Insider: Fidel Castro, Nikolai Leonov, and Nikita Khrushchev
Nikolai S. Leonov has an interesting perspective on the story of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Leonov joined the KGB in 1958 and retired in 1991 with the rank of Lieutenant General. In the spring of 1963, his fluency in Spanish gained him the job as the Russian interpreter for Cuba president Fidel Castro during his first visit to the USSR in the spring of 1963, In the photo above he is the man standing between and behind Castro and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Read more
This video sticks to facts, avoids theories, asks the right questions: What is new in the files? And what does what is new tell us about the causes of the assassination? Was it a coup to block JFK’s negotiations with Soviets and Cubans?
In a piece for the Daily Beast, How the KGB Duped Oliver Stone, Max Holland argues that an article published in an Italian newspaper in 1967 was a KGB disinformation operation that convinced the American people and Oliver Stone that JFK was killed by a CIA conspiracy.
There are many problems with this claim. I’ll just mention four. Read more
The Soviet intelligence service has a massive file on accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald that has never been public, said federal judge John Tunheim, former chairman of a government declassification panel
Tunheim said he reviewed the file in Moscow in 1994 on behalf of the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB), which declassified millions of pages of JFK documents in the 1990s.
“The KGB file stood five feet tall when you stacked all the boxes up,” Tunheim told a Washington press conference on Thursday.
As a historian of the Cold War, I found these comments by retired KGB officer Nikolai Leonov, to be fascinating. Whatever you think of his ideological convictions,Leonov was an effective secret intelligence professional for decades, a foe that CIA men like James Angleton and Win Scott had to respect..
“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.