[News] The CIA File on Luis Posada Carriles

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed Jan 12 19:16:02 EST 2011


National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 334
By Peter Kornbluh and Erin Maskell

Posted - January 11, 2011

Washington, D.C., January 11, 2011 - As the 
unprecedented trial of Cuban exile Luis Posada 
Carriles begins this week in El Paso, Texas, the 
National Security Archive today posted a series 
of CIA records covering his association with the 
agency in the 1960s and 1970s. CIA personnel 
records described Posada, using his codename, 
“AMCLEVE/15,” as “a paid agent” at $300 a month, 
being utilized as a training instructor for other 
exile operatives, as well as an 
informant.  “Subject is of good character, very 
reliable and security conscious,” the CIA 
reported in 1965. Posada, another CIA document 
observed, incorrectly, was “not a typical ‘boom and bang’ type of individual.”

Today’s posting includes key items from Posada’s 
CIA file, including several previously published 
by the Archive, and for the first time online, 
from Posada’s previous prosecution--in Panama--on 
charges of trying to assassinate Fidel Castro 
with 200 pounds of dynamite and C-4 explosives (in Spanish).

“This explosive has the capacity to destroy any 
armored vehicle, buildings, steel doors, and the 
effects can extend for 200 meters
if a person 
were in the center of the explosion, even if they 
were in an armored car, they would not survive,” 
as the indictment described the destructive 
capacity of the explosives found in Posada’s 
possession in Panama City, where Fidel Castro was 
attending an Ibero-American summit in November 2000.

The judge presiding over the perjury trial of 
Posada has ruled that the prosecution can 
introduce unclassified evidence of his CIA 
background which might be relevant to his “state 
of mind” when he allegedly lied to immigration 
officials about his role in a series of hotel 
bombings in Havana in 1997. In pre-trial motions, 
the prosecution has introduced a short 
of Posada’s CIA career, which is included 
below.  Among other things, the summary (first 
cited last year in Tracey Eaton’s informative 
<http://alongthemalecon.blogspot.com/>“Along the 
Malecon”) reveals that in 1993, only four years 
before he instigated the hotel bombings in 
Havana, the CIA anonymously warned former agent 
and accused terrorist Luis Posada of an assassination threat on his life.

A number of the Archive’s CIA documents were 
cited in articles in the Washington Post, and CNN 
coverage today on the start of the Posada trial. 
“The C.I.A. trained and unleashed a 
Frankenstein,” the New York Times quoted Archive 
Cuba Documentation Project director Peter 
Kornbluh as stating.  “It is long past time he be 
identified as a terrorist and be held accountable as a terrorist.”

Posada was convicted in Panama in 2001, along 
with three accomplices, of endangering public 
safety; he was sentenced to eight years in 
prison. After lobbying by prominent 
Cuban-American politicians from Miami, Panamanian 
president Mireya Moscoso pardoned all four in 
August 2004. A fugitive from justice in Venezuela 
where he escaped from prison while being tried 
for the October 6, 1976, mid air bombing of a 
Cuban jetliner which killed all 73 people on 
board, Posada showed up in Miami in March 2005. 
He was arrested on May 17 of that year by the 
Department of Homeland Security and held in an 
immigration detention center in El Paso for two 
years, charged with immigration fraud during the 
Bush administration.  Since mid 2007, he has been 
living on bail in Miami. In April 2009, the Obama 
Justice Department added several counts of 
perjury relating to Posada denials about his role 
in organizing a series of hotel, restaurant and 
discotheque bombings in 1997.  Since mid 2007, he 
has been living on bail in Miami

According to Kornbluh, “it is poetic justice that 
the same U.S. Government whose secret agencies 
created, trained, paid and deployed Posada is 
finally taking steps to hold him accountable in a 
court of law for his terrorist crimes.”

Read the Documents

1: CIA, Unclassified, “Unclassified Summary of 
the CIA’s Relationship With Luis Clemente Posada Carriles,” Undated.

