Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the nephew of the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, claims that the CIA actively worked to obstruct President Kennedy’s effort to reconcile relations with Cuba, saying the countries would have eventually reconciled if not for the 1963 assassination of the former president.
Robert Kennedy made the allegations in an article published by the Inter Press Service news agency Tuesday.
Robert claims that the leadership of the CIA had no regard for the president’s wishes regarding Cuba and worked to actively undermine the back channel negotiations the president was having with the Cuban leadership. He added that the CIA even tried to frame President Kennedy.
“In April 1963, CIA officials secretly sprinkled deadly poison in a wetsuit intended as a gift for Castro from JFK’s emissaries James Donovan and John Nolan, hoping to murder Castro, blame JFK for the murder, and thoroughly discredit him and his peace efforts,” wrote Robert.
According to the article, had President Kennedy not been assassinated, the U.S. would have likely normalized relations with Cuba. That claim was also made by William Attwood, a U.S. diplomat who was asked by President Kennedy to open secret negotiations with Havana.
According to Robert, even after the assassination, Fidel Castro worked to continue negotiations with Kennedy’s successor, President Lyndon Johnson. However, those efforts were rebuffed.
Instead, Robert claims that during this period “the CIA would continue its efforts to try to assassinate Castro during the first two years of the LBJ administration. Johnson never knew it.”
U.S. President Barack Obama announced in December 2014 that his country and Cuba would begin the process to reestablish diplomatic relations after more than 50 years.