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Orlando Piedra

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Orlando Piedra

David Atlee Phillips suspects Orlando Piedra blew the cover of the Belle Chasse training camp.

In this memo he explains:

“…Despite all the precautions, one incident occurred that is significant in view of the recent publication naming the Belle Casse camp. One night a group of trainees arriving at the Moisant Airport from Miami were observed and identified by Orlando PIEDRA, the former Chief of the Bureau of Investigation during the Batista regime. PIEDRA obtained the license numbers of the rental vehicles used for transporting the trainees to the camp. His license number was likewise obtained by our security officer at the scene. PIEDRA, who is one of the individuals included in the CI/R&A memorandum dated 15 September 1967 (page 3-item 21), and memorandum #5 (paragraph 4-J), may be the individual who provided the information contained in the recent publication…”

Garrison Investigation: Belle Chasse Training Camp NARA 104-10104-10245


The Cuban Information Archive Doc 0155 (Invasion of Cuba from Dominican Republic, 59’ RIF 124-10294-10051 May 5, ’59) identified Orlando Piedra as Batista’s “Secret Service chief” and DAP calls him “Chief of Cuban Bureau of Investigations under Batista.”

In his book Cuba, or The Pursuit of Freedom, Hugh Thomas (p. 869) wrote about Piedra stalking Castro in Mexico: “…The housing for these early Fidelistas was partly arranged by a ‘Cuban long resident in Mexico’, in a rather military style, all acknowledging the leadership of a responsiable de casa. Five to ten people lived in each house. But as early as September 1955 Batista’s secret service chief, Colonel Orlando Piedra. 23 arrived in Mexico, and a curious cat-and-mouse game of observation and betrayal began which was to last for over a year in Mexico City and its surroundings.”

“Back in Cuba the democratic mellowing of the regime continued. On 11 August 1955, Prio (who had been covered by the same amnesty as Castro) nerved himself to come home. Accompanied by much enthusiasm, he went first to the Hotel Nacional, then to his famous farm, Habla el coronel Orlando Piedra

Jerry Shinley Archive: “A memorandum of February 14, 1967, summarizes Sciambra’s interview with Ernesto (aka Arnesto) Rodriguez. Calling Arcacha a “bad hombre,” Rodriguez recalled that at one meeting of the Crusade “there was an argument between RONNIE CAIRE and some of the Cubans over the way that the finances were being expended. It seems that there was a complaint that the money was being used to pay some of ARCACHA’s personal debts. (pp. 787-8) Rodgriguez also claimed contact with Oswald during the summer of 1963. (p.787)

Rodriguez recommended an Orlando Piedra as a good source of information on the N.O. Cuban community, (p. 787) In February of 1962, Piedra, described as former ‘chief of investigations for the secret police of deposed President Fulgencio Batista,’ shared his secret files on the early career of Fidel Castro. Piedra had been in New Orleans since September 1960. (NOTP, February 10, 1962, s 2, p.3) According to James and Wardlaw, Plot or Politics, p. 160, Piedra was in New Orleans until the onset of the Garrison probe…”

51. “Galeria de Asesinnos,” Bohemia, 1 January 1959. 157. At the end of 1959, U.S. Authorites arrested Orlando Piedra’s brother, Oswaldo, south of Miami while he and four other anti-Castro Cubans were loading a plane with three bombs that they planned to drop somewhere over the island.(E. W. Kentworthy, “U.S. Seizes Bombs Headed for Cuba,”

New York Times, 2 December 1959,1).

The Cuban Connection – A comprehensive history of crime and corruption in Cuba By Eduardo Saenz Rovner, Russ Davidson

p. 194

Orlando Piedra is co-author of this book which is apparently only published in Spanish:

Habla el Coronel

By Orlando Piedra, Daniel Efrain Raimundo

Miami, Fla. : Ediciones Universal, 1994.

Colección Cuba y sus jueces

Book : Biography : Spanish : 1. ed

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