Antonio Veciana [201-312,966] was born October 18, 1928. He was the
President of the Association of Public Accountants of Cuba. Prior to Castro's
rise to power, Veciana, in collusion with bank employees, embezzled funds
for the MIR which was described as a fund raising mechanism for the Second
National Front of Escambray. From 1958 to 1961 Antonio Veciana was employed
by Julio Lobo Olavarria, as a comptroller of his finance company, Banco
Julio Lobo spoke with R.E. Reichardt, Chief /Western Hemisphere/4/FI,
on December 17, 1960. Julio Lobo "mentioned Veciana again and restated
that Veciana is reliable. He said that he had received word that Veciana
is systematically destroying the bank's records and the machine bookkeeping
equipment in the bank. Also he felt that there had been some planning on
Veciana's part for the wholesale sabotage of his sugar mills. Lobo did
not know anymore of the details or status of this plan. Distribution: Original
& 1 -C/WH/4 | WH/4/FA | WH/4/PROP | WH/4/FI | WH/4/Chron | File Contact
Reports." [MFR 12.19.60]
"MAURICE BISHOP" AND VECIANA IN HAVANA DAP
In the middle of 1960 Antonio Veciana was approached in Havana by MAURICE
BISHOP. Although Veciana initially assumed he was a new bank customer,
BISHOPS' conversation with him focused on the Castro revolution. The business
card of BISHOP indicated he was with a Belgium construction firm. BISHOP
then invited Veciana to lunch at the Floridita Restaurant. After BISHOP
convinced Antonio Veciana to work against the Castro Government, Antonio
Veciana asked him if he was a CIA agent. He was told that BISHOP "was in
no position to let me know for whom he was working, or for which agency
he was doing this." BISHOP also said he could not tell Veciana whether
or not it was Julio Lobo who suggested he contact him. "Supposedly Julio
Lobo had very important contacts with the U.S. Government" Veciana said.
Antonio Veciana entered a training program where he was taught demolition
and sabotage techniques, although most of the program consisted of lectures
on propaganda and psychological warfare. Veciana stated: "BISHOP told me
several times...that psychological warfare could help more than hundreds
and thousands of soldiers" Veciana stated. He then worked with BISHOP on
a covert operation that resulted in the destabilization of the Cuban currency.
Veciana also became Chief of Action of the Revolutionary Movement of the
People, an anti-Castro underground movement headed by Manolo Ray. In Antonio
Veciana's CIA Personal Questionnaire he listed "Victor" as the alias he
"used in Havana City in the underground against the Castro regime."
Mario Kohly and Joseph Merola were also involved in a plan to destabilize
the Cuban currency in the early 1960's. Was this the same plan? BISHOP
was a great believer in psychological warfare as was DAVID PHILLIPS who
was operating in Cuba at this time under the cover of public relations
man. DAVID PHILLIPS stated the he frequented the Floridita Restaurant and
once saw Hemingway there.
SAM KAIL AND WAYNE SMITH
BISHOP suggested to Antonio Veciana in 1960 that he go to the Embassy and contact a Mr. Smith and Sam Kail. Said Veciana: "MAURICE BISHOP suggested the names of these individuals because we needed specific weapons to carry out the jobs, and he told me that these were the people who could help me."Antonio Veciana was asked not to reveal BISHOP'S name to them. The HSCA ascertained that in 1960 there was a Colonel Samuel G. Kail at the American Embassy, Havana. The HSCA located Sam Kail, retired, and interviewed him in Dallas. Sam Kail, born June 7, 1915, was a West Point graduate who served as the Army Military Attache from June 3, 1958, until the day the American Embassy, Havana, closed on January 4, 1961. His primary mission as a Military Attache had been intelligence. Sam Kail assumed his unit was functioning for the CIA. He told the HSCA: "I suspect they pay our bills." In January 1963 he received the CIA's Legion of Merit Award. Kail said that prior to the American Embassy closing in Havana, there was a constant stream of Cubans coming through his office with anti-Castro schemes, including assassination plans, asking for American assistance in the form of weapons or guarantees of escaping. Kail stated: "We had hoards and hoards of people through there all the time." For that reason, he said, he did not specifically remember Veciana visiting him. "I think it would be a miracle if I could recall him," he said, but does not discount the possibility that he did meet him. Kail said, however, agents of the CIA would frequently use the names of other Embassy staff personnel in their outside contacts without notifying the staff individual it was being done. It happened a number of times he said that a Cuban would come in and ask to see Colonel Kail and when introduced to him, tell him that he was not the Colonel Kail he had met outside the Embassy. Kail said he would then have the Cuban point out the CIA agent who had used his name. Kail said he was not familiar with MAURICE BISHOP."
Gaeton Fonzi believed that "Mr. Smith"might have been Wayne Smith, the
third secretary at the American Embassy in Havana at the time Veciana claimed
he met him there. Smith was a personal friend of PHILLIPS.
CASTRO ASSASSINATIONS PLOTS
KUBARK Havana reported: "On December 7, 1960, Antonio Veciana called on (deleted) with Felix Fernandez Yarzabal, former (deleted) group member, who at that time represented the (deleted) movement. (Deleted) was Justo Carrillo Hernandez Montecristi Group (deleted) must have been Cuban Revolutionary Council (deleted) had contact with Cuban Revolutionary Council member Manolo Ray. Antonio Veciana told the (deleted) of a plot against Castro in which Antonio Veciana was involved. (Deleted) gave Antonio Veciana no encouragement whatsoever. Antonio Veciana said he had previously spoken with a State [Department] political officer (identity not given)."
In June 1961 BISHOP was infiltrated into Cuba, and met with Antonio
Veciana. According to Antonio Veciana: "At the time, 'MAURICE BISHOP' decided
that the only thing left to be done was to have an attempt on Fidel Castro's
life." Although Antonio Veciana himself did not participate, he recruited
the assassins and organized the operation, including renting the apartment
from which the shot would be fired. The CIA reported: "(Deleted) to help
in an assassination plot against Castro. Veciana asked for visas for ten
relatives of the four men assigned to kill Castro and also requested four
M1 rifles with adapters for grenades plus eight grenades. (Deleted) did
not encourage Veciana and subsequently checked with (Deleted) who reported
that Veciana had made similar 'wild-eyed' proposals to him. On November
23, 1961, The Miami News published a report of an unsuccessful attempt
by Antonio Veciana to kill Castro. Veciana reportedly arranged to assassinate
Castro and Cuban President Osvaldo Dorticos on October 5, 1961, in Havana
from apartment he rented near a Castro rally, but the bazooka he was using
failed to fire." An article appeared in the Cuban press naming Antonio
Veciana as the organizer of the plot.
VECIANA LEAVES CUBA
The day before the plot unfolded, Antonio Veciana left Cuba by boat
with his mother-in-law, in whose name the apartment had been let. According
to Veciana, it was BISHOP who urged him to leave, because, he said, Castro's
agents were becoming suspicious of Veciana's activities. The CIA reported:
"October 7, 1960, Veciana entered U.S. at Key West. Had passport, no visa.
Came via small boat, received $100 a month refugee assistance." William
Sturbitts of the CIA reported: "Veciana fled Cuba by small boat in late
1961 and began his fund raising activities for Alpha-66 in early 1962.
In July 1962, he claimed to have $50,000 to $60,000 in U.S. and Puerto
Rican banks belonging to Alpha-66. He is characterized as a 'specialist
in fund raising for Alpha-66 which is the financial section of the Second
National Front of Escambray.' The fund raising activities of Veciana centered
in the United States and Puerto Rico, although there are indications that
Veciana intended to seek funds elsewhere in the Hemisphere such as Venezuela.
In November 1962 the Inter-Agency Source Register indicates Antonio Veciana
was an asset of the Army and was terminated by them, without prejudice,
in 1966. Mr. Sturbitts feels that Veciana did not have, or need, any personal
source for his own funds. He was in the U.S. only a few months before founding
Alpha-66, and commencing fund-raising drives. In addition to this, Mr.
Sturbitts reports that we did not have records identifying the Army officer
who headed the Army's activities in Miami and Puerto Rico during Veciana's
association, nor the name or identity of Veciana's Army case officer."
[Breckinridge to Blakey 12.18.78] Sturbitts added: "From reading the file
I get the impression that Veciana was a slippery-tongued type, completely
capable of conning anyone and diverting funds for his personal use. Based
on above I don't think that Veciana had or needed any personal source for
his own funds. He was in the U.S. only a few months before he founded Alpha-66,
and commencing fund-raising drives." [Speed ltr. 12.18.78]
ANTONIO VECIANA AND ELOY GUTIERREZ MENOYO
In Miami, BISHOP recontacted Antonio Veciana. In the Fall of 1960, Antonio Veciana founded Alpha-66, which Veciana described as "the brainchild of MAURICE BISHOP." According to Veciana, the man behind all of Alpha-66's strategy was MAURICE BISHOP. Over the twelve year period of their association Veciana estimates that he met with BISHOP over 100 times. Besides contacts with BISHOP in Havana and Miami, Veciana also had meetings with him in Dallas, Washington, Las Vegas, and Puerto Rico, and in Caracas, Lima, and La Paz in South America. Antonio Veciana established himself as the civilian chief of Alpha-66, and principal fund raiser. He recruited the former head of the Second National Front of Escambray, Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, as Military Chief. Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo had remained in the Castro Government until January 1961, when he defected to the United States accompanied by a dozen other former Rebel Army Officers. The group commandeered a small boat and sailed to Miami, where the Immigration and Naturalization Service quarantined them as possible Castro double-agents. The sister of Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo, Mercedes Gutierrez, called Frank Bender and stated "that her brother was in jail in McAllen with other Cubans; that she understood that some of these Cubans had been released; and wanted to know just what the situation was with her brother." [From Alien Affairs Officer Jerry L. Massett To: File] Six months later the group was released and flown to Miami, where they merged with Alpha-66. Veciana told the HSCA that BISHOP had some doubts about Menoyo, but Veciana insisted that Menoyo could be trusted. Besides, he said, "if it did not work we could get rid of him." Veciana said Menoyo was not aware of the existence of MAURICE BISHOP.
Shortly after reestablishing contact with BISHOP in Miami, Veciana was
asked to sign a loyalty pledge in the presence of two unidentified men.
On March 16, 1976, Veciana told Gaeton Fonzi: "(More specific about his
meeting with BISHOP and the two men at the Pan American Bank Building).
He remembers he met BISHOP downtown and they walked to the building. He
didn't know where they were going. He doesn't remember what floor they
got out of the elevator on, they were talking, but they got out and BISHOP
took a key out and opened the door. There was a small office, a sofa and
chairs, and there was a room with the American flag in the lefthand corner.
He says it was a very brief ceremony, and it involved the agreement between
BISHOP and him. There were papers that were written, typewritten papers,
he read them and signed them. (Like a contract?) Yes, like an agreement.
He says the reason for it he now believes was just to let him know that
he would be responsible. He got no copies of it."
VECIANA AND OPERATION CELLULA FANTASMA
In Miami, BISHOP asked Antonio Veciana to monitor the activities of
the anti-Castro operation, Cellula Fantasma. This was STURGIS' leafleting
operation in May 1961.Antonio Veciana related he attended a few group meetings
and described it as a leaflet-dropping mission over Cuba involving STURGIS.
Antonio Veciana told Gaeton Fonzi that Robert Swanner and Robert Thompson
were killed during a CELLULA FANTASMA OPERATION. Gaeton Fonzi reported:
"(FIORINI) The only time he got involved with FIORINI was when FIORINI
had a secret group - not CIA - called Cellula Fantasma and BISHOP asked
him to infiltrate it. But the group sponsored a trip of leaflet droppings
with two American pilots who were killed. The operation, he hears, cost
$300,000. That broke up the group. (Did BISHOP know FIORINI?) [non-committal
answer] He never had any contact with FIORINI." [NARA SSCIA 157-10007-10311]
Antonio Veciana said he no contact with STURGIS. In another interview with
Gaeton Fonzi, Veciana said STURGIS was there for the meetings. Gaeton Fonzi
reported that Antonio Veciana stated: "(Ever work with FIORINI?) Just very
little. He went to a few meetings of the Cellula Fantasma. About four meetings.
Lobo was the one who introduced him to Cellula Fantasma. That operation
cost about $300,000. Lobo introduced Veciana to the coordinator of it,
Sergio Rojas. He was Castro's Ambassador to London before he defected.
(Lobo financed Cellula Fantasma?) No, but he did put some money into it.