This unclassified summary of the relationship 
between Luis Posada Carriles and the CIA, which 
was provided to the court by the US Justice 
Department, says the CIA first had contact with 
Posada in connection with planning the Bay of 
Pigs invasion in 1961. He remained a paid agent 
of the CIA from 1965-1967 and again from 
1968-1974. From 1974-76, Posada provided 
unsolicited threat reporting. (Additional 
documents introduced in court show that he 
officially severed ties with the CIA in February 
1976.) According to this document, the CIA last 
had contact with Posada in 1993 when they 
anonymously contacted him in Honduras by 
telephone to warn him of a threat to his life. 
(This document was first cited last year in 
Tracey Eaton’s informative blog, 
<http://alongthemalecon.blogspot.com/>“Along the Malecon.”)

2: CIA, "PRQ Part II for AMCLEVE/15," September 22, 1965.

"PRQ Part II," or the second part of Posada's 
Personal Record Questionnaire, provides 
operational information. Within the text of the 
document, Posada is described as "strongly 
anti-Communist" as well as a sincere believer in 
democracy. The document describes Posada having a 
"good character," not to mention the fact that he 
is "very reliable, and security conscious." The 
CIA recommends that he be considered for a civil 
position in a post-Castro government in Cuba (codenamed PBRUMEN).

3: CIA, Cable, "Plan of the Cuban Representation 
in Exile (RECE) to Blow Up a Cuban or Soviet 
Vessel in Veracruz, Mexico," July 1, 1965.

This CIA cable summarizes intelligence on a 
demolition project proposed by Jorge Mas Canosa, 
then the head of RECE. On the third page, a 
source is quoted as having informed the CIA of a 
payment that Mas Canosa has made to Luis Posada 
in order to finance a sabotage operation against 
ships in Mexico. Posada reportedly has "100 
pounds of C-4 explosives and some detonators" and 
limpet mines to use in the operation.

4: CIA, Memorandum, "AMCLEVE /15," July 21, 1966.

This document includes two parts-a cover letter 
written by Grover T. Lythcott, Posada's CIA 
handler, and an attached request written by 
Posada to accept a position on new coordinating 
Junta composed of several anti-Castro 
organizations. In the cover letter, Lythcbtt 
refers to Posada by his codename, AMCLEVE/I5, and 
discusses his previous involvement withthe 
Agency. He lionizes Posada, writing that his 
''performance in all assigned tasks has been 
excellent," and urges that he be permitted to 
work with the combined anti-Castro exile groups. 
According to the document, Lythcott suggests that 
Posada be taken off the CIA payroll to facilitate 
his joining the anti-Castro militant junta, which 
will be led by RECE. Lythcott insists that Posada 
will function as an effective moderating force 
considering he is "acutely aware of the 
international implications of ill planned or over 
enthusiastic activities against Cuba." In an 
attached memo, Posada, using the name "Pete," 
writes that if he is on the Junta, "they will 
never do anything to endanger the security of 
this Country (like blow up Russian ships)" and 
volunteers to "give the Company all the intelligence that I can collect."

5: CIA, Personal Record Questionnaire on Posada, April 17, 1972.

This "PRQ" was compiled in 1972 at a time Posada 
was a high level official at the Venezuelan 
intelligence service, DISIP, in charge of 
demolitions. The CIA was beginning to have some 
concerns about him, based on reports that he had 
taken CIA explosives equipment to Venezuela, and 
that he had ties to a Miami mafia figure named 
Lefty Rosenthal. The PRQ spells out Posada's 
personal background and includes his travel to 
various countries between 1956 and 1971. It also 
confirms that one of his many aliases was "Bambi Carriles."

6: CIA, Report, "Traces on Persons Involved in 6 
Oct 1976 Cubana Crash," October 13, 1976.

In the aftermath of the bombing of Cubana flight 
455, the CIA ran a file check on all names 
associated with the terror attack. In a report to 
the FBI the Agency stated that it had no 
association with the two Venezuelans who were 
arrested. A section on Luis Posada Carriles was 
heavily redacted when the document was 
declassified. But the FBI retransmitted the 
report three days later and that version was 
released uncensored revealing Posada's relations with the CIA.

7: CIA, Secret Intelligence Report, "Activities 
of Cuban Exile Leader Orlando Bosch During his 
Stay in Venezuela," October 14, 1976.

