CUBAN INFORMATION ARCHIVES




DOCUMENT  0155


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Invasion of Cuba from
Dominican Republic 1959

[Reference: RIF 124-10294-10051, FBI record 2-1423-9TH NR 36]

DATE: 05/05/59

1-Mr. Belmont
1-Mr. Donahoe
1-Mr. Correr
1-Mr. Nasca
1-Mr. Mullins

TO: A. H. Belmont
FROM: S. B. Donahoe
SUBJECT: ANTI-FIDEL CASTRO ACTIVITIES
INTERNAL SECURITY-CUBA

During the past few days we have received information from three substantial sources that invasion of Cuba from Dominican Republic is imminent.  The sources are:  (1) General Manuel Benitez, head of National Police of Cuba from 1940 to 1944 and member of Cuban Legislature from 1948 to 1958; (2) Frank Perez Perez, a source of Miami Office who is aligned with General Benitez and Rolando Masferrer, former Cuban Senator and newspaperman who maintained a private army of hoodlums while Batista was in power and who has been described as a bandit and gangster; (3) I. Irving Davidson, registered agent of Israeli and Nicaraguan Governments who talked with Batista in the Dominican Republic on 4/29/59 and who quotes Batista as stating a group of Cuban riffraff is planning invasion of Cuba from the Dominican Republic with approval of Generalissimo Trujillo who feels Castro will attack if not attacked first.

General Benitez stated General Jose Pedraza Cabrera, who headed Batista's final campaign against Castro, will be Commander-in-Chief of this new movement which has headquarters in Dominican Republic.  Pedraza is in exile there at the present time.  While in charge of Batista's army, Pedraza was considered a very brave man and disciplinarian.  He was part of three-man junta which ruled Cuba immediately following Batista's downfall.  Perez claims all other
Latin-American countries have sanctioned this movement against Cuba and claims Dr. Emilio Nunez Portuondo, chief Cuban delegate to United Nations prior to Castro's victory, will undoubtedly head the revolutionary junta which will control Cuba for six months until free elections can be held.  Following were named as financial contributors to this new movement in addition to Batista who General Benitez claims contributed $2,000,000: (1) Fernando de la Riva, Cuban mining executive; (2) Marino Lopez Blanco, former Cuban Senator and consular official who was stationed in Florida until Castro assumed power; (3) Amadeo Lopez Castro, close personal friend and economic advisor to Batista who was one of leading candidates to succeed Batista before revolution; (4) Francisco Cajigas, former government official under Batista who was admitted to the United States immediately after Batista's downfall; (5) Roberto "Chili" Mendoza, wealthy sugar magnate who headed group which held gambling concession at Hotel Havana-Hilton prior to Castro's victory; (6) Garcia Montes, Minister of Education under Batista; (7) Colonel Orlando Piedra, Chief of Cuban Bureau of Investigations under Batista.  Our requests for investigations in Cuba by Cuban National Police were approved by Piedra and he assisted us in handling informal deportations from Cuba.  We have sent numerous letters of thanks to Piedra.  He fled to the Dominican Republic on 1/1/59 and later claimed INS refused him admittance tot he U. S. which INS denies.  He owns considerable property in Miami and reportedly amassed a fortune from "take" on gambling activities while head of Bureau of Investigations; (8) Carlos Govea, described as a wealthy Cuban.  Bufiles do not definitely identify this individual.  In the early 1940's a Lieutenant Carlos Govea, member of a wealthy and influential family of engineers and contractors, was source of American Embassy and Legal Attache in Havana while serving on Havana Police Department.  Carlos Govea y Araoz, born 3/20/18, Havana, was admitted to U. S. on /53 to attend the Institute of Sugar Stabilization.