Somoza, President of Nicaragua, he put some money in it too. He met Somoza
at the Dupont Plaza. He thinks he died. Lobo gave Veciana's name to Somoza
and he met him...(And BISHOP had asked you to infiltrate Cellula Fantasma
to find out what it was doing?) Yes. He said the report he gave BISHOP
was that he notified they weren't getting anywhere, and they seemed to
drink a lot. The meetings were held in a motel in Miami Springs. (FIORINI
was there for the meetings?) Yes. (Was he the leader?) FIORINI was like
a special advisor. The military leader of it was Pedro Diaz Lanz. Rojas
was the coordinator. There were a lot of people in the group but he didn't
know them. BISHOP knew of FIORINI. He said that once he remembers BISHOP
saying about FIORINI that he wasn't just another soldier, he was more than
that. He wasn't just a dumb soldier. BISHOP told him that." Antonio Veciana
denied having known HEMMING. Gaeton Fonzi reported that Veciana told him:
"(re JERRY PATRICK?) Fifteen years ago he had a bunch of hippies surrounding
him and today those very same people are with him at the truck company.
He says that someone who worked there told him that the company has nothing
to do with trucks, it was just a front for an intelligence operation. (Did
you ever work with PATRICK?) No."
DAVID PHILLIPS Division, WH/4/Propaganda, would have had an interest
in monitoring Cellula Fantasma.
VECIANA AND THE CIA
The CIA reported: "There has been no Agency relationship with Veciana.
(Deleted). Veciana was a member of the People's Revolutionary Movement,
an anti-Castro group in Cuba during 1960 to 1961, and was one of the founders
of Alpha-66. A certified public accountant by trade, Veciana was with the
Agency for International Development in La Paz from 1968 to 1972. Veciana
was (deleted)...POA granted January 1962 for use with Revolutionary Movement
of People (MRP) but no record in his file whether he ever used or contacted.
POA canceled November 1962." [CIA 201-312,966 1.7.74]
POA REQUESTED DECEMBER 29, 1961
On December 29, 1961, a Provisional Operational Approval was requested
for Antonio Veciana. His wife and children were living in Cuba. He parents
were living in Spain. [WAVE 0311 (IN 44277) NARA 1993.07.22.08:55:23:460530]
REQUEST INVESTIGATION AND/OR NAME CHECK
January 4, 1962 prc
TO: Deputy Director of Security
FROM: Chief, CI/Operational Approval and Support Division
Area of Subject's Assignment: WH/4/Cuba
Use of Subject: Sabotage man for the Movimiento Revolutionario Del Pueblo (MRP)
PERSONAL RECORD QUESTIONNAIRE
PART I BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
1. Write clearly.
2. Answer all questions. If question is not applicable write N/A.
3. Attach blank pages if additional space is needed.
GENERAL PERSONAL AND PHYSICAL DATA
Name: Antonio Veciana Blanch
Aliases, Nicknames, Temecodes, legal change in name (State time, reason and place of use:
Victor - Used in Havana City in the underground against the Castro regime.
Date of Birth: (Blank) Place of Birth (Blank).
Personal Habits: (Liquor, drugs, gambling, paramours). (Blank)
Court Record (Court date, arrests, charges, punishments, sentences, acquittals).
Color of Hair: Black.
Color of Eyes: Brown.
On January 10, 1962, G. Marvin Gentile, Chief, Investigation Division,
asked the Assistant Deputy Director of Security (Investigations and Operational
Support) for an expedite FBI check concerning Veciana. On January 19, 1962,
Thomas Carroll J. Chief, CI/OA, generated a memo for the Deputy Director
of Security, (Investigations and Support), Subject (Deleted) 256167. It
contained the words "January 24, 1962, CI/OA advised RET." [Security Form
dated January 4, 1962, JFK Box 46 Folder 15 1 page was previously withheld:
Authority: National Security Act of 1947 CIA Act of 1949 As Amended also
seven pages of Bio Data 7 pages]
POA GRANTED JANUARY 29, 1962
Unit WH/4/OPS SUPPORT
January 30, 1962.
Conf: Bell 10
Info: WH 5, S/C 2
REF WAVE 0311 (IN 44277)*
Provisional Operational Approval granted (Deleted) Subject Ref. 201-312966. End of message.
WH COMMENT: *Reference requested POA of Subject for use by ParaMilitary.
(Deleted) Sam Halpern Acting Chief /Western Hemisphere/4 Releasing Officer,
Western Hemisphere/4/ParaMilitary (Deleted) Coordinating Officer, (Deleted)
C/Western Hemisphere /4/INTEL, Authenticating Officer.
(DELETED) TO DIVISION
Date November 5, 1962 JS
Memorandum for Chief, TFW.
Attention: Calvin Hicks (deleted). 201-312966 (deleted).
A CIA Index Card stated: "POA req'd by PM (C. Hicks) on December 29,
1961, WAVE-0311 IN 44277 December 29, 1961. POA Granted Date January 29,
1962." A rubber stamp read "POA CANCELED FIELD ADVISED." [NARA CIA 1993.07.12.11:46:21:620580]
Antonio Veciana was being considered "in connection with Project (deleted)." Probably PROJECT PB PRIME. Veciana filled out an employment application with the CIA and was granted a Provisional Operation Approval by the Office of Security and by Counter-Intelligence. The CIA turned over its file on Antonio Veciana to the HSCA: "In a review of its own files on March 15, 1978, the CIA noted that Antonio Veciana had contacted the Agency three times - in December 1960; July 1962; and April 1966 - for assistance in plots against Castro." According to the CIA, "Officers listened to Veciana, expressed no interest, offered no encouragement and never recontacted him on the matter. There has been no Agency relationship with Veciana." This was clearly untrue in light of the release of Veciana's CIA Employment Application.
The HSCA found it probable that "some United States Agency assigned Veciana a case officer, since he was the dominant figure in an extremely active anti-Castro organization. The committee established that the CIA assigned case officers to Cuban revolutionaries of lesser importance than Veciana, though it could not draw from that alone an inference of CIA deception of the committee concerning Veciana..."
Gaeton Fonzi concluded that PHILLIPS ran Antonio Veciana, like OSWALD,
as a vestpocket operation, although some CIA documents that have not been
released in their entirety still might link Antonio Veciana to PHILLIPS.
The CIA definitely had an interest in Alpha-66, the most active exile group,
and through Veciana, who was a member of the MRP and Alpha-66, indirectly
supported an exile organization that was disfavored by the Kennedy Administration.
THE ACTIVITIES OF ALPHA-66
In October 1961 Frank Watterson, State Department Security Officer, Miami, was told that Alpha-66 had made 30 to 40 trips to Cuba without State Department permission. Frank Watterson told the FBI that the Department had not formulated policy on how to deal with this type of violation. [FBI MM2-312 10.19.61 p5] Frank Watterson called STURGIS and HEMMING, and told them they were on the list of pilots restricted to the U.S. On July 7, 1962, the CIA reported that "Antonio Veciana, principal of Alpha-66 attended meeting July 2, 1962, in home of Emilio Fuentes, Bayamon, Puerto Rico. Purpose was to solicit funds from forty persons attending (above average Cuban exile professionals). Veciana pitch was demand rather than request for funds with inference reprisals against any who failed to fulfill this duty. Veciana said that it was necessary that they undertake an action program outside of U.S. control. In this connection the group was in contact with CIA through person named 'Joe' but group was not going to confide in CIA and were taking precaution of avoiding CIA penetration. Veciana left Puerto Rico on July 4, 1962, for fund raising junket to Chicago." [NARA CIA 1993.07.22.08:55:23:460530 - (Deleted) IN 24738 7.7.62]
On July 7, 1962, Veciana received $500 from a wealthy Puerto-Rican financier and industrialist with whom the CIA had a longstanding relationship. On July 23, 1962, Antonio Veciana was interviewed, at his request, by Harry Real, a CIA officer with the New York Domestic Contacts Division: "Veciana asked Real to arrange a meeting with a senior CIA officer to discuss Alpha-66's plans to assassinate Castro and to request CIA's assistance (U.S. - $100,000; 10,000 Cuban pesos; 48 hand grenades). There is no indication that this request was ever acted upon by CIA." Another CIA document stated: "Veciana said they needed Agency help, but under no circumstances would the Agency be identified with its activities. Veciana said they already had $50 to $60 thousand dollars at their disposal scattered in different places in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Veciana's immediate requirement was conversation with someone in Agency sufficiently highly placed to make commitment." [NARA CIA 1993.07.22.08:55:23:460530 - OOA(s) 3232106 (WH 765) 7.26.62] On August 8, 1962, an FBI informant said "Veciana indicated names of the following three individuals then in Cuba who were expected to assist Alpha-66: Vincente Noble, Guillermo Ruiz (believed to be Veciana's cousin's husband, Orestes Guillermo Ruiz - DGI), Bernardo Paradela. Informant said he knew all three as they had been connected in 1956 with SIM (Military Intelligence Service) in the Dominican Republic. Veciana said Paradela was then in jail in Cuba, but Noble and Ruiz were on the loose in Cuba and were cold blooded killers." [NARA CIA 1993.07.22.08:55:23:460530 - CIA DBA 18681 8.8.62] On September 7, 1962, the CIA generated at highly deleted Classified Message: "(Deleted) August 29, 1962. (FYI) (Deleted) H has reported (deleted) connection between info in paras one, two and three not known. (Deleted) Alpha 66 is anti-Castro Cuban exile organization. Antonio Veciana Blanche, former Cuban banker and militant exile is involved recent reports (Deleted) indicate Alpha-66 action against Cuba may be imminent. DRE organization may be working with Alpha-66 (Deleted)." [CIA FOIA F82-0430/24] By September 1962 Alpha-66 had machine-gunned three vessels in Cuban waters, and had a 300-man force scattered in small units throughout the Caribbean. Veciana told the press that the group had a $100,000 war chest. On October 11, 1962, Alpha-66 raiders attacked Cuba. A few weeks later they were forced to curtail activities because of the freeze that followed the Cuban missile crisis. On October 22, 1962, the CIA received information that "Veciana was trying to obtain two boats from some unknown Americans somewhere in Texas. Veciana's organization (Alpha-66) centered in Puerto Rico, operated out of unidentified island in the Bahamas and had representatives in Guatemala and sympathizers in Miami." [NARA CIA 1993.07.22.08:55:23:460530] On November 6, 1962, the FBI received a memo from the CIA that stated: "Reported that Alpha-66 officer, Dr. Ramon Perez Daple, assistant to Dr. Jose Luis Gonzalez, both of whom are Castro infiltrators." On November 21, 1962, the CIA received a report that SANTO TRAFFICANTE Jr. had given Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo $250,000 worth of arms, which he had not yet paid for: "Informant reported that the mafia planned to have Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo killed somewhere outside the U.S." On November 16, 1962, the FBI received information from William Harvey at the CIA that Antonio Veciana planned a new action to "test the U.S. Government's disposition in permitting or suppressing Cuban exile action programs against Cuba." In December 1962 Alpha-66 planned a joint raid with the DRE. The CIA reported: "Large sums of money were allegedly donated to Veciana for Alpha-66 activities by Julio Lobo." [NARA CIA 1993.07.22.08:55:23:460530 - CIA DBA 28528]
The CIA information on Veciana ends here and picked up again in 1966.
[NARA CIA 1993.07.22.08:55:23:460530] Information came to the attention
of the FBI in February 1963 that certain Alpha-66 members had "become so
disaffected by the lack of action and by the United States Government's
present policy toward Cuba, that the group is discussing sabotage in Miami
or New York City, by blowing up cars and buildings, with the hope that
the acts will be blamed on Castro supporters, and the United States Government
would be provoked into taking retaliatory action against Castro." [FBI
file # deleted Miami 2.19.63 #235869 rel. 3.14.84] In March 1963 Alpha-66
was suspected of having launched a raid against Russian ships and technicians
in Cuba. [FBI 105-112098-537] Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo was apprehended by
the U. S. Coast Guard a few weeks later, while on another anti-Castro mission.
In early April 1963, the Department of Justice, headed by Robert F. Kennedy,
indefinitely quarantined 38 Cubans to the Miami area to prevent them from
conducting raids against Castro and Soviet shipping; all were members of
Alpha-66. [FBI 105-117222-2.27.64] In reaction, Alpha-66 held a "March
of Silence" at the Soviet Mission to the United Nations. On April 9, 1963,
Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo was restricted to Miami. The next day, he announced
that the raids would continue. Alpha-66 held a press conference in Los
Angeles on April 18, 1963, and criticized the Kennedy Administration for
frustrating its efforts to rid Cuba of Castro. The repeated hit-and-run
attacks had drawn public criticism from President Kennedy in the Spring
of 1963; Antonio Veciana responded, "We are going to attack again and again."
