The Cuban plot in JFK murder

25 Juillet 2013

Was Lee Harvey Oswald, John F. Kennedy killer, connected with the cuban secret service and wanted to impress the Cubans ? The former CIA analyst Brian Latell in his book "Castro’s Secrets : Cuban Intelligence, the CIA & the John F. Kennedy Assassiation"* reveals CIA documents trying to answer these questions.

On Sunday Nov. 24, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald | Crédit Photo -- Jack Beers / Dallas Morning/AP
On Sunday Nov. 24, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald | Crédit Photo -- Jack Beers / Dallas Morning/AP
According to the author of the book, (available since Tuesday in the bookstors in USA), in the months preceding the Amarican president assassination, Oswald was conected with the Cuban secret service much more than we could imagine.

The CIA agents lied about these connotations in front of the judge Warren comission, which was leading the investigation of killing the president on November 22, 1963- claims Latell, who was the CIA's National Intelligence Officer for Latin America from 1990-1994, and has tracked Castro for the CIA since the sixties. According to Latell Cuba was also hiding the information about Oswald. Overheard conversation of two Cuban agents which was revealed lately in archives, seems to prove that. Latell doesn’t suggest that Oswald killed Kennedy on behalf of the communist authority in Hawana. Although he states that the new evidence proves commonly accepted thesis that the main reason pushing Oswald to the crime was "the burning desire to impress the Cuban leader Fidel Castro".

"I’m convinced that Oswald wanted to escape on Cuba. He loved Cuba and Castro and wanted to join the revolutin" writes Latell. The new sources used by Latell among others are : unpublished diaries of Thomas Mann, the USA ambassador in Mexico, the conversation with former Cuban agents and exposed gevernmental documents.

It’s commonly known that seven weeks before Kennedy assassination Oswald took the bus to go to the Mexico capital to obtain the visa at the embassy of Cuba. He didn’t get it but his visit caused lots of controversy and questions about the Cuban engagement in Kennedy murder as Oswald was famous for his communists inclinations. "What Oswald was doing for most of the time he spent in Mexico capital still stays the most important unreveald secret in this case" claims Latell.

The author says that the USA authorities never revealed everything they knew on this issue. It’s probably because they were afraid of public opinion demanding the revenge if the Cuban involvement was proved. It was just right after the Kennedy assassination when ambassador Mann found out that Oswald stayed in Mexico in Hotel del Comercio considered by CIA to be the base of Cuban spies working for the secret service DGI. In his diaries written in 1982 Mann disclosed that he received that information from the head of CIA agency in Mexico. When he tried to mention this issue in Washington, U.S. Department of State forced him to keep silence and stop the investigation on Oswald’s visit in Mexico.

According to Latell, only a week after the assassination, Mann was already ensured about Cuban participation in the crime and about the fact that Oswald worked for Cubans in that hotel. The diplomat was although dismissed a month after the JFK assassination. He died in 1999. In the book the author clearly underlined that CIA dissimulated in front of the Warren’s comission what happened in Hotel del Comercio in Mexico. The comission announced later that there is no evidence that Cuban government participated in the plot leading to kill Kennedy.The critics of the Latell’s book are compatible in their opinions. "No one knows more about Cuban intelligence than Brian Latell. In this page-turner, he not only tells compelling stories that reveal the strength of Cuban actions in Le Carre's world of spy vs. spy but raises unsettling questions about Lee Harvey Oswald's Cuban connections. By the end, the reader is asking, What did Fidel know and when did he know it?Timothy Naftali wrote in Blind Spot: « The Secret History of American Counterterrorism"**.

Brian Latell is also the author of another book devoted to Castro : "After Fidel"**, which has been published in eight languages. His articles on this topic have appeared in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, The Miami Herald, and The Washington Quarterly. It seems to prove Timothy Naftali’s opinion about Latell’s experience and knowledge as a former intelligence analyst on Cuba for the CIA. Currently Latell is a senior research associate at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami, he previously taught for a quarter century at Georgetown University. He lives in Lancaster, Virginia.

* Brian Latell, Castro’s Secrets : Cuban Intelligence, the CIA and the John F. Kennedy Assassination | Les secrets de Castro : espionnage cubain, la CIA et l’assassinat de John Fitzgerald Kennedy, non publié en français.

** Timothy Naftali, Blind Spot : the Secret History of American Counterterrorism | Angle Mort : l’histoire secrète du contre-terrorisme américain, non publié en français.

*** Brian Latell, After Fidel | Raul Castro : l’Après Fidel, chez City Editions


Kasia Opydo
Etudiante en relations internationales (Université jagellonne de Cracovie, Sciences Po Paris,... En savoir plus sur cet auteur