Kissinger Cables Call Attention to Suspected CIA Corporate Hitman Deported from the Dominican Republic

In 2013, El Caribe -- one of the largest-circulation dailies in the Dominican Republic -- reviewed a book by Dominican author Candido Geron -- Was Sacha Volman a CIA Agent? -- which focuses on the life of Romanian-born US citizen, Sacha Volman; described as "a man shrouded in mystery, legend, and speculation."
Negotiated privatization of Trujillo's vast fortune
According to El Caribe, Mr. Geron collected dozens of letters between Sacha Volman and Norman Thomas, who was six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America. 

Given the nature of the Edgar Hoover Federal Bureau of Investigation, there can be almost no doubt that a man who maintained constant communication with the United State's top socialist and at-the-same-time was involved with Dominican President Juan Bosch -- deposed in a 1963 right-wing coup backed by a subsequent US invasion of the Dominican Republic in 1965 -- was either under close FBI scrutiny or a trusted government insider; a CIA agent, as Mr. Geron and other researchers have hinted.

President Juan Bosch's niece, former Vice-President Milagros Ortiz Bosch, has denied allegations that Mr. Volman was a CIA agent, but according to a cable from the Henry Kissinger State Department, Sacha Volman was an employee of Falconbridge, the company that has since the 1970s essentially taken over the Dominican mining sector, largely under the oversight of the party (PLD) founded by her late uncle. [1]

Vice-President Bosch ruled in the early 2000s, and was a mainstream politician at-the-time, but during the 1960s and 70s, when her uncle was exiled by the Joaquin Balaguer regime and backed on the ground by leftist guerrillas with suspected links to communist Cuba, the US most likely would have seen the family as radical and deemed it important to maintain a trusted agent close to the Bosch political clan.

An April, 1973 diplomatic cable -- Guerrilla Seeks Refuge in Mexican Embassy -- details how Sacha Volman was aware of movements by Dominican guerrillas, who had led an invasion of the island seeking the overthrow of the US-backed Balaguer government, and whose plans were to restore President Juan Bosch. [2] The cable details how Mr. Volman spoke with Francisco Caamaño, leader of the guerrillas, and informed US embassy officials of Caamaño's plans to go into exile in Cuba, the only place where he believed the "government couldn't kill him."

Naturally, a mining company employee who is in contact with socialist presidential candidates, leftists guerrillas, and US Embassy officials would arouse some suspicion in a country where he's a foreigner, and indeed, less than two weeks after Mr. Volman discussed guerrilla movements with embassy officials, the head of Dominican immigration showed up at his house and politely asked him to accompany him to the airport.

Volman contacted US Embassy officials twice when he learned that he was being deported without charges, but the contents of the first phone call were not released with the rest of the Henry Kissinger cables. [3] The April 29, 1973 cable details that although the Balaguer government was opaque about why it was deporting Mr. Volman, a high-ranking Dominican official informed the US unofficially that Mr. Volman had been linked to an "anti-Balaguer conspiracy" involving guerrilla leader Francisco Caamaño and co-conspirators in the Dominican Armed Forces.

In the cable, the US Embassy official speculates that Mr. Volman's expulsion was linked to President Balaguer's instructions to the National Police to protect Juan Bosch, described as a "personal friend" of Mr. Volman's. Why US Embassy officials would speculate that Mr. Volman's deportation was linked to a promise to protect Juan Bosch speaks volume to the threat that he was thought to pose by President Balaguer.

Silfa arrives with Volman
A week after Sacha Volman's deportation, President Balaguer cleaned house, removing multiple officials; among them Nicolas Silfa, who is described in a May 4, 1973 cable as being "linked in a conspiracy" with Mr. Volman. [4]

Nicolas Silfa, though part of President Balaguer's government during the 1970s, had taken part in the 1959 invasion of the Dominican Republic, seeking the overthrow of then-dictator Rafael Trujillo, who employed Balaguer as his Vice-President. 

Balaguer took power after the death of Trujillo, and in 1961, when forced by the Organization of American States to accept a mission of Dominican politicians in exile, Nicolas Silfa and Sacha Volman -- pretending to be a New York Times reporter -- landed as part of the delegation.

In essence, Mr. Silfa had already attempted to remove Mr. Balaguer from power back when Balaguer was in the shadow of the The Goat, as the dictator was known. Mr. Silfa's removal and Mr. Volman's deportation meant that President Balaguer took the threat seriously, especially given the trio's shared history.

Nonetheless, within two months of Mr. Volman's deportation, the US Ambassador had a lengthy conversation with President Balaguer, where he offered assurances that Volman's job with Falconbridge depended on him "abstaining from political acts." [5]

President Balaguer accepted the US Ambassador's assertion that Mr. Volman was not actively supporting Francisco Caamaño or engaging in other political activities, and Mr. Volman was allowed to return to work in the island. Within a year and a half, however, Mr. Volman was back in the news, this time accused of involvement in a CIA plot against a union, Central General de Trabajadores (CGT.)

President Balaguer
An October, 1974 cable relates how the head of one of the largest worker's unions in the Dominican Republic, the CGT, accused Sacha Volman and others of plotting against them. The cable complains that allegations of CIA plots against Dominican labor unions were a "standard ploy of the left," but affirms that the "present accusation takes on significance, however, because it comes at a time when Falconbridge is in fact preparing to move strongly against CGT." [6] 

It seems that the head of the CGT wasn't so paranoid after all, and we can deduce from the fact that the US Embassy in Santo Domingo had foreknowledge of plans by Falconbridge to crack down on the CGT that they likely had at a bare minimum some passive involvement.

Sacha Volman may not have been directly a CIA agent, but he certainly was a corporate hitman, and for his complicity in cracking down on labor movements, he was justly described in Oxford Journals as a "key conduit for the CIA."     

Last month, Abreu Report published an article -- Close Ally of Dominican President Gunned Down Amid Canadian Mining Company Scandal -- reporting on the death of the Mayor of Santo Domingo East. In that article, we wrote:  

"In 2013, members of FALCONDO, the worker's union formed by members of the Canadian mining conglomerate Falconbridge, accused multiple Dominican politicians of attacking them in an incident which resulted in one member of FALCONDO being shot. 

The Canadian mining conglomerate has gained the ire of a large segment of Dominican society after gaining concessions to mine gold while paying only 3% to the state in what was seen as one of the most corrupt contracts handed out by... the ruling party [PLD.]" 

It seems that, half a century later, not much has changed in an island which has attracted countless gold-seekers since Columbus established Santo Domingo as the first European settlement in the Americas. 

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 [Warning to US personnel: public disclosures of classified documents do not alter the documents' classified status or automatically result in declassification of the documents.]