LAWRENCE HOWARD AND ALPHA-66
In May 1963 Rene Valdes, the General Delegate of Alpha-66 in Los Angeles,
and INTERPEN member LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD, appeared on a television interview
show. LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD, who stated that he had been a former U.S. Army
platoon sergeant in Korea, said that while training guerrillas at an isolated
island camp in the Keys in December 1962, he was arrested and charged with
violations of the Neutrality Act. His case had been dismissed. LAWRENCE
JOHN HOWARD and Rene Valdes spoke of a joint Cuban raid they had conducted.
[FBI LHM 5.2.63 Los Angeles rel. 3.8.84]
PHILLIPS 1963 DAP
On February 15, 1963, the Office of Security of the CIA, Domestic Operations Division, received notice from the Regional Security Officer that DAVID PHILLIPS had not violated certain security regulations on July 26, 1962:
"Reference is made to that latest communications pertaining to the violation of security regulations charged against (Deleted) on April 14, 1962.
"In view of the documented confession by a Marine Security Guard, as a result of investigation into thefts and planting of this and other documents, it is requested that violation against (Deleted) be canceled.
"Although not mentioned specifically in his sworn statement, it would appear that two other violations were recorded by the same Marine Security Guard under similar circumstances; and in fairness to the persons involved, cancellation of the following is also requested as there appears to be reasonable doubt in the mind of this Officer.
"Those violations were charged respectively to Mr. (Deleted) on May
28, 1962, and to DAVID PHILLIPS on July 26, 1962."
OSWALD'S WHEREABOUTS IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER 1963
THE RECORDS OF THE NEW ORLEANS PUBLIC LIBRARY
On August 22, 1963, OSWALD borrowed From Russia With Love, by Ian Fleming,
The Sixth Galaxy Reader and Portal of Tomorrow, by August Derleth, from
the New Orleans Public Library. On August 26, 1963, OSWALD returned The
Treasury of Science Fiction Classics. He next showed up at the library
on September 5, 1963, to return some books and on September 9, 1963, he
borrowed Bridge Over the River Kwai, by Pierre Boulle, the Big Book of
Science Fiction and Ben Hur, by Lewis Wallace. On September 19, 1963, he
borrowed Moonraker, by Ian Fleming, Goldfinger, by Ian Fleming, Ape And
Essence, by Aldous Huxley and Brave New World also by Aldous Huxley. On
September 23, 1963, he returned Bridge on the River Kwai, The Big Book
of Science Fiction, and Ben Hur. On October 3, 1963, an associate of OSWALD
returned Ape and Essence, Brave New World, Moonraker, and Goldfinger. OSWALD
was on his way back from Mexico City on this date and Marina was in Dallas.
ANTONIO VECIANA MEETS OSWALD AND PHILLIPS
AUGUST OR SEPTEMBER 1963 LHO DAP
On March 2, 1976, Gaeton Fonzi interviewed Antonio Veciana in Miami.
Gaeton Fonzi did not mention the assassination of President John F. Kennedy,
although it was widely known he worked for the SSCIA subcommittee on the
Kennedy assassination that was headed by Senator Richard Schweiker. Antonio
Veciana told Gaeton Fonzi he was introduced to OSWALD by BISHOP, in Dallas
in late August 1963 or early September 1963.
On March 2, 1976, Antonio Veciana told Gaeton Fonzi that "He says he
remembers once having met LEE HARVEY OSWALD. He says he doesn't remember
the way it says it happened in the magazine. He says he did meet LEE HARVEY
OSWALD, but in different circumstances than what the magazine says. (How
did you meet him? When?) BISHOP introduced him. (Where?) Dallas. (When?)
Around 1962. (How did it come about?) He said when BISHOP came up to him
once, he came up with OSWALD, but you know it was such an engagement like,
it came up like, 'This is LEE HARVEY OSWALD.' He never thought of the name
really twice, he didn't even remember him. (Where?) It was a building,
he doesn't remember if it was blue or white, it was a bank, the building
had a bank in it, and that's where they used to have meetings. He said
the thing is, he was called to Dallas to meet BISHOP, to meet him in front
of the building -- there was a big bank or insurance company inside the
building, in the lobby, like all the times he met him he would tell him
to meet him there. So this time he met him there, but this time he brought
along another guy. The guy never talked. Then he left, and Veciana had
his meeting with BISHOP. Then, when he saw it was OSWALD that killed Kennedy,
he nearly freaked out, but he never said anything, he denied everything."
In 1976 Antonio Veciana stated:"I have been in Dallas many times, and remember a meeting of August 1963, perhaps the first days of September, I was there. At that time the U.S. Government had confined me to Miami Dade County. No matter, I traveled to other cities anyway, Dallas was one of them. In August 1963 I had a meeting in downtown Dallas with Mr. MAURICE BISHOP, a United States Intelligence Officer. I remember that LEE HARVEY OSWALD was present at that meeting. OSWALD remained silent all the time. BISHOP discussed with me different matters about the Cuban situation and other efforts in the war against Castro.
"I have worked with the State Department in specifically in the American Embassy in Bolivia, South America. I have cooperated with the FBI in different situations, and I also worked for the intelligence service under BISHOP for more than ten years. In 1962, I ordered the attack on the Russian merchant ships which traveled to Cuba; there were BISHOP'S instructions. The plan was to force President Kennedy into making drastic decisions against Castro Government. While Kennedy traveled to Central America we prepared a press conference in Washington, D.C. really, the president did not fall into the ambush and he was very angry. He decided to confine me to that country. Among the activities against the Cuban Communist, I have tried several times to kill Castro, I remember the last one in Chile on November 31, 1971, always following BISHOP'S instructions. I have no doubt that the assassination of President Kennedy was a conspiracy. Castro had good reason to kill him; he knew perfectly well that in the United States high level, a plot to kill him was being considered. However, to my personal understanding Castro was not involved in President Kennedy's assassination. The President was killed by other people for other reasons.
"My profession in the last 17 years has been risky, my life has been in danger on several occasions, the FBI knows my life is in danger, yet I hope they will take a step to keep me alive.
"LEE HARVEY OSWALD was not allowed to talk, all he said was that he was a patsy. I believed he was telling the truth. There is no doubt that he had good contact with some intelligence agency in this country...I confirmed that MR. BISHOP instructed me to make arrangements with my cousin Guillermo Ruiz, who was working in the Cuban intelligence service in Mexico City, to offer my cousin money so that he would state that he was in contact with OSWALD about Kennedy assassination.
"Another part. Castro's planned assassination in Chile had the same
pattern of the Kennedy plot. The killer would die and everybody would believe
that the killer was the communist, to my judgement Mr. BISHOP participated
in both plans." [Int. WCKT-TV Miami 8.16.77 Vic Walters; NARA HSCA 180-10097-10138]
On another occasion Antonio Veciana told Gaeton Fonzi: "That when he
arrived he saw BISHOP in a corner of the lobby talking with a young man
who Veciana remembers as pale, slight, and soft-featured. He does not recall
if BISHOP introduced him by name, but does recall that BISHOP continued
his conversation with the young man only briefly after Veciana arrived.
Together, BISHOP and the young man walked out of the lobby and stopped
outside, behind Veciana, for a moment. BISHOP and the young man had a few
words there, and then the later gestured a farewell and walked away. BISHOP
turned to Veciana and they discussed the current activities of Alpha-66
as they walked to a nearby coffee shop. BISHOP never spoke to Veciana about
the young man and Veciana did not ask."
August 25, 1977: "States he never said that BISHOP was CIA. He believes that BISHOP was with some sort of intelligence agency or with a powerful interest group. Swears LEE HARVEY OSWALD was with BISHOP one time when they met. OSWALD did not say anything." [HSCA Memo Gonzales to Fenton 8.25.77 014599]
After the assassination, there was absolutely no doubt in Antonio Veciana's
mind that the man he had seen was OSWALD. Marina Oswald told this researcher:
"According to my file, Veciana said this meeting was in the first week
of September. We were in New Orleans. Who was that man? Was it LEE OSWALD
then? If there was a meeting in Dallas and we were in New Orleans, how
is that possible unless he had a plane to fly back and forth?"
OSWALD had "BISHOP" written in Russian in his address book. [WCE 18
p24] He also had the word "Knight." These were found in a list of chess
pieces. In Give Us This Day, HUNT used the cryptonym "Knight" when he referred
to PHILLIPS. PHILLIPS wrote: "Bestowing the name of Knight was the ultimate
accolade - people who have worked in the CIA will recall that pseudonym
belonged to one of the Agency's most senior officers, a man HOWARD HUNT
idolized." It has been suggested that "Knight" was once the code name of
Richard Helms. [Powers The Man Who Kept the Secrets p253] Antonio Veciana
never assumed that MAURICE BISHOP was a true name. During an early meeting
in Havana, Antonio Veciana noticed a Belgian passport that MAURICE BISHOP
had in his open briefcase. The name on the passport was "Frigault." Veciana
made a quick note of it on a scrap of paper and showed it to Gaeton Fonzi.
The Belgian Embassy could not identify this name without additional information.
Dick Russell reported that Antonio Veciana stated: "We were in a hotel
and BISHOP left to do something. In his briefcase I saw a memo with the...activities
of commando groups in Texas. The memo had the initials 'To HH.'" [Russell,
cited in Hinckle Deadly Secrets p230] Antonio Veciana told Gaeton Fonzi:
"He says he doesn't want to say this is definite, but there are some things
that are beginning to make him think that Howard Hughes had a lot to do
with BISHOP. He said he once saw a file when he was in a hotel room with
BISHOP in La Paz, Bolivia, which had HH initialed on the top. At first
he thought it was HOWARD HUNT or H.L. Hunt, but now he thinks it was Howard
Hughes. He said it was a file about activities involving the sale of arms
to Israel through Bolivia." He also told Gaeton Fonzi: "He used to write
to a lot of people for support of Alpha-66, for money, and he guesses that
HUNT may have been one of the people who expressed interest in helping.
He says he met HUNT'S secretary once, but Godoy was the one who dealt with
him. Joaquin Godoy. Last he heard he was in Puerto Rico working for an
insurance company. (Where did he meet HUNT'S secretary? In New York. (Was
his name Carroll?) He doesn't remember. Godoy could give us information
because he talked to him a lot." [SSCIA 157-10004-10158]
THE ENCO MAP
Antonio Veciana believed the meeting between OSWALD and BISHOP occurred
in late August or early September 1963. Gaeton Fonzi wrote: "The Warren
Commission found records accounting for some of OSWALD'S activities during
this time, but none could be authenticated and some were found to be false.
He reportedly visited the unemployment office, cashed unemployment checks
and withdrew some library books. The FBI could not, however, authenticate
OSWALD'S signature on the unemployment documents, and of the 17 firms where
he applied for work, 13 denied it, and four did not exist...three library
books returned at the end of this period were overdue." [Fonzi, Last Invest.
p141] Antonio Veciana said the meeting with BISHOP was in a large office
building lobby in downtown Dallas. OSWALD had the telephone number of the
Continental Life Building - ED 6-8449 - in his address book. After the
assassination, a ENCO Dallas map was found in OSWALD'S room at his boarding
house. OSWALD had made several marks on the map, including the intersection
of Elm and Houston (the Texas School Book Depository), the Texas Drivers
License Examining Station, and Love Field. The FBI reported: "A mark at
Irving Boulevard near Farrington Street, as well as marks at the intersection
of San Jacinto and Boll Streets, marks near the intersection of Ross and
Olive Streets, and San Jacinto and Harwood Streets, and other marks on
the map, have no known significance to personnel of the Dallas Office with
respect to the known activities of OSWALD. A large Chevrolet agency is
located at the intersection of San Jacinto and Boll Streets. Irving Boulevard
near Farrington is in an industrial area where numerous businesses are
located. Ross and Olive Streets intersection, and San Jacinto and Harwood
Streets intersection, are in the downtown area where numerous office buildings,
parking lots and other businesses are located. Based on the foregoing,
the purpose for OSWALD'S having the map was probably to seek employment
as stated by Mrs. Paine."
THE SEARCH FOR "MAURICE BISHOP"
After speaking with Gaeton Fonzi, Antonio Veciana aided a professional
artist in developing a composite sketch of BISHOP. It was Senator Richard
Schweiker who focused the Committee's attention on DAVID PHILLIPS as perhaps
having knowledge of "MAURICE BISHOP." Immediately after receiving the BISHOP
sketch, Senator Richard Schweiker concluded that PHILLIPS, who had earlier
testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Activities,
bore a strong resemblance to it. When Antonio Veciana was shown a photograph
of PHILLIPS by Gaeton Fonzi, he did not provide a conclusive response:
"He said he was pretty sure it wasn't, but that PHILLIPS looked 'very close'
like him. But it is not him."
