Plots Against Cuba Emerge in Kennedy Files

Martha Andrés Román * Washington, Nov 23 (Prensa Latina) Murder attempts, knowledge on terrorist actions against Cuba and plans for criminal attempts in the United States to blame the island, are topics found all through the files on the homicide of former president John F. Kennedy.

Since last October 26, the National Archives of the United States have published every week documents on the investigation of the Dallas, Texas assassination on November 22, 1963.

On its 54th anniversary, the crime is still seen as a mystery for many lovers of conspiracy theories, researchers and public in general.

Beyond the details of the murder, that don’t seem to contribute significant elements to what is already known, stand out revelations and confirmations on efforts to destroy the Cuban Revolution and assassinate its historical leader, Fidel Castro. The actions or plans against the greater of the Antilles can be read in numerous documents of the 30 thousand published over the last month, many of which had come to light in an incomplete form.

Among the material that may be consulted now, reference is made to some papers distributed in May, 1961 among figures as Kennedy, his Vicepresident Lyndon Johnson and secretaries of State, Dean Rusk and Defense, Robert McNamara.

Such documents, with the name Cuba and communism in the hemisphere, expressed in one of its sections that the survival of the Fidel Castro government did not represent a direct threat to the security of the United States.

However, the worry expressed in them was that ‘it would fundamentally alter the terms of the relations of Latin America with the United States’ and could be interpreted by the governing groups of the region as evidence of weakness on the part of Washington.

Such an argument can partially explain the determination in planning strategies, operations and programs against the island and its leaders, the support to Anti-Cuban groups based in Florida and, even, contacts with figures of the mob.

PLANS AND PRETEXTS FOR AN INVASION

One of the memos referred to planning a new invasion to Cuba, after the failed attempt to penetrate through Playa Girón in April, 1961, and in it there were allusions to specific number of troops, duration of the operation, type of weapons and military units.

In the operation Mongoose, the most significant program of those put into practice after the failure of Giron, a note dated March 12, 1962 detailed the use of Navy motor boats, cargo planes of the Air Force and submarines.

Reports of that same month alluded to a meeting in which General Prosecutor Robert Kennedy, brother of the president, who asked about the kidnapping of some Cuban leaders and the possibility of using areas controlled by the United Kingdom to organize an invasion.

That August, the administration had a more detailed invasion plan, which included 71 thousand soldiers and 35 thousand of marine infantry on Cuban soil and another 29 thousand in uniform on supporting posts.

But maybe among the most disturbing info of those documents are the ideas of developing a terror campaign in Miami and other cities of Florida, as well as in Washington DC, placing bombs or sinking ships with Cuban immigrants, to blame the Caribbean country to have pretexts to send tropos to the island.

Other actions evaluated then under that operation were biological weapons destined to ruin the crops of the island in order to cause hunger.

MANY PLOTS TO ASSASSINATE FIDEL

Among the purposes of the CIA and other U.S. agencies against the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro was always the usual target, as it has been confirmed by documents made public through the years and confirmed by these files.

‘The plans involved a series of strange schemes and at least in one instance, had some contact with elements of organized crime. Among the sources considered was poison, pills of botulism and the use of Cuban exile groups’, indicated a 1975 report.

According to the terxt, the CIA was involved in homicide attempts against the leader in dates as early as 1959 or 1960.

Another 1975 document, on the participation of the agency in schemes of homicide to foreign leaders, said that Robert Kennedy knew about a plot to find a hitman to shoot Fidel Castro.

On this report, the General Prosecutor told the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) that the intelligence agency hired a middleman to see mob boss Sam Giancana and propose him the sum of 150 thousand dollars in order to find someone to commit the murder.

Along that line, a memo of the FBI dated 1964 describes a meeting in Florida in which it was agreed to pay 100 thousand dollars for Fidel’s assassination, 20 thousand for that of his brother Raul Castro and an equal sum of the Argentinean-Cuban guerrilla, Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara.

One of the files referred to a CIA project that established a system of financial rewards for Cubans ‘that kill or hand in alive known Communists’.

Another two plans against the live of the Commander in Chief pretended to profit from his interest in sea diving. In one case, the agency pretended to use the link established between the revolutionary leader and lawyer William Donovan so he presented Fidel with a contaminated diving suit with fungus causing a skin sickness and with the TB bacillus.

Donovan, however, did not follow CIA indications and presented ‘a diving suit without contamination as gesture of friendship’.

The texts also described tricks to make a marine Shell blow up in áreas where Fidel Castro swam or inject him with poison through a ballpoint pen with a hypodermic needle.

THE CIA AND THE SECRET FILE ON LUIS POSADA CARRILES

Among the files surfaced the secret file on Cuban-born terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, informer of the CIA, but considered so dangerous that the agency itself had him watched.

When in 1976 exploded in Barbados a Cubana Airline plane with 73 persons on board, action for which Posada is considered intellectual autor, the CIA was very worried that its relation with him was made public.

According to daily El Nuevo Herald, that examined the revealed texts, a summary of the CIA of July, 1977 acknowledged a meeting in the Dominican Republic between Posada, Orlando Bosch and other individjals, with the U.S. Major of Cuban origin, Juan Armand Montes.

The document describes Bosch as ‘terrorist leader of the Cuban exiles’ and quotes a Dominican colonel according to whom the objective of the meeting was to discuss ‘several terrorist plans’, among which put bombs in planes and diplomatic missions’

Posada, who walks free in Miami despite Cuba’s continuous denunciations of his terrorist actions and the extradition demands of Venezuela, was detained together with Bosch in that last country after being identified as the main organizers of the attempt on the Cubana plane.

According to the CIA reports, it was updated as to the evidence incriminating them, but considered they were ‘circunstancial’ and a secret wire said the Venezuelan authorities had ‘evidence implicating subject 201-300985’ (CIA identification number of Posada) in the explosión of the airplane.

Through the information handled by the Agency, the State Department concluded that Posada ‘seemed to be the person who planned the sabotage’ of the plane, deed for which U.S. authorities never accused him.

*Chief Correspondent of Prensa Latina in the U.S.

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