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Armando Lopez Estrada


John Simkin
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I am currently researching Armando Lopez Estrada. He took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion and later helped to form Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU). In a CBS interview on 10th June, 1977, Armando Lopez Estrada claimed: "We use the tactics that we learned from the CIA... We were trained to set off a bomb, we were trained to kill."

I also came across these two documents that provides a link with him and the JFK assassination.

TO: Lt. M. BROMLEY, Supervisor

FROM: Detective A. TARABOCHIA

DATE: January 11, 1962

SUBJECT: Assist other Agency - Alleged plot to assassinate the President of the United States

At approximately 6:30 P.M., January 10, 1962, Detective A. L. TARABOCHIA was contacted at his residence by Secret Service Agent ERNEST ARAGON in reference to alleged plot to assassinate the President of the United States.

Agent ARAGON revealed that, according to the information received by his agency, RAFAEL ANSELMO RODRIGUEZ MOLINS, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Dominican ancestry, was en route to Miami from Chicago to attempt to assassinate President KENNEDY next time he arrives in West Palm Beach. The subject also known as RAFAEL MOLINA is a W/M, 39, 5' 10", brown eyes, black receding hair, and wears glasses. RODRIGUEZ is known to disguise himself as a priest and carries a weapon concealed in a camera case. Since the subject has a badly infected foot, there is a possibility that he walks with a limp. Agent ARAGON added that the subject was to contact a Cuban male living in the Miami area before proceeding to West Palm Beach. The Cuban, ARMANDO PABLO LOPEZ ESTRADA QUINTANA, was a member of the forces that attempted the invasion of Cuba on April 17, 1961. LOPEZ is a W/M, DOB 3/15/39, 6ft, 200 lbs., last known address New York City, NY. LOPEZ is married and his wife's name is MERCEDES LOPEZ.

On January 11, 1962, the writer contacted a number of Cubans in position to furnish information concerning the suspects. As soon as this information is obtained it will be forwarded in a report to follow.

The investigation is continuing.

Respectfully Submitted

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TO: LT. M. BROMLEY Supervisor

Special Investigations

FROM: Detective A. TARABOCHIA

DATE: January 12, 1962

SUBJECT: Assist other Agency - Alleged plot to assassinate the President of the United States. Additional Information.

CASE NO. 2415 E

Reference is made to the report under the same case number dated January 11, 1962.

On January 12, 1962, Det. Tarabochia was contacted by a Cuban source who gave the following information on subject ARMANDO LOPEZ ESTRADA QUINTANA.

The subject was observed at his residence, 42-26 81 Street, apartment 5H, Jackson Heights, New York, on January 1, 2 and 3. LOPEZ ESTRADA was a member of the Havana Police for three years prior to the fall of the Batista regime.

Subject lives in New York with his wife and parents and has no children. Because of his participation in the abortive invasion of April 17, 1961, he still receives a monthly check from the Cuban Revolutionary Council.

At a later hour, U. S. Secret Service Agent, E. Aragon, contacted the writer and advised that both subject LOPEZ ESTRADA and RODRIGUEZ MOLINO had been located in Chicago on January 11, 1962.

Agent Aragon added that he will forward any information regarding future developments.

Case Closed.

cc: T. A. Buchanan, Chief

Detective Division

U. S. Secret Service

Criminal Intelligence

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Namebase entry for Armando Lopez Estrada:

http://www.namebase.org/main1/Armando-_28c...ez-estrada.html

Cuba 1961 Costa Rica 1986

Branch,T. Propper,E. Labyrinth. 1983 (185)

Christic Institute. Sheehan Affidavit. 1988-03-25 (99)

Covert Action Information Bulletin 1978-#1 (8-14)

Dinges,J. Landau,S. Assassination on Embassy Row. 1981 (146)

Fonzi,G. The Last Investigation. 1993 (89)

Freed,D. Death in Washington. 1980 (195)

Los Angeles Times 1977-11-06 (IV1)

Marshall,J... The Iran-Contra Connection. 1987 (43-4, 143)

Parapolitics/USA 1983-06-01 (B7, 9)

Resource Center. GroupWatch 1989-PIGS (1)

Scott,P.D. Marshall,J. Cocaine Politics. 1991 (32, 34)

Here is a better picture of him:

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In 1978 Armando Lopez Estrada stood trial in Miami charged with a number of firearm violations. During the trial Grayston Lynch testified on his behalf. He admitted that in the 1960s he was Lopez Estrada's CIA case officer. Lynch admitted that the CIA provided Lopez Estrada and other anti-Castro Cubans with weapons that were not registered so they could not be traced. He added that some operations planned by the exiles received approval, some did not: "There were some that we neither approved nor disapproved... If they didn't bother anything they just ignored them."