General Benitez claims $25,000 has been delivered to William Alexander Morgan, the American who was a leader of the "Second Front" in Escambray Mountains during Cuban Revolution.  Morgan supposedly is angry at Castro who did not give him or other "Second Front" leaders recognition in the new government.  Morgan was born at Cleveland, Ohio, in 1928 and is U. S. citizen.  He served in U. S. Army from 1946 until his dishonorable discharge on 4/11/50 which resulted from his conviction by a court-martial on escape from custody charges.  In 1946 he was arrested on felony charge and he was also charged with armed robbery while in the Army.  He reportedly is veteran of Korean War and is described as a judo expert.  Recently Morgan's father told Bureau Agents son is emotionally disturbed and in need of psychiatric help.  He has deserted two or three wives, some with children, in the past several years.  Eloy Menoyo was Commander-in-Chief of the "Second Front" during the Cuban Revolution and he originally was reported as in favor of a military junta taking over Cuba in preference to Castro.  However, he came to the U. S. on a good-will trip in March, 1959, and, according to State Department, then indicated he had no ambitions of his own and was 100% in favor of Castro's group.  On 4/3/59 Andrew Szentgyorgyi (St. George), a free lance writer and photographer, advised he had just returned from a month's visit to Cuba where he learned a new opposition group headed by Menoyo and Morgan was being formed in the Escambray region.

Other persons named by Benitez and Perez as potential leaders in new Cuban Government if Castro is overthrown were: (1) Dr. Octavio Montero, described as a distinguished medical doctor and professor at University of Havana.  Bufiles contain no information concerning Montero; (2) Manuel Antonio Varona, prominent Cuban politician who was Prime Minister under former President Carlos Prio Socarras.  Varona not in U. S. at present time but is registered as agent for Council for Cuban Liberation, on anti-Batista group; (3) Emilio Ochoa, described as representative of Orthodox Party.  Ochoa possibly is identical with Emilio Laureano Ochoa y Ochoa who was subject of Registration Act investigation by Miami in 1954.  the latter reportedly was connected with Cuban Orthodox Party and was then living in exile in Miami.  His registration was solicited by the Department on basis of our investigation which revealed he was involved in printing of anti-Batista propaganda for shipment from Miami to locations outside the U. S.  He did register on 4/26/54 and CIA advised he returned to Cuba clandestinely in late 1954 to await revolution there but in January, 1955, went to Mexico.  As of May, 1955, Ochoa was back in Miami and he terminated his registration with the Department on 10/26/55; (4) Eusebio Mujal, Secretary General of largest labor group in Cuba, Cuba Confederation of Labor, until Batista's overthrow.  Benitez claims he is now in Mexico in exile and is cooperating with the new movement as are other anti-communist Cuban labor elements.

Rolando Masferrer on 4/29/59 advised he has no doubt forces opposed to Castro will unite and that he will join the group if it looks good.  He named Aureliano Sanchez Arango as another Cuban leader who is cooperating with the new movement.  According to Masferrer, Sanchez leads revolutionary group known as "Triple A." Sanchez was Minister of Education under President Prio at which time he was described as Prio's closest friend.  In recent years he has been jailed many times for political reasons and has been in exile in several countries, including the U. S.  He has been engaged in plans to overthrow Batista for many years but was in Mexico in 1957 and it is not known if he played any part in assisting Castro.

U. S.  residents, in addition to those previously named, who reportedly are assisting the new movement are:  (1) Daniel Vasquez, former close associate of ex-President Prio, who is presently under indictment with Prio and others for conspiring to violate the Neutrality Statute.  Vasquez published a Spanish-language newspaper, "Tribuna," which is definitely anti-Castro.  He has been cooperating with Miami Office in recent past and claims his paper aims to fight communism and to show people in U. S. and Cuban extent of communist entrenchment in Cuba; (2) Richard Jaffe, Miami real estate man associated with Masferrer who told Miami several thousand copies of "Tribuna" were dropped on Cuba on 4/22 and 25/59.

General Benitez, our chief source of information concerning this group, frequently writes laudatory letters to Bureau and offers to assist us in any possible way.  He is staunch anti-communist and has denounced communist influence in Castro's regime.  He reportedly acquired $4,000,000 or $5,000,000 while in charge of Cuba's National Police from 1940 to 1944.  When Batista was ousted in 1944, Benitez was jailed for short time and came to Miami upon release.  He was involved in unsuccessful plot to overthrow Cuban Government in 1947.  He returned to Cuba in 1948 after being elected to Cuban Legislature where he served until 1958.  He told Legat, Havana, in 1958 he was Batista's choice for Mayor of Havana in elections later that year and planned to steal more money as Mayor than he did as Chief of Police.  Benitez was not elected Mayor and, according to Legat, His reputation in Cuba is very poor.


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