A former lecturer in Havana takes issue with author Brian Latell’s conclusion that Castro knew in advance that Oswald intended to kill JFK
By Arnaldo M. Fernandez
When you believe in things you don’t understand, you’re in trouble. That’s the case of former CIA analyst Dr. Brian Latell and his supporters. After five-years’ research , Dr. Latell asserts in his book Castro’s Secrets: “I believe Florentino Aspillaga had it right: ‘Fidel knew’.”
Dr. Latell means Castro knew Lee Harvey Oswald “was going to shoot at Kennedy.” Therefore, “Castro lied” when he stated on Nov. 23, 1963, “we never in our life heard of him [Oswald],” and when he “issued a second critical denial” in his speech of Nov. 27, 1963.
For catching Castro in these two lies, Dr. Latell starts with a fabrication of his own: “While in Mexico City Oswald had tried to defect to Cuba so he could become a warrior for the bearded man he worshipped.” In the manuscript It Came to Little in the National Archives and Records Administration, the chief of Mexico City’s CIA station, Win Scott, gave the account that Oswald visited the Cuban consulate for getting an in-transit visa to go on with his family from Cuba to the Soviet Union. That’s exactly the information rendered before the House Select Committee on Assassinations by the Cuban outgoing and incoming consuls, Eusebio Azcue and Alfredo Mirabal.
Let’s concede that Dr. Latell was misled; then he would be much obliged if his sources are subjected to a careful review.
According to Dr. Latell, the first reliable indication that Castro lied about Oswald came from Cuban intelligence officer Vladimir Rodriguez (codenamed AMMUG by the CIA). He defected in 1964 and told his CIA handler that Castro had lied because “before, during and after” Oswald’s visits to the Cuban consulate “he was in contact” with the Castro intelligence.
Dr. Latell writes: “It is not clear that any of this incriminating information from a proven and trusted source was shared with the Warren Commission that investigated Kennedy’s murder.” On the contrary, it’s very clear that AMMUG simply didn’t know what he was talking about. He was debriefed again by the CIA for clarification, and the conclusion appears in a memo from March 8, 1964. The source “does not claim to have any significant information concerning the assassination of President Kennedy or about the activities of Oswald.”