Front Door to Cuba

Dr. Manuel Antonio de Varona y Loredo

Dr. Manuel Antonio de Varona y Loredo was one of the founders of the Movement for the Recovery of the Revolution (MRR Party) along with Aureliano Arango and José Miró Cardona. This quickly became one of the most powerful anti-Castro groups in Florida.

Varona later became the leader of the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC).

Aside from working with the CIA and other dissident anti-Castro movements, Varona worked with organized crime leaders such as Santo Trafficante and Johnny Roselli on various attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro.

In April and May, 1962, Varona was involved in a CIA plot to assassinate Castro that involved smuggling poison pills into Cuba. Like other assassination attempts of the time, this one didn't go too far, and the pills were reportedly returned.

Varona was highly critical of what he saw as a bureaucratic and ineffectual Central Intelligence Agency. The following is from the Inspector General's Report on Plots to Assassinate Fidel Castro, page 128: "Varona is almost certainly not a friend of the Agency. As the Bay of Pigs operation developed, Varona was one of the most critical of the lack of Cuban control of the operation and of the people involved in it. He was bitter over termination of Agency support of his exile group (and the consequent loss of his own income)."

Varona died in 1992.

Cuba in The 1960s

Bay of Pigs | Rolando Cubela | José Miró Cardona | Manuel Artime Buesa | Huber Matos | Juan Orta

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