DELORES CAO: WITNESS TO VECIANA/BISHOP ASSOCIATION
Veciana told the HSCA that he had no way of getting in touch with BISHOP
and that all meetings were instigated by BISHOP, a procedure BISHOP established
early in their relationship. To set up a meeting, BISHOP would call Veciana
by telephone, or, if Veciana was out of town, call a third person whom
Veciana trusted, someone who always knew his location. Veciana said that
this third person never met BISHOP but, "knew that BISHOP and I were partners
in this fight because this person shared my anti-Communist feelings." Author
Tony Summers found this intermediary. Her name was Delores Cao of Barrio
Obrero, Puerto Rico. She was the wife of Sergio Arias. She had been Veciana's
personal secretary at the Banco Financiero, where Veciana worked in Havana.
Delores Cao left Cuba for Puerto Rico, where she became involved in anti-Castro
activities. Veciana had recontacted her in Puerto Rico, and asked her to
provide secretarial services, and to act as his answering service when
he was out of town. She agreed, and in the months that followed she became
familiar with the name of a man who called from the mainland. His name,
she recalled, was BISHOP. Delores Cao also knew Victor Espinosa. Delores
Cao mentioned that the name "Prewett" was associated with "MAURICE BISHOP."
Journalist Virginia Prewett (died April 1988 at age 66) was a media asset
of PHILLIPS. PHILLIPS admitted this to David Leigh. (In his offensive against
Tony Summer's book, PHILLIPS had approached the Washington Post's Executive
Editor, Ben Bradlee. Bradlee assigned David Leigh, an English exchange
reporter, to look into the story). Virginia Prewett's columns were syndicated
by North American Newspaper Alliance and she was a member of the Free Cuba
Committee. [Fonzi, Last Inv. p319; HSCA OCR 11.15.78] Delores Cao was contacted
in December 1993. She said she knew Antonio Veciana and Victor Espinosa.
THE DALLAS/FORT WORTH CONNECTION
Antonio Veciana believed BISHOP was from Dallas, Texas. Gaeton Fonzi
reported that PHILLIPS told Leigh that he very well might have been in
Texas, visiting his family in Fort Worth, during the period Veciana claims
he saw Bishop with OSWALD.
FONZI BRINGS PHILLIPS AND VECIANA FACE-TO-FACE
Gaeton Fonzi decided to set up a meeting between PHILLIPS and Veciana. Schweiker arranged for Antonio Veciana to be present at a luncheon put on by the Association of Retired Intelligence Officers on September 17, 1976. Antonio Veciana was introduced to PHILLIPS by name, and not by his affiliation with Alpha-66, nor by his anti-Castro background. PHILLIPS made no indication of recognition:
"I introduced him only as Antonio Veciana and didn't mention anything
about Alpha-66 or anti-Castro activities. Phillips smiled, shook Veciana's
hand very quickly and casually and quickly invited us to sit down at the
table. As hard as I tried, I didn't catch any glimpse of recognition in
PHILLIPS eyes, if that were at all possible to do...Veciana just sat there
for most of the luncheon, put his glasses on, and hardly touched his food
as he stared at PHILLIPS almost the whole time. I don't know whether PHILLIPS
is naturally nervous, but he was shaking, at least his hands were shaking
badly, and he was smoking nervously the whole time. I was watching him
to see if he was looking at Veciana at all, but he seemed as if he was
almost deliberately avoiding doing that. But maybe I would have gotten
nervous also if some guy was just sitting there with his arms folded staring
at me like Veciana was doing with PHILLIPS...I thanked him for having us
at the luncheon and told him I thought he might be able to help us out
in the investigation we were doing. He asked what investigation. I said
the Kennedy assassination. He smiled nervously at me and said he would
be happy to speak with any member of Congress or his representative 'in
Congress.' I told him I wasn't interested in any kind of formal interview,
but since we've come up with some new information, I thought perhaps just
chatting with him about it might be of some help to us. He repeated, almost
in rote like he was taking the Fifth, that he would be happy to answer
any questions from any Congressman or representative of any Congressman
'in Congress.' Meanwhile, as I was talking to him, Veciana had come up
behind me. Veciana then asked him a few questions in Spanish. Although
I caught the gist of them I later confirmed with him that he asked if he
had been in Havana in 1960, and whether or not he knew Julio Lobo. Phillips
said that he had been in Havana and that he knew the name of Lobo. Then
PHILLIPS stopped and asked him, 'What did you say you're name was?' Veciana
told him then asked, 'Don't you know the name?' PHILLIPS thought for a
moment then shook his head and said, no he didn't. PHILLIPS then asked
me if Veciana worked for Schweiker and I said, no he didn't, but he was
helping us out with the investigation. PHILLIPS then quickly excused himself,
thanked us for coming, and said he was awfully busy right now and couldn't
chat with us further. As soon as we got out of the place I anxiously asked
Veciana is PHILLIPS was BISHOP. He said no, it wasn't him, and then added,
'but he knows.' I said, 'what do you mean, he knows?' Veciana said, 'He
knows who BISHOP is?' I couldn't get out of Veciana why he said that, or
how he came to that conclusion, but he did point out that it was strange
that PHILLIPS said he didn't even recognize his name, which was pretty
well-known in Miami anti-Castro activities and was in the newspapers often
as the spokesman for Alpha-66." [SSCIA Fonzi to Gustavson 9.20.76] In his
HSCA testimony, DAVID PHILLIPS denied having met Antonio Veciana. HUNT
said he was unfamiliar with the name Antonio Veciana. [HUNT v. WEBERMAN
HUNT Depo. One p21] Antonio Veciana told Gaeton Fonzi that PHILLIPS was
A CIA memorandum in which Julio Lobo mentioned Veciana was routed to WH/4/PROP. Gaeton Fonzi reported Western Hemisphere/4/PROP was headed by DAVID PHILLIPS. PHILLIPS was asked:
Q. In your relationship with Mr. HUNT, in the Bay of Pigs, was he a supervisor of you or you a supervisor of him, or were you all just in separate functions as far as the relationship of each other to that activity was concerned, without going into what you and he might have done?
A. Mr. HUNT and I had separate functions to perform. Mr. HUNT was involved with the Cuban exile groups from the political action sense. I was involved from the beginning of my involvement in propaganda. At one stage, toward the end of the Bay of Pigs business, Mr. HUNT was, I think, relieved of his responsibilities, at least to some degree, with the political groups and asked to move in and work with me in the propaganda field. I'm not quite sure how you would describe that relationship.
Gaeton Fonzi believed that PHILLIPS and Antonio Veciana both lied. PHILLIPS
had to have been aware of the name Veciana even if had not met the individual.
PHILLIPS could not have been intimately involved in anti-Castro exile affairs
and never have heard the name Antonio Veciana, the public spokesman for
Alpha-66. Alpha-66 was the most famous, largest and most active, anti-Castro
group. The HSCA stated it "suspected that Antonio Veciana was lying when
he denied that the retired CIA officer was BISHOP." Gaeton Fonzi believed
that Antonio Veciana was lying because he hoped to get future help from
In Miami, Gaeton Fonzi interviewed a former career CIA agent, Ross Crozier.
Fonzi wrote: "The CIA would later demand that the Committee not use the
man's real name. The Committee called him Ron Cross. Crozier, we discovered,
had worked as a case officer out of the CIA's JMWAVE station. He handled
Cuban exile labor units, and helped in organizing a militant group that,
although not nearly as large and effective as Alpha-66, was very active.
Early in his career, posing as an American businessman with financial connections,
Ross Crozier had infiltrated Castro's mountain stronghold before the big
barbudo seized power." There, Crozier met FRANK STURGIS and Andrew St.
George. HEMMING told this researcher: "The one time FRANK ever risked his
life was when he went with St. George and Ross Crozier. You know what that
trip was all about? To take Fidel out. He was a patriot. He was serving
his country. They couldn't find Fidel. It was the last two weeks of December
1958. FRANK was a spotter. Crozier was his case officer. That's bad news.
He wouldn't do it. He's not a kamikaze. STURGIS never dropped a hammer
on anyone in his life. Crozier was a case officer who belonged to Alcoholics
Anonymous. He's a C.O. for STURGIS, and he's reporting to Sam Kail in Havana.
STURGIS dealt with Kail when he was in Miami." From September 1960 until
November 1962, Ross Crozier was a JMWAVE case officer. According to Ross
Crozier, HUNT frequented this facility. While Ross Crozier was at JMWAVE,
PHILLIPS, who was stationed in Washington, was responsible for certain
CIA anti-Castro operations. Gaeton Fonzi reported: "Both Al Gonzalez and
I stopped short of asking him certain questions for fear of revealing what
we knew...But we did ask him about DAVID PHILLIPS. Sure Crozier said, he
knew PHILLIPS. He said PHILLIPS, working through the JMWAVE, coordinated
the propaganda operations of all the Cuban exile groups the Agency was
running. PHILLIPS, he said, worked mostly out of Washington at that time,
but flew in and out of Miami frequently. On a daily basis, Crozier said,
the case officers worked with PHILLIPS direct subordinate at the station,
a man called Doug Gupton...One day Al Gonzalez called Crozier and told
him we were working on something that required confirmation of the pseudonyms
or aliases used by CIA officers who had worked out of the JM WAVE station.
He threw three names at Crozier: One was 'BISHOP,' another was 'KNIGHT'
and the third was the true name of an officer who had worked out of the
Havana Station. Off the top of his head, Crozier said, he believed BISHOP
was the name used by PHILLIPS, KNIGHT, a name that HOWARD HUNT occasionally
used. He said we must be mistaken about the third name because that was
the true name of a fellow he had known in Havana. Crozier said that in
the next few days he would be talking with some of the Cuban exile agents
he had worked with and, in chatting with them about the old days, perhaps
his memory would be refreshed. Several days later Gonzalez dropped in for
a chat with Crozier to see if his memory had been refreshed. Well, Crozier
said, it had been a bit. He now said he was 'almost certain' that DAVID
PHILLIPS had used the name of MAURICE BISHOP but he still was not definite
about whether HUNT had used the KNIGHT alias. He was sure, however, that
the third name was a true name. His answer surprised us. We had not given
Crozier the first name of BISHOP."
Fonzi revisited Ross Crozier and brought up the topic of KNIGHT and
BISHOP. "Yes, Crozier said, as a matter of fact, he had been giving it
more thought. He said he was fairly sure now that HUNT did use the KNIGHT
alias. He was said he was now 'almost positive' that DAVID PHILLIPS used
the name BISHOP. The reason he was sure about that, he said, was because
he had been thinking about the period when he worked with PHILLIPS' assistant
at the JMWAVE Station, that young fellow named Doug Gupton. Crozier said
he now recalled often discussing special field agent problems with Gupton
and Gupton at times saying 'Well, I guess 'Mr. BISHOP' will have to talk
to him. Ross Crozier said, 'And of course I knew he was referring to his
boss, DAVID PHILLIPS.'" In Give Us This Day HUNT wrote: ""I met Douglas
Gupton, an aggressive bilingual young officer who handled field propaganda
operations for KNIGHT. Gupton was already organizing, guiding and subsidizing
the same exile groups that Varona had wanted to bring under FRD direction
and control. He also subsidized a number of former Havana newspapers that
now had "In Exile" added to their names. (Though not, or course, Diario
de la Marina). Subscriptions to Latin Americans were sold at nominal cost
to spread the anti-Castro word in countries where Fidel was regarded sympathetically...Unlike
the political freeze, Gupton's psychological warfare activities were going
full blast. Under such dedicated young student activists as Luis Fernandez
Rocha, Ernesto Fernandez Travieso, the exile DRE had achieved sufficient
cohesion to permit its operating as an independent infiltration unit. The
members were scoring sabotage successes in Havana, and the resultant publicity
provoked resentment in Tony Varona, who felt he should have charge of the
DRE as well. Organizationally this made sense, but Varona's personality
was so corrosive, that both Gupton and I realized we would have to spend
so much effort policing the merger as to make it impractical." [Day pages
46,85] The HSCA interviewed "Doug Gupton" on August 22, 1978, at CIA Headquarters.
