Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Journalist Jean Daniel: "I was with Fidel Castro When JFK was Assassinated" - New Republic 12-7-63

 
Jean Daniel: “I Was with Fidel Castro When JFK was Assassinated” - New Republic December 7, 1963
Fidel Castro: was very sad when JFK was murdered.
Lyndon Johnson:  was deliriously happy when JFK was murdered.
LBJ told many people behind the scenes that Castro murdered JFK and that if we don’t cover this thing up we are going to have WWIII.
Fidel Castro’s speech on the night of 11-23-63, the night after the JFK assassination: http://www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/HWNAU/FC112363.html
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Unofficial Envoy
An Historic Report from Two Capitals
by Jean Daniel
The New Republic
14 December 1963, pp. 15-20
 
A recent trip to the United States, followed by a journey to Cuba, made it possible for me to establish a “dialogue” between the late President Kennedy and Prime Minister Fidel Castro. Since my arrival in Mexico, where this article is being written, I have been asked whether the impressions I derived from these interviews could shed any light on the assassination of the President and on future relations between Lyndon B. Johnson and Castro.

Last week in these pages I answered the first question by describing the reactions of Fidel Castro, with whom I was visiting at the time, to John Kennedy’s death. Here I shall explore the second question by reconstituting the Kennedy-Castro dialogue from the viewpoint of one who was a witness to it.
The Author
 
 
President Kennedy received me at the White House on Thursday, October 24. My appointment had been scheduled for 5:30. I waited in the Cabinet Conference Room, and at 5:45 the President, following his usual custom, came to look for me himself so that he could escort me into his office. He apologized for the delay, not so much as a courtesy or to flatter me, but to explain the scheduling of his time, which seemed to be very strictly organized. As we passed through the small room where his secretary was working, we caught a glimpse of Mrs. Kennedy leaving by a French window on her way to the private garden of the White House. The President called her back to introduce me.
 
It was still Indian summer in Washington. The weather was very warm, and both the President and Mrs. Kennedy were very lightly dressed, thus enhancing the impression of youth, charm, and simplicity which was in rather surprising contrast to the solemnity of entering these august chambers. The President (athletic looking in his well-tailored suit, speaking with quick, abrupt gestures and a mobile expression but, at times, freezing up and becoming disconcertingly, almost, I would say, completely expressionless) invited me to be seated on the semi-circular sofa which was in the middle of his office. He sat in a rocking chair opposite the sofa. The interview was to last from 20 to 25 minutes, and it was interrupted only by a brief telephone call.
 
The President immediately asked me how the French situation was developing. After my reply, he spoke about General de Gaulle. He talked in a relaxed fashion, like someone who has at last found solace in indifference after having long been exasperated and fascinated. John Kennedy was a man who liked to get to the heart of a matter quickly, and make decisions even more rapidly. But this was not possible in dealing with de Gaulle, who is more difficult to handle than Khrushchev. One day, impatient at not understanding the General’s reasoning and intent upon convincing him, Kennedy telephoned de Gaulle direct. All in vain. Oddly enough, however, since the recent visit of de Gaulle’s foreign minister, Couve de Murville, to Washington Mr. Kennedy had ceased to be so deeply concerned about Franco-American relations. The truth is, he had made up his mind not to worry about them any more. According to him, it was a waste of time.
 
“Mr. Couve de Murville and I both verified that we didn’t agree on anything,” the President told me. “And we agreed that such total disagreement was hardly calculated to create a flourishing friendship between two great Western nations. I came to the conclusions that General de Gaulle’s strategy, which is rather incomprehensible to me, requires a certain amount of tension with the United States. It would seem that only through this tension is it possible to restore to Europe the desire to think for itself and renounce its torpid dependence on American dollar aid and political guidance!”
 
President Kennedy went on to sum up, with conciseness and vigor, the points of disagreement between the United States and France. On the subject of Germany, nuclear policy, Europe, the idea of “independence,” he told me what has since become public knowledge. He added, however, that France had a strange way of manifesting its independence, particularly, for example, on the subject of Vietnam and Cuba. It seemed ironic and irritating to him that the French Chief Executive was apparently bent on telling him how the United States should proceed, without assuming any risks himself. He told me that no one was more appreciative than he of advice, information, and even criticism; but that these were all the more valued if the friends proffering them were themselves committed to a program of action.
 
I then asked Mr. Kennedy what could be expected from General de Gaulle’s proposal to visit the United States next February. He replied: “Absolutely nothing.” But he followed this up immediately and with a broad grin, as though savoring in advance the pleasure of the impending meeting: “It will be exciting, just the same. General de Gaulle is an historic figure; he is decidedly the strangest great man of our time.”
 
Relations with Cuba
Taking the initiative at this point, I brought up the subject of Vietnam and Cuba, saying that the Gaullists were not the only ones in France who deplored certain mistaken US policies. I pointed out that the first time I had the opportunity of meeting John Kennedy, he was a Senator and had just made a resounding speech on the subject of Algeria. Had the ideas set forth in that speech been faithfully applied in Saigon and Havana? Here my notes are very specific, and I shall let the late President speak through them.
 
“We haven’t enough time to talk about Vietnam, but I’d like to talk to you about Cuba. Incidentally, our conversation will be much more interesting when you return, because Ben Bradlee [of Newsweek] tells me you are on your way to Cuba now.
 
“Every now and then I read articles in the European press pointing out that we Americans were blind to what was happening in the Cuban situation. I have just learned that General de Gaulle himself regarded Communism in Cuba as nothing but the accidental and temporary form of a will to independence from the United States. Of course it is very easy to understand this ‘will to independence’ around President de Gaulle.”
 
John Kennedy then mustered all his persuasive force. He punctuated each sentence with that brief, mechanical gesture which had become famous:
 
“I tell you this: we know perfectly well what happened in Cuba, to the misfortune of all. From the beginning I personally followed the development of these events with mounting concern. There are few subjects to which I have devoted more painstaking attention. My conclusions go much further than the European analyses. Here is what I believe.
 
“I believe that there is no country in the world, including the African regions, including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime. I believe that we created, built and manufactured the Castro movement out of whole cloth and without realizing it. I believe that the accumulation of these mistakes has jeopardized all of Latin America. The great aim of the Alliance for Progress is to reverse this unfortunate policy. This is one of the most, if not the most, important problems in America foreign policy. I can assure you that I have understood the Cubans. I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption. I will go even further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins. In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.”
 
After a silence during which he was able to note my surprise and my interest, the President continued: “But it is also clear that the problem has ceased to be a Cuban one, and has become international—that is, it has become a Soviet problem. I am the President of the United States and not a sociologist; I am the President of a free nation which has certain responsibilities in the Free World. I know that Castro betrayed the promises made in the Sierra Maestra, and that he has agreed to be a Soviet agent in Latin America. I know that through his fault—either his ‘will to independence’, his madness or Communism—the world was on the verge of nuclear war in October, 1962. The Russians understood this very well, at least after our reaction; but so far as Fidel Castro is concerned, I must say that I don’t know whether he realizes this, or even if he cares about it.” A smile, then: “You can tell me whether he does when you come back. In any case, the nations of Latin America are not going to attain justice and progress that way, I mean through Communist subversion. They won’t get there by going from economic oppression to a Marxist dictatorship which Castro himself denounced a few years ago. The United States now has the possibility of doing as much good in Latin America as it has done wrong in the past; I would even say that we alone have this power—on the essential condition that Communism does not take over there.”
 
Mr. Kennedy then rose to indicate that the interview was over. I apologized for keeping him to ask two quick questions. The first: Could the United States tolerate economic collectivism? He answered: “What about Sekou Touré? And Tito? I received Marshal Tito three days ago, and our discussions were more positive.” Second question: What does the American government expect to gain from the blockade? Is the economic isolation of Cuba a punishment or a political maneuver?
 
Kennedy’s reply: “Are you suggesting that the political effectiveness of the blockade is uncertain [smile]? You will see when you go to Cuba whether it is or not. In any case, we can’t let Communist subversion win in the other Latin American countries. Two dikes are needed to contain Soviet expansion: the blockade on the one hand, a tremendous effort toward progress on the other. This is the problem in a nutshell. Both battles are equally difficult.” (Silence.) Then a last comment: “The continuation of the blockade depends on the continuation of subversive activities.”
 
The interview was over. I did not really wish to suggest anything, since I had never been to Cuba and, on the other hand, I had heard from all sides tales of the privations the Cuban people were suffering owing to their isolated economic situation. But I could see plainly that John Kennedy had doubts, and was seeking a way out.
 
That same evening I recounted this conversation in detail to an American colleague—an intimate friend of President Kennedy, through whom I had obtained this interview—and to the editor of The New Republic. Both my confidants, who knew the President a thousand times better than I, agreed that John F. Kennedy had never before expressed himself so specifically and with such feeling on his understanding of the first phase of the Castro revolution. They hesitated to draw any political conclusions from his remarks. However, they were not surprised at Kennedy’s invitation to come and see him again when I returned from Cuba.
 
In effect, John Kennedy displayed two basic characteristics in his exercise of power: first, an overwhelming degree of empiricism and realism. A man without a particular doctrine, he reacted decisively to events, and only to events. Nothing but the shock of collision with a problem was sufficient to make him come to a decision, and because of this, his decisions were unpredictable. At that point he had a consuming need for information, and this need had increased a great deal since experience had taught him not to rely solely on official channels.
 
After this, I went to Havana.
 
Night Session
In the “Pearl of the Antilles, rum-perfumed and steeped in triumphant sensuality,” as Cuba is described in those American tourist folders still lying about in the hotels of Havana, I spent three closely packed and intensive weeks, but thinking all along that I would never get to meet with Fidel Castro. I talked with farmers, writers and painters, militants and counter-revolutionaries, ministers and ambassadors—but Fidel remained inaccessible. I had been warned: he was snowed under with work; as a result of the hurricane, the Cuban government had been obliged to revise its whole planning program; and then, above all, he no longer had any desire to receive any journalists, least of all Western newsmen. I had practically given up hope when, on the evening of what I thought was to be my departure date (the capricious plane which links Havana with Mexico happily did not leave the next day after all), Fidel came to my hotel. He had heard of my interview with the President. We went up to my room at 10 in the evening and did not leave until 4 in the following morning. Here I shall only recount that part of the interview which constitutes a reply to John F. Kennedy’s remarks.
 