Donald Freed argues in Death in Washington that on 29th June, 1976, Lopez Estrada had a meeting with Bernardo De Torres, Michael V. Townley, Hector Duran and General Juan Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, the head of DINA, the Chilean secret police. The following month Armando Lopez Estrada joined Frank Castro, Luis Posada, Orlando Bosch and Guillermo Novo to establish Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (CORU) at a meeting in the Domininican Republic.

Orlando Letelier, the former Chilean Foreign Minister, was assassinated on 21st September, 1976. Michael V. Townley was later convicted of this crime.

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One of the first decisions taken by President Oscar Arias when he was elected in February 1986 was to expel Lopez Estrada from Costa Rica. The Wall Street Journal reported on 16th January 1987 that Lopez Estrada claimed that "on the instructions of a U.S. official in Costa Rica he recruited Bay of Pigs veterans to advise the contras on the Costa Rican southern front." In an another interview in the New York Times he confessed that the "U.S. government sent me to Costa Rica to do intelligence work and serve as liaison to... the Nicaraguan Contras with the purpose of providing them with advisors and military equipment."

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I see Gerry Hemming has started posting again. Maybe he could explain this passage from Gaeton Fonzi's book, The Last Investigation, 1993 (page 89):

Gerry Hemming recently told me that Alex Rorke and Geoffrey Sullivan's flight was part of a Castro assassination plan. The third person on the plane, said Hemming, was a anti-Castro veteran named Molina, who was to be infiltrated into Cuba to monitor Castro's movements for the hit teams that were to come in later. (A report dated January 11th, 1962, reveals that Miami Police's intelligence unit was notified by the Secret Service that a Rafael Anselmo Rodriquez Molins, known as "Rafael Molina," was a suspect in a plan to assassinate John F. Kennedy when he visited the family home in Palm Beach. Molina, said the report, was to contact Armando Lopez Estrada, a Miami Cuban later charged with smuggling guns and drugs while working for the CIA in the illegal Contra-supply network.) According to Hemming, meetings to plan the Castro assassination were held aboard a Guatemalan warship in dry dock at Miami Shipbuilding. The ship was to be used in recovering the hit teams after the assassination. Involvement of the Guatemalan government, claims Hemming, meant the CIA had to have coordinated, or even instigated, the mission.

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  • 1 year later...
Armando Lopez Estrada‏'s son has contacted me. Apparently, his father is not too happy with my web page on him. He says he is willing to talk about these matters. Has anyone got any questions for him?

John,

I would ask him what corrections he would suggest you make to your web page on him.

It could also be valuable if he knew the whereabouts of his pals who are still alive and if he is still in contact with them.

The 1962 threat to kill JFK stands out, as does Rafael Anselmo Rodriguez Molins.

BK

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Dominican Republic police free U.S. kidnap victim

20 January 2007

SANTO DOMINGO.- The Dominican National Police have rescued a former U.S. Army officer in a raid that left two of his kidnappers dead, according to police chief General Bernardo Santana Páez. Two others were arrested in the operation that took place on Friday.

Cuban-born Armando López Estrada, a 68-year-old former second lieutenant in the United States armed forces, was kidnapped by four men on January 11 while visiting a friend in the Santo Domingo neighborhood of Villa Duarte, Santana Paez said in a statement.

Police tracked the kidnappers to the beach resort of Boca Chica, to the east of the capital, where Lopez Estrada was being held for $650,000 ransom.

Police opened fire and stormed the house. Two men in the house - Florian Medina, 32, and Julio César Morillo Ruíz, 41 - were killed. Ricardo Antonio Ramírez and Wilkin Miguel Minyetty Pujols were arrested on charges of complicity in the kidnapping, Santana Paez said.

The U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo confirmed the news of Lopez Estrada's rescue.

http://www.dominicantoday.com/dr/local/200...S-kidnap-victim

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Armando Lopez Estrada‏'s son has contacted me. Apparently, his father is not too happy with my web page on him. He says he is willing to talk about these matters. Has anyone got any questions for him?

Hi John,

I am sometimes baffled by the way Cuban names work. But one of my questions would be if he has any relation to Juan Francisco Quintana Maya. I ask because Estrada has a Quintana in his name.