A source in Venezuela supplied the CIA with 
detailed intelligence on a fund raiser held for 
Orlando Bosch and his organization CORU after he 
arrived in Caracas in September 1976. The source 
described the dinner at the house of a Cuban 
exile doctor, Hildo Folgar, which included 
Venezuelan government officials. Bosch was said 
to have essentially asked for a bribe in order to 
refrain from acts of violence during the United 
Nations meeting in November 1976, which would be 
attended by Venezuelan President Carlos Andres 
Perez. He was also quoted as saying that his 
group had done a "great job" in assassinating 
former Chilean ambassador Orlando Letelier in 
Washington D.C. on September 21, and now was 
going to "try something else." A few days later, 
according to this intelligence report, Luis 
Posada Carriles was overheard to say that "we are 
going to hit a Cuban airplane" and "Orlando has the details."

8: First Circuit Court of Panama, “Fiscalia 
Primera Del Primer Circuito Judicial De Panama: 
Vista Fiscal No. 200”, September 28, 2001.

This lengthy document is the official indictment 
in Panama of Luis Posada Carriles and 4 others 
for the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro 
at the 10th Ibero-American Summit in November 
2000. In this indictment, Posada Carriles is 
accused of possession of explosives, endangerment 
of public safety, illicit association, and 
falsification of documents. After traveling to 
Panama, according to the evidence gathered, “Luis 
Posada Carriles and Raul Rodriguez Hamouzova 
rented a red Mitsubishi Lancer at the 
International Airport of Tocumen, in which they 
transported the explosives and other devices 
necessary to create a bomb.” (Original Spanish: 
“Luis Posada Carriles y Raul Rodriguez Hamouzova 
rentaron en el Aeropuerto Internacional de 
Tocumen de la referida empresa el vehículo marca 
Mitsubishi Lancer, color rojo, dentro del cual se 
transportaron los explosives y artefactos 
indicados para elaborar una bomba.”)  This bomb 
was intended to take the life of Fidel Castro; 
Castro was to present at the Summit on November 
17th, and what Carriles had proposed to do 
“wasn’t easy, because it occurred at the Summit, 
and security measures would be extreme.” 
(Original Spanish: “lo que se proponía hacer no 
era fácil, porque ocurría en plena Cumbre, y las 
medidas de seguridad serían extremas.”)

After being discovered by agents of the 
Explosives Division of the National Police, they 
ascertained that “this explosive has the capacity 
to destroy an armored vehicle, buildings, steel 
doors, and the effects of an explosive of this 
class and quality can extend for 200 meters.” 
Additionally, “to a human, from a distance of 200 
meters it would affect the senses, internal 
hemorrhages, and if the person were in the center 
of the explosion, even if they were in an armored 
car, they would not survive
the destructive 
capacity of this material is complete.” (Original 
Spanish: “Este explosivo tiene la capacidad de 
destruir cualquier carro blindado, puede destruir 
edificios, puertas de acero, y que la onda 
expansiva de esta calidad y clase de explosive 
puede alcanzar hasta 200 metros
Al ser humano, 
sostienen, a la distancia de 200 metros le 
afectaría los sentidos, hemorragios internos, y 
si la persona estuviese en el centro de la 
explosion, aunque estuviese dentro de un carro 
blindado no sobreviviría
la capacidad destructive de este material es total.”)

The indictment states that when Posada was “asked 
about the charges against him, including 
possession of explosives, possession of 
explosives that endanger public safety, illicit 
association, and falsification of documents
expresses having fought subversion against 
democratic regimes along several fronts, 
specifically Castro-sponsored subversion.” 
(Original Spanish: “Preguntado sobre los cargos 
formulados, es decir Posesión de Explosivos, 
Posesión de Explosivos que implica Peligro Común, 
Asociación Ilicita, y Falsedad de 
Expresa haber combatido en distintos 
frentes la subversión contra regimens 
democráticos, ‘quiero decir la subversión castrista.’”)

Posada and his accomplices were eventually 
convicted of endangering public safety and 
sentenced to 8 years in prison. He was pardoned 
by Panamanian president, Mireya Moscosa, after 
only four years in August 2004 and lived as a 
fugitive in Honduras until March 2005 when he 
illegally entered the United States and applied for political asylum.

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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