Fidel listened with devouring and passionate interest: he pulled at his beard, yanked his parachutist’s beret down over his eyes, adjusted his maqui tunic, all the while making me the target of a thousand malicious sparks cast by his deep-sunk, lively eyes. At one point I felt as though I were playing the role of that partner with whom I had as strong a desire to confer as to do battle; as though I myself were in a small way that intimate enemy in the White House whom Khrushchev described to Fidel as someone with whom “it is possible to talk.” Three times he had me repeat certain remarks, particularly those in which Kennedy expressed his criticism of the Batista regime, those in which Kennedy showed his impatience with the comments attributed to General de Gaulle, and lastly those in which Kennedy accused Fidel of having almost caused a war fatal to all humanity.
 
When I stopped talking, I expected an explosion. Instead, I was treated to a lengthy silence and, at the end of that silence, to a calm, composed, often humorous, always thoughtful exposition. I don’t know whether Fidel has changed, or whether these cartoons caricaturing him as a ranting madman which appear in the Western press perhaps correspond to a former reality. I only know that at no time during the two complete days I spent with him (and during which a great deal happened), did Castro abandon his composure and poise. Here too, I shall let Castro speak for himself, reserving only the possibility of correcting certain judgments on these two political leaders based on my own experiences in Cuba.
 
“I believe Kennedy is sincere,” Fidel declared. “I also believe that today the expression of this sincerity could have political significance. I’ll explain what I mean. I haven’t forgotten that Kennedy centered his electoral campaign against Nixon on the theme of firmness toward Cuba. I have not forgotten the Machiavellian tactics and the equivocation, the attempts at invasion, the pressures, the blackmail, the organization of a counter-revolution, the blockade and, above everything, all the retaliatory measures which were imposed before, long before there was the pretext and alibi of Communism. But I feel that he inherited a difficult situation; I don’t think that a President of the United States is ever really free, and I believe Kennedy is at present feeling the impact of this lack of freedom. I also believe he now understands the extent to which he has been misled, especially, for example, on Cuban reaction at the time of the attempted Bay of Pigs invasion. I also think he is a realist: he is now registering that it is impossible to simply wave a wand and cause us, and the explosive situation throughout Latin America, to disappear.
 
Why the Missiles Were Installed
“There is one point on which I want to give you new information right away. I have refrained from doing this until now; but today an attempt is being made to frighten all mankind by propagating the idea that Cuba, and in particular I, might provoke a nuclear war, so I feel the world should know the true story of the missile emplacement.
 
“Six months before these missiles were installed in Cuba, we had received an accumulation of information that a new invasion of the island was being prepared under sponsorship of the Central Intelligence Agency, whose administrators were humiliated by the Bay of Pigs disaster and by the spectacle of being ridiculed in the eyes of the world and berated in US government circles. We also knew that the Pentagon was vesting the CIA preparations with the mantle of its authority, but we had doubts as to the attitude of the President. There were those among our informants who even thought it would suffice to alert the President and give him cause for concern in order to arrest these preparations. Then one day Khrushchev’s son-in-law, Adzhubei, came to pay us a visit before going on to Washington at the invitation of Kennedy’s associates. Immediately upon arriving in Washington, Adzhubei had been received by the American Chief Executive, and their talk centered particularly on Cuba. A week after this interview, we received in Havana a copy of Adzhubei’s report to Khrushchev. It was this report which triggered the whole situation.
 
“What did Kennedy say to Adzhubei? Now listen to this carefully, for it is very important: he had said that the new situation in Cuba was intolerable for the United States, that the American government had decided it would not tolerate it any longer; he had said that peaceful coexistence was seriously compromised by the fact that ‘Soviet influences’ in Cuba altered the balance of strength, was destroying the equilibrium agreed upon and [at this point Castro emphasized his statement by pronouncing each syllable separately] Kennedy reminded the Russians that the United States had not intervened in Hungary, which was obviously a way of demanding Russian non-intervention in the event of a possible invasion. To be sure, the actual word ‘invasion’ was not mentioned and Adzhubei, at the time, lacking any background information, could not draw the same conclusions as we did. But when we communicated to Khrushchev all our previous information, the Russians too began to interpret the Kennedy-Adzhubei conversation as we saw it and they went to the source of our information. By the end of a month, the Russian and Cuban governments had reached the definite conviction that an invasion might take place from one moment to the next. This is the truth.
 
“What was to be done? How could we prevent the invasion? We found that Khrushchev was concerned about the same things that were worrying us. He asked us what we wanted. We replied: do whatever is needed to convince the United States that any attack on Cuba is the same as an attack on the Soviet Union. And how to realize this objective? All our thinking and discussions revolved around this point. We thought of a proclamation, an alliance, conventional military aid. The Russians explained to us that their concern was twofold: first, they wanted to save the Cuban revolution (in other words, their socialist honor in the eyes of the world), and at the same time they wished to avoid a world conflict. They reasoned that if conventional military aid was the extent of their assistance, the United States might not hesitate to institute an invasion, in which case Russia would retaliate and this would inevitably touch off a world war.”
 
At this point I interrupted to ask how Cuba could have been absolutely certain of Soviet intervention. After all, I said, Stalin certainly “let down” Markos, the Chief of the Greek Communist Resistance, because such help would have conflicted with prevailing zones of influence.
 
“I know,” Castro replied, “but the two situations cannot be compared.” Then he continued:
 
“Russia was much too deeply committed to us. Moreover, since then we have had every proof of the immense solidarity of the Soviet people and its leaders. You can see for yourself how clearly this solidarity is manifest here. Then there is something else, specifically apropos of Stalin. When I was in the USSR and others, outside Russia, were reproaching Khrushchev for taking a more conciliatory stand than Stalin toward the capitalists, Khrushchev confided to me several examples, which I will not repeat to you, illustrating the prudence, even the abdication of Stalin. He told me—and I believe him—that Stalin would never have emplaced missiles in Cuba.
 
“It is true that it was said then by other factions that the real reason for installing the missiles was because certain internal problems were driving the Russians to use us to provoke the United States. I am here to tell you that the Russians didn’t want and do not today want war. One only need visit them on their home territory, watch them at work, share their economic concerns, admire their intense efforts to raise the workers’ standard of living, to understand right away that they are far, very far, from any idea of provocation or domination. However, Soviet Russia was confronted by two alternatives: an absolutely inevitable war (because of their commitments and their position in the socialist world), if the Cuban revolution was attacked; or the risk of a war if the United States, refusing to retreat before the missiles, would not give up the attempt to destroy Cuba. They chose socialist solidarity and the risk of war.
 
“Under these circumstances, how could we Cubans have refused to share the risks taken to save us? It was, in the final analysis, a question of honor, don’t you agree? Don’t you believe that honor plays a role in politics? You think we are romantics, don’t you? Perhaps we are. And why not? In any event, we are militants. In a word, then, we agreed to the emplacement of the missiles. And I might add here that for us Cubans it didn’t really make so much difference whether we died by conventional bombing or by a hydrogen bomb. Nevertheless, we were not gambling with the peace of the world. The United States was the one to jeopardize the peace of mankind by using the threat of a war to stifle revolutions.
 
“And so in June, 1962, my brother Raoul and Che Guevara went to Moscow to discuss ways and means of installing the missiles. The convoy arrived by sea in three weeks. The United States was able to find out that weapons were being shipped in, of course; but it took them two months to discover that these weapons were guided missiles. Two months . . . in other words, longer than we had calculated. Because, of course, we were seeking intimidation, not aggression.”
 
Alliance for Progress
The conversation now turned to the Alliance for Progress. “In a way,” Castro said, “it was a good idea, it marked progress of a sort. Even if it can be said that it was overdue, timid, conceived on the spur of the moment, under constraint . . . despite all that I am willing to agree that the idea in itself constituted an effort to adapt to the extraordinarily rapid course of events in Latin America. Such as, for example, what we read in the papers this morning—did you see the news? That Argentina is nationalizing the oil industry? The Argentine government! Do you realize what that means? This will cause more commotion on the New York stock exchange than Castroism! The Catholic and military conservatives of Argentina, the factions most closely linked with American interests! There is talk of nationalization of industries there, of agrarian reform there . . . well and good! If the Alliance for Progress provokes these developments, then it’s not doing so badly; all these things are consonant with the aspirations of the people. I can look back to the days of Eisenhower, or rather of Nixon, and recall the furore which broke out when the United States and Cuba together decreed an agrarian reform which was to apply, mark this well, only to landowners of over 200,000 hectares! Yet the reaction of the trusts was terrible at that time. Nowadays, in the other Latin American countries, because the Communist banner is used as a bogeyman, the reaction of the American trusts is shrewder. They are going to choose strawmen, so as to rule indirectly. But there will be difficulties.
 
“This is why Kennedy’s good ideas aren’t going to yield any results. It is very easy to understand and at this point he surely is aware of this because, as I told you, he is a realist. For years and years American policy—not the government, but the trusts and the Pentagon—has supported the Latin American oligarchies. All the prestige, the dollars, and the power was held by a class which Kennedy himself has described in speaking of Batista. Suddenly a President arrives on the scene who tries to support the interests of another class (which has no access to any of the levers of power) to give the various Latin American countries the impression that the United States no longer stands behind the dictators, and so there is no more need to start Castro-type revolutions. What happens then? The trusts see that their interests are being a little compromised (just barely, but still compromised); the Pentagon thinks the strategic bases are in danger; the powerful oligarchies in all the Latin American countries alert their American friends; they sabotage the new policy; and in short, Kennedy has everyone against him. The few liberal or allegedly liberal presidents who were chosen as instruments of the new policy are swept out of office, like Bosch in Santo Domingo, or else they are transformed. Betancourt, for example, was not a Batista; now he has become one.
 
