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hijo
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Posted: 26 July 2006 at 1:57pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Rusty Can: just got back from a rejuvination trip to the Land of Enchantment, the best place (in my mind) in this country to do such a thing when all around you are "losing their heads" (to introduce the words of another great writer).

Duran - Gustavo Duran - is mentioned in FBI files as a likely Red fighting to save Spain from Franco, and I believe also having assisted some allies in the following world-wide dispute with Fascism. He applies for U.S. citizenship/asylum in late 1940s, mentions Hemingway as a character reference, and eventually is employed by the State Department as an aide to Spruel Bradden (U.S. Embassador to Cuba) roughly around the time things get rough for Batista (when he comes to power, that is) and U.S.-Mafia interests get heat in Habana.

I recall in Reynolds' last volume, he discusses Hemingway getting in trouble being accused of helping to fund/prepare some kind of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) revolution. He gets into trouble from the Cuban govt (Batista), not ours (interestingly enough).

Now. Hemingway claimed in the 1940s he could set up the CF to keep an eye on Fascist "fifth-column" infiltrators in the Caribbean, particularly Cuba, particularly Havana and its environs. That was its original purpose not, as in the book of same name, to hunt U-boats. That was the purpose under which it was given U.S. Embassy/State Department authorization, and derided by JEH and Co.

JEH and Co., it seems, by a very cursory (well, okay, my kind of cursory) perusal of the already-released FBI documentation available at the fbi.gov electronic reading room, was more interested in keeping an eye on fleeing Republicans (commies) than Fascist/Falangist elements in the area.

Here's the part I found MOST interesting. Identified as H.E. Knoblaugh (I have to check his book) is an FBI SAC (Special Agent in Charge) in Havana at the time Duran and Hemingway and the CF are going about their bidness. Why I find this interesting is because Knoblaugh wrote a book about his time covering the Spanish Civil War ("Correspondent in Spain"), which I possess and read in preparation for my posting. Knoblaugh shows up in Havana, but no longer as an Associated Press newsman (which he was in Spain, apparently, at the time). He shows up in the FBI "air-tel" as not even just an informant, but an SAC.

Where he shows up in an air-tel is related to Duran. Of course, the FBI does a background check on Duran before the State Department allows him to be hired. They find he's worth keeping an eye on. So while he writes "Voice of the Street," a kind of column/analysis something like weekly about what he's hearing in terms of Fascist/Falangist activity in Havana for Bradden, Knoblaugh is going on and on about what an idiot and drunk Hemingway is and how all his friends and associates are "known Communists" etc.

One weird big question arises on where Duran was during the POUM/Communist battle in Barcelona. I guess they keep trying to suggest he was with the Communists, since that's who winds up running (and training) the Republican and International troops. Historic note (for the kids): Franco defeats the Republican forces in 1939, interestingly enough the same year Stalin and Hitler agree to invade Poland together. Communists = Bolshevik/Stalinists. POUM = Trotskyite/Socialist/Kerrensky Democrats.

Anyway, Duran denies being anywhere near that fight (hmmm?). Hemingway keeps badgering all kinds of folks to get Duran on "our" side, as he claims he is the best military strategist and general the Republic ever produced.

Knoblaugh's book, by the way, is terrible (as Hemingway says). It is filled with heresay reported as fact. It is all about church burnings (true), desecration of holy things and people (true), and completely without balance (the fact the Catholic Church ran Spain most of its existence, produced popes, and thanks to Spain brought everyone the Inquisition). While such things did happen, and are proven historic fact, what is left out is the fact a) Franco invaded Spain; b) he overthrew an elected government; c) he was a follower of the Falangist idea expressed by Primo de Rivera (pre-Franco dictator of Spain); d) he was sympathetic to the Fascists of Italy and Germany; d) he provided at least one division to battle the Allies in World War II; e) he allowed submarine and naval bases to be used for fueling and supplying Italian and German fascist forces; f) he claimed to be rescuing Spain - and the Church - when he invaded. He considered himself not only the Generalisimo, but also the "Caudillo" - protector of the faith.

Also left out are little things like the historic fact priests occassionally played sniper from church bell towers, etc. (see "For Whom The Bell Tolls" for a fictionalization of attrocities on both sides but especially the Fascist side).

