963...Orlando Vega Herrera was born on October 11, 1938, in Sagua La Grande, Las Villas, Cuba. The permanent address of Vega is Quintin Banderas #52, Sagua La Grande, Las Villas, Cuba. Vega was paroled by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Miami, Florida, on December 20, 1962, and has INS number A12 496 579. Prior to his entry into Miami, Florida, on December 20, 1962, Vega was picked up at the Cay Sal Bank, Bahamas, by the United States Destroyer 'Androscoggin.' Vega stated that he first came to the United States from Cuba in a small fishing boat and landed in the vicinity of Key West, Florida. Vega stated that this occurred during November, 1960, and he was paroled at that time by INS, Miami. Vega advised that he recently came to New York City from Miami, Florida, after he returned to Miami in April, 1963, after participating in the raid on the coast of Cuba on March 17, 1963, at Isabela de Sagua. Vega stated that upon his arrival in the United States during April, 1963, he was not interviewed by any official of the United States Government. Vega advised that since he arrived in New York, he has been residing at 442 Amsterdam Avenue, Apartment 4S, in care of a close friend of his whose name is Pedro Sacheco. Vega advised that at the present time he is employed in the kitchen at the Tavern-on-the-Green, Central Park, New York City...Vega stated that is a member of the SNFE and first joined...in April, 1958, and fought in the Escambray Mountains against the dictatorship of former President Fulgencio Batista. While in Escambray in 1958, he was closely associated with Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, the late Captain William Morgan and with Armando Fleites." (CONTINUED BELOW).


05/24/63: Interview of Orlando Vega Herrera by SA Francis J. O'Brien in New York City: "Vega advised that after Batista and his government fell on January 1, 1959, he entered Havana, Cuba, where he joined the Rebel Army of Prime Minister Fidel Castro and remained with the Army until March, 1959, when he resigned. Vega stated that while in the Rebel Army, he had the rank of Sergeant Major. Vega stated that after he resigned from the Rebel Army in March, 1959, he returned to Las Villas Province and worked as a longshoreman at the Port of Isabela de Sagua, and remained there until November, 1960, when he and a few others in a small fishing boat fled from Cuba and eventually arrived in Key West, Florida. Vega stated he left Cuba because he was against Prime Minister Fidel Castro because he had sold out the Cuban people to the Communists and because he is politically anti-Communist. Vega stated that eh would continue to fight against the Communist regime of Prime Minister Castro until Castro is defeated. Vega also said that he would remain in New York, and at the present time, there are no plans for him to participate in any contemplated raids against Cuba..."


01/28/65: Cable from JMWAVE to Director: Slugline TYPIC AMSTAND AMSWIRL: "1. FL 1218 S, 23 foot blue seacraft, inboard outboard, plans depart Miami area on family run CA 29 Jan. Station has ops interest. Please advise AMSWIRL-1 (Customs agent Cesar Diosdado). Crew members: A. Andres (Andres) Pelegrino. B. Orlando (Vega) Herrera. C. Luis (Garcia) Lescanso. 2. Crew carrying three pistols and two M-1 rifles wrapped in paper and burlap as fishing gear. 3. Returning CA. 10 Feb with refugee group."


02/02/65: Memorandum from Justin F. Gleichauf, Chief, Miami Field Office (By: San Juan Resident Agent) to Chief, Contact Division (For: Support Branch): "1. On 26 January 1965, the motor vessel El Mameye, used by anti-Castro Cuban refugees, arrived at Joyuda, Puerto Rico and the crew turned themselves over to US Customs authorities at Mayaguez. Aboard the vessel were the captain, Jose Antonio Mouriz Febles, radioman Sergio Lopez Ruiz de Parras; and three guerrilla fighters - Eduardo Rodriguez Padron, Orlando Vega Herrera, and Pedro Diaz Torres, all Cubans...3. The men stated that a group (passage obscured) Eduardo Rodriguez Padron, Jose Antonio Mouriz Febles, Angel Banos Pantoja, and Noel Salas Santos, left Joyuda, Puerto Rico originally on July 4, 1964 on the El Mameye for the Dominican Republic where a base had been established at Punta Presidente, on the northern coast of that island. On 6 October 1964, another group composed of Pedro Diaz Torres, Orlando Vega Herrera, Roberto Pineda Escalante, and ten or eleven unnamed Cubans left Anasco, Puerto Rico for the Dominican Republic...7. During the interrogation, the men stated that they had expected to hear by radio from Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo within five days after he had landed in Cuba. They stated he had landed at Baracoa, but would not provide details of this landing. When they did not hear from Menoyo as expected, they became panicky..."


02/04/65: Interview of Orlando Vega Herrera by SA Wendell W. Hall, Jr. at Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico: ..."His permanent address in the United States is 1046 NW 3rd Street, Miami, Florida. Vega stated that he had made one trip to Cuba since his first arrival in the United States during 1963 and with the SNFE. Vega stated that he had been with the SNFE for some time and was among those members of the SNFE arrested in the Bahamas in 1963. He stated that he has received no support, aid or assistance from any agency of the United States Government either presently or in the past. Vega stated that he came to Puerto Rico in October, 1964, and went to Anasco, Puerto Rico, where he met others from the SNFE. On arrival of the 'Mameyes' from the Dominican Republic, they boarded and proceeded to their base in the Dominican Republic. He stated he remained there until January 24, 1965, when they again boarded the 'Mameyes' and retuned to Joyuda, Puerto Rico, arriving on January 27, 1965. He is presently residing with Pedro Diaz Torres in Apartment 904 of the Darlington Apartments, Santurce, Puerto Rico. Vega stated that while in Anasco, Puerto Rico, neither he nor his companions engaged in any type of training and had no arms of any type. They did have clothing and radios but no other type of equipment."


04/17/68: Report by Joseph C. Ball of the FBI Miami Office: Titled: Epifanio Romero Delgado: Page 3: "INS Boat Report showing two 27-foot motorboats named 'Cada' and 'Flying Saucer' arrived from Cuba at Key West, Florida, on September 21, 1965, with 65 persons aboard. Epifanio Romero Delgado, Alfredo Carillo Valdes and Enrique Gonzalez Rodriguez were in charge of one boat, which they had taken to Cuba from the United States. The other boat had reportedly been encountered en route and contained Arturo Mayans (captain), Andres Andres Pelegrino, Jose Garcia Luis, Umberto Gonzales Obregon and Orestes Hernandez Lozano. According to information revealed by these occupants, the two boats arrived at Pinar del Rio Province, Cuba, on September 14, 1965, and two members of the group, Epifanio Romero Delgado and Andres Andres Pelegrino, went to Havana and contacted some of the people they were to rescue..." The subject of this report, Epifanio Romero Delgado, appeared to have been in contact with Cuban Intelligence. He had resided in the U.S. since September 21, 1962. The synopsis mentioned that he had been employed by a U.S. Government agency.


05/14/76: Memorandum from Raymond A. Warren, Acting Chief, Latin America Division to The Review Staff (Attention: Seymour Bolten) via SA/DDO: Page 8: "Orlando Vega Herrera: POA April 1964. Used as a maritime engineer April 1964 in Miami, Florida. Terminated 16 June 1964 because he left his post aboard the vessel to which he had been assigned. Claimed he left post to join Gutierrez Menoyo group (ALPHA 66) on an invasion trip to Cuba."

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Gavin McDonald

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