“In view of all these things, how can the American government seriously believe that Cuban subversion is at the root of explosions taking place all over the South American continent? In Venezuela, for example, are you familiar with the situation there? Do you think the Venezuelans need us to understand what’s going on in their country? Do you think we don’t have enough problems of our own? Right now I ask only one thing: Leave us in peace to better our country’s economic situation, to put our planning into effect, to educate our young compañeros. This doesn’t mean we do not feel solidarity toward nations that are struggling and suffering, like the Venezuelan people. But it is up to those nations to decide what they want, and if they choose other regimes than ours, that isn’t our business.”
 
“We have Always Lived with Danger”
I asked Fidel where is this all going to end? How will the situation develop? Even if the United States uses against you what you call the alibi of Communism, it still remains true that you have chosen Communism, that your economy and your security depend on the Soviet Union, and that even if you have no ulterior motives in this association, still the United States considers that you are part of an international strategy, that you constitute a Soviet base in a world where peace depends on mutual respect for a tacit division of zones of influence.
 
“I don’t want to discuss our ties with the Soviet Union,” Fidel Castro cut me short. “I find this indecent. We have none but feelings of fraternity and profound, total gratitude toward the USSR. The Russians are making extraordinary efforts on our behalf, efforts which sometimes cost them dear. Be we have our own policies which are perhaps not always the same (we have proved this!) as those of the USSR. I refuse to dwell on this point, because asking me to say that I am not a pawn on the Soviet chessboard is something like asking a woman to shout aloud in the public square that she is not a prostitute.
 
“If the United States sees the problem as you have posed it, then you are right, there is no way out. But who is the loser in the last analysis? They have tried everything against us, everything, absolutely everything, and we are still alive and getting better day by day; we are still standing upright, and we plan to celebrate with greater festivities than usual, on January 1, 1964, the fifth anniversary of the Cuban Revolution! The United States’ policy of isolating us economically is less effective with each passing day; we are increasing our trade with the rest of the world. Even with Spain! We have just sold a shipment of 300,000 tons of sugar to the Spaniards. Far from discouraging us, the blockade is maintaining the revolutionary atmosphere we need to stiffen the country’s backbone. Are we in danger? We have always lived with danger. To say nothing of the fact that you have no idea how many friends one discovers in the world when one is persecuted by the United States. No, truly, for all these reasons, we are not suppliants, we ask nothing. I’ll tell you something else: since the rupture and the blockade, we have forgotten the United States. We feel neither hatred nor resentment any more, we simply don’t think about the US. When I think of the problems which diplomatic relations with the United States would pose! The Swiss Ambassador is representing the US at present. I prefer to do business with him than with 200 members of an Embassy among whom surely some spies would be spotted.
 
“I have just talked to you as a Cuban revolutionary. But I should also speak to you as a peace lover, and from this viewpoint I believe the United States is too important a country not to have an influence on world peace. I cannot help hoping, therefore, that a leader will come to the fore in North America (why not Kennedy, there are things in his favor!), who will be willing to brave unpopularity, fight the trusts, tell the truth and most important, let the various nations act as they see fit. I ask nothing: neither dollars, nor assistance, nor diplomats, nor bankers, nor military men—nothing but peace, and to be accepted as we are! We are socialists, the United States is a capitalist nation, the Latin American countries will choose what they want. All the same, at a time when the United States is selling wheat to the Russians, Canada is trading with China, de Gaulle respects Ben Bella, why should it be impossible to make the Americans understand that socialism leads, not to hostility toward them, but to coexistence? Why am I not Tito or Sekou Touré? Because the Russians have never done us any injury such as the Yugoslavians and the Guineans have complained of in the past, and because the Americans have never given us any of the benefits for which these two nations congratulate themselves today.
 
“As to this matter of fearing Soviet intentions in Latin America through Cuba’s subversive activities, this is just attributing to others one’s own desire to dominate. You said yourself just a little while ago that the Russians had had enough of their Cuban involvement. Economically this is obvious. This is why, speaking from a military viewpoint, it is better not to force nations to turn to the Russians for help. Really, it seems to me that a man like Kennedy is capable of seeing that it is not in the United States’ interest to pursue a policy which can lead only to a stalemate. So far as we are concerned, everything can be restored to normalcy on the basis of mutual respect of sovereignty.”
 
In conclusion, Fidel Castro said to me: “Since you are going to see Kennedy again, be an emissary of peace, despite everything. I want to make myself clear: I don’t want anything, I don’t expect anything, and as a revolutionary the present situation does not displease me. But as a man and as a statesman, it is my duty to indicate what the bases for understanding could be.”
 
All this was said two days before President Kennedy’s death.
 
© USA: The New Republic and Jean Daniel
 
Concerning the Facts and Consequences
of the Tragic Death of
President John F. Kennedy
November 23rd, 1963

by Fidel Castro

Always, when something very important has happened, national or international, we have thought it desirable to speak to the people, to express our opinions. And in every such case to express the orientation of the Government, the orientation of our Party, so that each one of us all know the attitude we should adopt in each one of these situations.
 
It is true that we are somewhat accustomed to various types of unexpected events, important, serious events, because since the victory of the Revolution our country has had to face a series of problems, a series of situations that have prepared the people to carry forward their victorious revolution.
 
Therefore, because of the events of yesterday in the United States in which the President was murdered, because of the repercussion these events can have, because of the role that the United States plays in the problems of international policy, because of this, we believe that we should make a specially objective and calm analysis of these events and of their possible consequences.
 
The government of the United States, the former administration of Eisenhower and the Kennedy administration, did not practice precisely a policy of friendship toward us. The policy of both administrations was characterized by its aggressive, hostile, and implacable spirit toward our country.
 
Our country was the victim of economic aggressions intended to cause the ruin of our economy and the starvation of our people; it was the victim of all kinds of attacks that caused bloodshed; hundreds of our compatriots have lost their lives, defending themselves from attacks of U.S. imperialism, and not only this. The hostility and the aggressiveness of U.S. imperialism toward our country took us to the brink of war which was fortunately avoided, took the world to the brink of thermonuclear war.
 
And even when we were not facing a situation like the crisis of October, and the time of the invasion of Giron [Bay of Pigs], we — were all perfectly aware that if the plots they were planning against our country had been carried through, that is to say, if imperialism had been able to establish a beachhead on our shores, that struggle would have cost our people tens of thousands, and perhaps even hundreds of thousands of lives.
 
We have been victims of the constant hostility of the United States And among the rulers and the leading men of the United States, there falls on Kennedy an important responsibility in these events.
 
Nevertheless, the news of the murder of the President of the United States is serious news and bad news. We should analyze it thoroughly in order to understand it; above all, analyze it serenely and dispassionately, as revolutionaries should analyze these things.
 
I say it is bad news, leaving aside the human question, in that the sensitivity of man, any man, is affected by an act of this nature, by a crime, by a murder. I say that leaving these questions aside, I always react and I am sure that this is the reaction of the immense majority of human beings — we always react with repulsion toward murder and toward crime.
 
We cannot consider this to be a correct weapon of struggle — no, we cannot consider that. Above all under the conditions in which it happened, because — like all these things — it is always necessary to consider the atmosphere, the things, the circumstances.
 
In other settings, under other circumstances, whatever they may be in a normal situation, in a peaceful situation, a deed of this nature is never justifiable. Especially in the middle of a crowd, in the presence of women, all these things, which above all — I say — are the circumstances that lead us to take a condemnatory attitude toward something, even though some deeds of a political nature, some crimes of a political nature, may or may not be justified.
 
In the circumstances that surrounded the assassination of President Kennedy, we believe it has no justification.
 
But analyzing the question from the political, objective point of view, I also said it was serious news, bad news.
 
And some will ask why? Why precisely the Cubans, who have received so many aggressions on the part of the United States, from the Kennedy Administration itself, why can they say that it is bad news, why can they take an attitude of this kind in the face of this news? But in the first place we Cubans must react as revolutionaries. In the second place, we Cubans, as conscious revolutionaries, should not confuse men with systems. And we have to begin by considering that we do not hate men, we hate systems.
 
We hate the imperialist system, we hate the capitalist system, but this does not mean that we hate men as such, as individuals, part of a machine, a more or less important part of a system.
 
So we should not confuse hatred of a system with the sentiment we should harbor toward men, which is a different sentiment; it is not a sentiment of hatred, and much less a sentiment of hatred which in a case like this would be despicable.
 
As Marxist-Leninists, we know that the role of man is a relative role in each historical epoch, in each society, at each given moment, and we should know the role that man plays in each society. And above all it is a question of elemental principle: we do not hate men, we hate systems.
 
We would be happy at the death of a system; the disappearance of a system would always make us happy. The victory of a revolution always makes us happy.
 
The death of a man, even though this man may be our enemy, does not make us happy. In the first place, this should be our attitude as a matter of principle.
 
And further it is very characteristic of us Cubans, of Latins, of Spanish-Americans — who are a mixture of races with certain characteristics — that death always ends our animosity. We always bow with respect in the face of death, even though it may be the death of an enemy.
 
But then, I said that the deed itself could have very negative repercussions on the interests of our country. But it is not the interests of our country in this case but the interests of the whole world that are involved. We must know how to place the interests of mankind above the interests of our country. I consider it a negative event for the interests of mankind. And I am going to explain why.
 
Because in certain international political situations, at a given moment, there can be bad situations or worse situations. The death of President Kennedy has all the perspectives involved in going from a bad situation to a worse situation: the possibility exists that from a determined situation, another situation could unfold and develop that could be highly damaging to the interests of peace, to the interests of mankind.
 
Why? Do we perhaps think that the United States holds a defensible political position in the international field? No, the international policy of the United States cannot be defended. Its policy of aggression, policy of violating the rights of other nations, of interference in the internal affairs of other countries, of domination, of repression, of bloodshed, of alliance with the most reactionary sectors of the world, of participation in bloody wars against the people who struggle for their liberation — as in the case of South Vietnam — its attitude towards the people of Latin America, its attitude towards us, and finally its international position, is in no way defensible from the moral point of view.
 