'Doug Gupton" acknowledged that he worked with PHILLIPS and Ross Crozier
but denied having heard the name MAURICE BISHOP. Fonzi reported: "When
told that Ross Crozier said that he specifically mentioned remembering
Gupton referring to DAVID PHILLIPS as Mr. BISHOP, Gupton remained silent
for a moment, looked down at his lap, and said 'Well, maybe I did. I don't
remember.'" PHILLIPS testified before the HSCA in executive session, and
denied all of the allegations. When Antonio Veciana testified, he denied
PHILLIPS was BISHOP.
HSCA investigator Dan Hardway introduced Gaeton Fonzi to Barney Hidalgo, who had been a CIA agent for 20 years. He had worked closely with PHILLIPS on a day to day basis on Cuban operations between 1960 and 1964. He said he thought PHILLIPS was one of the best agents the CIA ever had. He said PHILLIPS was his personal friend. Unlike Crozier or Gupton, Hidalgo was questioned under oath by Michael Goldsmith:
Goldsmith: Did you know an individual named MAURICE BISHOP?
Hidalgo: Again, Mr. BISHOP was in the organization, but I had no personal day-to-day open relationship with him. PHILLIPS yes, BISHOP, no. I knew them both and PHILLIPS I knew. I know Mr. Berk is over there, and I know Mr. Hardway is over there, but I have no relationships with them. Do you follow me?
Goldsmith: Now with Mr. BISHOP -- was this Mr. MAURICE BISHOP?
Hidalgo: I believe that was his name, yes. His was strictly a business knowledge.
Goldsmith: How long has it been since you have seen Mr. BISHOP?
Hidalgo: Less than twice or three times in the hallway somewhere.
Goldsmith: When was the last time you saw him?
Hidalgo: It would have to be before 1970 somewhere.
Goldsmith: Do you know what position, if any he held with the Agency?
Hidalgo: He held a position higher than mine, but I did not know, you know.
Goldsmith: Did you ever have any personal contact with Mr. BISHOP?
Hidalgo: I don't believe so. If it was, it was not that important that it would impress itself upon me.
Goldsmith: Did he work in the Western Hemisphere Division?
Hidalgo: I think so but again I am not sure of all the details.
Goldsmith: Do you know any other individuals who were familiar with Mr. BISHOP who have known him?
Hidalgo: I don't know. Perhaps Mr. (Deleted) perhaps DAVE PHILLIPS.
Goldsmith: Was Mr. BISHOP'S office located at CIA?
Hidalgo: I believe so.
Goldsmith: Do you recall which floor his office was on?
Hidalgo: No, sir.
Goldsmith: Do you know whether Mr. Bishop ever went by any other name?
Hidalgo: No sir,, I have no knowledge of any of his other names.
Goldsmith: Would you make your best effort please to describe Mr. BISHOP'S physical description? What did he look like?
Hidalgo: I could not even make a mental image of Mr. BISHOP right now.
Goldsmith: Approximately how old is he today?
Hidalgo: I don't know. This must sound strange to you, it really must, I know but, you see -- How can I say it? The relationship of one agent to another is a thing that you try your best not to, not to know.
Goldsmith: Was Mr. BISHOP an administrator or a case officer?
Hidalgo: I would say his position was higher than mine. A little honcho against a chief.
Goldsmith: Where did you generally see him on those occasions when you did see him?
Hidalgo: I imagine in the Agency perhaps. In the hallways or cafeteria. Never certainly at my desk.
Goldsmith: What is your best recollection as to the number of times that you saw him?
Hidalgo: A couple of times, two or three.
Goldsmith: When you saw this individual and you knew that he was MAURICE BISHOP, how did you know that the gentleman that you had in mind was not that MAURICE BISHOP?
Hidalgo: Someone might have said, 'That is MAURICE BISHOP,' and it was different from DAVE PHILLIPS or guys that I know...
Goldsmith: Did you know an individual named Antonio Veciana Blanc?
Hidalgo: Now this name sounds familiar to me in my Cuban operation, I don't know where. It may have been with the (illegible) or he may have been an agent of an agent. I knew literally hundreds of Cubans.
Goldsmith: Did Mr. BISHOP have any involvement in affairs of the Bay of Pigs Brigade?
Hidalgo: I don't know if he did. I was not aware of everyone. He might very well have been involved in this thing.
Goldsmith: Getting back to Mr. BISHOP, when was the first time you saw him to the best of your knowledge?
Hidalgo: I would think about the early 1960's.
Goldsmith: Were you ever formally introduced to him?
Goldsmith: And from the time you first saw him in the early 1960's until the last time that you saw him, which I believe you said would have been about 1969 or 1970, approximately how many times did you actually see this man?
Hidalgo: It would not have been that late because in late 1964, or early 1965, I left the Cuban operations and went to another country of interest, so in those times, say 1960 to 1964, it might have been two or three times.
Goldsmith: Is it fair to say, in light of your last comment, that once you stopped working in Cuban operations, you left that particular area, you no longer saw Mr. BISHOP.
Hidalgo: If I did, it would be just in the hallway and I don't think so. I was now in another part of the Agency.
Goldsmith: So by that, in other words that would infer that Mr. BISHOP worked in the area of Cuban operations?
Hidalgo: No, not necessarily. He might have worked in -- you know, there are so many operations. You see whereas in the case of (Deleted) and DAVID PHILLIPS, I continued to seek him out and say 'How are you DAVE?' Go to lunch, play some poker. In this case of BISHOP this is not so.
Goldsmith: Did you ever see Mr. BISHOP at the station?
Hidalgo: No. In the Havana station, you have to understand that I was assigned to the Havana station, but I stayed away from the Havana station. It sounds peculiar. I was assigned there, and yet I was not there. I was assigned there shortly after I went there and met my own cover, and did my own operations. So when I did go to the Havana station, it was just a matter of just quickly in and get it over with.
Preyer: Was your office in Langley in the CIA headquarters?
Hidalgo: Yes. At the time I was in headquarters. That is where I went.
Preyer: And DAVE PHILLIPS' office was also there?
Hidalgo: Yes sir. (Deleted)
Preyer: And MAURICE BISHOP'S office was not on the same floor as yours in Langley?
Hidalgo: I don't know. It was a very large floor and there were many people on the floor that had nothing to do with what I had to do.
Preyer: Did BISHOP have some relationship in his appearance and age to PHILLIPS?
Hidalgo: Again I cannot recall BISHOP'S appearance at all.
Preyer: Do you recall more on the name when people said, 'That is Maurice Bishop?'
Hidalgo: MAURICE BISHOP, right. It might have been a secretary or a fellow case officer. (Deleted).
Goldsmith: Do you know whether DAVID PHILLIPS knew MAURICE BISHOP.
Hidalgo: I don't know that. He may have known BISHOP but I don't know that.
Goldsmith: Is it possible that the name MAURICE BISHOP may have been an alias?
Hidalgo: Very possible. Because others in the Agency thought that they knew me by X name and they called me by that name when in fact it was not.
Goldsmith: So the use of aliases even at Agency headquarters was not at all uncommon, is that true, to your knowledge?
Hidalgo: That is true.
Scott Breckinridge questioned Hidalgo about BISHOP, then reported this
to the HSCA: "The employee continues to recall a person who was known as
MAURICE BISHOP. He cannot state the organizational connection or responsibilities
of the individual, not knowing him personally, and feels that the person
in question was pointed out to him by someone, perhaps a secretary. He
is unable, however, to recognize any of the photographs...we assembled
of the persons with the surname of Bishop who had employment relationships
of some type with the CIA during the 1960's." [Hidalgo 240 Treasure Lake
Road, DuBois, PA 15801 telephone 814-375-9046]
JOHN McCONE'S TESTIMONY
The HSCA asked the CIA to check all its files for references to MAURICE BISHOP; the Agency replied that the only Maurice Bishops in its files was one from Grenada and other from the faculty of Cornell University. [Ltr. Breckinridge to Blakey 9.8.78] The Committee deposed John A. McCone, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from October 1961 to April 30, 1965. John A. McCone said he knew a MAURICE BISHOP who was an Agency employee.
Q. Do you know or did you know MAURICE BISHOP?
Q. Was he an Agency employee?
A. I believe so.
Q. Do you know whether the name, MAURICE BISHOP, was a pseudonym?
A. No, I do not know that.
Q. Do you know whether any of these people worked at headquarters in 1963 or worked in the field in 1963?
A. Well they move back and forth and it is pretty hard to tell just where they were in 1963, but the records will show and you can get it from the Office of the present Director. He will have records where they were, or the personnel department.
Q. Do you know whether MAURICE BISHOP worked in the Western Hemisphere Division, or whether he worked in some other division of the CIA?
A. I do not know. I do not recall. I knew at that time but I do not recall.
In light of the testimony of John A. McCone, the HSCA asked the CIA to again check its records for BISHOP.
MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD
SUBJECT: Traces on Morris Bishop
1. The following are traces on Morris Bishop which were run as a result
of Jack Anderson's article in the May 6, 1977, Washington Post. CI Staff,
(Russ Holmes) Cuba Desk (Ops and CI records), LAD Personnel Wheel under
true name a pseudo, LAD Registry (both true name and alias/pseudo checked),
Commercial Cover Staff and Top Secret Control. No record. IP Index One
Maurice R. Bishop, aka Morris Bishop, born May 17, 1944, St. George's,
Grenada, West Indies. Bishop is the leader of the New Jewel Movement or
Grenada. He travels in and out of the U.S. and has had closed meetings
in the U.S. known to the FBI. Bishop disclosed that the New Jewel Movement
has links going into Cuba, and indicated that the New Jewel Movement is
receiving assistance from Castro, but it is of a rather cautious nature.
According to his file, Bishop is not associated with CIA. (201-888899).
Chris Hopkins LAI/JFK Task Force. The foregoing was passed, verbally, to
John Leader,IG Staff, on May 6, 1977." [CIA FOIA 17520]
BRECKINGRIDGE'S TALK WITH McCONE
MEMORANDUM FOR THE RECORD October 9, 1978
SUBJECT: Meeting with Former DCI McCone
1. I met with Mr. McCone this afternoon in his hotel room in Washington, D.C. Present was Mr. Walter Elder, Mr. McCone's Executive Assistant during his service as DCI.
2. I showed Mr. McCone a declassified copy of the transcript of his deposition taken by HSCA personnel, referring to one MAURICE BISHOP. I told Mr. McCone that an extensive search of Agency records showed no person by that name in Agency records. As a result, I wished to have him look at photographs of Agency employees during the 1960's with that surname. Mr. McCone declined, saying that he lunched at the Metropolitan Club that very day and had not recognized old friends from that period. He felt that photographs would not help.
3. Mr. McCone said the name was given him at the end of his deposition, which had taken some five hours. It came along with another dozen or so names. He had recognized the names of DAVID PHILLIPS and (deleted) but not many of the others. The name MAURICE BISHOP "rang a bell," but he really could not say how. He suggested that it may have been a football player.
4. Mr. McCone said he must have been in error. He asked if he should write the HSCA so stating. I said he could do as he wished, but it would suffice for me to simply report my meeting with him. He said I could say that he had been in error. He said that my letter should state that I met with him, in the company of his "Executive Officer" who had access to all his records of meetings with people, and that he had stated that he had been in error in stating to the HSCA representative that he had known a CIA employee named MAURICE BISHOP. I said I would show my letter to Mr. Elder to be sure it was accurate.
5. I told Mr. McCone that an Agency employee had also reacted similarly to a question about a MAURICE BISHOP. He asked who it was. I replied that it was a junior officer in the WH Division named (Deleted). He made no comment.
6. There was talk about other aspects of the assassination issue, which are not relevant to this specific question.
On September 30, 1980, PHILLIPS was again questioned about Antonio Veciana:
A. I am aware that Antonio Veciana Blanch was one of the people who funded Alpha-66.
Q. Did you ever have occasion to know whether he had any dealings with Mr. HUNT or did he ever have dealings with you?
A. All right. I am going to make a brief statement for the record here about this gentleman. First of all, while the CIA supported a large number of Cuban exile groups, to my knowledge it never supported and worked with Alpha-66.
Finally, I am aware of the investigation made by the House Assassinations Committee about claims made by Mr. Veciana that he was in touch with a man he knew as MAURICE BISHOP, presumably a pseudonym, over a period of some 13 years; that the last time he met Mr. BISHOP he was given a suitcase with $253,000 in it in cash as his final payment.
I must say I find it amusing to try to imagine the meeting of intelligence executives that say we are going to give a final payment to a man, and someone says let's give him a quarter of a million dollars. And someone says no, let's give him $253,000.
Anyway, what I want to say is if Mr. Veciana's story, which he came up with two weeks after leaving a Federal penitentiary after serving his sentence for which he claims he was framed by the CIA, if that story is true, I know nothing about it. I know nothing about HOWARD HUNT ever being involved with Antonio Veciana. And I think I am going to leave it at that.
