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Cryptonym: STORAX

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STORAX was probably the cryptonym for President Anastasio Somoza, ruler of Nicaragua during Operation PBSUCCESS. A cable on April 6, 1954, mentioned that a "planned assassination attempt on STORAX also reported."
The New York Times reported on the same day as the cable on the unsuccessful assassination attempt on President Anastasio Somoza. A cable in May of 1954 from Managua, Nicaragua, stated that in regards to Edward Browder Sabatino, a letter was forwarded "to STORAX asking for safe conduct to KMFLUSH (Nicaragua) and suggesting it would not be discreet for him to procure travel documents from PBPRIME (U.S.) Consulate."


02/19/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline RYBAT/PBSUCCESS/SECUR: REF: (REDACTION): "1. Pivall (probably David Morales) arrived LINC 0830 Feb 19 with five pages slightly paraphrased text of following messages with all cryptonyms and pseudonyms as in original instance: A) LINC 167, 169, 172, 173. B) (REDACTION). C) DIR 34829 and DIR repeat direct to (REDACTION) of LINC 164. 2. Conniff debriefing Pivall now meanwhile Cadick (William Robertson) reported Pivall had obtained papers from IDEN A (REDACTION) who voluntarily gave him papers saying owing to importance information contained therein he had shown them to (REDACTION). 3. Recommend HQs review compromised cables soonest and: A) Prepare new list of all compromised cryptonyms and pseudonyms; B) Study context view extent compromise PBSUCCESS with STORAX - urge Seekford be thoroughly debriefed re this relationship; C) Determine from Seekford how many other messages were left at this site. 4. LINC must assume other messages were compromised and that STORAX has copied all received. LINC urges HQs debrief Seekford thoroughly on all indiscretions affecting PBSUCCESS (see also LINC 608). 5. LINC forwarding above pages this date by special courier with Pivall statement and will study further and advise comments. Will notify ETA and identity courier by telephone."


02/27/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: RE: DIR 40038: FOR USE IN TONIGHT'S INTERROGATION: "1. Attention invited lines 1-4, page 2, debriefing of Pivall (probably David Morales) dated 19 Feb 54. Rogers advised Pivall that Seekford had written Rogers requesting him to obtain clothes and papers from (REDACTION). Only papers received by Pivall were those handed him by (REDACTION). 2. Above facts not compatible with Seekford's statement that messages were stolen from his hotel room. Seekford knew that some papers were at (REDACTION) when he wrote Rogers. Therefore, statement that papers were stolen casts aspersions on the veracity of Rogers' statement to Pivall, which LINCOLN (CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida) cannot reconcile. 3. Believe (REDACTION) words 'shown only to STORAX and for Seekford not to worry' are very significant and reflect the possibility mentioned para 1 Baker ref message. 4. Believe important Seekford be specifically asked: 'Do you believe that Pivall's remaining in area will result in the disclosure of pertinent information not heretofore revealed?' Recommend this question be asked in number of variations. 5. Believe LINC should send Conniff to aid due to intimate knowledge details of case. Advise. 6. Pivall may be in KMFLUSH (Nicaragua) but more likely still in WSHOOFS (Honduras). Important you inform LINC soonest whether any real danger regarding Pivall."


03/01/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: FOR PIVALL: IMMEDIATE ACTION: "1. Plane of no use PBSUCCESS due burnt nature. Investigate chances trade craft for one-passenger (REDACTION) plane plus cash. Determine terms and forward LINCOLN (CIA's Guatemalan covert operations headquarters, a forward base in Florida). 2. Determine if STORAX can arrange paper transfer legal ownership from Delgado to Salamander. (REDACTION) prior to trade with STORAX-1 (IDEN B, Ref B). Then (REDACTION) plane would be available solely your use through Salamander influence. 3. Clearance procedure underway for available pilot. 4. LINCOLN cognizant preponderancy proposed Calligeris (Carlos Castillo Armas) budget. Ontrich (Nestor Sanchez) proceeding to meet Calligeris prior to releasing revised budget. 4000 and 400 dollars being released to you for pass to Calligeris KMFLUSH (Nicaragua) (REDACTION) expenditures SCRANTON (training base for radio operators near Nicaragua)-SARANAC (paramilitary training site in Nicaragua) to 15 March. Remind (REDACTION) camp personnel being tripled during March. 5. Instructions on your documentation will be passed when firm. 6. What name, occupation your present WSHOOFS (Honduras) documentation? 7. Stay close contact with station during OAS conference."