However, within American society and within the policy of the United States, there are supporters of a much more reactionary policy, of a policy much more aggressive, much more warlike.
 
And the whole condition of the internal policy of the United States, the internal struggle for power in the United States, the currents that struggle within the United States, the assassination of President Kennedy, tend to convert the present policy of the United States into a worse policy and to aggravate the evils of U.S. policy.
 
That is to say that there are elements in the United States who defend a more reactionary policy in every field, in international and internal policy, and these are the sole elements who can benefit from the events that occurred yesterday in the United States.
 
Why? Because in the United States a number of forces, a number of very powerful bodies within U.S. society, very much influenced by big interests in the United States, have been developing, and there is no doubt that a U.S. President possessing the highest authority implies a situation less serious than a President without the highest authority, in such a situation.
 
A President is a political man, who should take into account many factors, advice, opinions, and influences, who is eminently political, who without doubt, behaves differently in general than those who we might say are not professional politicians, who have other professions, other interests, and those political reactions are always the worst reactions.
 
In the United States there are a number of powerful forces: economic, political, military. Many of these forces have a fixed policy and more than once we have spoken of this problem. Take the clash, for instance, between the political currents of the State Department and the military currents of the Pentagon. We have often seen the manifestations of this struggle in Latin America, how there are currents in the United States, above all military currents that support the policy of military coups, and there are political currents that defend another type of policy — not that it is a good policy, but clothed in a civilian government, even pseudo-liberal.
 
Unquestionably when [there] is a recognized, accepted, strong authority in the United States, the dangers that arise from the struggle of a whole series of reactionary currents within the powerful organizations of the United States are much less than when this authority does not exist. And without any shadow of doubt, Kennedy had this authority in the United States.
 
Now, suddenly a new situation is created, where a President who, because of circumstances in which he holds power, that in being Vice President, and then because of an unexpected circumstance becoming President of the Republic, independent of what his character may be, because here it is not a question of the character of the person or his personality, but [because] of the circumstances, does not come to power with the same personal authority as President Kennedy had. And therefore a question begins to arise in respect to the influence within all those forces, of the new authority who assumes power, of the new President who takes over the reins of Government.
 
In the United States there are very reactionary currents, racist currents, that is to say opposed to the demand for the civil and social rights of the Negro population, Klu Klux Klan people, who lynch, who kill and use dogs, who bitterly hate all Negro citizens in the United States, who nurture a brutal hatred. Those naturally are the ultra-reactionary.
 
In the United States there are economic forces, powerful economic interests, just as ultra-reactionary, who have a completely reactionary position on all international problems. In the United States there are forces that support an increased intervention by the United States [in] international questions, a greater use of the U.S. military in international questions. There are, for example, currents in the United States that are intransigent supporters of the direct invasion of our country.
 
In the United States there are partisans of the application of drastic measures against any government that adopts the smallest measure of a nationalist character, of an economic character that benefits its country.
 
And finally, there are a number of groups that can all be included in one concept: the ultra-right in the United States, the ultra-reaction in the United States, and this ultra-reaction in each and every one of the internal and external problems of the United States is an advocate of the worst procedure, of the most aggressive and most dangerous and most reckless policy against peace.
 
In the United States there are also liberal currents, some more liberal, some more advanced, other less advanced. There are some men on the right who are more radical, and other more moderate. There are certain intellectual sectors that are not constantly thinking in terms of force, but are thinking along lines of diplomacy, instead of force, who have a less aggressive policy — a more moderate policy.
 
That is to say, in the United States there is a whole range of political thinking that runs from men of the extreme right to men of the extreme left, men who are more to the left in their political thinking.
 
And in this situation there is a variety of opinion, of more or less moderate attitudes. There are liberals, intellectual sectors of the United States who understand the errors in the policy of the United States, who are not in agreement with many of the things that the United States has done in international policy.
 
And what happened yesterday can only benefit those ultra-rightist and ultra-reactionary sectors, among which President Kennedy or some of the men who worked with him cannot be included. They could not be placed in the extreme reaction — in the extreme right.
 
And even within the situation in the United States, within the policy of the United States, which as a whole is indefensible, Kennedy was strongly attacked by the most reactionary, most aggressive, and most war-like circles.
 
You will recall that on the eve of the October crisis of last year, there was a whole campaign, with great pressure, including laws and resolutions in Congress, pushing Kennedy [and] the Administration towards war, trying to create a situation of imperative action.
 
Everybody will recall that on other occasions, we have stated that one of the political errors of Kennedy in respect to Cuba was to have played the game of his enemies. For example, to have continued the invasion plans against Cuba that the Republican administration had organized.
 
And out of all this arose the possibility in the United States for a policy of blackmail on the part of the Republicans. That is, Kennedy presented the Republicans with the weapon of Cuba. How? He continued the aggressive policy of the Republicans, and they used it as a political weapon against him.
 
But at times very strong campaigns, powerful movements within the United States Congress pressed the Administration for a more aggressive policy against us. All those factors and all these forces on the extreme right in the United States fought Kennedy very hard precisely on those points in which he did not agree with the extreme aggressive policy called for by these sectors.
 
There are a number of issues that gave rise to constant criticism by these ultra-right sectors. For instance, the Cuban problem, the agreement reached at the time of the October Crisis not to invade Cuba, one of the points in Kennedy’s policy most consistently attacked by the ultra-reactionary sectors. The agreement on the ending of nuclear tests was another point very much debated within the United States, and it had the most resolute and fierce opposition of the most ultra-reactionary.
 
Elements in the United States were against agreements of this type.
 
Everyone knows what our position was on this problem. Everyone also knows the reason for our position, regardless of the fact that we consider that this was a step forward that could mark the beginning of a policy of lasting peace, in favor of true disarmament, but a policy that was never applied in our case. Because while the nuclear test ban treaty was being signed, the policy of aggression against Cuba was accentuated.
 
But we are not now analyzing the problem in relation to what happened in our case, but in relation to what was happening in the world, and above all in relation to what some were doing and others thinking in the United States.
 
That is to say, there were many sectors in the United States, many ultra-reactionary elements that carried out a fierce campaign against the nuclear test ban treaty.
 
There are other elements in the United States that violently opposed the legislation of civil rights proposed by Kennedy regarding the Negro problem in the United States.
 
We are not dealing with the case of a revolutionary law or of a great effort, because this great effort in favor of equality and civil rights, especially in favor of the rights of the U.S. Negroes, has not been made in the United States. But be that as it may it was legislation that contained a series of measures that, from a legal point of view, tended to protect the rights of the Negro population. This legislation was blocked and held back by the strong opposition of the most reactionary sectors in the United States, of those sectors in favor of racial discrimination.
 
And thus, on a whole series of issues of international policy, there are in the United States elements that support a preventive nuclear war, who are in favor of launching a surprise nuclear war, because they stubbornly think that this should be the policy of the United States. Reactionary and neo-fascist elements without any consideration whatsoever for the most elementary rights of nations or the interests of mankind.
 
And it is a strictly objective fact that there are such types of capitalists, such types of reactionaries. And there is no doubt that the worst type of capitalism is nazism; the worst type of imperialism was nazism. And the most criminal mentality was the mentality of imperialism in its nazi form. And so there is a whole series of degrees in these questions.
 
So analyzing the question objectively, whenever a strong accepted personal authority is lacking in the situation, ways and conditions in which U.S. policy is carried out, all these reactionary forces find a magnificent opportunity, and in fact are finding a magnificent opportunity, to unleash their unbridled and ultra-reactionary policy.
 
And these are the sectors, the currents, the only ones that could benefit by an event such as the one that occurred yesterday in the United States.
 
This is analyzing the automatic result of this event. Independent of another aspect of the question: What is behind the assassination of Kennedy? What were the real motives for the assassination of Kennedy? What forces, factors, circumstances were at work behind this sudden and unexpected event that occurred yesterday?
 
News that took everyone by surprise, something that possibly no one had even imagined.
 
Even up to this moment, the events that led to the murder of the President of the United States continue to be confused, obscure, and unclear.
 
And there are some things which are clear symptoms of what I have been saying: that the most reactionary forces in the United States are at large.
 
For instance, the worst symptom is the advantage they are taking of the event to unleash within the United States a state of anti-Soviet hysteria and of anti-Cuban hysteria; this, in the first place. It means that the new administration that is taking over may find itself facing a situation of hysteria, unleashed in the United States, precisely by the most reactionary sector of the country, by the most reactionary press, with the great resources that powerful political currents have within the United States.
 
That is to say that already they are combining to create a frame of mind in the U.S. public opinion, and its worst characteristic is that they are waging a campaign in the worst McCarthyite spirit, in the worst anti-communist spirit.
 
At the time of President Kennedy’s murder, it ran through the minds of most people . . . and surely it ran through the minds of the large majority of U.S. citizens, and this was only logical — that President Kennedy’s assassination was the work of some elements who disagreed with his international policy; that is to say, with his nuclear treaty, with his policy with respect to Cuba — which they did not consider aggressive enough, and which they considered weak — with his policy with respect to internal civil problems of the United States. Not many days ago, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Adlai Stevenson was attacked in the same city of Dallas by ultra-conservative elements of the John Birch Society and counter-revolutionary elements in league with them. This event drew the attention of us all.
 
I even thought, what degree of reaction will those people reach, when they consider that Stevenson deserves attack for his international policy?
 
In spite of how reactionary U.S. international policy has been, there are elements who physically assault Stevenson, because they consider that U.S. policy is a weak policy, a bad policy, that it is not a sufficiently reactionary policy.
 
This ran through everybody’s mind. Did it run through the mind of anyone that it might be a leftist? No, that did not occur to anyone. Why? Because the controversy within the United States today, the fierce controversy was taking place between the most ultra-reactionary elements, the ultra-right elements, and the more moderate elements of U.S. politics.
 
