Earlier this week, we reported on a newspaper interview with former CIA agent Antonio Veciana in which he talked about JFK’s assassination and the CIA man he knew as ‘Maurice Bishop.’
From Citizens for Truth About the Kennedy Assassination, here’s the essential background on this long-standing JFK mystery that has now been clarified:
Why do JFK scholars debate the identity of Maurice Bishop?
In 1963, Veciana ran an anti-Castro militant group called Alpha-66, which staged hit and run attacks on the Cuban government. This violent crusade brought him in close contact with undercover CIA officers seeking to overthrow Castro, including David Atlee Phillips (left)
In the 1976, Veciana told congressional investigator Gaeton Fonzi, that he had seen a friend from the CIA whom he knew as “Maurice Bishop” in the company of Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas in September 1963.
Working with an artist, Veciana gave a description that yielded a drawing of a man who resembled Phillips (below right).
One of Phillips colleagues, contract CIA officer named Ross Crozier, was interviewed by the congressional investigators twice and he said he was “almost certain” that Phillips had used the name “Bishop.”
When Phillips denied using the name “Bishop,” Crozier recanted, and Veciana stayed vague. In his book The Last Investigation, Fonzi concluded that Veciana was just protecting himself by hedging. The fact that Veciana never quite said “Bishop” was Phillips left the matter unresolved.
On November 22, 2013, Veciana sent a letter to Fonzi’s widow, Marie, and told her that he admired her late husband’s work and that “Bishop” was indeed Phillips.
Veciana’s letter strengthens his credibility but it does not entirely prove his story.
Veciana’s claims that he worked closely with Phillips in 1963 and that Phillips used the name “Bishop” have been corroborated by a variety evidence, not just Crozier’s testimony.
So Veciana is a credible witness. However, his story that Phillips and Oswald associated in Dallas before JFK was killed is still uncorroborated. That doesn’t mean it isn’t true.