The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Plot Against Cuba

54 Years Later. A Cuban Perspective

Fifty four years after the fact, the assassination of President Kennedy hasn’t been clarified and nothing about his direct and indirect killers is discoverable in reports that US government authorities periodically declassify. Nevertheless, media campaigns are orchestrated now and then that accuse Cuba, without any basis, of having taken part in the assassination. Suspiciously, they crop up every time an administration in power toughens its aggressive, inhumane policies against Cuba.

That’s why we think it’s necessary to clarify essential aspects of that trauma and put forth analyses and viewpoints from Cuban investigations and from North American scholars in this regard. They are revealing, and clearly so, as to the causes behind the murderous plot, and they point to its instigators and to those who eventually carried it out.

1. President Kennedy was assassinated in the middle of the day on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, just at the time when, in Cuba, his emissary, the French journalist Jean Daniel was talking with Fidel Castro about the extent and causes of existing conflict between both nations, and about eventual solutions.

2. What circumstances gave rise to these two occurrences?  Without a doubt, they were about changes in North American foreign policy toward Cuba just beginning to be delineated. These changes were a direct result of conflict that put the world on the brink of nuclear war following placement of Soviet missiles on the Island for “defensive reasons”. Cuba at that time was confronting an escalation of terrorist actions and aggressions from the United States that [we thought] had to end in a military invasion by the end of 1962.

As the crisis played out, Kennedy became aware that Pentagon hawks as well as the CIA were inclined, as long as their political-military doctrine prevailed, to envisage a nuclear holocaust. Because of this, he deliberated and then presented a new approach toward resolving the so-called “Cuban business.”

His speech on June 10, 1963 at the American University in Washington showed that to be the case.

“What kind of peace do I mean? What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow and to hope and to build a better life for their children–not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women–not merely peace in our time but peace for all time.”

3. At the beginning of 1963 a North American emissary, the lawyer James Donovan, visited our country and with his Cuban counterpart explored alternatives for a negotiated solution of the conflict. He returned again in April, this time with a North American journalist with ABC News, Lisa Howard. She carried out a long interview with Fidel Castro – shown on North American television – that addressed this theme. That leader took the occasion to outline Cuba’s inclination to find a political solution to the conflict, consistent with its principles.

Then in September their ambassadors at the United Nations, following guidelines from both governments, met in Washington in order to devise an agenda for eventual political negotiations. Consultation took place on all of this with Robert Kennedy with Ambassador William Atwood serving as intermediary. And, finally, in November, President Kennedy, aware that Jean Daniel was traveling to Cuba to interview Fidel Castro, met with that French journalist and asked that he use the interview to address the issue of relations between both countries and to elicit the Cuban leader’s opinions on that.

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Jean Daniel and Fidel Castro (Source: Turning the Tide)

In other words, facts speak for themselves. A new atmosphere was being created for both countries that might have led – if Kennedy had not been assassinated – to a peaceful and political solution to the ongoing conflict.

4. But there were cross currents; subversive war against Cuba had escalated.  In that year alone, the CIA set in motion 17 murderous plots against Fidel, with one of them, with poisoned pills, on the verge of being carried out. Commandos originally from Cuba were training in Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.  Some of them had ideas of attacking merchant ships and thereby shoring up the blockade. Others were carrying out guerrilla warfare in the eastern mountains of the country.

By then the CIA had created a subversive’s emporium in Miami, which we labeled the “CIA and Mafia’s Cuban-American machinery.”  Already at the time it operated quite on its own with respect to top CIA brass in Langley.

The operation could count on 4000 men already trained, 55 businesses providing support and logistics, planes and ships for war and transport, training camps, and an annual budget of $100 million. And that doesn’t take into account contributions from the Mafia and from companies like United Fruit and ITT, each with important longstanding interests in Cuba.

From Miami, dozens of armed groups, special-forces teams, planes, and speedboats continually carried out attacks against our fishermen and coastal populations. They were arming their agents inside the country with the most sophisticated explosives to sabotage everything they could and kill teachers and farmers. All the while, a brutal, psychological – warfare campaign was underway employing every means within reach in an attempt to soften up the consciousness of the Cuban people and turn them against the revolution.

Meanwhile in Paris, France, the CIA was finalizing its AM/Lash operation that was ready to assassinate Fidel and provoke a military coup inside the country that would quickly bring about a call for North American intervention.