One of the reasons is that we are now into a field which I don't really see the connection with HUNT. But it is very definitely connected with me and with future legal action I will be taking.
Q. All right. Did you ever use the name MORRIS BISHOP in any context in your work is the question?
A. I never used that name.
Q. All right. Now in Dallas in September of 1963, did there come a time when you were ever in Dallas, and if you were, did you ever meet Mr. HUNT there or know of his presence there for any reason?
A. I never met Mr. HUNT in Dallas. I never knew of his presence there. I may have been in the Dallas airport in that period traveling back and forth.
Q. While you were stationed in Havana did you know Julio Lobo, Rufo Lopez Fresquet or Mr. Melton or Sam Kail?
A. Once again, you have a long list of names. I think anyone who was ever in Havana -- I was certainly not in Havana in the 1960's. I left Havana in 1960 -- in the early part of 1960. And after my participation in the Bay of Pigs, I didn't want to go back to Havana.
You read off a list of names. Everyone who lived in Cuba knew Julio Lobo, the sugar king. His name was in the paper every day. But I am not going to go over a long list of names.
Q. Did you ever know LEE HARVEY OSWALD in August 1963?
A. I never knew LEE HARVEY OSWALD ever in my life. If I did, I would
be on a lecture circuit called "LEE HARVEY And Me," and I would make a
ALPHA-66 IN THE FALL OF 1963
By September 1963 Alpha-66, according to a FBI-intercepted letter, was
"training...men for a specialized reserve brigade, in various types of
guerrilla warfare." The FBI SAC of the Miami Office sent an air telegram
to the Washington Office on September 16, 1963. The only words the FBI
released were: "In view of the above, Miami is not conducting investigation
of neutrality aspects, but will be alert for any subsequent pertinent information."
[FBI 2-1499 NR 9.16.63 this is STURGIS' FBI File] The FBI reported that
in October 1963 Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo predicted, "The organization will
be in Cuba in less than six months." On November 10, 1963, Alpha-66 held
a meeting in New York City. John Caufield monitored it. [FBI 105-112098
NY rel. 3.12.84]
ANTONIO VECIANA POST-COUP
Antonio Veciana reported that after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Caesar Diosdado questioned him about it. It was not an official visit, Ceasar Diosdado had just been instructed to ask a few exiles if they knew anything about OSWALD. Antonio Veciana felt he was being tested. Antonio Veciana didn't tell Ceasar Diosdado he had seen OSWALD because he didn't want to get involved. Gaeton Fonzi reported: "He says he remembers that the same day that Diosdado came to ask him about the Kennedy assassination that's when he had seen the picture of OSWALD and was very nervous, but as soon as he walked in the door he told him, hey, don't worry about a thing, I don't even know why I'm doing this, they just told me to do it, interview some Cubans. He remembers he made comment saying that 'All I know this is going to cause a lot of people in the Secret Service trouble, maybe their jobs, for the errors that were made.' (Diosdado told you that he was told to interview you, that someone gave him a list?) Yes, yes, yes, that he had instructions to interview a bunch of activists. That's what cooled him down, that he was only one of a group being interviewed, not specifically him."
When the HSCA interviewed Ceasar Diosdado, he was working for the Drug Enforcement Administration. He said he worked for United States Customs from 1957 to 1968, not for the CIA. He stated he never questioned anyone about the JFK assassination. [HSCA interview 5.23.77 Klein] HEMMING 1994: "Diosdado was worried we had done it. He's the first guy they told. Because he's a dipshit. He comes scurrying around right away. He was scared shitless that somebody's gonna do a hit on him for knowing too much. Diosdado, if he was working a deal with you, a smuggling deal, he would never fuck you up. But boy, when his bosses told him to do something, he'd shit on his own mother.
"After the assassination Dwyer invited me and Davy [Howard K. Davis] to lunch. Diosdado, Shanley were there. Wallace Shanley was Mr. Nice Guy. They said 'Someday the government's going to use you for a big operation.' Shanley was one of the guys who authorized some of his people to tip us off to stuff. He never told us anything against the regulations. His boys would call me in, lay a map down, and say, 'You know anything about these people over here?' They'd point to a spot on a map. I knew there was nobody there. But in finger pointing four or five locales, the finger would fall on a place where I knew somebody was operating."
Ceasar Diosdado was contacted in June 1994. Ceasar Diosdado: "What is
it you want to know? In reference to what? The JFK assassination? You have
nothing on me. You're barking up the wrong tree. I don't know a damn thing
about it so forget it. Okay? (hangs up)." Ceasar Diosdado was recontacted
and asked if he knew HEMMING. He denied he had.
NO DISCUSSION OF OSWALD
Antonio Veciana met with BISHOP in Miami two months after the assassination
of President John F. Kennedy. Although they discussed that event, Antonio
Veciana did not ask him about OSWALD: "I was not going to make the mistake
of getting myself involved in something that did not concern me. That was
a very difficult situation, because I was afraid. We both understood. I
could guess that he knew that I was knowledgeable of that, and I learned
that the best way is not to know, not to get to know things that don't
concern you, so I respected the rules, and I didn't mention that ever."
THE PLAN TO LINK OSWALD WITH CASTRO
BISHOP approached Antonio Veciana about getting in touch with his cousin,
Guillermo Ruiz, a member of the Cuban Intelligence Service ,who was assigned
to Mexico City at the time of the Kennedy assassination. According to Veciana,
a news story was circulating immediately after the assassination that OSWALD
had met a couple on the Mexican border while on his way to Mexico City
prior to the assassination. BISHOP said his cousin could earn a large amount
of money by saying publicly that he and his wife were the ones who had
met OSWALD. Veciana agreed to contact Ruiz agreed to make the attempt to
contact Ruiz, because, as he testified, "I knew that Ruiz would be tempted
with money, he liked money."Antonio Veciana was unsuccessful in contacting
Guillermo Ruiz, and when he mentioned it a couple of months later, BISHOP
told him to forget it. That was the last time Veciana ever spoke of the
Kennedy assassination or LEE HARVEY OSWALD to BISHOP, and he testified
he never told anyone about seeing OSWALD until questioned by Gaeton Fonzi.
Guillermo Ruiz was born on February 10, 1930, in Cuba. His primary and secondary education was in private institutions. He was reportedly well-educated with a degree in political economics from the University of Havana. He was a Communist before he became as Castroite, as his father was a militant Communist. During the Batista regime, Ruiz, who was in asylum in Mexico, was involved in the Triple A Movement of Dr. Aureliano Sanchez Arango. In the 1950's he emigrated to the U.S., traveling throughout the east coast and holding minor jobs. The CIA reported that his wife, Nilda Veciana, lived in New York for five years in the 1950's on West 48th Street, three block from Times Square. In 1957 Ruiz was in Miami, where he worked as an apprentice butcher. Ruiz became involved with the Cuban underworld: "In Miami, Ruiz and another Cuban exile, Major Jose Maria Moleon Carreras, were in contact with an American of Cuban descent, known as Joe Louis or Joe Luis, an underworld figure who was competing with Italians in the bolita racket in Tampa. Ruiz said Luis offered Ruiz and close associates $800 a month, plus car and expenses to supervise 'collections in Miami.' Luis even asked them to kill a man named Fernandez, who was involved in the numbers game in Miami, for $5,000 each." Ruiz left Miami in February 1958 will Harry Villegas Tamayo (contact of Pineiro, DGI Chief; also served as guerrilla with Che Guevara in Bolivia) and three other members of the 26th of July Movement and reportedly entered Cuba clandestinely. In Havana, Guillermo Ruiz was involved with a group in acts of terrorism against the Batista regime. Prior to 1959 Ruiz was reportedly operating clandestinely in the Dominican Republic trying to overthrow the Trujillo regime. Trujillo wanted to get Ruiz. Ruiz escaped and went to Cuba. In 1959 he was an official in the Castro administration, Chief of the Department of Construction, Expenses Studies, Office of Financial Statistics, Ministry of the Treasury. He was also reported to be a G-2 agent. Veciana said he first learned of Ruiz's affiliation with Castro's intelligence service shortly after Castro took power. He and Ruiz were walking in a Havana park when they were stopped and searched by Castro's police. Ruiz was found to be carrying a gun and was taken away. Concerned, Veciana immediately placed call to a close friend inside Castro's Government, Minister of Finance Rufo Lopez-Fresquet. Lopez-Fresquet told Veciana not to worry about Ruiz, because Ruiz was actually working for the intelligence service. Although Ruiz was a Castro agent and Communist, he warned Veciana that he was being observed visiting the American Embassy in Havana, and told him to be careful. That was why Veciana later thought that he might be able to turn Ruiz into an anti-Castro agent."
On August 1, 1963, Ruiz was appointed Commercial Counselor at the Cuban Embassy, Mexico City. He was reportedly a member of the DGI, and sent to Mexico City to infiltrate counter-revolutionary groups. The CIA: "The Guillermo Ruiz married to Antonio Veciana's cousin:
A. Lived in the U.S. illegally in 1957.
B. Was assigned to Cuban Embassy, Mexico City, September 6, 1963, as diplomat.
C. Flew from Mexico City to Havana on November 22, 1963." [He returned to Mexico City on November 29, 1963].
The CIA reported that in November 1964 Guillermo Ruiz received a letter from Andy Buckner of Sherman, Texas, that made reference to information Andy Buckner had supplied Guillermo Ruiz in January 1964. Andy Buckner, contacted in 1994, said he knew nothing of Guillermo Ruiz: "If I had any contact with Cubans, I can't remember." "In May 1964 AMMUG-1 reported that Ruiz, in Mexico City, was case officer for CUIS operations targeted against some nearby area. Ruiz was appointed Vice Minister for Economics of Ministry of Foreign Trade in 1964. In December 1967, Ruiz went to Madrid as the new Cuban Ambassador. He had his family with him and much money. He was living high on the hog. Very high. On April 24, 1968, Ruiz advised officer at Embassy, Oristides Diaz Roverosa, to disguise self for good organization, because he was already clandestine. Ruiz comments that he was arrested only once but it was only a joke. Aside from that, he says, they never caught him."
Antonio Veciana told a Cuban Affairs officer Miami August 1, 1968, that Guillermo Ruiz married to Veciana's cousin, was "dissatisfied with Fidel Castro and was receptive to recruitment. Antonio Veciana reported same information to Cuban Affairs officer in 1964. In 1968 Veciana served with the Agency for International Development in La Paz." [(Deleted) (IN 63607-]
"(Deleted) (IN 97745)," that was cited in the preceding cable, concerned Veciana's appearance at "State political section September 23, 1968, with same information regarding Ruiz. Veciana said Henry Taylor in Miami invited Veciana to visit (Deleted), who would follow up Ruiz case." [NARA CIA 1993.07.22.08:55:23:460530 - CIA 201-735296] In 1969 Guillermo Ruiz arranged for a camouflaged trip to Cuba by Salvadore Allende, a Socialist and President of Chile. In 1970 "CIA had (deleted) go to Madrid to reestablish friendship with Ruiz. (Wouldn't surprise me if (deleted) didn't tell Ruiz of arrangement.) Shortly thereafter Guillermo Ruiz returned to Cuba. We terminated interest in (deleted). Chris Hopkins Task Force K." Other attempts at CIA recruitment also ended in failure: Veciana said he was approached by another by another anti-Castro Cuban exile named Robert Vale. Vale asked Veciana to attempt to contact Ruiz about possibly becoming an asset for the CIA. Ruiz, at the time, was stationed in Spain, and when Veciana found a friend, Robeljo Lorie, who was traveling to Spain, he asked him to carry a letter to Ruiz. Ruiz tore the letter up in front of Lorie and told him he did not want to have any contact with Veciana, because he knew Veciana was "working for the CIA."
The HSCA interviewed Guillermo Ruiz in Havana. He acknowledged he was
related to Antonio Veciana through marriage and remarked that everyone
in Cuba knew Antonio Veciana was associated with the CIA and had tried
to assassinate Fidel Castro. Guillermo Ruiz said he was never contacted
by Antonio Veciana about OSWALD and had not seen Antonio Veciana since
1959. According to Guillermo Ruiz, Antonio Veciana was mentally ill, and
had been under psychiatric care from the time he was 16 years old, until
he was 21. These charges could not be substantiated.
ANTONIO VECIANA AND MITCH LIVINGSTONE WERBELL
Gaeton Fonzi asked Veciana if he ever dealt with Mitch Werbell: "No.
