When other Cuban ex-pat CIA assets got retirement letters from the CIA, Martinez’ enveloppe had a blank piece of paper. He anticipates getting activated soon.
Barker tells Martinez that “Eduardo” is coming to town. Hunt flies to Miami to meet Martinez at the Bay of Pigs memorial on the anniversary of the botched invasion. Martinez is honored to meet “Eduardo.”
Eduardo was a name that all of us who had participated in the Bay of Pigs knew well. He had been the maximum representative of the Kennedy administration to our people in Miami. He occupied a special place in our hearts because of a letter he had written to his chief Cuban aide and my lifelong friend, Bernard Barker. He had identified himself in his letter with the pain of the Cubans, and he blamed the Kennedy administration for not supporting us on the beaches of the Bay of Pigs.
So when Barker told me that Eduardo was coming to town and that he wanted to meet me, that was like a hope for me. He had chosen to meet us at the Bay of Pigs monument, where we commemorate our dead, on April 16, 1971, the tenth anniversary of the invasion. I always go to the monument on that day, but that year I had another purpose – to meet Eduardo, the famous Eduardo, in person.
He was different from all the other men I had met in the Company. He looked more like a politician than a man who was fighting for freedom. He was there with his pipe, relaxing in front of the memorial, and Barker introduced me. I then learned his name for the first time – Howard Hunt.
There was something strange about this man. His tan, you know, is not the tan of a man who is in the sun. His motions are very meticulous–the way he smokes his pipe, the way he looks at you and smiles. He knows how to make you happy–he’s very warm, but at the same time you can sense that he does not go all into you or you all into him. We went to a Cuban restaurant for lunch and right away Eduardo told us that he had retired from the CIA in 1971 and was working for Mullen and Company.1 I knew just what he was saying. I was also officially retired from the Company. Two years before, my case officer had gathered all the men in my Company unit and handed us envelopes with retirement announcements inside. But mine was a blank paper. Afterward he explained to me that I would stop making my boat missions to Cuba but I would continue my work with the Company. He said I should become an American citizen and soon I would be given a new assignment. Not even Barker knew that I was still working with the Company. But I was quite certain that day that Eduardo knew.
We talked about the liberation of Cuba, and he assured us that “the whole thing is not over.” Then he started inquiring: “What is Manolo doing?” Manolo was the leader of the Bay of Pigs operation. “What is Roman doing?” Roman was the other leader. He said he wanted to meet with the old people. It was a good sign. We did not think he had come to Miami for nothing.
Generally I talk to my CIA case officer at least twice a week and maybe on the phone another two times. I told him right away that Eduardo was back in town, and that I had had lunch with him. Any time anyone from the CIA was in town my CO always asked me what he was doing. But he didn’t ask me anything about Eduardo, which was strange. That was in April. In the middle of July, Eduardo wrote to Barker to tell him he was in the White House as a counselor to the President. He sent a number of memos to us on White House stationery, and that was very impressive, you know. So I went back to my CO and said to him, “Hey, Eduardo is still in contact with us, and now he is a counselor of the President.”
A few days later my CO told me that the Company had no information on Eduardo except that he was not working in the White House. Well, imagine! I knew Eduardo was in the White House. What it meant to me was that Eduardo was above them and either they weren’t supposed to know what he was doing or they didn’t want me to talk about him anymore. Knowing how these people act, I knew I had to be careful. So I said, well, let me keep my mouth shut.