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Lee Harvey Oswald (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

5. That was the political – operative scenario back then and it was within the same scenario that JM/Wave – the “CIA and Mafia’s Cuban-American machinery” – decided to assassinate the President, or ordered it. They began to engineer the plot in May. There were two objectives: to assassinate JFK and to blame Cuba for the deed. That way, a military response would be possible on such a scale that it could overthrow the Revolution.

6. Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged solitary assassin, was the main focus of our investigations what with his background as a CIA agent, his “asylum in the USSR,” his return to the U.S. with all expenses paid by his embassy. There was also his activity as a FBI informant in Dallas, his sudden arrival in New Orleans, his behavior of faking sympathies for the Cuban revolution and becoming an organizer for the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. We looked at his attempt to travel to Cuba and his comings and goings to and from the Soviet consulate [in Mexico City] on the pretense of documenting ties with both countries. And, finally, confronted with the impossibility of traveling to the Island, he returned to Dallas where his “managers” fashioned Option B. This involved documenting his relations with Cuba through “fabrication” of five letters sent from Havana to his mailbox in Dallas. They contained vague instructions as to assassinating the president.

We also took into account the investigative results from our archives regarding high-profile terrorists of Cuban origin who, according to various sources, were in Dallas on the eve of the assassination – this as per statements from Antonio Cuesta Valle. This important CIA agent, implicated in [terrorist] actions and on that account imprisoned in the Island, identified Herminio Díaz and Eladio del Valle as two of the sharpshooters in Dallas.  We undertook detailed analysis of all aspects of the official North American investigations, and also of contributions from other North American scholars (Jim Garrison, Gaeton Fonzi, etc.). We were aware, finally, of terrorist Antonio Veciana’s acknowledgement in his memoir that he met with Oswald and his CIA officer David A. Phillips in Dallas during the month of September, 1963. Their purpose there was to coordinate Oswald’s trip to Mexico, which was the key piece in the entire provocation they mounted.

Finally, we know by means of the Warren Commission and congressional investigations that in November 1963 the U.S. Secret Service had access to information about two significant plots to assassinate JFK, one in Chicago and the other in Miami, where CIA agents of Cuban origin were implicated. And it investigated nothing regarding that information, nor did so much as to merely reinforce security measures in Dallas.  Something really stunning!

7. We conclude from the information cited so far that JM/Wave, “the CIA and Mafia’s Cuban-American machinery,” provided brain power and implementation for the assassination and we regard its officers David A. Phillips, David Morales, Howard Hunt, George Ionides, William Harvey, Cord Meyer, and chiefs Richard Helms and Allen Dulles as the people responsible for originating and carrying out the operation that killed Kennedy. To them we add other elements who were associated, including: Joaquín Sanjenis, Félix Rodríguez, Luis Posada, Orlando Bosch, the Novo Sampol brothers, Herminio Díaz, Eladio del Valle – all members of so-called “Operation 40.”

8. From the items presented so far, it’s evident that North American authorities have shown no intention to clarify the facts. The recently declassified documents are a case in point. They only serve, one, to contribute new data as to the levels of aggression the anti-Cuban operation reached in those years and, two, to make use of the disinformation they elaborate to raise questions perhaps leading to Cuba eventually being accused of complicity in the assassination.

The CIA and its Miami unit JM/Wave were the ones who organized and carried out the crime. They had the motives, the means, and the opportunity to carry it out. That’s the truth!

9. Why 54 years without answers? Because those in the United States who arranged for the assassination, those who make up the real governing power in that country and who possess all information relating to the assassination, want it that way.

Then why the systematic blaming of Cuba? We remember the Goebbels principle that says a lie repeated a thousand times becomes the truth. There’s no doubt that these periodic accusations are tied to escalation of North American aggressions against Cuba. Perhaps the current US government namely the Trump Administration  Trump wants to use them to strangle the Revolution, step up U.S. aggressions, and finally overthrow Cuba’s government. They have learned nothing from history and of the capacity of the Cuban people to overcome.

Fabian Escalante, born in 1941, joined Cuba’s Department of State Security in 1960, becoming its head in 1976. After 1993, Escalante headed the Cuban Security Studies Center where he re-examined the assassination of President Kennedy.  That year, on Cuban television, he named three Chicago gangsters and two Cuban exiles as gunmen involved in the killing.  His books include: The Secret War: CIA Covert Operations against Cuba, 1959-62, (1995), CIA Targets Fidel: The Secret Assassination Report (1996), and JFK: The Cuba Files (2006).

Translated from Spanish by W. T. Whitney Jr.

Link to spanish original below

Articles by: Fabián Escalante Font

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