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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 17, 1961


This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    A military intelligence report to the Government of Cuba, describing the US use of ship ports in Key West, the naval base in Guantanamo and the night fly-overs to Panama.
    "Cuban Intelligence Report," March 17, 1961, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Released by Cuban Government for 22-24 March 2001 conference (“Bay of Pigs: 40 Years After”) in Havana. Translated for CWIHP by Christopher Dunlap.
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17 March 1961

“Year of Education”

To M-1, from MN-1

Re: Information about preparations of American warships and transfer of mercenaries and henchmen by air to Panama

Yesterday we received a communication from Section “L” addressed to Section “M,” dated 8 March 1961 that had the following reports attached:

A memorandum note that says “The ship Vicente Comas that is in Havana leaves this morning with a group with destination Cayo Hueso.”

And another communication from the same [name excised] to Lieutenant Matos in the airport dated 22 February 1961, that says:

“Dear Comrade,

The information that follows is to be immediately conveyed to the headquarters of DIER and G-2, such that it arrives in the hands of Dr. Fidel Castro at once.

Yesterday afternoon, the loading of three USA destroyers was completed at the naval base of Key West. These ships travel loaded to their maximum capacity and carry weapons of all classes including bombs to be launched from airplanes, obusos [shells, as for artillery], munitions of all calibers, and have double the number of mortars than they do of other weapons.

These vessels left today in the early morning, headed for the naval base at Guantanamo, carrying only regular crew members in each destroyer.

From the air base (Bocachica) in Key West, Boxcar type transport planes are leaving daily, as of five or six days ago, with Panama as their destination. Each plane carries an average of 80 to 100 men, who are being transferred to this place, since after these flights, the planes return empty in order to return with another contingent.

The majority of these flights have left for Panama in the night and early morning hours, and return to Key West in the afternoon or at dusk. This is clear evidence that an attack on our Island is being prepared, since these men could also be transported from Panama in the vessels of the American Marines.

Please respond to this.”

It does not say whether they have communicated to the appropriate Section the departure of the ship destined for Cayo Hueso, but if they have not, it must be done immediately in spite of the time that has passed, since sometimes there are difficulties or the ships do not sail, or else they go a short distance and return.

Regarding the notice given about the three destroyers that are loaded to bursting in Cayo Hueso, even though they are on maneuvers until the end of this month, it would be advisable that the group in the East be notified immediately of the part pertaining to the mortars.

We inform you of this as appropriate.

Regards, MN-1

Note: We are enclosing the communication of Section L to Section M with its own enclosures.

We have also enclosed another communication from Section L with Section M from 4 February 1961, the contents of which we have already noted. We have returned this document to the archive prior to 12 March 1961. “Homeland or death. We will win”


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