Also, a simple question, where was he in November of 63-- not just the 22nd...

-Stu

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John,

You might ask Lopez Estrada if the Rodriquez Molina (first names Rafael Anselmo) associated with him in the memos was any relation to the Rodriquez Molina (first name Jose, and referred to by the WC as Joe R. Molina) who worked at the TSBD and was an early suspect in the assassination. He was questioned by DPD and his home was searched. Molina was the TSBD credit manager, had a key to the building, and was alleged by Chief Curry to have subversive associates. (The first memo refers to Lopez Estrada's friend Rodriquez Molina as Molins, then says he was also known as "Rafael Molina." The second memo then refers to him as Molino. I assume that Molina is the correct Spanish spelling, which perhaps Lopez Estrada could verify.)

According to the first memo, the Rodriquez Molina in Chicago was "a naturalized citizen of Dominican ancestry." The "Joe R. Molina" in Dallas told the WC that he was born in Dallas, and a UPI story from 11/24/63 says that he was "believed by police to be a Cuban." While it would appear that they were not related and it's just another dadgum coincidence that two Rodriquez Molinas turn up in the JFK case, it wouldn't hurt to run the question by Lopez Estrada.

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John,

You might ask Lopez Estrada if the Rodriquez Molina (first names Rafael Anselmo) associated with him in the memos was any relation to the Rodriquez Molina (first name Jose, and referred to by the WC as Joe R. Molina) who worked at the TSBD and was an early suspect in the assassination. He was questioned by DPD and his home was searched. Molina was the TSBD credit manager, had a key to the building, and was alleged by Chief Curry to have subversive associates. (The first memo refers to Lopez Estrada's friend Rodriquez Molina as Molins, then says he was also known as "Rafael Molina." The second memo then refers to him as Molino. I assume that Molina is the correct Spanish spelling, which perhaps Lopez Estrada could verify.)

According to the first memo, the Rodriquez Molina in Chicago was "a naturalized citizen of Dominican ancestry." The "Joe R. Molina" in Dallas told the WC that he was born in Dallas, and a UPI story from 11/24/63 says that he was "believed by police to be a Cuban." While it would appear that they were not related and it's just another dadgum coincidence that two Rodriquez Molinas turn up in the JFK case, it wouldn't hurt to run the question by Lopez Estrada.

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John,

You might ask Lopez Estrada if the Rodriquez Molina (first names Rafael Anselmo) associated with him in the memos was any relation to the Rodriquez Molina (first name Jose, and referred to by the WC as Joe R. Molina) who worked at the TSBD and was an early suspect in the assassination. He was questioned by DPD and his home was searched. Molina was the TSBD credit manager, had a key to the building, and was alleged by Chief Curry to have subversive associates. (The first memo refers to Lopez Estrada's friend Rodriquez Molina as Molins, then says he was also known as "Rafael Molina." The second memo then refers to him as Molino. I assume that Molina is the correct Spanish spelling, which perhaps Lopez Estrada could verify.)

According to the first memo, the Rodriquez Molina in Chicago was "a naturalized citizen of Dominican ancestry." The "Joe R. Molina" in Dallas told the WC that he was born in Dallas, and a UPI story from 11/24/63 says that he was "believed by police to be a Cuban." While it would appear that they were not related and it's just another dadgum coincidence that two Rodriquez Molinas turn up in the JFK case, it wouldn't hurt to run the question by Lopez Estrada.

Ron,

I think part of the name confusion arises from differences between Cubans of Spanish descent, and Cubans of Catalan descent, both of whom occur in John's excellent thread. In Spanish the word "mill" as in windmill, would be rendered Molina/Molinas. In Catalan it would be Molins. This has caused a lot of confusion for centuries, among Anglos, and is apparent in arguments about whether John Cabot was British, or a Catalan named Joan/Juan Cabot who was working for the Brits. Cabotage is the act of "coasting" on a boat or ship, so the Catalans argue that John Cabot was a professional Catalan skipper expert in coasting, who was hired to pilot the British vessel that "discovered" North America. Catalans were always among the most adventuresome "Spanish" explorers, and of course today the difference between Catalans and Spaniards is epitomized by the intense rivalry between the football (soccer) teams of Madrid and Barcelona. For more see Richard Hughes, BARCELONA. Naturally, these linguistic differences enrich the use of nommes de guerre.

Sterling

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