The internal controversy was not characterized by a struggle of the communists of the United States with the Government of the United States; it was not characterized by a struggle of leftist elements or liberal elements. This does not mean that the leftist elements supported Kennedy’s policy; but the struggle, the battle waged without quarter was taking place within the United States between the extreme right, the extreme reaction, and the more moderate elements, in Congress, in the press, on the streets, everywhere.
 
International tension had even diminished considerably in recent months. These months were not months like the October crisis, not like the months following the October crisis. . . . The United States was not living through one of those stages of McCarthyism characterized by unbridled persecution of the most progressive elements of the United States. No, there have been other stages in which the struggle is between reaction and the progressives. The main task of reaction was to persecute the progressive elements, and in such circumstances one might think that a progressive, persecuted by blood and fierce, a fanatic haunted by his ideas, might be capable of reacting in such a way. No, the United States was not living through such a period. It was not living through a period of unbridled McCarthyism. It was living through a period of fierce controversy between the more moderate sectors — among which can be found many of Kennedy’s collaborators — and the ultra-reactionary sector of American society.
 
Therefore, it was neither logical, nor reasonable, that anyone could think that it could be a leftist fanatic; in any case it would be a rightist fanatic, if it was a fanatic at all.
 
But naturally it was very difficult in the face of an event of this nature for such unscrupulous people — like many U.S. politicians — such immoral people, such dishonest and shameless people as are many of those elements who represent the reactionary cynical sectors of the United States, warmongers, irreconcilable enemies of Cuba, supporters of an invasion of Cuba — although this might be at the cost of thermonuclear war — it was very difficult for them not to try to take advantage of this circumstance to turn all their hatred, all their propaganda and all their campaign against Cuba.
 
This did not surprise us. I have already said that we were somewhat used to these things. The struggle, life, have made our people into a people with iron nerves, a serene people. We have just lived through the hurricane, and we faced the test with dignity and honor, we have faced many tests with dignity and honor. We foresaw that from these incidents there could be a new trap, an ambush, a Machiavellian plot against our country; that on the very blood of their assassinated President there might be unscrupulous people who would begin to work out immediately an aggressive policy against Cuba, if the aggressive policy had not been linked beforehand to the assassination, if it was not linked, because it might or might not have been. But there is no doubt that this policy is being built on the still warm blood and the unburied body of their own tragically assassinated President.
 
They are people who do not have an iota of morality; they are people who do not have an iota of scruples; they are people who do not have an iota of shame; who perhaps may believe that in the shadow of the tragedy they can take us off guard, demoralized, weak, the kind of beliefs into which the imperialists always so mistakenly fall. And sure enough, yesterday at 2 P.M. the first cable: November 22, UPI . . . because we should note this; that of the news agencies, one has been more moderate, more objective — the AP — and there is another that has been excessively and unrestrainedly untruthful, a shameless promoter of a policy and a campaign of slander against Cuba, that is UPI. But that is not all, because there is a previous series of very interesting UPI reports, and even a series of UPI campaigns against President Kennedy himself, which links the news agency with the ultra-right groups, which are interested in taking advantage of the situation for their adventurous and warlike policy, or because these circles are connected with the assassination of President Kennedy.
 
And we can see this clearly through the cables: “Dallas, November 22, UPI — today the police arrested Lee H. Oswald, identified as the chairman of the Fair Play for Cuba Committees, as the main suspect in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.” Right away Cuba and right away the Soviet Union. And so they dedicated themselves to carrying out a fierce anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban campaign.
 
Cable: “The U.S. Embassy today confirmed that Lee H. Oswald was in the Soviet Union. An Embassy official stated that Oswald visited the Embassy in November of 1959 and according to available information he left the Soviet Union in 1962. He added that it was not known when the man suspected of killing President John F. Kennedy had traveled to the Soviet Union, what the purpose of his trip had been and how long he had stayed in the Soviet Union. There were unconfirmed reports that Oswald asked for Soviet citizenship and that he could not get it.”
 
Thus, from the very first cables there is an attempt to suggest the responsibility of the Soviet Union and the responsibility of Cuba, as if anyone could believe — anyone who is not a half-wit — and has a little common sense — that any Government, the Soviet government or the Cuban Government . . . and if they don’t want to believe us, they don’t have to believe us; that is unimportant. Perhaps they will think that we are hot-headed; perhaps they feel that they have carried out too many aggressions against us, but to suggest that the Soviet Union could have any responsibility in this incident . . . can anyone believe that to suggest that we could have had any responsibility . . . can anyone believe that? Anyone who is not a half-wit, who has a little common sense, who knows when men are working for a cause and who know which roads lead a cause to victory?
 
Yet, nevertheless, this was the first thing they tried to suggest. Listen to this cable “that they did not know the purpose of his trip and how long he stayed in the Soviet Union.” That was the first insinuation. And that was what made all this seem suspicious, because it so happened that the most unexpected thing — as unexpected as the assassination itself — was that immediately a suspect appeared who — by a coincidence — had been in Russia, and — what a coincidence — he is related to a Fair Play for Cuba Committee. That is what they began to say. And so, immediately a guilty person appeared: a suspect who had been in the Soviet Union and who sympathized with Cuba.
 
Of course, although it is extraordinarily difficult to manufacture a frame-up of this nature, it is possible that at this moment they are not pursuing such an objective. They are pursuing another objective, because they cannot invent just any kind of responsibility.
 
They are trying to organize a campaign of hysteria, to excite the minds of the people and unleash hysteria within the United States; an anti-communist, anti-progressive, anti-liberal, anti-Soviet, anti-Cuban warmongering hysteria within the United States. If they had the slightest sense of responsibility, of seriousness, or of good faith, they would not unleash a campaign of this nature, as they have done, as can be seen in all the cables.
 
Let us read this one: “November 22, UPI — The assassin of President Kennedy is an admitted Marxist who spent three years in Russia trying to renounce his U.S. citizenship, but later changed his mind and got a return trip to the United States paid for by the United States Government.” That is already a suggestion of blame to the Soviet Union. He was identified as Lee H. Oswald, 24 years old, ex-U.S. marine and chairman of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
 
So, right after that, the insinuation against Cuba. And this is how they have begun all cables, all UPI cables, all reports, Through the reports they have twenty times repeated the same idea and the same thing, using a well-known technique at which they are masters — to insinuate what they want to insinuate, to sow the suspicion that they want to sow over this affair, to slander the Cuban Revolution, to slander the Soviet Union, to create hysteria against our countries.
 
It says: “Oswald was captured after a shooting fray when he hid in a movie house” . . . Thousands of reports came in on this, many of them contradictory.
 
“. . . The police say that Oswald worked in a school textbook warehouse in Texas . . . after the crime the police found a Mauser rifle in the building,” etc. . . . It says where he was born, it says that on October the 30th he turned up at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, on October 30th of 1959, and told the officials that he wanted to give up his American citizenship.
 
“According to reports, he told the Embassy officials: ‘I am a Marxist.’ The Federal Bureau of Investigations confirmed that Oswald went to Russia and requested Soviet citizenship.
 
“Oswald told the Embassy officials that he intended to disclose to the Soviet authorities everything he knew from the three years he had been in the Marine Corps.”
 
Listen to that: “Oswald told the Embassy officials that he intended to disclose to the Soviet authorities everything he knew from three years he had been in the U.S. Marine Corps. The Embassy officials said that Russia never granted Oswald the citizenship he requested.”
 
Already they have in their hands a guilty person — true or false? They have already produced someone who is guilty. They have him. And now look: you will see the whole course followed by this campaign.
 
“. . . He told the officials that he intended to disclose all the secrets he knew.” Well, later I will refer to that again.
 
In February, 1962 Oswald apparently changed his mind and returned to the United States. He had in the meantime married a Russian, Marina, had a child. This man, who is charged with something more than desertion, with being a spy, with confessing that he is going to disclose military secrets, simply returned peacefully to the United States — according to them.
 
It says: “The Embassy officials went over the case and since he had not been granted Soviet citizenship, they decided to give him a passport for the United States . . .”
 
Can anyone who has said that he will disclose military secrets return to.the United Sates without being arrested, tried, without being sent to jail?
 
It says: “Government records show that he left Moscow with 485 dollars for expenses, which the United States Government gave to him.
 
“This year Oswald requested another passport. He told the State Department that he wanted to visit England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, and the Soviet Union; he said he planned to make a trip in October or December 1963, or in January of 1964. The passport was issued in New Orleans on June 25th; however, it is not known whether Oswald returned the money that was loaned to him for the first return trip to the United States.
 
“If he did not pay, the new passport should not have been issued,” they say. We will use their own reports:
 
“Dallas, November 22 — another cable — the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was shot to death today. The police arrested, as the main suspect of the murder, a pro-Castro American” . . .
 
Now we find that the man who murdered Kennedy is pro-Castro. We know there are very few pro-Castros — what they call “pro-Castros” in the United States.
 
They call them “pro-Castro.” They label as “pro-Castro” anyone it suits them to according to their propaganda and the business at issue.
 
Now we find that the man who was yesterday in the Fair Play Committee — in the first cable — was then a “pro-Castro” American who had once tried to become a Soviet citizen. That is how all the cables go, you will see.
 
Another cable, “Dallas, November 22, UPI — Police arrested Lee H. Oswald today, a Marxist supporter of the Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro.”
 
There is not a single cable in which they do not connect the action, the name of the individual whom they assure is guilty, with the Cuban Revolution, with the Soviet Union, with Fidel Castro, pro-Castro, supporter of the Prime Minister, admirer of the Cuban Prime Minister.
 
It says: “A supporter of the Cuban Prime Minister, Fidel Castro, who tried to obtain citizenship in the Soviet Union, where he lived for several years, denied any knowledge of the criminal action. Oswald killed a policeman. . . .” etc.
 
And later on, in the same cable: “. . . although Oswald, who heads the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, a pro-Castro entity in this city, admitted ownership of the gun with which the policeman . . .” They keep repeating this all the time.
 