SO. The CF gets as an assistant, perhaps late, Gustavo Duran, who also is a State Department employee, while the FBI gets Knoblaugh, a public appologist for Franco and his invasion. And both (with EH in the middle?) wind up in Havana at the same time.

But much of this has to do with some of my developing theory that perhaps the CF/Hemingway/POUM/International Brigadista group some how assisted Castro's revolution (thus the wearing of Basque Berets as a revolutionary symbol), while the FBI/Knoblaugh/Nixon/McCarthy group was more interested in keeping things less difficult for Gambino/Rebozzo/Genovese/Giacone folks. Which of course brings us into another historic mystery involving a botched invasion first arranged for by an ambitious Vice President with an equally ambitious intelligence aide (see Edward Lansdale and Operation Mongoose) and the whole "Who Shot JFK" thing.

Back to the GC. Get Milton Wolff's address. Drop him a line. Ask him what he remembers about Duran, as I'm starting to get a vision of him, the GF, Wolff and EH on some hill looking at some captured equipment... Meaning he might know a key to unlock the whereabouts of GC (or "Eddie," or Don Andres the Black Priest, or the Shadow...).

As for Aussies, don't forget there were Canadians, and Aussies, and Winston Guest in the bunch...

Another place to try - which often has been a great font of information (see their release of the Inspector General's report on the Bay of Pigs) - would be the U.S. National Archives Library.

Caveat: they've been getting grief recently for having released stuff that now the admin wants classified - even though it's been in the public domain for years.

The NAL is based in Washington, D.C. You want me to take a trip there and look this stuff up, all it'll cost you is a History Degree (for me)...:)

Allbest,
hijo

P.S.-Docnme: thanks again for your kind words. However, as you can see, my problem rarely is in writing things out. It's in getting someone to publish them! :)
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donmadge
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Posted: 28 July 2006 at 2:24am | IP Logged Quote donmadge

Hijo,

The FBI connections of the CF are largely overlooked by me in my research.  Having read your interesting note I have printed it and will make it a plan for a new direction for my research.

My sisters in law have discovered that they haven't shut my research down so they have been making life a bit hellish for me.  However, instead of making me hide it has given me new resolve to say to hell with them and I am going ahead full steam. 

I plan to follow your suggestion in this last memo and I will make an access to information request to CSIS (our CIA).  I stopped these info requests because after 911 it became hard to dig anything out of governments.

JEH was kept out of the BSC and OSS loops during the war as was the Canadian Prime Minister.  The top spooks in Canada kept William Lyon MacKenzie King out of the picture partly because he was a bit weird, but Churchill and Roosevelt were running the world to impress Stalin.

William Stephenson or Intrepid was a friend of the GC.  They shared a common ward at Sherncliffe Military Hospital in 1916 (forget the exact dates).  Intrepid had been gassed and the GC had a bad case of the clap.  It is well documented in the two military files, which I have copies.  They also stayed at the same Manitoba Hotel the week Intrepid enlisted.  I have his enlistment papers.  They both spent time at the same town in the Interlake region of Manitoba, Lundar.  So they knew each other, really well.  Intrepid had an obsessive interest in Eastern Europeans.  That is well documented.  These guys were buddies before and during the Great War.  The GC was enlisted to work with Cynthia early on before the big OP.  They called the GC a thug from Canada.

Still planning fiction as non fiction would require too much work documenting evidence etc.

I now believe that the object of my research belongs to history and there is sweet twittie that les belles can do about it.  My interest is no longer focussed on the GC so much as the incredible events surrounding the CF and Hemingway's role in it. 

RustyCan

 



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hijo
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Posted: 28 July 2006 at 11:12pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Don: hmmm.

As for "Les Belles," there is a way to combine all things as fiction.

What you've explained so far about your research appears to be a fascinating - though not necessarily able-to-be-documented - tale of an "international man of mystery" who befriended many, including EH, helped many, including Intrepid, Ian Flemming and our own "Wild Bill" Donovan, and wound up - to quote MacArthur - fading away.

The fact he was involved in mining, and war, and revolution (?), or at least "around" all three, sounds like enough to me for a great read that doesn't have to be "true," and that could pass as fiction "to protect the innocent."

A few things came to mind after my latest on this:

1) La Esmerelda. Esmerelda translates to "Emerald" in Spanish. Was it an Emerald mine on the Isla de Pinos, now Joventud? Or (gasp) was there an Irish connection? Also, remember, it takes money to field men (and women) with weapons, which is why so many folks were upset at the collapse of BCCI. So maybe La Esmerelda financed some of Castro's efforts? Yikes! Could there have been a Canadian/UK move to remove Batista?

