Alpha 66

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Alpha 66
One known flag of Alpha 66
One known flag of Alpha 66
Active1961-present
IdeologyAnti-castroism
LeadersAndrés Nazario Sargen (deceased)
HeadquartersMiami, Florida
Area of operationsFlorida, Cuba
Opponent(s)Republic of Cuba

Alpha 66 is an anti-Castro terrorist group.[1][2] Named for its original 66 members, Alpha 66 is the oldest anti-Castro group in Miami, Florida.[2]

History[edit]

Alpha 66 was created by Cuban exiles in 1961. The group was established three years after Fidel Castro took office.[3] The founder and first leader of Alpha 66 was Antonio Veciana Blanch.[4] Eloy Gutiérrez Menoyo helped form the group.[5]

Alpha 66 had a plot to assassinate then President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. However, before the attack could be carried out, Fidel Castro exposed Diaz's plans.[6]

The group worked during the 1960's and 1970's to plan assassination attempts on Fidel Castro in Havana 1961 and in Chile in 1971.[citation needed]

Though an invasion never materialized after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion, the group continued its violent efforts against Cuba. One of these violent efforts was the Boca de Sana murders from 1971 that left two dead and many injured by indiscriminate spraying of bullets in the dead of night.[7]

In 1976, Miami Police's Lieutenant Thomas Lyons and Detective Raul J. Diaz testified that groups including Alpha 66 had international terrorist ties and had sold $100 "bonds" in Miami to help finance their causes.[8](page 637) The group was linked to a spate of bombings and assassinations in Miami during the 1970s, directed at Pro-Castro speakers. No Alpha 66 member was convicted of these crimes, however; and other Cuban paramilitary groups, such as Omega 7 and Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations, were active in Miami at the same time. A week before Lyons and Diaz's testimony, broadcaster Emilio Milian's legs were blown off by a car bomb outside his workplace.[9] Alpha 66 continues to be an organized entity.[10]

At the time of his death in 2004, Alpha 66 was led by Andrés Nazario Sargen.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

The group was featured in the 2003 film Bad Boys 2 and on the TV show Max X.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

Alpha 66 still has an office residing in Miami, as of 2004. The organization also has a new chief, his name is Ernesto Diaz Rodriguez. Under his regime he wants to stay true to the original intent of the organization. That original is to combat strategy for radical change in Cuba. As of 2004, Rodriguez stated that Alpha 66 was planning on expanding their two locations. One of the locations residing in Miami, Florida which served as an office, headquarters type of area. While the other location was in Rumba Sur which served as a military training camp.[6]

Alpha 66 and Lee Harvey Oswald

While Alpha 66 was an anti-Castro group and their goals were to invade Cuba. They had some ties to the United States as well. It is hypothesized that Lee Harvey Oswald had some connections with Alpha 66. The last people Oswald was known to be with were Alpha 66 members. It is believed that after Oswald assassinated President John F. Kennedy he was on his way to a safe house owned by Alpha 66. Oswald even told Alpha 66 about his plans to kill the President. There are witnesses saying that Cuba knew which then lead to Castro finding out about the assassination.[11]

The chief operating officer of Alpha 66 was eventually found to be a spy for Cuba. The commander, Francisco Avila Azcuy, announced that he had worked as a spy for Cuba since 1979. While he had also been a spy for Cuba, Azcuy had also been providing the American Government with information regarding the Cuban spy network in the United States as well as various activities of other Anti-Castro organizations. Mr. Avila organized many Alpha 66 attacks on Cuba at the behest of the Cuban government with money supplied by Cuban intelligence agents. He was also asked to monitor activities of many prominent Cuban exiles in Miami. Mr. Avila admitted that on many occasions that the Cuban government gave him money for Alpha 66 to carry out attacks on Cuba. [12]

TODAY

Alpha 66 still has a running and active website. The organization acknowledges that A is the first letter of the Greek alphabet. However, to the organization it means the beginning of the fight against communism in Cuba. Many of the Alpha 66 members were, as listed on their website, were “professionals”. Other professions listed were accountants, workers, and revolutionaries who had previously fought against the Batista. According to 2005 and Alpha 66's website they had current plans and operations underway. Most of the content under their section of "New Operation Plans" contains information regarding their members. Specifically, members holding high positions in the organization. According to their website, Alpha 66 was planning on landing a guerrilla force in Cuba under the command of Vicente Mendez. This operation was planned to take place after 1969. Vicente Mendez had been appointed to be in charge of military operations for Alpha 66.

Alpha 66 was dedicated to destroying Castro’s communist agenda. Before the fall of the terrorist group, Alpha 66, made their goals very clear. They wanted to play a major role in the fall of the Cuban tyranny and be the leader in other democratic revolutions. [13]




References[edit]

  1. ^ "Cuba Jails 3 Men as Suspects in Sabotage Plot". The New York Times. AP. June 22, 2001. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Andres Nazario Sargen, 88; a Leader of Alpha 66, an Anti-Castro Group". Los Angeles Times. October 9, 2004. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
  3. ^ Simkin, John. "Alpha 66". Spartacus-educational.
  4. ^ "III. Antonio Veciana Blanch". Appendix to Hearings before the Select Committee on Assassinations of the U.S. House of Representatives. X. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Office. March 1979. p. 37.
  5. ^ Haven, Paul (October 27, 2012). "Eloy Gutierrez-Menoyo, 77; fought beside, against Castro". The Boston Globe. AP. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Alpha 66 "expands its offices and training camp."". www.latinamericanstudies.org. Retrieved 2019-05-14.
  7. ^ Bolender, Keith. Voices from the Other Side: An Oral History of Terrorism against Cuba. London: Pluto Press, 2010, 131.
  8. ^ http://www.latinamericanstudies.org/belligerence/judiciary-committee-5-6-1976.pdf
  9. ^ Terroristic Activity : Terrorism in the Miami Area Archived 2007-05-16 at the Wayback Machine. Miami public pages.
  10. ^ "The coddled "terrorists" of South Florida". salon.com.
  11. ^ Waxman, Olivia. "Former CIA Operative Argues Lee Harvey Oswald's Cuba Connections Went Deep". Time. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  12. ^ Rohter, Larry. "Leader of Exile Group Tells of Spying for Cuba". The New York Times. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  13. ^ Alpha 66. "Our History".