But he said that you were going to ask him about Masferrer now. (Why?)
Because there was a lot of business between Masferrer and Werbell. They
say that Masferrer was killed as a result of his dealings with Werbell."
The CIA: "In April 1966 a Latin American Division officer (deleted) using
the alias (deleted) met with Veciana in New York City. The meeting was
arranged by a retired Naval Officer, James Cogswell, who had informed Chief,
Western Hemisphere Division, that he had information of value concerning
Cuba. When (deleted) arrived in New York City for the meeting, he was introduced
by James Cogswell to Antonio Veciana. He immediately launched a discussion
of the Cuban political situation and noted his strong feeling that the
only solution was the assassination of Castro. (Deleted) advised Veciana
that he was in no position to provide him with assistance or encourage
him in an assassination attempt, and was only interested in gathering information
which he thought was the purpose of the meeting. Veciana subsequently said
that his roommate (Deleted) a Cuban refugee, had excellent contacts in
Havana. It was clear to (Deleted) however, Veciana was attempting to use
(Deleted) potentially to get Agency financial support for his organization."
A report dated April 25, 1966, revealed that James Cogswell, "told AMRAZZ
that he was expecting Antonio Veciana at that moment. Veciana, Cogswell
said, was in on a plan to assassinate Fidel Castro. Details of the plan
were lacking. Veciana wanted Cogswell to introduce him to a man known only
as (FNU) Livingstone, from 'Winston, Massachusetts.' Cogswell's sister,
name unknown, who works in Washington, D.C., presented Livingstone to Cogswell
about a month ago. Cogswell told (deleted) that on Sunday night, April
17, 1966, he had introduced Veciana to Livingston. The latter two had spoken
in private after which Veciana came away very pleased, but did not disclose
anything except that he had a plan to assassinate Fidel Castro." In a dispatch
titled "Alleged KUBARK Officer in Contact with Cuban Who is Planning Castro
Assassination Plot" the CIA stated: "According to (deleted) 'Livingstone'
was involved with Veciana's alleged assassination plot and he was masquerading
as KUBARK officer." [CIA 201-259910 (deleted) 25301] James Cogswell was
described as a New York attorney who raised funds for Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo.
In May 1966 "(deleted) employee met with Veciana who again requested (deleted)
in assassination of Castro." A CIA memo for the record dated May 31, 1966,
noted: "Veciana had roommate in Puerto Rico, Felix Zabala, who visited
Cuba November 1965, in regard to Camarioca refugee departures. Has an identical
twin brother in Cuba. Has sister in Cuba, at that time, who was secretary
to Ramiro Valdez, Cuban Minister of Interior." [NARA CIA 1993.07.22.08:55:23:460530]
THE AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Antonio Veciana worked for the Office of Capital Development of the
Agency for International Development as a consultant at the Central Bank
of La Paz, Bolivia, with an office in the Passport Division of the American
Embassy, circa April 1968 to June 30, 1972. Veciana believed that BISHOP
was instrumental in getting the job with the Agency for International Development,
because he himself was surprised the Agency would hire a known terrorist
and anti-Castro activist. Antonio Veciana was hired by the Agency for International
Development, although his application was unsigned. The CIA commented,
"Veciana was (deleted)." Gaeton Fonzi reported that Antonio Veciana told
him he did very little banking. Instead he spent his time working for BISHOP.
THE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT AGAINST CASTRO, CHILE, 1971
Antonio Veciana and BISHOP instigated a scheme to assassinate Fidel Castro in Chile in 1971. According to Antonio Veciana, BISHOP suggested the operation and provided the weapon, a lethal news camera. (CIA rogue agent Edwin P. Wilson produced similar devices for the Libyans.) During Veciana's narcotics conspiracy trial in New York City, Augustin Barres, one of his co-defendants testified that he had given Reinaldo Abreu $2,000 in 1971 in furtherance of this plot. [USDC SDNY 74-1219]
The HSCA reported: "Although BISHOP directed the operation, and provided Veciana with intelligence information, Veciana himself recruited anti-Castro Cuban associates in Caracas to take part in the attempt. Part of the plan to assassinate Castro in Chile in 1971, said Veciana, called for Chilean military bodyguards to capture the assassins before Castro's people could kill them. BISHOP, said Veciana, made the requisite arrangements with the Chilean military.
Without his knowledge, Veciana said, his Cuban exile associates in Caracas introduced a new element into the plan, a scheme to blame the assassination on certain Russian agents in Caracas. The associates even produced phony documents and photographs. When BISHOP later found out about this unauthorized part of the scheme, he was extremely upset, and he accused Veciana of being part of it. Although Veciana told BISHOP he had no knowledge of it, BISHOP apparently did not believe him and eventually suggested their relationship be terminated.
In a report to Senator George McGovern in 1975, Castro provided information
detailing the plot and accused "counter-revolutionaries from Alpha-66"
as co-conspirators. Veciana himself was not specifically mentioned. Max
Lesnick, editor and publisher of Replica, the most prominent Spanish-language
weekly publication in the Miami Cuban exile community, said he was aware
of Veciana's involvement in the assassination attempt at the time. He said,
however, Veciana told him it was his "own plan" and did not mention the
involvement of MAURICE BISHOP. Lesnick could not identify BISHOP, but said
he always did think that Veciana had "some high government contacts, probably
Veciana stated the Lucilo Pena, a Cuban-born graduate of Auburn University
in Georgia, was a co-conspirator in the plot to assassinate Castro in Chile.
Lucilo Pena lived in Venezuela since 1961. Although Pena denied any involvement
in the Castro assassination plot in Chile, he admitted to knowing Veciana
since "1964 or 1965" when he was active in Alpha-66. He said he first met
Veciana through a friend, Secundino Alverez, who the leader of Alpha-66
in Caracas. (Alverez was also named by Veciana as also being involved in
the Chile plot.) Pena admitted he had been in contact with Veciana during
the period the Chile plot was being planned, but, he said, their meeting
were only casual, usually at boxing matches which Veciana promoted. Pena
also admitted that Veciana may have discussed the possibility of assassinating
Castro with him during one of these encounters at the boxing matches. "I
think he asked some help in raising money," Pena said "but that's all I
know about that." Pena denied any knowledge or involvement in any plan
to blame Russian agents for the planned Castro assassination in Chile.
"I am not the type to do that kind of counter-intelligence work," he said.
"I am too open and honest." Pena said he knew Luis Posda, perhaps since
The HSCA interviewed Luis Posada, an anti-Castro Cuban exile, in the Venezuelan political prison, Cuartel San Carlos, in Caracas. In October 1976 Luis Posada was arrested with Orlando Bosch, and was subsequently indicted for the bombing of the Cubana Airlines plane in which 73 persons were killed. Posada had earlier been linked with assassination plots against Cuban officials in Chile, including two who disappeared in August 1976. Posada was a member of Brigade 2506, but he did not take part in the Bay of Pigs landing. In 1963 he joined the U.S. Army and was commissioned a first lieutenant. He resigned his commission in 1964. He went to Venezuela in 1967 and shortly afterwards joined the Venezuelan secret police, DISIP, the Direccion de los Sevicios de Intellgencia y Prevencion. From 1971 to 1973 he was chief of operations of the General Division of Security for DISIP, which included counter-intelligence. He resigned from DISIP in 1973 and went to Washington, D.C. to take training from what he termed "a private company" in the field of lie detection. He returned to Caracas to open his own private detective agency. Posada told HSCA investigators that he was not involved in the Castro assassination attempt in Chile in 1971. He admitted that he knew Veciana, but said he only met him twice, once in Miami and once in Caracas at the boxing matches. He said he did talk to Veciana about the time the Chile plot was being planned, but Veciana never mentioned anything to him about it.
This aborted assassination attempt against Fidel Castro in Chile ended
BISHOP'S relationship with Antonio Veciana. In April 1972 the CIA reported
that Antonio Veciana reportedly planned an assassination attempt on Fidel
Castro's life. [CIA date 4.8.72 signed by Shackley C/WHD (Deleted) C/WH/COG
THE $253,000 PAYMENT
On July 26, 1973, Veciana said BISHOP arranged to meet with him in the parking lot of the Flagler Dog Track in Miami. When he arrived, BISHOP was waiting for him with two younger men in an automobile. At that time BISHOP gave Veciana a suitcase, which, Veciana later ascertained, contained $253,000 in cash. Veciana stated the money was compensation for his efforts over the years.
In August 1973 the CIA reported that Antonio Veciana was allegedly involved
in planning the explosion in France on August 2, 1973, which "resulted
in the death of Juan Felipe De La Cruz." [CIA R 7309180924 in 201-312966]
VECIANA AND DRUG TRAFFICKING
On January 2, 1973 the CIA generated this memo:
Memorandum For: Acting General Counsel
Attention: Mr. John K. Greaney
Subjects: Ariel Pomeres aka Ariel Ignacis aka Ariel Pomare Orbea
1. Reference is made to your memo of December 1972 requesting name traces on Pomeres and Veciana. Office of Security has no record of Ariel Pomeres or his listed aliases.
2. Office of Security indices do reflect a record on Veciana. On January 4, 1962, Western Hemisphere Division requested a POA for Veciana in connection with Project (Deleted)...A Western Hemisphere Division dispatch (deleted) 25097, dated May 6, 1966, described Veciana as a Public Accountant by profession. It further described him as the titular head of Alpha-66 and a member of MRP and SFNE. His residence was shown as Puerto Rico and he was described as having a Cryptonym and of marginal (deleted) interest to JMWAVE, CI Branch, as a source of information obtained by (Deleted) for the CUIS.
3. There is no indication that Veciana was at any time involved in importing cocaine or other narcotics into this country in connection with the activities of Alpha-66.
Howard J. Osborn.
Director of Security.
THE CASE AGAINST VECIANA
On August 10, 1973, Antonio Veciana was indicted for possession with intent to distribute cocaine and two counts of conspiracy to do so. Augustin Barres, who was a former member of the 26th of July Movement and an official under Castro for a short while, along with an agent of the Organized Crime Bureau, Special Services Division, Drug Enforcement Task Force (Detective Joseph Bruno), delivered the cocaine to Veciana and Ariel Pomares. When the authorities searched Veciana's home they found several fake passports.
The Government claimed Veciana had smuggled cocaine from Bolivia from 1971 to 1973 via a diplomatic courier at least three times. Augustin Barres was unhappy with "The Midget," who was selling these shipments in the U.S. and contacted some one Barres thought was a member of the Mafia. The gangster introduced Barres to Bruno. Barres testified against Veciana: "[Veciana] told me that he had a friend of his, which I don't recall his name at this time, had introduce him with the man in charge of the Interpol police in Bolivia. That this gentleman, Interpol, was in charge of watching the traffic of cocaine but he had group of factories or refineries that he give them protection for a certain amount of money."
Veciana's attorney argued:
Bannigan: I think the agencies -- if it was that broad, I think what I would seek is whether the employment undertaken by Mr. Veciana or Mr. Pomares for any government agency, particularly the FBI or the CIA, in any way related to the charges in this case, and that I have not gotten an answer back on yet...The only thing I can suggest, your honor, is that Mr. Veciana, in addition to working for the agencies that have already been mentioned, has some affiliation with some Cuban Revolutionary Groups. It is possible, though I think it unlikely, that that affiliation with the group maybe as a covert agent, that there may be some relationship to the transactions here and that group, raising funds to continue their activities. We just don't know that yet. In that sense there may be some --- I mean it is possible he was working for the CIA when he did this. I would hope not.
THE COURT: You mean selling narcotics?
Rosner: Crazier things than that have happened, your Honor, as I'm sure the court knows.
On January 4, 1974, John Greaney of the Office of the General Counsel of the CIA, sent a letter to the United States Attorney, regarding Antonio Veciana and Ariel Pomeres in regard to unlawful acts of both from November 1, 1972 to January 1974, regarding unlawful importing of cocaine or other narcotics. In July 1974 (Deleted) mentioned Antonio Veciana and stated he was "denounced as a CIA agent."
Antonio Veciana was convicted of drug trafficking, and served 27 months
in prison on a conspiracy conviction involving narcotics.
WAS VECIANA FRAMED?