2) Having worked with OSS folks, the GC would be able to spot those he'd worked with who showed up in Cuba in the 1950s (Lansdale, for example, was ex-OSS, as were most of the "intellectual" group of the early CIA, which prided itself on finess over slew-footedness (reserved, at the time, as the perview of JEH's bunch). Of course, when the Company changed from craft to head-thumpers, most of the OSSers left. But not all. Many, in fact, remained into at least the late 1960s-early 1970s (and showed up in India, but that's another story for another time).

Similar to current events?

3) Nassau and Harry Oakes and The Duke. Could there have been a move to keep the Duke from prying by having potentially embarrassing connections to the likes of Sir Harry "under wraps"? Much like JEH's much vaunted files on people he hoped could help him with a "wink and a nod"? A tactic adopted by the former Eisenhower vice president mentioned in previous posts?

4) There were others with connections to Nazi financing residing in NY at the time, including, for example, Averell Harriman (see Union Bank of New York's "cease-and-desist" order of 1942).

There are even today relatives of families involved in all sides of both World Wars, not to mention the ensuing "Cold War."

Like in Spain, where they're still touchy about the Civil War because of family ties, France is not necessarily done deciding who was an informer and who was resistance - two sides of the same occupation coin - and, I fear, it was and will always be so.

Rather than just filing a request with your intelligence folks, why not file a few with the Royal Archives in London? I know they've recently declassified and released a whole slew of documents from at least WWII that might be more accessible than copies that may or may not reside, and may or may not be allowed to be released, here or in Canada (because of the previous mention of family involvements). Especially considering you've got a logical, and likely, Intrepid connection?

Like my old man always said, the deeper you dig, the more we all wind up in the same pit.

Best, and read John Masters (Bowhrani Junction) for a fine example of turning fact into fiction,
hijo
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donmadge
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Posted: 31 July 2006 at 6:25pm | IP Logged Quote donmadge

Thank you Hijo,

This is such an encouraging piece and gives me the kind of boost I need these days.  I allowed myself to be intimidated by family threats and fear that I will cause undue harm, when all along it was myself I was hurting.  The worrys and concerns of these people can be dealt with by ignoring their roles, however perceived. 

In truth they have played roles that are heroic as well.   They can be admired for making a success of their lives and being solid citizens.  I think they should be proud that my hero may have so touched the lives of the great people you mention.

You have set the tone and I will do my best to follow through.  I am told that as a writer I can do a passable job.  All I have to do is give flight to my imagination and use the truth to provide plausibility to a darn good yarn.  I can identify with the main character having led a somewhat rough and tumble past myself.

Best

RustyCan  (my old call sign)

 

 



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Posted: 31 July 2006 at 9:48pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

RustyCan: The rough-and-tumble life is best for providing identification with characters the ilk of which you intend to write.

I, myself, continue to celebrate birthdays as milestones of achievements with a few of my friends of the same amazement we've made it yet another year on the planet. Life being what it is, and time being as it is, fewer and fewer of them appear to be around. When one passes, or passed, we used to gather over drinks. We drank what they drank - it gave us a sense of shared experience, and respect. It made the world stop for just that necessary bit.

Unfortunately, living to experience also becomes fodder for dreams, hopefully only while sleeping, that conjure up old feelings and events - the best cure for which I've ever found is writing them out.

But I feel it necessary, sure as I am it is not, to remind you of the caveat that you must take care anything you write with the underlying basis in fact has the potential to harm individuals involved or at least alive in the course of such events. As we can see by a not-so-close look at the history of, say, the last 50 years, some operations take generations to evolve, and evolve in more than one generation.

The good news appears to be that the majority of the world population ultimately favors peace, and that as things have evolved peace has wound up more often than not to be the end result.

There are many in this country, for instance, who still do not understand what gave rise to the likes of Fidel Castro, and who know only what Richard Nixon said of him in '59, that he "can't be trusted." Half the time in writing about Cuba, our professional journalists can't even decide whether to call the Island's political economy "Communist," or "Socialist," and even when they pick "the Big C," they neglect to mention it is the same theoretical basis for the current government of China, our great friend, trading partner and prospective consumers. Where we are not banned by our own government from visiting, anymore.

