Kennedy and Fidel, targets of the same conspiracy
1963, EL COMPLOT, BY FABIAN ESCALANTE
BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD —Special for Granma International—
“ASSASINATING a president is a very complex operation: it’s not just about a lone individual smoking marihuana who takes it upon himself to shoot using a self-loading World War II rifle.” In 1963: El Complot (1963: The Conspiracy), Fabian Escalante Font, head of and combatant in Cuban State Security for more than 30 years, presents the Cuban view of a conspiracy that not only involved the assassination of U.S. President John Kennedy but also a plan to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Escalante’s fascinating 250-page historical analysis was recently launched on the international market by Ocean Press publishers (www.oceanbooks.com.au) in the course of a press conference with the author in Havana.
“We are not linking the assassination attempt on Fidel with Kennedy’s assassination. They made that link,” explains the retired general, referring to the work of the committee set up to investigate a large number of CIA plots to assassinate foreign political leaders headed by Senator Frank Church, who visited Havana in 1978.
“This is not my initiative or one taken by Cuban State Security or the national government. This link between Kennedy’s assassination and CIA’s Cuban-American mechanism and the mafia was posed by the U.S. authorities. What we followed was the thread that they gave us.”
THIS CONSPIRACY HAD OFFICIAL BACKING
Fabián Escalante is very clear on the Dallas crime: “This is a conspiracy that had to have had official backing. I have no doubt about that!”
“I think I demonstrate how the whole operation was organized and how it was essential to blame Lee Harvey Oswald because Oswald was supposed to come to Havana. By a sheer miracle, by chance, he didn’t, having done his utmost to travel here. Imagine if at the end of September, the beginning of October – the time he wanted to travel –Lee Harvey Oswald had been in Havana for even one day, just one day!”
On the other hand, the author states that all the investigations into the Kennedy assassination have confirmed that four shots were fired “and also, from different angles”, which leads to the inevitable question: After Kennedy was killed, why have 100-plus people with some connection with this crime also died?
“We decided to investigate the issue in the 1990s,” indicated the general who, after retiring from the State Security executive in 1993, made a proposal to the Ministry of the Interior to create a study center linked to the organization, which is closely connected to the Cuban Revolution’s many victories in confronting U.S. destabilization plans.
“We came across various reports of persons that intended to place a group of Cubans in Dallas on November 18, 1963, including Pedro Luis Díaz Lanz, the Novo Sampol brothers, Luis Posada Carriles, Orlando Bosch, Virgilio Paz, Antonio Veciana and others.”
Antonio Veciana’s organization was already in place in Dallas before Kennedy’s assassination, Fabián Escalante noted: “That was perfectly demonstrated. In other words, Antonio Veciana’s group was organizing in an unusual way in Dallas and his office was located in a house that, according to the Dallas sheriff – this isn’t what I’m saying, it’s what he said – Lee Harvey Oswald was seen entering¼How strange! What a coincidence!”
At that time, Dallas was a gunrunning center for the Italian mafia who purchased weapons from the U.S. Army and resold them to Cuban groups. “And Dallas, together with New Orleans and Miami, were the cities that made up the axis of all the trafficking of weapons and illegal explosives.”
JMWAVE: “MORE CRIMINALS THAN THE EMBASSY IN BAGHDAD”
For Fabián Escalante, 1963 was the year when the Cuban-American mafia was consolidated and took on a life of its own: “Up until then, the Cuban-American exile movement served as a pool of players for the CIA’s plans; they were the CIA’s soldiers of fortune.”
But when in 1962, JM/WAVE, Miami’s large operative base was organized, counterrevolutionary activity moved onto a new stage.
The CIA station in Miami was enormous: “It had more criminals than the current U.S. embassy in Baghdad, rumored to have 1,000 officials. JM/WAVE had 4,000 salaried Cubans and 400 U.S. staff. 4,400 people!”
This large base, exclusively established to attack Cuba, logically had many needs: “It began to organize companies that were fronts¼Because they needed a shipyard to repair the boats coming here to attack the island. They needed an airline company for their aircraft. They needed to buy weapons, they needed banks, and real estate. And they began to place counterrevolutionary Cubans in them.”
And these individuals noticed that the war could serve two ends, the general underlined. “To launch a war against us¼and to make millions of dollars for themselves! And in that year of 1962, they started to make fortunes that were already consolidated by 1963.”
From that moment on, the Miami mafia began to realize its own strength: “We make and break presidents,” the Miami capos reiterated.
“It’s clear what the Miami mafia is all about. They removed a president because they killed Kennedy and they’ve imposed a president because they put Bush where he is today.”
“AND THEY SAY IT LIKE THAT, SO CALMLY”
From January through August 1962 Cuba experienced some 5,870 acts of sabotage and terrorism, assassination attempts and assassinations, Escalante recalled.
“And that’s how it’s talked about, so calmly it doesn’t make the blood of any of these people boil. It’s shameful.”
Many people have asked how Kennedy would have handled relations with Cuba if he had not been shot in Dallas. “He would have probably wanted peaceful coexistence with Cuba,” said the author of 1963: El Complot.
But he hinted: “Not for positive ends but because he already knew that in this country, force would achieve absolutely nothing. They had already tried military aggression, the largest undercover operation that the United States had embarked on up to that point.
PORTER GOSS, FORMER OPERATIVE AND NEW CIA CHIEF
With respect to the Bush administration’s recent appointment of Congressman Porter Goss of Florida – an former operative of the organization during the 1960s who took part in JM/WAVE’s anti-Cuba activities – as the new head of the CIA, the general questioned the intentions of such an individual.
He thought that this decision could have been taken with a view to “strengthening operative unity, giving prevalence to active units, special commandos, recruiting agents, penetration, sabotage, terrorism¼”
“It’s an age-old practice of U.S. intelligence,” he stated.
Escalante then recalled how at the end of 1974, terrorists Orlando Bosch and Virgilio Paz even went as far as bartering with the Pinochet dictatorship in exchange for recognition of their counterrevolutionary organization: “We’ll kill whoever has to be killed and we’ll plant a bomb wherever we have to put one,” and they planted the bomb on the Cubana passenger plane, they blew up Letelier. They murdered left and right.”
Who could deny that this is a terrorist mafia?” concluded Escalante.