Rafael Quintero

History of War - Spies




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Rafael Quintero was a CIA operative in the 1960’s who had a very busy few years making an impact on the Cuban situation happening around the same time prior to the Bay of Pigs invasion.

While many CIA operatives have gained notoriety for their exploits, Rafael Quintero seems to be one of those select few who made a big difference but have gone unnoticed for what they have achieved.

Today we wish to address the fact that many do not know of the impact that Rafael Quintero had on the Cuba situation of the 1960’s through his perseverance.

Early Years of Rafael Quintero

Rafael Quintero was born Rafael "Chi Chi" Quintero Ibaria on September the 16th in the year 1940. Interestingly given he was also a CIA operative Quintero was actually born in Cuba too, in the Camagüey Province to be exact.

In his younger years as a student Quintero joined the Fidel Castro underground movement right at the end prior to Castro gaining power in 1959. With Castro creating his new government, Quintero looked upon the new regime and didn’t like what he saw so joined an anti-communist movement started by Manuel Artime.

Quintero supported by the CIA

In October 1959 Artime, supported by the CIA wanted the people of Cuba to rise up so had a mass leaflet drop by plane planned to get his revolution started. The plan did not work and the people did not rise up so Artime left Cuba, this paved the way for Quintero to leave and make his way to the United States.

In June 1960 Quintero and others including Artime created the Movement for the Recovery of the Revolution or (MRR) whilst also becoming involved in a CIA backed operation called Operation 40. In 1961 under his new appointment in Operation 40 Quintero was secretly taken back in to Cuba to carry out CIA backed operations.

Operation 40 went on to cause havoc for Cuba by carrying out sabotage operations as well as assassination attempts on military and political figures in Cuba.

In March to early April 1961 Quintero ended up being caught and imprisoned, this was just prior to the invasion of the Bay of Pigs. After being imprisoned it was expected that Quintero would be executed for his actions, but somehow he was released and made his way back to the United States.

Upon arriving back in the United States in 1962 Quintero became the deputy leader of the Movement for the Recovery of the Revolution or (MRR) that he helped set up prior to leaving the US for operation 40.

In 1963 Quintero joined Manuel Artime in moving to Nicaragua where, backed by large CIA funding, they created their own army of 300 men complete with military hardware and weaponry with the idea of invading Cuba. This invasion never occurred.

After this Quintero was taken by a CIA operative to Laos where the Americans were waging a secret war, Quintero completed his work but the operative he was working with started to get involved in the drugs trade.

In 1976 again Quintero was recruited, this time to arrange the killing of Libyan dissident in Egypt. Quintero recruited two brothers to carry out the assassination but received a call to call off the order before it happened.

Other than what is written above little is known about Quintero and anything he did know, he took to the grave when he passed away in 2006 aged 65 years of age.





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