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Cryptonym: JMFIG

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The Opa-locka air station, where Cuban immigrants were screened at the Caribbean Admissions Center prior to entry into the United States.
Security was an issue, as well as their potential as intelligence assets.

Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation, Volume I: Air Operations, March 1960 - April 1961 Current Section: C. JMADD: Air Training Base, Retalhuleu, Guatemala

"JMFIG was a cryptonym for the Opalocka airfield."


HSCA staffer Leslie Wizelman's notes re her questions to the CIA for identification of crypts: JMFIG is defined as the "Opa-locka Naval Base." It should be added that references indicate a distinction between JMFIG (the Opa-locka airfield) http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?mode=searchResult&absPageId=1608401 and JMFIG Opa-locka (the naval base) http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?absPageId=423737


"Refugees will be taken to Opa-locka only when they have indicated an intelligence potential requiring interrogation in depth...a more productive operation will result if the Opa-locka CAC (note: Caribbean Admissions Center) is re-established)...it is proposed that a counter-intelligence interrogation facility be established at Opa-locka at a property adjacent to the proposed CAC facility. This unit would handle all suspect CI cases referred to it by the CAC...the overall operation would be conducted under cover of the INS as was CAC prior to 24 October 1962."

124-90019-10155: No Title

Deputy Chief of the CAC is Colonel Sam Kail. See 104-10102-10189, p. 2: Kail was military attache at the Havana station before the break of relations in January 1961. There are no indications in the file that anyone in contact with Veciana ever used the names "Morris Bishop, Blair or Kail"; this is relevant if you see 180-10147-10240, p. 102, where Veciana claimed that during Jan. 1961 "Maurice Bishop" urged him to contact various people, including Sam Kail.

198-10004-10153: TRIP REPORT

Colonel Sam Kail and Lt. Col. Trudencio Ulibarri are described as "the two top men" at CAC.


See this document for further details on Kail and Ulibarri and the relationship between CIA and DOD.

104-10227-10036: Cable: Rev Council Now in Seclusion at JMFIG, Extremely

4/17/61 Cable from JMBELL to Guatemala City: The CRC heads were cooped up in Opa-locka and "anxious (to) reach a zone of activity at earliest moment. Request you ask ESVEHICLE-1 (Guatemala President Miguel Ydigoras) permission (to) take them to JMADD or JMTRAV."


Background on the use of the Opa-locka facility. "The Caribbean Admission Center was established in March 1962 as a joint DOD/CIA operation under CIA operational control and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) cover..." See https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=19773#relPageId=10&tab=page - it shows that "CIA's Domestic Contact Division (DCD) had primary responsibility for obtaining positive intelligence interest from refugees." DCD officers conducted interviews with refugees at the CAC.

202-10001-10173: No Title

3/21/62 meeting of the Caribbean Survey Group, including Bill Harvey, RFK and Goodwin: At p. 2, RFK and Harvey joust about how to use the backlog of refugees info at Opa-locka Center. At p. 3, RFK asks: "What are the chances of kidnapping some of the key people of the Communist regime?" Highlighted by the reviewer. At p. 8, Goodwin says that "the US should probe harder for splitting the leadership in Cuba. Raul Castro, for example, is a good possibility. We need a way to get close to this man." Goodwin said that the Special Group's agenda would include discussion about "tractors for prisoners in Cuba". Helms pointed out that Congress should be consulted on this issue.


5/1/62 memo from JMWAVE chief Ted Shackley to Task Force W chief Bill Harvey shows a list of 14 CAC reports and illustrates that the file numbers throughout MFF that begin with the letter "A" and are followed by eight digits are CAC reports.

198-10004-10153: TRIP REPORT

6/30/63 from Lt. Col. James Patchell to Joseph Califano: Describes visit to CAC, operations led by Colonel Sam Kail and Lt. Col. Ulibarri. Julian Gleichauf, CIA chief of field office, is also the Director of CAC. "It is a military operation under CIA managment." Only a "portion" of the refugees passing through are given a screening or an interrogation. Gave "Colonel Haig a very comprehensive briefing on all CIA activities...it is significant to note that (Ted) Shackley has not been given responsibility for the autonomous operations springing from Central America and is personally skeptical about these operations."


4/18/61 Memorandum for the Record by Howard Hunt: "With Mr. Carr (probably Willard Carr/Peter Licari) also at JMFIG and listening via an extension phone, I told Mr. (Gerald) Droller that Mr. (Tracy) Barnes and I had spent time with Mr. (Arthur) Schlesinger the day before on which occasion I had begun to explore the idea of moving the Revolutionary Council outside the United States and to a zone where there was some observable military activity - this at Mr. Droller's previous and urgent request. I told him that a number of us thought JMADD might be the ideal transitional site and that I sent an OPIM cable (from BELL to Guatemala) to consult President Ydigoras about the matter. Following my return from the White House I told him I had been informed by Mr. (Richard) Drain that a high-level turn-down on GUAT had been received and that Col. King had been in telephonic conversation with him and Mr. Carr...(I believe) Secretary Rusk himself had made the negative decision. I told Mr. Droller that what news we had from the beachhead was far from encouraging...Mr. Droller said it was impossible for anyone not present to conceive the terrible situation existing at JMFIG and that by tonight he and Mr. Carr would have to make a decision about whether to restrain by force the members of the Revolutionary Council. He said that several members of the RC were talking of taking their own lives...Ambassador Stevenson felt himself to be in a very awkward position in the U.N. and that certain things had occurred in our liaison with him which required that the Revolutionary Council members not be permitted the opportunity to make statements which could in any way require him to deviate from positions he has taken." (See 180-10145-10210: "Willard Carr may be Peter Licari.")

Bill Simpich

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