This one comes later. The most noticeable item here is the lie that this gentleman headed a Fair Play Committee. A lie. We started putting together all the information and statements that have appeared, to see whether there was a Fair Play for Cuba Committee in that area of Texas or in New Orleans. They said that this man . . . where did they get that? . . . They said that he presented himself as secretary of a sectional unit of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee in New Orleans or in Dallas. Some cables say that it was in the month of August, other cables say it was last week. That is what they say.
 
That is the reason for calling this man “pro-Castro.” And that he had defended the Cuban Revolution in a broadcast there.
 
All this is very queer. We had no news of any such statement. But we looked for reports: Cities where there were Fair Play for Cuba Committees of which we had knowledge — New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Baltimore, Chicago, Tampa, Youngstown, Washington, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Detroit — but nowhere is there a Fair Play for Cuba Committee in Dallas or in New Orleans.
 
Strange because within their Organization they are super-infiltrated by U.S. citizens, and F.B.I. and CIA agents. Isn’t that so? Because everything that the CIA and the FBI do there has been proved. Later they said other things.
 
Here it says also: “The Chairman of the National Committee declared that the Fair Play for Cuba Committee has never authorized the establishment of a chapter in any city of Texas or Louisiana. ‘I can say that Lee Harvey Oswald was never Secretary or Chairman of any Fair Play for Cuba Committee in any city of the United States.’”
 
But you see, throughout the world, they began to spread the poison from the first moments, that a Fair Play for Cuba Committee was involved. Other things appear later on. Later we will try to analyze who this true or false culprit could be. And we must stick to what they say, we must base ourselves on what they themselves say. All right. That was the 22nd . . .
 
“November 23, Dallas UPI — Pro-communist Lee Harvey Oswald was charged today with the assassination of President Kennedy. Police said that the paraffin test on Oswald’s hands gave positive results that traces of gun-powder were found” etc. . . .
 
Dallas, November 23rd, UPI — The result of the tests made on Oswald’s face is still unknown. Such traces could only exist if the suspect had fired a gun.”
 
So, in the first paragraph they start by saying, “pro-communist,” in the second paragraph they speak of something else. Third paragraph — Oswald, a Marxist and sympathizer of the communist regime in Cuba had oatmeal for breakfast . . . In other words, in order to say what he had for breakfast, they repeat that he was a Marxist and sympathizer of the communist regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba. Get it? It is clear enough. We know these people quite well; we have become almost experts in knowing these shameless characters.
 
They say: “He had oatmeal, apricots, bread, and coffee for breakfast, and sat down comfortably to wait for the authorities to continue questioning him.”
 
“Dallas, November 23rd, UPI — The local police have proof that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Castro-Communist Lee Harvey Oswald, according to an official announcement today.” So he was murdered by a Castro-communist? Now this man is no longer an American, he is no longer a Marine, this man whom they taught to shoot and kill in the Marine Corps, now this man whom they made an expert shot and sent to all U.S. imperialist bases throughout the world is no longer a Marine. No, he was no longer an American, he was a Castro-Communist, even though we never in our life heard of the existence of this person.
 
You see how all this propaganda works. An American, a real American, born there, educated by American society and American schools, seeing American films, in the American armed forces, American in every way. All of a sudden he is no longer this; there is nothing of this in the cables. Now we read: “By the Castro-communist.”
 
All right, Captain Will Fritz said they were certain of this, etc. This was yesterday; now this was today in the afternoon: “Jesse Curry, Dallas Chief of Police, said today that Lee Harvey Oswald admitted being a communist.” And now he admitted it today; yesterday he admitted nothing. Today it appears that he admitted being a communist. “Curry added that Oswald admitted to police officers questioning him last night that he was a member of the Communist Party.” Now the man has turned out to be a member of the Communist Party. As time passes they discover more titles for this man. The true man or supposed man, this they do not know. Who can . . . ?
 
All right. One thing is clear: among all the things connected with the assassination is the unleashing of a campaign of slander against the Soviet Union and against Cuba, and a series of perfidious insinuations that have no other object than to repeat a thousands times their intrigue and sheer infamy to create an anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban hysteria among the U.S. people and in public opinion.
 
So these gentlemen are playing a very strange role in a very strange play, and no one knows what sinister plans may be behind all this.
 
All right. On the other hand, there is an official statement by the State Department, issued today, which declares: “State Department authorities said today that they had no evidence to indicate that the Soviet Union or any other power is involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.
 
“Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine who lived three years in Russia, has been charged with the crime. When 24 years old Oswald went to Russia; he announced his intention of giving up his U.S. citizenship. After changing his mind and returning to the United States last year, Oswald became a sympathizer of the Cuban prime Minister, Fidel Castro.” So they repeat themselves even in the cables where they say they deny they lie. . . . The cable goes on: “State Department officials say that they have no evidence that Cuba is involved in what Oswald did.”
 
Naturally, there is no need for anyone to make excuses for Cuba. There is no need for anyone to apologize for Cuba. Cuba is not asking anyone to excuse her, or pardon her, because even the very idea that we should have to defend ourselves from such an infamy is repugnant in itself. Repugnant in itself.
 
So we have no need for anyone to defend us or apologize on our behalf. Why does the State Department have to come out today with such a statement? What does this show? It shows that the U.S. authorities themselves, some people in the United States, have become aware of the danger of the anti-Soviet and anti-Cuban campaign unleashed by the most reactionary and warlike circles in the United States.
 
In other words, the State Department itself understands the danger of such a policy, the very dangerous dead end into which such a campaign of slander and hysteria can lead the United States.
 
So this shows that there are people in the United States who have understood the need to get out of this situation. This does not mean that the danger is over, because we do not know what is behind the assassination of Kennedy. What is behind the assassination of Kennedy is not known at the moment.
 
The statement does not eliminate the danger of some frame-up that could be concocted there, but indicates that there are already people in the United States who have understood the danger and risk in such a campaign and indicates that, possibly, there are people in the United States who do not agree with such an adventure, with such madness, with such nonsense that is being carried out in such a criminal and irresponsible way.
 
All right. The State Department has felt the need to counteract this policy, because who knows where this policy, this campaign, may lead.
 
Later other things have appeared, because all this is very mysterious. Another cable, this time by Associated Press, says: “A 1961 letter . . .” Of course the United Press International has said nothing on this because its campaign has been one-sided, in one direction only, but not just the UPI. We were listening yesterday to broadcasts of U.S. stations and the very same campaign was being carried on the radio. The name of Castro was mentioned almost more often than the name of the man whom they charge with the murder, incessantly repeated over the radio in the United States.
 
See how these people act and how much they hate the Revolution. Why should we not suspect that these people could be capable of anything, from the murder of Kennedy up to what they are doing now? People moved by such hatred, people who act with such absolute lack of scruples . . .
 
The AP cable reads: “A letter dated 1961 found in Pentagon files raises doubts whether Texas governor, John Connally, and not President Kennedy, was the main target of the assassin who shot both yesterday in Dallas.
 
“The letter, dated January 31st, 1961, was written by hand in Minsk, Soviet Union, by Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine, charged with murdering Kennedy and wounding Connally.
 
“Oswald returned a year ago after spending three years in the Soviet Union.
 
“The letter was addressed to Connally, then Secretary of the Navy, asking that the dishonorable discharge of Oswald be canceled. The request was denied, and if it is shown that he is the man who fired at Kennedy and Connally, the question might be raised of whom he had more motive to want to kill.
 
“A copy of Oswald’s letter was sent to Connally, who had left his post as Secretary of the Navy on December 20th 1961. Connally briefly replied to Oswald on February 23, 1962, that he was no longer in the Navy and that he had referred his letter to the new Secretary of the Navy.
 
“A copy of Connally’s letter was sent to the new official, Fred Korth, who referred it to the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps referred it to a court of appeals which confirmed Oswald’s dishonorable discharge. Oswald’s letter maintained that his discharge was a gross error or an injustice.”
 
There are some other cables here in which they speak about a threat, cables that say that in the letter Oswald threatened the then-Secretary of the Navy, that he would take any means to avenge himself for that injustice. And that very same Secretary of the Navy was accompanying Kennedy.
 
So they themselves have now brought up another possible version.
 
We have here a report which reads: “District Attorney Henry Wade declared today that he expects to be able to secure a death sentence for Lee Harvey Oswald, former Marine, who has been formally accused of the murder of President John F. Kennedy, according to reports issued by U.S. news agencies.”
 
The report adds that Wade has been District Attorney in twenty-four murder cases and secured twenty-three death penalties. It seems that this District Attorney is a hangman — a life sentence in the other case.
 
“Wade added that he is in possession of material evidence against Oswald, but refused to say what this evidence was. He said that it has not yet been established whether the Mauser that was found is the murder weapon.
 
“In all the questioning Oswald has denied that he took any part in the murder.
 
“Captain Will Fritz, Chief of the Homicide Squad of the Dallas Police, said that in his opinion, Oswald killed President Kennedy and that for him the case is closed.”
 
Later we have to try to look at some of the facts on who this accused man can be, but we want to speak of the campaign carried on by United Press International.
 
It just so happens that these events occurred precisely at a moment when Kennedy was being severely attacked by those who considered his Cuban policy too weak.
 
It could not be us, but only the enemies of the Revolution and the enemies, in general, of a more moderate policy, a less warlike policy, the enemies of a policy like this who might be interested in the death of President Kennedy, the only ones who perhaps could have received the news of the death of Kennedy with satisfaction.
 
A few days ago an incident drew my attention. This was while the Inter-American Press Association Conference was taking place. It was a scandal, because several governments were strongly attacked, crudely attacked like the government of Brazil, by a certain Mexquita, who said horrible things about the President of Brazil, who even talked about and called for a coup in Brazil; where statements were also made against other presidents, against other Latin American countries, there in the United States, and they made long tirades publishing a whole series of opinions against the speech delivered by Kennedy in Florida, because the speech delivered by Kennedy in Florida was disappointing for a number of persons who favor a more aggressive policy against Cuba. It was a disappointment for the counter-revolutionary elements and it was a disappointment for the warmongering elements in the United States.
 
And so, a series of cables. Here “Miami, Florida — The Cuban exiles waited tonight in vain for a firm promise from President Kennedy to take energetic measures against the communist regime of Fidel Castro.”
 
