Manuel Artime Buesa was born in Cuba on 29th January, 1932. He became involved in politics and was a founder member of the Radical Liberal Party. He went into the Sierra Maestra to join Fidel Castro just 72 hours before the triumph of the revolution.
In 1959 Artime emerged as a leading anti-Communist. He worked closely with the Catholic University Association (CUA). Later that year he moved to the Manzanillo region where he joined up with Carlos Prio and Tony Varona. Along with Huber Matos they planned a counter-revolution. According to Fabian Escalante (The Secret War: CIA Covert Operations Against Cuba, 1959-62) this rebellion was organized by Frank Sturgis and the Central Intelligence Agency.
On 21st October, 1959, Artime arranged for Sturgis, flying a CIA plane, to drop thousands of leaflets over Havana, calling for the population to rise up against the revolution. When this did not happen, Artime fled from the country with a "hundred thousand pesos of funds under his control".
Artime moved to the United States and with Tony Varona, Rafael Quintero, Aureliano Arango and Jose Cardona established the Movement for the Recovery of the Revolution (MRR Party). In 1960 Artime met John F. Kennedy at the Democratic National Convention. Later he became a close friend of Robert Kennedy.
Artime took part in the Bay of Pigs as one of the leaders of Brigade 2506. He was captured and held prisoner until his ransom was paid by personal friends. Over the next few months he worked with E. Howard Hunt on several plots to kill Fidel Castro. However, Gaeton Fonzi has argued that Artime might have been working as a double agent for Castro.
In 1963 Artime obtained funds from the CIA via Ted Shackley head of the JM/WAVE station in Florida. Artime, Rafael Quintero and Felix Rodriguez moved to Nicaragua where they formed a 300 man army. They also covertly acquired arms, supplies and boats for an invasion of Cuba. According to David Corn (Blond Ghost): "The CIA trained Artime's men as Artime pulled together a small navy, obtained several planes, and collected over 200 tons of American-made arms. The CIA budget for Artime's war would come to total $7 million."
Artime also delivered hush money payments to the Watergate burglars.
Manuel Artime Buesa died of cancer in Miami on 18th November, 1977. Artime was due to appear before the House Select Committee on Assassinations and Gaeton Fonzi claims: "There are some what I call mysterious deaths. Artime fits into that category - he got cancer awfully fast."