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New FBI Cuba Documents

The MFF is pleased to announce the addition of a brand-new document collection obtained from the Assassination Archives and Research Center. The FBI's 109-HQ-12-210 "political matters" file on Cuba, referred to in shorthand as the "Cuba 109 file", is a chronological collection of memos, reports, and other documents created in the mid-1950s and extending into the 1970s. It contains a wealth of information on anti-Castro organizations and activities.

Today the MFF has posted over 10,000 pages of these files, with more to come. Thanks to Jim Lesar and the Assassination Archives and Research Center for their amazing diligence in bringing these important records to light.

View the FBI Cuba 109 Collection

March 20, 2016 Update: This collection has been completed now by the addition of several thousand additional pages. These new documents include correspondence between AARC President James Lesar and various third-party agencies whose documents were represented in this FBI collection. The letters provide a rare gliimpse into the work of a FOIA lawyer, and they are accompanied by thousands of pages of attachments containing released files from the Department of State, Department of Justice, CIA, Air Force, Navy, and other federal agencies. See the correspondence subfolder of the FBI Cuba 109 file.

A Message from AARC President James Lesar:

The AARC is making available important FBI files which shed great light on anti-Castro activities and other matters pertaining to Cuba and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The main file is officially designated 109-HQ-12-210, a "foreign political matters" file on Cuba. It covers a roughly 15-year period in which the FBI reported on activities in Cuba. The AARC obtained tens of thousands of pages of these files from the FBI.

The Cuba 109 files provide a great deal of information about anti-Castro Cuban activites; the composition, actions, and propaganda of Cuban exile organizations, the actions of the Castro government; and the role of American corporations and government officials in the events taking place in Cuba.

According to John Newman, who has studied them closely, these are "extremely valuable documents". Most of them are completely unavailable elsewhere; less than 10% are available at the National Archives and Records Administration or previously online at the Mary Ferrell Foundation.

Because the processing of these records was completed more than a decade ago and they are heavily redacted, the AARC has initiated new FOIA requests for them. When reprocessed records are made provided to the AARC, they will be posted on the AARC and Mary Ferrell websites. The AARC thanks Rex Bradford for his invaluable assistance in using his skills to make these records available to the public in highly usable digital form.

Author John Newman on the Cuba 109 Files:

James Lesar's 1994 request for the FBI HQS and New York FBI Office Cuba (109) files resulted in the release of tens of thousands of pages of records beginning around 2004. These are extremely valuable documents. Most of them are completely unavailable elsewhere. Less than 10% are available at the National Archives and Records Administration and the Mary Ferrell Foundation; however, a great many of these are redacted differently so that combining the different versions results in important breakthroughs for research. I found the Cuba 109 files essential for more than 25 sections in my recent work, Where Angels Tread Lightly.

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