The CIA’s favorite Cubans linked Oswald to Castro

[Excerpted from Scorpions’ Dance: The President, the Spymaster and Watergate (St Martin’s Press, 2022)]

“At ten past six that evening, Miami station chief Ted Shackley sent a cable to Des Fitzgerald with a copy going to Helms’ office. The station had heard from Luis Fernandez Rocha, the secretary general of the Cuban Student Directorate, whom Helms had grilled in his office almost exactly one year before. The DRE boys said they knew all about the suspected assassin.

DRE Trinchera
The first JFK conspiracy theory

“Jose Antonio Lanuza, a  twenty four year old law student and spokesman for the group, recognized the name Oswald. He remembered that one of the  group’s North American delegations had a run-in with an American named Oswald a few months before. He checked his files and found Carlos Bringuier, the DRE delegate in New Orleans, had a series of encounters with Oswald in the summer culminating in a debate on a local radio program. The file included Bringuier’s letters about Oswald’s pro-Castro activities and Oswald’s pamphlets from the pro-Castro Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Within hours of the news from Dallas, the AMSPELL network delivered an intelligence coup: Kennedy’s killer was a Castro supporter.

“Lanuza went on to become a businessman and then a schoolteacher in Miami. In retirement he spoke freely about the DRE, the CIA, and his actions on the night of November 22, 1963.

 “I went to Luis, and said, ‘We’ve got the guy.’ Luis talked to Salvat.” Juan Manuel Salvat, co-founder of the DRE, was also a CIA asset, code-named AMHINT-2 “He said, ‘We have to tell our friends at the CIA. Luis made the phone call.”

[Order it now: Scorpions’ Dance: The President, the Spymaster and Watergate (St Martin’s Press, 2022)]

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