Two secret memos about JFK and Cuba

One of the very best JFK document researchers recently called attention to two important JFK documents from 1963. They both concern President Kennedy’s exploration of normalizing relations with Fidel Castro’s government in Cuba.

Are the memos relevant to story of JFK’s assassination ? You be the judge.

Fidel Castro, tormenter of empire

The first is an August 1963 memo from deputy CIA director Richard Helms to National Security Adviser MacGeorge Bundy about Castro’s “alleged” desire for rapprochement.

In the memo, Helms reports that Castro had told a Cuban woman that he wanted better relations with the United States but that U.S. would have to make the first move. Helms, a hardliner opposed to peace talks with Castro, questions the woman intelligence and character.

The second document consists of  the minutes of a November 5, 1963 White House meeting where “Cuba Peace Feelers” were discussed.  Helms and other top CIA officials were dismayed that JFK continued to be interested in rapprochement. They favored escalating the covert war on Cuba, not pursuit of peace talks.

These documents prompted a detailed and learned essay from John Simkin, a scholar of Anglo-American intelligence, filling in the story of how JFK and Castro felt each other out.

And then David Kaiser, diplomatic historian, added an informed response.

Next: CIA was in the loop for Castro peace feelers.





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