The Miami Herald

July 22, 1962

 

Anti-Castro War Camp Ruled Out by Exiles

 

By James BUCHANAN Herald Staff Writer

 

Anti‑Castro Cubans and their American supporters have been forced to drop plans for a large guerrilla warfare training camp near New Orleans, The Herald learned Saturday.

The site, on the north edge of Lake Pontchartrain 40 miles north of New Orleans, was donated this spring by an anonymous U.S. businessman.

The training of anti‑Castro Cubans and the camp itself ,were to have been commanded by Gerald Patrick Heming, a 25-year-old soldier of fortune well known to Cubans here.

The "stop order" came from the Cuban Revolutionary Council's Miami headquarters, which advised its New Orleans associates they could not support any clandestine training sites in the United States.

Preparations for activating the guerrilla warfare school were begun last February as New Orleans' Cuban colony began rounding up arms, ammunition and money for the Venture.

Reportedly, they were successful in raising large sums of money and acquiring large stocks of late model weapons.

Patrick made Innumerable trips between Miami and New Orleans during the past four months preparing the site, which is complete with an airstrip, for July occupancy.

Plans had called for the training of 50 to 75 Cubans in classes lasting from six to eight weeks.

At the completion of, the "courses," the guerrilla fighters would have been ready to infiltrate Cuba where they would work with local underground leaders in sabotage and operations against Castro's army and militia.

Louis Rabell, the New Orleans representative of the Cuban Revolutionary Council headed by Dr. Miro Cardona, confirmed the Council had ordered the camp closed before it opened.

In Miami it was said that public knowledge of the proposed camp became too widespread and the Council wanted, to dodge any connection with a large scale operation on which the U.S. State Department and Central Intelligence Agency would frown.

Hemming who operates under the name Jerry Patrick, has been active in anti‑Castro activities here since late 1960. He had been active in Cuba since 1958 with Castro's forces and defected.

Leading first one group and then another, Patrick' finally settled upon the name International Penetration Force" for his organization and began guerrilla training of Cuban refugees here with money supplied by the Cuban colony.

A 6‑foot, 5‑inch, 231 pounder, Patrick has abandoned the long hair, pointed beard, and Australian bush hat he wore for more than a year during his early activities here.

A veteran of four years with the Marine Corps, he now dresses as unobtrusively as possible and is still considered one of the most ardent and effective Americans working with the anti‑Castro forces.