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Kennedy and Cuba

It has long been suspected that a relationship exists between the Kennedy assassination and the covert war against Cuba, particularly the U.S. plots to assassinate Fidel Castro. Do the "new files" tell us any more about these matters?

There is certainly an abundance of material about Cuba and anti-Castro operations in the government documents declassified during the 1990s. One of the most disturbing revelations is the plan named Operation Northwoods. Northwoods called for US-sponsored terrorist incidents which could be blamed on Castro and used as a pretext for an invasion of Cuba. New information is also available on the Bay of Pigs, Operation Mongoose, and the Cuban Missile Crisis.

More is known about the " two tracks" of Cuban policy in 1963, where sabotage operations and contingency plans for invasion of Cuba operated in parallel with highly secretive (though not secret) Kennedy-authorized talks which had peaceful co-existence between the U.S. and Cuba as their aim. Simultaneous with these peace feelers, the CIA initiated a new Castro assassination plot. It is not at all clear that this "AMLASH" operation was authorized by the White House.

What about Cuba and the Kennedy assassination? The story here remains complex, with evidence of a relationship strong but largely circumstantial. New books such as Someone Would Have Talked and Ultimate Sacrifice provide synthesis of the new information, and sometimes provocative theories. With the abundance of government records available only in recent years, the full story is not yet written.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the attached Memorandum for the Chief of Operations, Cuba Project, which responds to a request from that office for brief but precise descriptions of pretexts which would provide justification for US military intervention in Cuba...more »

- from 13 March 1962 cover memo accompanying Operation Northwoods proposal.

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