04/06/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: LINCOLN SITREP WEEK 29 MAR-5 APRIL: ..."Planned assassination attempt on STORAX also reported..." - - - 04/06/54: New York Times article: Headlined: "NICARAGUA FOILS ASSASSINS' PLOT; Martial Law Declared After Somoza Escapes Ambush - Gunfire Kills Three: MANAGUA, Nicaragua, April 5 (UP) -- A state of modified martial law was imposed throughout Nicaragua today following an unsuccessful week-end attempt to assassinate President Anastasio Somoza..." https://www.nytimes.com/1954/04/06/archives/nicaragua-foils-assassins-plot-martial-law-declared-after-somoza.html


05/24/54: Cable from Managua to Director: "Cable any info available regarding Edward Browder Sabatino, PBPRIME (U.S.) citizen with address Monte Cassino, Mexico, DF. Under date 7 May forwarded letter on Gran Hotel Continental, Guatemala, stationery to STORAX asking for safe conduct to KMFLUSH (Nicaragua) and suggesting it would not be discreet for him to procure travel documents from PBPRIME Consulate. Planned departure from WSBURNT (Guatemala) to Mexico on May 8. Desired half hour appointment with STORAX to discuss info which he stated ‘I consider it to be very important to your well being.’ Had appointment in Montreal on 16th and 17th May which he apparently has not kept as still desirous of coming to KMFLUSH. General nature of letter suggests subject either soldier of fortune or provocateur."


06/23/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline RYBAT PBSUCCESS: RE: SHERWOOD 350 (IN 21124): "1. Confirming Withing-Playdon (Frank Wisner-Tracy Barnes) talk following points involved. A. Essential someone with high (REDACTION) authority be sent soonest to see STORAX. B. Recognition that now or near future STORAX is going properly insist on some form (REDACTION) direct or indirect. (REDACTION) moreover his present position mighty touchy. C. In view above LINC recommended Lynade (Richard Bissell) as having ideal qualifications for mission. D. Recognized however Lynade prominence and at least PBPRIME (U.S.) knowledge official status which would make public disclosure real danger. Feel however that could go under assumed name revealing himself to STORAX alone who bound by circumstances to maintain secrecy. (REDACTION) has numerous advantages but feel decision one of policy. E. If policy prevents use Lynade, LINC believes Galbond (J. C. King) proper choice. Has long represented group as senior man and has proper stature and background to provide what STORAX wants. F. Reelfoot (probably Raymond J. O'Mara) believed know if SCRANGER (probably Latin America) as KUBARK (CIA) or at least ODENVY (FBI). This perhaps as great or greater worry as Lynade whose connection known PBPRIME whereas Reelfoot in SGRANGER. G. Possibility agreeable though not recommended by LINC (assuming HQs does not concur with LINC worry para 6) would be for Reelfoot accompany Galbond as a member his organization, a friend and close associate (REDACTION) and PBPRIME rep of various SGRANGER interests. H. In any case purpose mission in LINC opinion to assure STORAX group in fight for keeps. Moreover should obtain all possible info on STORAX views and desires..."


06/24/54: Cable from LINCOLN to Director: Slugline PBSUCCESS RYBAT: "1. Ref C indicates STORAX-1 now over problem frame mind of Ref C. 2. Clear from Ref A STORAX concerned with military planning and tactics. As indicated Ref D trip may be unnecessary. 3. If necessary LINC feels strongly military man not civilian should go. In view knowledge operation, background both in army and L.S. plus advantage review various KMPLUME activities Dunbar best candidate. 4. Playdon (Tracy Barnes) feels despite need for Dunbar at LINC he could be spared for short trip of two days. 5. Both Dunbar and Playdon aware of basis previous decision re transfer Dunbar to KMPLUME as field commander but feel trip short duration for specific purpose changes problem. 6. Dunbar would (REDACTION) risk detection present but believe under circumstances acceptable. 7. Please advise."


11/15/55: CIA document: NSC Briefing: "NICARAGUA: ...II. Somoza's plan for re-election would be 'justification' for revolt. A. Gen. Anastasio ('Tacho') Somoza, dictator since 1934. B. Plans to be 're-elected' next November. 1. General citizenry apathetic and intimated. 2. Oppoistion Conservative Party frightened and divided. 3. Exiles desperate and have been plotting for years. a. Scattered throughout Central America. b. Last attempt to kill Somoza in April 1954 almost succeeded. III. Somoza's National Guard is crucial factor. A. 3,500 well-trained men. 1. Somoza's chief prop. 2. Directly controlled by Somoza. B. To succeed, revolt would have to be joined by part of Guard. (REDACTION). 2. Guard has been united and loyal for past 8 years. C. Somoza takes elaborate precautions against assassination..."

Gavin McDonald

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