Elena Garro de Paz Allegation
Elena Garro de Paz, a Mexican novelist and playwright, alleged that Lee Harvey Oswald had attended a party at the home of Sylvia Duran, the woman who handled Oswald's visa request at the Cuban Consulate.
One of the stories of Communist conspiracy emanating from Mexico City came from Mexican poet and writer Elena Garro de Paz and her daughter Elenita. The origins of this story are murky - the first available documentation dates from after the publication of the Warren Report, but there are indications that it actually originated in the immediate aftermath of the Kennedy assassination.
In October 1964, informant June Cobb told CIA officers that Elena Garro de Paz and her daughter and sister had, in reaction to coverage of the publication of the Warren Report, talked about the party they had attended in the fall of 1963 at the home of cousin Ruben Duran. At that party, Sylvia Duran had supposedly spoken to three American guests who were otherwise standoffish. One of these guests turned out to be Lee Harvey Oswald. Sylvia Duran was the woman who worked in the Cuban Consulate and had handled Oswald's visa request.
Ms. Garro was subsequently interviewed by the FBI, who had trouble corroborating some aspects of the story, and subsequently lost interest. Then, in late 1965, a State Department officer named Charles Thomas heard the story, and became deeply interested in it. His attempts to have the allegations pursued fell on deaf ears. Meanwhile, the story developed a few embellishments not present in writeups of the original version, in particular the presence of a red-haired Negro at the party (reminiscent of the Alvarado allegation).
From the late-arriving and evolving nature of the allegation, and its lack of significant corroboration, it would be easy to dismiss Elena Garro and her daughter as having made the whole thing up. Indeed, Ms. Garro was known for having a gifted imagination. A handwritten note by CIA station chief Win Scott appended to one of the Elena Garro reports made this observation: "She is also nuts."
But there are troubling indications that Elena was telling this story from the time of the assassination, and had been secreted away at an obscure hotel at that time by Mexican authorities. Later investigations indeed found the Garros as having stayed at the Hotel Vermont for several days in the immediate aftermath of the investigation. Furthermore, the exact reasons for the arrest of her cousin Sylvia Duran, whom she "detested," has never been adequately explained. One mystery is why Sylvia Duran's family was picked up by the police as well as Sylvia herself - was this because of a tip-off about the Duran party featuring Oswald as a guest?
The Garro allegation is easy to dismiss - perhaps too easy.
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