Among the 1,100 secret CIA documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is an 86 page file of the anti-Castro group, Directorio Revolucionario Estudantil (DRE)
The group, commonly known as the Cuban Student Directorate, had a curious double role in the JFK assassination story–a role that the CIA chose to conceal from both the Warren Commission in 1964 and the House Selection Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) in the late 1970s.
The deception was not minor: CIA-funded DRE was the first organization to call public attention to accused assassin Lee Oswald–before JFK was killed.
Now available on You Tube retired Major General Fabian Escalante, former head and current historian of Cuba’s State Security Department,i gives a sneak preview of his upcoming book Beyond Any Reasonable Doubt. The Assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Aggression Against Cuba. Read more
Take look at this complete, full color reproduction of the address book of Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, who was slain in custody of the Dallas police on November 24, 1963. (Courtesy of A.J. Weberman)
Comes the sad news that Mary La Fontaine has died. I first met Mary and her husband Ray in 1993 after reading a maunscript version of their book Oswald Talked. I was impressed with their writing for many reasons: its witty tone, its use of original sources,and its granular depiction of a subject oddly ignored by JFK researchers: Cuban exiles in Dallas.
It was the LaFontaines who highlighted me to the role of the Cuban Student Directorate (DRE) in the JFK story, a hunch that was amply confirmed by my subsequent reporting. Without the LaFontaines, I might never have discovered the curious case of George Joannides.
Former CIA analyst Brian Latell says Cuban government officials were complicit in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I have posted my take on Latell’s claims.
Here is how he made his case to me. The interview was conducted by email. I have deleted three questions for which Latell said he had no independent knowledge. Otherwise, Latell’s comments have not been edited.
Via George in the UK:
“… the Warren Commission did not know that the DRE were CIA assets….
George Joannides, chief of CIA covert operations in Miami in 1963, also had a residence in New Orleans, according to the CIA.
In a court motion filed last week, the CIA acknowledged for the first time that deceased CIA officer George Joannides lived in New Orleans while handling contacts with an anti-Castro student organization whose members had a series of encounters with accused presidential assassin Lee Oswald in August 1963.
The unexpected admission came in arguments before a federal court judge about whether the CIA is obliged to pay $295,000 in legal fees incurred during my Freedom of Information Act lawsuit concerning certain 50-year-old JFK assassination records.
In a previous court filing, my attorney Jim Lesar argued that two documents released over CIA objections in 2008 were significant because they showed that Joannides’s espionage assignment took him to New Orleans where Oswald lived.
The answer: certain employees of the U.S. government’s Central Intelligence Agency, otherwise known as the CIA.
Ten years ago I filed a lawsuit seeking the records of a deceased CIA officer involved in the events leading up to the assassination of President Kennedy and its confusing investigatory aftermath. Read more
Reader Photon asks:
Assassination was not his tactic.
“So ‘LBJ and crew’ murdered John Kennedy, but Fidel ‘most certainly was not [involved]’? While I consider it unlikely that Oswald could have cooperated with anybody in a conspiracy, his visit to the Cuban Embassy certainly is intriguing. It is not like Fidel had never sanctioned political assassination in the past. For 50 years he has gotten away with knocking off Camilo Cienfuegos after Huber Matos didn’t do it for him.”
The ensuing fast and furious debate in the comments section on this subject is reminder that the history of assassination as a political technique in the struggle for power in Cuba from 1955 to 1965 is definitely relevant to any discussion of the assassination of JFK.
“Now,” Fidel said, “they will have to find the assassin quickly, but very quickly, otherwise, you watch and see, I know them, they will try to put the blame on us for this thing.”
The story comes from “When Castro Heard the News,” by French journalist Jean Daniel writing in The New Republic, Dec. 7, 1963.
Castro was right.
Fernando Gonzalez, Cuban intelligence officer goes free on Feb. 27.
A man named Fernando Gonzalez is scheduled to walk out of an Arizona prison on Thursday, and the Cuban Five, a group of Cuban intelligence officers convicted of espionage in 2001, will be down to three, since another defendant, Rene Gonzalez was released in 2011.
The Cuban 5 have been lionized by the government in Havana and demonized by the media in Miami. Their ordeal embodies the tortured relationship that has governed U.S.-Cuba relations since the presidency of John F. Kennedy.
(See “From July 26 to November 22 to today,” JFK Facts, February 9, 2014)
On November 23, members of the Cuban Student Directorate, a CIA-funded organization based in Miami, published a special edition of their monthly magazine, Trinchera (Trenches), in which they linked the accused assassin Lee Oswald to Cuban president Fidel Castro.
This was the first JFK conspiracy scenario to reach public print.
According to declassified CIA records, it was paid for by undercover officer, George Joannides.