Many of the OSS were branded as Communists during the 1950s, and urged out of government lest they suffer worse fates. Whether they were, or weren't, politically and perhaps morally, they were also identified as "spies" for the other "Communist" countries, particularly the Soviet Union. How many living today note the irony in both the National Socialist Movement of the 1920s-30s (the Nazis) and the Union of the People's Socialist Republics (the translated name of the USSR (CCCP, as the Russians wrote it: "Soviet" meaning people, just as "Popular" means the same in Spanish)?

I like to think EH would agree with me when I say there are people who fight for causes and flags, and there are people who fight for people. Or, as my mother put it, "Some Men Fight For Silver, Some Men Fight For Gold...," quoting the marching song, now long disreputed, from her first love before my father...

My understanding of the "best-and-the-brightest" assembled by Wild Bill Donovan into the Office of Stategic Services to battle the Japanese as well as the German Nazis and the Italian Fascists is that they came from all walks of life, but had an undeniable ability to blend in to other walks of life - as well as a desire to be useful to mankind.

For, like the John Donne poem from which EH took "For Whom The Bell Tolls" states, "No man is an island, in and of itself..."

Scoff as some might, now that she's dead, at Julia Child, she was one of them...

So. Bon Chance. Up The Republic. Just write it so well anybody would be afraid to identify themselves publicly as your characters...

Allbest,
hijo....(aka "Cowboy" - my old sign).

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donmadge
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Posted: 05 August 2006 at 1:04pm | IP Logged Quote donmadge

My hero and another vied all their lives for the affection of one woman.  Let's call her Emily.  George and Charlie both wanted her hand Charlie having successfully impregnated the woman circa 1931 wanted to be her husband, but along came George her soul mate from Poland.  He had just escaped from Sing Sing after having been caught by the Coast Guard for rum running.  Hemingway called the fine boatsman Eddie the Rummy in Islands in the Stream

The two men were close friends and cut a deal.  Why not share the woman since one was a remittance man and the other was already twice married.  One marriage annulled by the clergy and the other one hidden away in a town near Intrepid's family home.

The remittance man was from Yorkshire and a card carrying member of the Communist party.  His name Walmsley is famous in northern England for the expression "when the last Walmsley is hung".  Also an Intrepid family they are reputed to be the inventors of Johnny cake.

Charlie managed to send George off to Spain in 1937 under the name Ward where he met up with Hemingway and Don Andres.  My wife thinks Charlie may be her true father because his Mother was born in France and her name was Marie as well.

So the plot sickens.  Stories like this if true are hard to swallow in some families.  However, my own great-grandfather, the gun runner, in the NW rebellion died at ninety two with a two month old son.

 



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Posted: 05 August 2006 at 6:00pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Don: Regardless of truth, they are great stories...

Truth is often hard to swallow until perhaps most of the original actors in the events have passed. My grandfather and a brother of his allegedly got mixed up with some Detroit rum runners (oddly both wind up as residents of Saskatchewan when their mother dies).

One rumor was he left my grandmother because his brother was vying for or toying with the affections of a Purple Gang member's girl. But it was my grandfather who brought a new bride from Detroit back to California with him, divorced my grandmother, and wound up with no contact with his four brothers even though they lived within 100 miles of each other.

The "bad" brother, the one who went to Detroit with my grandfather - electricians by trade, ostensibly to wire the twinkling lights in many of the "movie palaces" heavenly scenes - allegedly married an actress, lived in Beverley Hills at one time, possibly sired a daughter, and his body was found at the end of a runway in Las Vegas, Nevada.

My grandfather, meanwhile, worked on the Al-Can highway, wound up bringing electricity to Caracas, and wound up Minister of Public Works for Venezuela long enough for his second oldest son, my father's half brother, to become fluent in Spanish. That's where he allegedly befriended a man who became Fidel's personal lawyer.

My mother's father, meanwhile, disappeared either one step ahead of the law, or one step ahead of his sisters, according to my mother. Either way, he was never heard from after he headed...to Canada.

If lore and tradition are taken far enough, as my mother often said, you wind up related to either someone famous, or someone who swept out the stables - or both. Both were necessary, always, in the course of human events.

And people have always done what they feel they have to, either for their own survival, or that of others.

Whether what they do or did was right or wrong winds up a judgment made by the affect of their actions on those doing the judging.

Best as always,
hijo

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