Oswald's Visits to the Cuban and Soviet Embassies
Portion of Warren Commission Exhibit 2564, a copy of the visa application submitted at the Cuban Embassy, featuring a photo of Oswald.
Photo from Warren Commission Exhibits, Volume XXV.
On September 27 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald apparently visited the Cuban and Soviet embassies in an attempt to obtain a visa for travel through Cuba to the Soviet Union (travel to Cuba as a final destination was not permitted by the U.S.). The Soviets told Oswald that he would have to wait months to obtain a visa, and the Cubans told him that without a Soviet visa he could not obtain an "in-transit" visa through Cuba. After a heated argument with a Cuban Consulate official, Oswald departed without succeeding and proceeded to Dallas on October 3.
The simple story told above, largely parroting the Warren Report, is layered with mysteries. While there is some powerful evidence that it was indeed Oswald who appeared at the embassies, most notably the photo shown on the right side of this page which was attached to the visa application, Cuban Consul Azcue told the HSCA that the person he argued with was not Lee Harvey Oswald. Apparently some other consular employees believed the same. While Sylvia Duran, with whom Oswald dealt most directly, believed it was Oswald, even she had described him to interrogators as "short" and "blond."
If it was Oswald, why did the photo surveillance of the Cuban and Soviet Embassies fail to pick up a single picture of him? And why did FBI agents in Dallas, in the wee hours of the morning of November 23, determine that an imposter was using Oswald's name in a taped phone call to the Soviet Embassy at the time of this visit?
The CIA's Mexico City Station sent cables to headquarters in early October, reporting on the Oswald visit. But these cables described a person who is clearly not Oswald, and instead matches a different person picked up on photo surveillance cameras. In response, officers at CIA headquarters in Washington sent a cable back to Mexico City correcting the description, while within hours these same officers passed on the incorrect description to the FBI, State Department, and Navy. When questioned about this in 1994, CIA officer Jane Roman said "I'm signing off on something I know isn't true." Additionally, senior CIA officers, including the Mexico City Station Chief and the Chief of Research and Analysis in CounterIntelligence, have disputed the completeness of the record of cables we now have.
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