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Cryptonym: WKSCARLET-3

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Luis Posada
Must be one of these two men, at the center of the bombing of the Cubana airliner in 1976.

104-10164-10099: BOSCH AVILA, ORLANDO

(p. 102): In 1964, WKSCARLET-3 completed Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Fort Benning, Georgia.

National Security Archive, "Bombing of Cuban Jetliner 30 Years Later": https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB202/index.htm

"Still-secret intelligence documents cited in the file review...suggest that the CIA assigned several cryptonyms to Posada when he was working for them, first as an operative and trainer in demolitions and later as an informant based in the Venezuelan secret police service DISIP. In 1965 he was assigned the codename "AMCLEVE-15." In 1972 he "was given a new crypt CIFENCE-4," according to a still-unreleased CIA document, and later referred to as "WKSCARLET-3."


Re 1971: "In the case of ()SCARLET-3, HSCA reps indicated they intended to proceed with interview. Questioning of REDACTED will relate to alleged assassination attempt against Prime Minister Castro during 1971 visit to Chile. HSCA reps were alerted to fact that interview with REDACTED and Orlando Bosch would likely be monitored by Venezuelan authorities. According to political counselor, commander of military prison has indicated he likely will accompany HSCA reps during interview." 6/2/78 memo from WITHHELD to Priority Director at HSCA.


11/25/72: Posada's cryptonym switched from CIFENCE-4 to WKSCARLET-3, as shown in this 201 Personality File Action Request.

104-10178-10000: POSADA, LUIS CLEMENTE

2/21/73 cable from Headquarters: "While sympathizing with REDACTED desire salvage WKSCARLET-3, we cannot approve REDACTED suggestion for bailing him out. We have informed LNAGON HQS that we have 'operational interest' in WKSCARLET-3 and that REDACTED will discuss case with Chief LNAGON Caracas. "Says WKSCARLET-3 may be involved in illegal traffic of cocaine, sale of stolen and smuggled wristwatches and distribution of counterfeit US dollars. Info based on LNAGON/DEA report to station...Gives results of investigation indicating that WKSCARLET-3 is involved in illegal distribution of narcotics." One additional line is that "if it turns out that WKSCARLET-3 is indeed involved in illegal narcotics activities, REDACTED should terminate him immediately." Faint marginalia cannot be fully read, but "immediately" is crossed out and replaced with "cancel and get his issues sorted out". It then reads "If LNAGON wants pick up WKSCARLET-3 aftewards, this they can do so on own initiative."

Nora Gamez Torres, 11/15/17, Miami Herald, "Drugs, Spying and Terrorism": http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article184844308.html

Posada was spotted in Miami with Andres Purrinos and other known drug traffickers in March of 1973, according to a CIA document based on information from the U.S. Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), the precursor of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Given above contact with known violators there is little doubt that Posada is a trafficker … BNDD Caracas continues feel would [sic] be worthwhile to let Posada run and see where he lead us,” the document added. The BNDD investigation also indicated that Posada was involved in trafficking cocaine from Colombia to Venezuela and on to Miami, as well as dealing in stolen watches and the distribution of counterfeit dollars. The CIA initially considered protecting Posada, whose agency code name was WKSCARLET-3. “Despite above info indicating WKSCARLET-3 involved [in] this case, agent worth salvaging and we should make effort to do so,” one document noted. But other officials indicated Posada posed a serious problem for the agency. If the allegations were true, they recommended, the agency should cut all ties with him. Posada apparently passed a lie detector test in May 1973 that settled the debate, but the CIA already had decided to cut him off...His last contact with the agency before the Cubana airline bombing was on June 22 1976, when he asked for CIA assistance obtaining U.S. visas for himself and his wife. “The assistance was denied,” one cable noted...the bomb that killed all 73 passengers and crew aboard the Cubana airliner shortly after taking off from Barbados in October 1976 complicated its relationship with Posada even more. Hernán Ricardo Lozano and Freddy Lugo were arrested in Trinidad and Tobago as the bombers, but Venezuelan authorities arrested Posada and Bosch as the masterminds...Posada's name raised alarms. “We share headquarters’ concern RE arrest of WSCARLET-3 and possibility of suspicion/additional charges... connection with bombing," said one CIA memo dated October 1976."


Luis Posada, Summary of Files, Volume 4: "June 30, 1974. Posada was amicably terminated from agency...Report that ()SCARLET-3 saw Frank Castro in Venezuela who said that he was there to kill Pascal Allende and that Rolando Otero was willing to help. Posada unwitting of ()SCARLET's contact with BKHERALD. Report in Feb 1976 of attempt on Andres Pascal Allende or Henry Kissinger. Attempt against Kissinger allegedly attempted for Costa Rica. Posada informing agency that he must go through with attempt to contact Bosch as though he did not know that Bosch had been arrested. Posada concerned that Bosch will blame Posada for leak of plans."

180-10143-10173: No Title

October 1976: CIA message: "Posada directed all violent actions in Venezuela against the Communists. His alias, 'Inspector Basilio' and also 'El Caliche'. The recent operation against the Cubana plane was mounted by Posada assisted by Aldo Vera.

104-10332-10002: POSADA, LUIS CLEMENTE.

12/22/76 memo from LA/PNC/V G. Vickers to Caracas & Santo Domingo: "Posada is former WKSCARLET-3, Cuban agent with Venezuelan citizenship, who was a high-level DISIP (civilian intelligence) official. He has been associated with persons implicated in Cubana bombing of 6 October." Also see Nov. 2017 version of this document, page 3 - "Formally terminated in 1974, REDACTED had contact with him until circa 1976, at which time he was implicated in bombing of a Cuban plane and was incarcerated in Venezuela. As of March, 1993, he was still involved in questionable activities." WKSCARLET-3 earmarked to be hidden from public disclosure, as well as AMIRE-1 (Emilio Rodriguez), WILDCAT (Bernardo de Torres), AMICE-14 (Miguel Diaz) and AMMUG-1 (Vladimir Lahera)

104-10065-10060: HSCA INTERVIEWS

5/30/78 memo from WITHHELD to Priority Director at HSCA: "One of three individuals (HSCA staffers) intend to interview is ()SCARLET-3...Our concern locally is that ()SCARLET-3 may take this opportunity to discuss with HSCA staffers his former BKHERALD/CIA relationship. Welcome your specific guidance in this eventuality."

Bill Simpich

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