It says: “They waited tonight in vain for a firm promise” . . . Many met in the offices of the revolutionary organizations and in their homes, to listen to President Kennedy over the radio. The Spanish translation broadcast over the radio station of the exiles. They listened when the President said: “We in the hemisphere should use all the means at our disposal to prevent the establishment of another Cuba in the hemisphere.” That is, they did not accept the fact he said “to prevent the establishment of another Cuba in the hemisphere,” because they thought that it carried with it the idea of accepting one Cuba. Many exiles had hopes of more vigorous statements to liberate Cuba from communism, but nevertheless, some felt that the U.S. government was waging a secret war of infiltration against Castro that could not be disclosed. It says that thousands of exiles attended an open air rally in view of Kennedy’s arrival, and they heard criticism because of what they described as a weak U.S. policy toward Cuba.
 
Jose Ignacio Rivero, Editor-in-exile of the Diario de la Marina, the oldest Havana newspaper (he will stay there all his life), and Emilio Nuñez Portuondo, former President of the United Nations Security council, called for more positive action by the United States.
 
Rivero, a member of the Inter-American Press Association, where Kennedy spoke, expressed his doubts over a sinister intrigue among international politicians. That is an “intrigue” because they want to co-exist with us.
 
It says: He also said in the meeting that “the weak U.S. policy towards Cuba and other American nations is an international shame.” This was said by Ignacio Rivero, this one from Diario de la Marina, who you know is an ultra-ultra and who has to be linked to the ultra-ultra elements in the United States.
 
So these elements openly state there that “the weak U.S. policy toward Cuban and other American Nations is an international shame. . . .
 
“Miami Beach: Latin American newspaper publishers and editors in response to the speech delivered by President Kennedy tonight . . . said that he had not taken a strong enough position against the communist regime of Fidel Castro.” That is, that there, where the most reactionary representatives of the press within and without the United States met, according to UPI and AP cables, many of them said that he had not taken a strong enough position against the communist regime of Fidel Castro . . .
 
Augustin Navarre of El Espejo of Mexico, felt that the speech was extremely weak and that his observations on Cuba were not sufficient. . . . He added that “it was necessary to rescue Cuba under Fidel Castro from Communism and not to maintain the status quo.” They are speaking against any coexistence. Other Cuban newspaper owners in exile made similar statements.
 
A series of cables began to arrive. Here: “The president of the Cuban Medical Association in exile, Enrique Huerta, stated that the speech did not clarify any of the fundamental questions related to the Cuba problem . . . He wanted a unanimous attack, a unanimous attack of Kennedy.
 
The newspaper added that the weak policy followed by the Kennedy Government in respect to Castro, as a result of the policy followed by his predecessor Eisenhower, made it possible for Castro and Khrushchev to cement Cuba into a police state, where the people have practically no hope of successfully rebelling without large-scale outside help.
 
The newspaper continued: “Kennedy now refuses to allow Cuban exiles to launch attacks against Cuba from U.S. territory.”
 
What is the difference between that way of thinking and taking advantage of the assassination of their President to carry out that policy? See what some of those reactionary circles thought about Kennedy. It says: “Kennedy now refuses to allow Cuban exiles to launch attacks against Cuba from U.S. territory, and in fact uses U.S. air and naval power to maintain Castro in power.” That is to say, they accuse Kennedy of using naval and air power to maintain Castro in power.
 
“There is a considerable difference,” says the newspaper, “between this attitude and the daring words about Cuba said by Kennedy during the 1960 Presidential campaign. We doubt that many voters have been disoriented by the President’s remarks in relation to Cuba the day before yesterday.” It says “And many voters will not have been disoriented.”
 
So there was observed a current of unanimous criticism against what the ultra-reactionary sectors considered a weak policy toward Cuba. And that is how these people think.
 
And there are cables and more cables and more cables, because they never wrote so many cables. It is obvious, how the news agencies made a tremendous propaganda of all the criticisms made of Kennedy because of his Cuban policy. The UPI overflowed with information as it had never done before, picking up all the criticisms of Kennedy because of his Cuban policy. . . .
 
Julio Mexquita Ciro, an utterly shameless reactionary who went there to speak against the President of Brazil to carry on a campaign against Brazil and to promote a reactionary, fascist coup against Brazil — see what he says: “Julio Mexquita Ciro, . . . who yesterday moved the editors of the IAPA meeting with his analysis of the economic and political situation in his country, said it was an error on the part of the United states not to have realized the danger that the presence of Cuba meant for the whole continent. Mexquita was in favor of collective action, armed collective action by the hemisphere against Cuba, because ‘I am a defender of free determination of nations,’ he said.”
 
Mexquita, Mosquito, Mezquino, all means the same thing; just see how reactionary he is. The cable adds; “. . . the Brazilian editor described as primitive President Kennedy’s way of looking at the agrarian problem of the hemisphere, and he said that the agrarian problem cannot be measured with the same yardstick for all the nations of the hemisphere.” Why did he say this? Because he represents the oligarchy, the big landholders in Brazil, and as I was talking precisely about different shades of policy. Kennedy’s policy prompted a type of agrarian reform which is not revolutionary, of course, which is not revolutionary but which clashed with the interest of the oligarchs. And it is very strange that in these days, on the eve of the assassination of Kennedy, a coincidence as never before had been noted. In the opinion of the ultra-reactionary sectors within and without the United States. . . .
 
And this individual talks here about Kennedy’s primitive way of looking at the agrarian problem. And then finally there is something very interesting — really very interesting . . .
 
It says the third editor to express his opinion, Carbo, who is director of the Executive Council of the Inter-American Press Association — which is a very important job in the intellectual sectors of reaction and the oligarchy — emphasized that there were not strong statements in favor of the liberation of Cuba like the statements that had been made in previous speeches by President Kennedy, especially in the one he made after the heroic battle of Playa Giron — that “heroic battle” where every one of them ended defeated and imprisoned — forecasting the crisis of the communist regime of Cuba. He claims in “Cuba the situation of the government verges on the insoluble, economically, politically and internationally since Castro is no longer reliable, not even to Russia.”
 
But most important of all is how the statement made by this gentleman who holds an important post in reactionary intellectual circles in the United States and abroad as Director of the Executive Council of the Inter-American Press Association, how his statement ends — and this is what drew my attention. The editor of the confiscated Havana newspaper ended by saying: “I believe a coming serious event will oblige Washington to change its policy of peaceful co-existence.” What does this mean? What did this gentleman mean when he said this three days before the assassination of Kennedy? What did this gentleman who holds an utmost post in the ultra-reactionary intellectual circles in and outside of the United States, the Director of the Executive Council of the Inter-American Press Association, mean in a cable that is not from Prensa Latina, but from Associated Press, dated November 19th — AP Num, 254, AP November 19th, Miami Beach — when he said: “I believe that a coming serious event will oblige Washington to change its policy of peaceful co-existence?”
 
What does this mean, three days before the murder of President Kennedy? Because when I read this cable it caught my attention, it intrigued me, it seemed strange to me. Was there perhaps some sort of understanding? Was there perhaps some sort of thought about this? Was there perhaps some kind of plot? Was there perhaps in those reactionary circles where the so-called weak policy of Kennedy toward Cuba was under attack, where the policy of ending nuclear threat was under attack, where the policy of civil rights was under attack. . . . Was there perhaps in certain civilian and military ultra-reactionary circles in the United States, a plot against President Kennedy’s life?
 
How strange it is really that the assassination of President Kennedy should take place at a time when there was unanimous agreement of opinion against certain aspects of his policy, a furious criticism of his policy. How strange all this is.
 
And this man who appears as the guilty person, who was he? Who is he? Is he really guilty? Or is he only an instrument? Is he a psychopath, sick? He could be one or the other. Or is he by any means an instrument of the most reactionary circles in the United States. Who is this man?
 
Here we have a report of the New York Times on Oswald that says, “Last July he tried to enter the Cuban Student Directory, to take part in the plans to overthrow the revolutionary regime of Fidel Castro.” It was no longer a Castro-plot. According to the New York Times he was trying to enter a counterrevolutionary organization to overthrow the Cuban Revolution. The paper names Cuban refugee sources as the basis for this information.
 
Oswald was able to return to the United States thanks to a loan of 435 dollars and 71 cents granted to him by the U.S. Government. He succeeded in getting money after an appeal to Senator John G. Tower, Republican, Texas, and he returns from the Soviet Union on U.S. Government money through the intervention of a Republican Senator from Texas.
 
Oswald has at present a U.S. passport which he obtained as a photographer who wanted to travel abroad during the months of October, November, and December of this year and visit the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, and Italy. How strange it is. Since he was arrested yesterday in Dallas, as a suspect, the U.S. radio and television have been stressing that Oswald is the chairman of the Dallas chapter of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee.
 
“Questioned in New York on this point the Executive Secretary of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee denied that Oswald held such a post, and added that there is no chapter of this organization in Texas.”
 
The New York Times, in explaining the contact established between Oswald and the Cuban counter-revolutionaries, says that Jose Antonio Denuza, spokesman of the so-called Cuban Student Directory, had declared in Miami that Oswald met with the delegates of that anti-Castro group in New Orleans last July.
 
Denuza — The New York Times added — said that Oswald said he wanted to aid the Cubans in the fight against communism, and offered 10 dollars contribution and his help in military training of an invasion.
 
Carlos Bringuier, delegate of the counterrevolutionary organization referred to, said to the New York Times that “at first I suspected Oswald. I frankly thought that he might be an FBI or CIA agent trying to find out what we were doing.” So Cuban counter-revolutionaries are saying that when Oswald tried to enter their organization he was not accepted because they believed he was from the CIA or FBI, and that he was trying to find out what they were up to.
 
How curious! And this is not what they publish but they say that he is a Castroite, a communist, an admirer of Fidel Castro. And now it appears that he tried to enter the organization and was not admitted because they thought he belonged to the FBI or CIA. They must know pretty well the kind of agents the FBI and CIA have since they deal with them a lot.
 
