“Peter Kornbluh, who runs the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive, was carrying around a book he co-authored, “Back Channel to Cuba,” about the twisted secret history of outreach between the nations. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world,” he said. “It’s a flag flying in the winds of change.'”
Tag Archive for FIdel Castro
As the United States and Cuba prepare to open embassies in Havana and Washington on Monday, the The Washington Post reports:
The two governments have made clear that opening their embassies is only the first step on a long road to “normalization” and that they have many remaining differences on issues including the ongoing U.S. economic embargo, human rights and outstanding legal claims against each other.
One trait the two governments have in common is the practice of extraordinary official secrecy around records related to the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 and the many U.S.-based assassination attempts against Cuban president Fidel Castro. Read more
Former CIA analyst Brian Latell thinks Fidel Castro was behind JFK’s assassination, a self-serving theory for a former employee of an agency that conspired to assassinate Fidle Castro 634 times. His is one of many JFK conspiracy theories which I doubt. Latell also thinks Fide Castro is a hypocritical dictator, which I can believe.
As the United States and Cuba engage in hard bargaining over how to normalize relations in 2015, it worth remembering that President Kennedy was seeking the same goal when he was assassinated in November 1963.
In this ABC News broadcast in April 1963, Cuban president Fidel Castro talked about his desire to settle differences with Washington. JFK was listening.
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.
“First of all, nobody ever goes that way for a visa. Second, it costs money to go that distance. He (Oswald) stormed into the embassy, demanded the visa, and when it was refused to him, headed out saying ‘I’m going to kill Kennedy for this.’…..What is your government doing to catch the other assassins? It took about three people.”
This was the moment President John F. Kennedy was angling for 52 years ago: reconciliation between the United States and Cuba.
President Obama met yesterday with Cuban president Raul Castro, the first face to face meeting of the country’s leaders since the mid-20th century. Obama said “Cuba is not a threat to the United States.” His appearance was condemned by Obama’s Republican critics just as JFK’s Cuba policy was condemned by his opponents.
“The president had asked his speechwriter, Theodore Sorensen, for language that would open a door to the Cuban leader, although, as Sorensen later observed, the audience was a very tough anti-Castro group.'”
“Todos somos Americanos.” We are all Americans.
With those words, President Obama made an epic and overdue announcement today: the United States and Cuba will normalize relations that were broken off in January 1961 as President John F. Kennedy took office. “These 50 years have showed that isolation has not worked,” the president said.
Not only will the United States open an embassy in Havana, it will release three Cubans imprisoned for decades on trumped-up spying charges. The Cubans will release U.S. government contractor Alan Gross, held for five years on trumped-up charges, and a previously unknown U.S. intelligence agent imprisoned for many years in Cuba.
“Everything is changed. Everything is going to change. The United States occupies such a position in world affairs that the death of a President of that country affects millions of people in every corner of the globe. The cold war, relations with Russia, Latin America, Cuba, the Negro question… all will have to be rethought. I’ll tell you one thing: at least Kennedy was an enemy to whom we had become accustomed. This is a serious matter, an extremely serious matter.”
At a conference on the 50th anniversary of the Warren Commission report in Washington in September, Cuba scholar Peter Kornbluh gave a fascinating talk on how President Kennedy pursued the idea of normalizing relations with Cuba 1963. In the bureaucracy this was known as “the sweet approach,” Kornbluh says. The idea was to lure Fidel Castro out of his alliance with the Soviet Union instead of overthrowing him.
“Kennedy had a change of heart after the missile crisis,” Kornbluh says, and he makes the case in his new book Back Channel to Cuba Kennedy pursued “the sweet approach” right up through the last 72 hours of his life, Kornbluh says.
“… since the very first staff meeting, Earl Warren set the standard:
“In the day’s high point,” he writes, “we heard a first-hand confirmation of CIA primacy in the plot…..”
The Warren Commission didn’t get scared if Fidel Castro because of Lyndon B. Johnson’s chilling warning to Chief Justice Earl Warren about rumors that “if not quenched, could conceivably lead the country into a war which could cost 40 million lives.” Read more