Cuba and the Kennedy Assassination
December 21, 1963 – Human Events p. 3
By John Martino (Author of I Was Castro’s Prisoner)
During the three years I was incarcerated in Cuban prisons, former intimates of Fidel Castro told me of the Red dictator’s violent, irrational hatred of President Kennedy.
One Red publication, I remember, displayed a faked photograph showing the President and the First Lady careening drunk through the streets of Mexico City during their official visit in 1962. Another – the magazine Mella (Named after the assassinated found of Cuban communism, Julio Antonio Mella) – featured a cartoon in which John F. Kennedy was depicted as a dope pusher, injecting narcotics into the arm of a child.
This almost insane hatred was not due to any belief that President Kennedy was strongly anti-Communist. It was partly jealously on Castro’s part of the way JFK’s personality had captured the imagination of the Cuban people.
For almost six months, it has been assumed in Cuban circles in Miami and in Havana that the Kennedy Administration planned to eliminate Fidel Castro; his brother, Raul; Che Guevara and various others through a putsch.
Cuban exiles here understand that plans for this operation were cleared with a Soviet representative in Europe shortly after the missile crisis of last October. The old-line Communists inside the Castro regime were to take part in the operation together with Castro henchmen who had been paid to switch sides.
The plan involved a more or less token invasion from Central America to be synchronized with the coup. A left-wing coalition government was to be set up, including leaders of the Cuban Communist party. The most talked about candidate to head this “democratic” regime was Huber Matos, a former Castro commander, who is at present the most privileged prisoner on the Isle of Pines. Matos enjoys a private room and a television set. He is allowed to strut around in his uniform as one of Castro’s commandants while decent and patriotic Cubans in the same prison suffer unspeakable tortures.
The plan allegedly involved complete withdrawal of Soviet troops, release of all political prisoners, U.S. occupation of Cuba and a new government of the Tito or Ben Bella type. It was to be staged for February 1964. According to reports from usually reliable exile sources, Khrushchev had agreed to the plan because of the importance to the Soviet Union of re-electing the Democratic Administration.
PHOTO CAPTION: In early February of this year, Fidel Castro told newsmen in Havana that CIA agents had been sent to kill him and his brother, Raul. He said that if Kennedy was behind this, the American president should realize that he was not the only politician able to engineer the assassinations of chiefs of state.
The plan provided that Castro and his fellow experts in murder and genocide were to be given safe conduct out of Cuba. From the Soviet standpoint, all that was involved was a slight tactical retreat in Cuba to be offset by advances on other Latin American fronts, such as Brazil and Chile. From Castro’s standpoint, however, it meant the end of his career as a world figure and he refused to go along with it.
Assassination of President Kennedy was a bold way of checkmating this plan. At a reception in the Brazilian Embassy in Havana in early September, Castro told newsmen that CIA agents had been sent to the island to kill him and Raul. If Kennedy was behind this, he added, the American president should realize that he was not the only politician able to engineer the assassination of chiefs of state.
This story was published in the Miami News on November 24. Meanwhile, Emilio Nuez Portuondo, the distinguished former Cuban ambassador to the United Nations and one-time president of its Security Council, informed his friend and associate in Mexico, Dr. Jose Antonio Cabarga, of Castro’s threat. El Universal, one of Mexico’s leading papers, published the story as a front-page exclusive.
Immediately thereafter, the Mexican police arrested Cabarga for delivering the report to El Universal and beat him up so badly that he is now hospitalized.
This is typical of the conduct of the Mexican police under President Adolfo Lopez Mateos, whose pro-Communist background and associations are myriad. For example, when Tito visited Mexico a few months ago, newspaper publishers were ordered to print only laudatory articles on the Yugoslav dictator.
To prove to the world that Mexico has a free press, however, two or three critical articles were approved and ordered published. Immediately before the Toto visit, a few anti-Communist students attempted to destroy posters praising the Balkan butcher. They were caught by the police, held incommunicado for a few days and subjected to tortures which leave no permanent scars. For example, one was hanged by his feet and repeatedly dropped on his head, but so slightly that his skull was not broken.
The Cubans in the South Florida area have had dealings with Oswald in the past and they are not willing to join the press in dismissing him as a fanatic, a psychopath or a pathetic, maladjusted youth.
When he was in Miami, Oswald attempted to join an organization of Americans engaged in training Cubans in guerrilla warfare, headed by Jerry Patrick. As a former Marine, Oswald would have been useful, but he failed to pass a security check and was turned down. Oswald made similar approaches to the Cuban Revolutionary Student Directorate (DRE) and to JURE, another organization of Cuban freedom fighters, but was rejected.
The leaders of these organizations believe Oswald’s purpose was to infiltrate their groups and betray their militants to the Castro G-2 so they could be trapped and executed in Cuba.
Many Americans will argue that the Communists would never have used a psychologically unstable person of this sort and that they would have shunned Oswald because of his record of long and notorious Red associations. This is true as far as the Soviet-oriented Reds are concerned. However, the Kremlin Communists were almost certainly innocent of complicity in the assassination for the simple reason that Khrushchev had no reason to desire Kennedy’s death.
Fidel Castro probably had very few potential assassins in this country who were loyal to him rather than to Moscow. Those Reds who follow Castro tend to be the most zealous and destructive elements in the movement, people consumed by hatred, not only of Western civilization, but of mankind in general.
If Castro needed an assassin, he would have had to search among the Maoists, the Stalinists and the neo-Trotskyites – in other words, among people as disturbed, warped , hate-saturated and wicked as Oswald.
The fact that the crime was committed in Dallas, a center of American conservative and nationalists movements, was probably not accidental. Had Oswald managed to escape to Cuba, the liberal press and the Establishment could have placed the entire blame for the murder of the President, not on America’s Communist enemies, but on those who love this country and wish to preserve its institutions and its heritage.
Also in this issue see: State Dept. Aided Oswald’s Return – From the Allen-Scott Report