But for the time being, without affirming anything, because we cannot affirm anything, since Oswald could be guilty or innocent, we can’t tell; or he could be a CIA or FBI agent, as those people suspected, or an instrument of the most reactionary sectors that may have been planning a sinister plot, who may have planned the assassination of Kennedy because of disagreement with his international policy; or he could be a sick man now being used by U.S. reactionary sectors.
 
However, there is a series of strange things about this man who is presented to be guilty, who tried to enter counterrevolutionary organizations and yet later they say turned up distributing pro-Castro propaganda — that is what they say — who later appeared on TV. That is strange . . . because he was not a personality, and American television and radio stations do not call just anyone off the street and present him; much less do they go around calling the people of Fair Play for Cuba to carry out campaigns for Cuba. No! They close the newspaper doors to them, they close the radio and television doors to them. How strange that this Oswald — who was first trying to join a counterrevolutionary organization — should turn up now, resorting to television to defend us. How strange! How strange that this former marine should go to the Soviet Union and try to become a Soviet citizen, and that the Soviets should not accept him, that he should say at the American Embassy that he intended to disclose to the Soviet Union the secrets of everything he learned while he was in the U.S. service and that in spite of this statement, his passage is paid by the U.S. Government on the backing of a Texas Republican Senator who is considered to be, as it says here: Texas is considered by them to be . . . Well, I cannot find the paper, but there is a cable around here where they themselves say that Texas is the bulwark of reactionary spirit. And then we find that this man, who says in the Embassy . . . who makes a statement in the Embassy that he is going to disclose the secrets he knows to the Soviet Union, later returns with money given on recommendation of a Republican Senator from Texas. He goes back to Texas and finds a job. This is all so strange!
 
He is not tried, he is not sentenced, he is given money to return, supported by a Senator from Texas and then, again they give him a passport to travel. This is all so strange! What is there behind all this? What sinister maneuver are they scheming behind all this? Who are those guilty for the murder of Kennedy? Who will benefit from this murder, who could be the only ones to benefit from this murder? The supporters of the invasion of Cuba, the supporters of brink of war policy, and the supporters of war; enemies of peace, the enemies of disarmament, the worst enemies of Negro rights in the United States, the worst enemies of progressive elements and of liberal thought in the United States.
 
Who can benefit from this, from this action, from this murder, if not the worst reaction, the worst elements of U.S. society? Who could be the only ones interested in this murder? Could it be a real leftist, a leftist fanatic, at a moment when tensions had lessened, at a moment when McCarthyism was being left behind, or was at least more moderate, at a moment when a nuclear test ban treaty is signed, at a moment when speeches are described as weak with respect to Cuba were being made?
 
It says here — now more things are beginning to come out: “Dallas, Texas, November 23rd, AP — All his life Lee Harvey Oswald has been a solitary, an introverted type with communist ideas, but he was not regarded as a troublemaker. Deep down, his introverted personality was imbued at an early age by an alien ideology enunciated a century ago by Karl Marx.”
 
Dallas police chief Jesse Curry has said that Oswald readily admitted being a communist. How strange, what contradictions. He does not confess to committing the crime. It is supposed that if a fanatic commits a crime of this kind he says so or as someone said: fanatics fire their revolvers in front of everybody, they run out with a revolver as the car passes. The strange case of a fanatic who denies committing a murder, but on the other hand, readily confesses to being a communist — according to the cables.
 
“‘Apparently he feels proud of being a communist,’ Curry added. ‘He does not try to conceal it.’”
 
All these are new stories which did not appear yesterday. They are of today. “Although accused of the assassination of the President, Lee Harvey Oswald has resisted all efforts by the authorities to make him confess; Oswald has told newsmen: ‘I did not kill President Kennedy. I did not kill anyone.’”
 
What sort of person was Oswald before his arrest? He was born in New Orleans on the 18th of October, 1939. “My father died before I was born,” Oswald said. “His widowed mother brought the family to Fort Worth. A Fort Worth police officer, who asked that his name not be revealed said he has known Oswald since both were in fifth grade, until he entered high school at Fort Worth. This police officer, Oswald’s former classmate, recalled the following: he always opposed any sort of discipline. He seemed to hold something against people there, against any authority; he was never like the rest of the kids. He rarely associated with them, but he never was a troublemaker.
 
“At high school he talked a lot about how things should be. Oswald — he added — began to be interested in communism when he was 15 years old, when a Marxist pamphlet came to his hands. Later, he read Karl Marx’s Capital, the bible of communism. At 17, Oswald left school only 23 days after the high school term started, and soon joined the Marine Corps.
 
“His military career was a failure. On two occasions he was court martialed for violating regulations. His specialty was as an operator of electronics equipment. He served in Japan but never got farther than private first class.
 
“Oswald’s career in the Marines concluded on September 11th, 1959, when he was given leave to support his mother. He was transferred to inactive reserve but later on was dishonorably discharged.
 
“One month later, Oswald arrived in Moscow. On October 26th, 1959, he visited the American Embassy and announced his intention of giving up his citizenship. He told Embassy officials: ‘I am a Marxist.’
 
“In February 1962, after a study of his case, the conclusion was reached that Oswald had not acquired Soviet citizenship and therefore at his request they gave him a U.S. passport and granted him a loan in order to return to the country.
 
“Back in the United States, Oswald went to his native New Orleans. Last June, he requested a new passport to return to the Soviet Union. In the meantime he was involved in a dispute with an anti-Castro Cuban, Carlos Bringuier, who said: ‘I suspected him from the beginning. Frankly I thought he could be an agent of the FBI or CIA who tried to infiltrate us and see what we were doing.’”
 
The rest is similar to what we already have read here. But there are new ingredients. In fact a whole series, a whole propaganda chain, distributed in doses.
 
First that he is a member of the Fair Play for Cuba Committee which was false. Later a man who lived in the Soviet Union. Afterwards, a whole series of insinuations in several cables. Today, he is not only all that, he is also a communist and a very willing communist at that, he admits it. In fact all this is really very strange.
 
Their description is not that of a fanatic. But that of an individual with a number of characteristics that really fit what U.S. reaction wants like a ring on a finger, that fit the worst policy of the United States; a person who seems to have been expressly made for this purpose, expressly made for specific ends: to create hysteria, to unleash an anti-Soviet, anti-Cuban, anti-communist, anti-progressive, anti-liberal campaign in the United States; to eliminate a President whose policy collided head on with the policy promoted by the most reactionary circles in the country after the nuclear test ban treaty, after several speeches which were unanimously attacked for being weak toward Cuba.
 
What can have been the motives for the assassination of President Kennedy? What can there be behind all this? We cannot affirm anything because we do not have other elements for judgment: both the personality of the individual and the propaganda being carried out are suspicious, everything is suspicious.
 
We cannot categorically affirm what is behind all this, but we do affirm that it is suspicious; that we must be careful, that we must be vigilant, that we must be alert. Because this man may be innocent, a cat’s paw, in a plan very well prepared by people who knew how to prepare these plans; or he may be a sick man and if so, the only honest thing is to hand him over for a medical examination and not to be starting a campaign extremely dangerous to world peace; or he may be an instrument very well chosen and very well trained by the ultra-right, by ultra-conservative reaction of the United States with the deliberate aim of eliminating a President who, according to them, did not carry out the policy he should have — more warlike, more aggressive, more adventuresome policy. And it is necessary for all people of the United States themselves to demand that what is behind the Kennedy assassination be clarified.
 
It is in the interest of the U.S. people and of the people of the world, that this be made known, that they demand to know what is really behind the assassination of Kennedy, that the facts be made clear: whether the man involved is innocent, sick or an instrument of the reactionaries, an agent of a macabre plan to carry forward a policy of war and aggression, to place the Government of the United States at the mercy of the most aggressive circles of monopoly, of militarism and of the worst agencies of the United States. It is in our interest, in the interest of all people and of the U.S. people that we demand this.
 
We believe that intellectuals, lovers of peace, should understand the seriousness of a policy of this nature, a campaign of this type. They should understand the trend of the events and the danger that maneuvers of this kind could mean to world peace, and what a conspiracy of this type, what a Machiavellian policy of this nature could lead to.
 
This is the analysis we wanted to make and the things we wanted to take into consideration; to express our opinion, the opinion of our Party and of our Government; to make known the strong antagonisms between the governments of the United States and ourselves, to make known the more moderate side of their policy, that least warlike; the policy that is less aggressive than the policy advocated by the others, or by the other U.S. sectors. So that we, as revolutionaries, as conscious men and women, may know how to analyze problems of this nature, difficult problems, delicate problems, complex problems; because policy in a country like the United States is very complex. A countless number of factors are taken into consideration in the policy making of this country. Very often they are contradictory factors. But undoubtedly, these things that we have been pointing out about the campaign are some of the means — certainly the most immoral — by which policy is worked out.
 
What are these right-wing circles trying to do? To impose on the new administration? What is the plan of these circles? To place the new administration in a de facto situation facing an inflamed public opinion, exacerbated by propaganda, by the campaign; a public opinion moved by profound hatred toward the Soviet Union, toward Cuba, toward progressive ideas, even towards liberal ideas. That is, this campaign tends to place the United States in the worst international position, in the most reactionary international position. And that surely is a serious threat to peace.
 
We are not worried about ourselves. We are worried about the interests of mankind.
 
We know that the fate of our country depends also on the fate of mankind; we do not fear for ourselves; we are and always will be calm. We are concerned about peace and about calling attention to all these events.
 
We are concerned to give warning of the dangers of these events. We want the people to be informed and calm, as they have always been, as staunch and as willing as always, to defend the Revolution. That they be ready always to defend the fatherland, with a morale as high as ever, as high as the Turquino mountain — as Camilo used to say: that they be ready, alert, and vigilant as always, facing intrigues and dangers, whatever they may be!
 
However contemptible, however infamous, however criminal these campaigns may be, let the enemies of our country know that they will always find us unwavering, that they will always find us alert, with our head held high, ready to fulfill our slogan, Homeland or Death! We will win!