Cuba and the Kennedy Assassination
by John Martino
[Human Events. Jan, 1964]
During the three years that I was incarcerated in Cuban prisons, former
intimates told me of the Red dictator's irrational hatred of President
Kennedy. One Red publication, I remember, displayed a fake photograph
showing the President and the First Lady careening drunk through the
streets of Mexico City during their official visit in 1962. Another-the
magazine Mella, featured a cartoon in which John F. Kennedy was
depicted as a dope pusher injecting narcotics into the arm of a child.
This almost insane hatred was not due to any belief that President
Kennedy was strongly anti-communist. It was partly jealously [sic] on
Castro's part of the way that JFK's personality had captured the
imagination of the Cuban people. For almost six month's, it has been
assumed in Cuban circles in Miami and in Havana that the Kennedy
Administration planned to eliminate Fidel Castro, his brother Raul; Che
Guevara and various others through a putsch.
Cuban exiles here understand that plans for this operation were cleared
with a Soviet representative in Europe shortly after the missile crisis
of last October (1962). The old-line communists inside the Castro
regime were to take part in the operation together with Castro henchmen
that were paid to switch sides. The plan involved a more or less token
invasion from Central America to be synced with the coup. A left-wing
coalition government was to be set up, including leaders of the Cuban
Communist party. The most talked about candidate to head this
"democratic" regime was Huber Matos, a former Castro commander, who is
at the present the most privileged prisoner on the Isle of Pines. Matos
enjoys a private room and a television set. He is allowed to strut
around in his uniform as one of Castro's commandants while decent and
patriotic Cubans in the same prison suffer unspeakable tortures.
The plan allegedly involved complete withdrawal of Soviet troops,
release of all political prisoners, U.S. occupation of Cuba and a new
government of the Tito or Ben Bella type. It was to be staged for
February 1964. According to reports from usually reliable exile
sources, Khrushchev had agreed to the plan because of the importance to
the Soviet Union of re-electing the Democratic Administration. The plan
provided that Castro and his fellow experts in murder and genocide were
to be given safe conduct out of Cuba. From the Soviet standpoint, all
that was involved was a slight tactical retreat in Cuba to be offset by
advances on other Latin American fronts, such as Brazil and Chile. From
Castro's standpoint, however, it meant the end of his career as a world
figure and refused to go along with it.
Assassination of President Kennedy was a bold way of checkmating the
plan. At a reception in the Brazilian Embassy in Havana in early
September, Castro told newsmen that CIA agents had been sent to the
island to kill him and Raul. If Kennedy was behind this, he added, the
American President should realize that he was not the only politician
that could engineer the assassinations of chiefs of state. This story
was published in the Miami News on November 24. Meanwhile Emilio Nunez
Portuondo, the distinguished former Cuban ambassador to the United
Nations and one-time president of its Security Council, informed his
friend and associate in Mexico, Dr. Jose Antonio Cabarga, of Castro's
threat. El Universal, one of Mexico's leading newspapers, published the
story as a front page exclusive. Immediately thereafter, the Mexican
police arrested Cargaga for delivering the report to El Universal and
beat him up so badly that he is now hospitalized.
This is typical of the conduct of the Mexican police President Adolfo
Lopez Mateos, whose pro-communist background and associations are
myriad. For example, when Tito visited Mexico a few months ago,
newspaper publishers were ordered to print only laudatory articles on
the Yugoslav dictator. To prove to the world that Mexico has a free
press, however, two or three critical articles were approved and
ordered published. Immediately before the Tito visit, a few
anti-communists students attempted to destroy posters praising the
Balkan butcher. They were caught by the police, held incommunicado for
a few days and subjected to tortures which leave no permanent scars.
For example, one was hanged by the feet and repeatedly dropped on his
head, but so lightly that his skull was not broken.
The Cubans in the South Florida area have had dealings with Oswald in
the past and they are not willing to join the press in dismissing him
as a fanatic, a psychopath or a pathetic, maladjusted youth. When he
was in Miami, Oswald attempted to join an organization of Americans
engaged in training Cubans in guerrilla warfare, headed by Jerry
Patrick [Hemming]. As a former Marine, Oswald would have been useful,
but he failed to pass a security check and was turned down. Oswald made
similar approaches to the Cuban Revolutionary Student Directorate (DRE)
and to JURE, another organization of Cuban freedom fighters, but was
Many Americans will never have used a psychologically unstable person
of this sort and that they would have shunned Oswald because of his
record of long and notorious Red associations. This is true as far as
Soviet-oriented Reds are concerned. However, the Kremlin Communists
were certainly innocent of complicity in the assassination for the
simple reason that Khrushchev had no reason to desire Kennedy's death.
Fidel Castro probably had very few potential assassins in this country
who were loyal to him rather than to Moscow. Those Reds who follow
Castro tend t be more zealous and destructive elements in the movement,
people consumed by hatred, not only of Western civilization, but of
mankind in general.
If Castro needed an assassin, he would have had to search among the
Maoists, the Stalinists and the neo-Trotskyites-in another words, among
people as disturbed, warped, hate-saturated and wicked as Oswald. The
fact that the crime was committed in Dallas, a center of American
conservative and nationalist movements, was probably not accidental.
Had Oswald managed to escape to Cuba, the liberal press and the
Establishment could have placed the entire blame for the murder of the
President, not on America's Communist enemies, but on those who love
this country and wish to preserve its institutions and its heritage.
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