Veciana associated his legal problems with Bishop. Gaeton Fonzi speculated
this was why Antonio Veciana had brought OSWALD'S name up. Gaeton Fonzi
wrote: "(Does he believe his narcotics arrest was somehow related to all
his years dealing of dealing with BISHOP?) Yes. He says he believes there
is some relation with the past years. But he says just to remember that
the narcotics department (DEA) feels that he is guilty, and if he were
working for the narcotics department he would believe it too. (But how
does he relate it?) He says in 1973, when everything went down [with BISHOP?],
they couldn't kill him because he had too much information, that if he
ever got killed too much would come out. So he figures the only way to
finish him was to put him in jail, to set him up. He doesn't know whether
it was even Castro on the other hand. He has had three assassination attempts
on his life. They even put a bomb in Puerto Rico to get him. In Bolivia
they came to get him at his house. In Miami never." [NARA SSCIA 157-10004-10158]
When Veciana spoke with HSCA investigators on another occasion, he blamed
his drug arrest on Castro agents. On November 29, 1977, the FBI reported
that "a reliable source who is close to Antonio Veciana had advised that
he feels that Veciana's unusual preoccupation with the Kennedy assassination
investigation may have something to do with the fact that Veciana was released
from prison soon after his drug conviction. Source suspects that Veciana
may have made some kind of secret deal with unknown government agents who
allowed his release from prison in exchange for his testimony which implicated
the CIA in the Kennedy assassination. This is pure speculation on Source's
part and he had no tangible evidence to support his theory. It is recommended
that inquiry be made at the federal correction institution where Veciana
was imprisoned in an effort to determine whether Veciana's early release
from prison had anything to do with his claim that he had pertinent knowledge
of the Kennedy assassination." [NARA 124-10275-10230]
THE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON ANTONIO VECIANA
Gaeton Fonzi recalled that several weeks after the HSCA Report was issued
(July 1979): "The telephone rang. A friend in Little Havana was calling.
He said Antonio Veciana had been shot in the head. Antonio Veciana was
driving home from work when someone ambushed him, fired four shots at him.
There were four bullet holes in his car. Antonio Veciana was not dead,
the friend said, but that was all he knew." Antonio Veciana had received
a slight wound to the left temple. He told Gaeton Fonzi: "It was a Castro
Veciana was involved in the importation of narcotics to the United States.
The attempted assassination of Antonio Veciana could have been drug-related,
or it could have been a warning from individuals intent on protecting the
CIA. Veciana's $253,000 cash payment and his arrest for cocaine trafficking
and money laundering were related as was the attempt on his life. Veciana
felt the CIA should have intervened and prevented his imprisonment. Gaeton
Fonzi interviewed Veciana at a time when he was especially embittered with
the CIA, two weeks after leaving the Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, after
serving 27 months on a narcotics conspiracy conviction, so he told Fonzi
about BISHOP and OSWALD.
HEMMING ON BISHOP
HEMMING told this researcher: "BISHOP is BISHOP, and about four other people. PHILLIPS was one of them. Obviously Antonio Veciana wasn't supposed to show up at that building at that fucking time. You don't allow assets to see one another by themselves. And you sure as hell don't let assets see you with somebody else. That was a major fuckup. Antonio Veciana relied on me to keep his fucking ass alive in the 1970's. I saved his life twice. We were real close. Me and Veciana get on real fucking good. He's alive because of me. He risked his life coming forward and he got shot for it. OSWALD went to the meeting with BISHOP to see Mr. HUNT. Mr. HUNT was going to have him do some stuff."
Marina Oswald told this researcher: "Let me squeeze something in, okay?
So if you make connection of LEE HARVEY OSWALD to CIA and to DAVID ATLEE
PHILLIPS who was in division where he conducted assassination all over
the world and he was involved, according to you or another book, in assassination
of President Kennedy. And if he knew LEE OSWALD it means he knew about
Presidential assassination. And I don't think LEE would ever want to kill
President Kennedy. I know exactly how LEE felt about Kennedy. LEE did not
tell me he was associated with the government, that's all. He was very
sure that Kennedy would take care of the missile crisis right. Right now
I have inkling of double life, but not then. After the Walker incident
I thought he playing with dangerous politics, and it's time for him to
quit. I thought it was just a game. He never confessed to me, or confided
to me, that it was a serious thing. I think he was a small potato who got
fried in a big batch. But that cannot be because of inside information,
or that I hiding something, but I just simply did not suspect anything
heavier than the kid simply tried to play big politics, that's all."
HEMMING AND OSWALD MEET IN 1963 - MANUEL AGUILAR
In July 1963 Edward Anderson Collins was working with Manuel Aguilar. The FBI reported: "MM T-7, a Cuban exile and member of the Frente Revolutionario Anti-Communista, on July 29, 1963, advised that on July 27, 1963, Edward Collins, an American soldier-of- fortune, Jesus Franco, former leader of the Cuban Rebel Army and Rudolfo Fasco, a Cuban exile, left Miami on the motorboat, 'Little Ann.' They went out to sea about 30 miles, turned on a radio transmitter and tape recorder, and transmitted anti-Communist propaganda to Cuba. They returned to Miami about 8:30 p.m. the same day...MM T-7 advised that the head of the organization is Manuel Aguilar. The organization has 20 members and two boats." [FBI MM 105-1742 10.9.63 p25] Fasco had Collins arrested for theft of the 'Little Ann' and the homemade boat broke up quickly in the surf. [FBI Report on FRAC]
The CIA possessed a copy of an Army report concerning William Houston Seymour: "Subject: Aguilar, Manuel, June 19, 1970." [CIA 04483]
Subject: Frente Revolutionario Anti-Communista en Cuba (U)
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C. 20535
1. (U) Forwarded for your information and action deemed appropriate are two Agent Reports (Ars) dated June 18, 1970, and June 19, 1970, Subject: (Deleted) (NHM); DPOB: (Deleted).
2. Aguilar may possibly be identifiable with Manolo Aguilar named as a representative of the Frente Revolutionario Anti-Communista en Cuba in unnumbered report FBI, Miami, Florida, December 20, 1963, Subject: Movimiento Revolucionario Frank Pais. (Deleted) is presumed to be the same individual named in unnumbered report, FBI Miami, Florida, April 5, 1963, Subject, 30th of November Revolutionary Movement; and report 97-406, FBI Miami, Florida, same Subject. [A search of this data base for 97-406 revealed HEMMING was mentioned in it.]
3. (FOUO) Records of this office indicate that (Deleted).
For the Commander:
Irwin R. Gay LTC,MI,
Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
[NARA FBI 124-10067-10221]
1. NAME OF SUBJECT OR TITLE OF INCIDENT (Deleted)
2. Date submitted June 18, 1970.
3. Control Symbol or File Number
4. Report of Findings: (MISCELLANEOUS) On June 17, 1970, (Deleted) was interviewed at the Miami Field Office, Region III, 111th MI Group, Miami, Florida, regarding information he volunteered concerning an anti-Castro Cuban exile group called Frente Revolucionaria Anti-Communista en Cuba (FRACC) (Anti-Communist Revolutionary Front in Cuba), of which he claimed to be a leader. (Deleted) a jeweler employed by (deleted) stated in substance as follows:
In approximately 1959 Subject helped form FRACC in Cuba when it became known that the Castro regime was turning Communist. Subject claimed that at that time he was a member of Castro's Naval Intelligence. He alleged that he attempted to obtain help from the American Embassy, but the only helped he received was from a (Deleted) then the (Deleted) who made personal donations to FRACC but offered no official help. When Subject could not obtain official aid, he and other members of FRACC went underground. Source declined to reveal the names of other members of FRACC for fear of jeopardizing their security since some members were still in prison in Cuba. In approximately March 1961, Subject escaped from Cuba when he learned that he was being investigated for subversive activities. Since coming to the U.S. he has been working with about 50 persons living in various parts of the U.S. in order to send aid to members of FRACC in Cuba. Subject declined to reveal the names of these members in the U.S. As yet, FRACC has only been able to send very small amounts of aid to FRACC at sporadic intervals, and through clandestine means. They do not have any stockpiles of arms or materials, and do not plan to initiate any action without the approval of the U.S. Government. There is no formal organization of FRACC in the U.S. However, the Subject claimed that the FRACC members in the U.S. could be organized and trained in a matter of weeks to send supplies and arms to Cuba. Subject believed that there were approximately 4,000 to 10,000 persons in Cuba who would support FRACC immediately, if they had assurance that FRACC, did, in fact, have supplies and the support of the U.S. Subject claimed that he was in contact with members of FRACC in Cuba (some still in prison and others in high positions within the Cuban military), NFI, who were awaiting support. Subject has no definite military plans, but believed that FRACC could overthrow the Castro from within, rather than by means of invasion involving the U.S., if they had the proper supplies and support. Subject was referred to the Miami Field Office by (Deleted) presently a patient at Palm Springs General Hospital, Hialeah, Florida. Through (Deleted) Subject met an individual who claimed to be Captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, not further identified, who stated that he could train Subject and other members of FRACC. Agents notes: The interview of Subject was conducted in the Spanish language. He appeared to be sincere, truthful and was completely cooperative throughout the interview.
Joseph A. Agee, 111th Group (III)
Signature of Special Agent, Gilberto
(Illegible). (Deleted - two pages withheld entirely Referred to Army. The following number is to used for reference regarding these pages: HQ 105-82555-5th NR.
NAME OF SUBJECT OR TITLE OF INCIDENT (Deleted)
DATE SUBMITTED June 19, 1970.
CONTROL SYMBOL OR FILE NUMBER: (Deleted)
REPORT OF FINDINGS: (Five Paragraphs Deleted)
Source mentioned as an aside that during the build-up of 1963, a number of volunteer civilians was making their way across the US into Florida. It was during this time that three individuals from California became known within his separate click. Source supplied names as follows:
(Deleted)[Lawrence John Howard] probably located in California, possibly El Monte
(Deleted)[William Houston Seymour] presently located in Tucson, Arizona. (Deleted) [HEMMING].
According to (Deleted) [Aguilar], both (Deleted) met with OSWALD in Texas while en route to Florida prior to the Kennedy assassination. After President Kennedy was killed (deleted) related to source that the assassination was a CIA plot to do away with Kennedy since (deleted) were believed to have been connected with the CIA. Source, at a later date, confronted (deleted) with the question concerning his part in the alleged connection with the Kennedy assassination. (Deleted) 'clammed up' and became nervous concerning the matter and avoided the subject completely. Additionally, due to source's long involvement with military civilian movements against Cuba a man by the name of (deleted) [Steve Burton] who presently resides at (deleted) came to source's home while he was living in California, following the Robert F. Kennedy assassination and displayed photographs of Sirhan B. Sirhan in efforts to make identification. Source was unable to make identification but stated that Burton was in the employ of JERRY HEMMING at the time.
Agents Notes: Source was completely cooperative during the interview and provided names, addresses and telephone numbers from a small address book in his possession. He appeared to be somewhat self-centered and desired to talk more about himself than Subject. As a spot check for accuracy of information concerning individuals, the names and addresses of (deleted) listed above, was checked through the Los Angeles Field Office of the 115th MI Group. The North Hollywood telephone directory reflected a listing for (Deleted). It is felt that Source was completely truthful in his answers and had strong feelings concerning the abilities of Subject.
Charles N. Phillips, 111th MI Group (III).
Steve Burton of Los Angeles interviewed LAWRENCE JOHN HOWARD on January 25, 1968, for New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison. [Report of Charles N. Phillips Joseph A. Agee, 111th MI Group 6.18.70; Citizens Committee of Inquiry Steven J. Burton] On May 8, 1968, HEMMING was interviewed by Steve Burton, on behalf of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison.
HEMMING told this researcher: "Manuel Aguilar was a Castro agent. The last time I had Aguilar located was at a house we were going to hit to recover my rifle and other equipment that they had purloined and a trailer full of medicines. We'd gotten part of the trailer, we wanted the rest of the medicines, so we could ship them to Cuba legally. And the next thing you know they were getting permission with Masferrer and them to go down and use No Name Key as a base and that's the last of Aguilar. Summer of 1963 and we were busy on other stuff...Aguilar was trying to buy some guns and shit and he got a box full of rocks delivered to him...Ralph Hernandez set up a buy with Aguilar and box full of rocks. It became an armed confrontation. Metro Miami Police. I figured here's Ralph Hernandez and they all got machine guns and I figured at any moment Aguilar is going to have Hall and that crowd on the scene and things are gonna get real interesting...ROY HARGRAVES was great buddies with Aguilar, okay, and HARGRAVES had been told to stay away from him and was getting ready to put a bomb on his ass because he put a bomb on Louie Balbana's [phonetic] house that night after the scene with Hall and Molina and Bayo. They blew the front door in one Balbana's house. They were going to hit Aguilar."
In a Freedom of Information Act request to the FBI HEMMING requested
documents on: "Meetings in Florida, Texas, Louisiana, etc. with individuals
threatening the life of President John F. Kennedy from 1962 to 1963."