During a long conversation with the investigator Gaeton Fonzi in Havana, we discovered a story that, given its content, it is worth reproducing. Fonzi is not just any common or garden investigator. He had devoted much of his life to working for various congressional committees, including those responsible for investigations into the covert activities of the CIA and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
A few years ago, and after much effort, Fonzi managed to get a private interview with Antonio Veciana, the same old buddy of Jorge Mas in the "New Orleans group," where the two of them became close friends while fulfilling CIA missions. Veciana had been interrogated by the Grand Jury charged with investigating the assassination of President Kennedy, and years later, had had some drug-related problems; but he vehemently affirmed to Fonzi that these difficulties were nothing more than a "trap" set up by somebody.
"I have a lot of information, but I am keeping that to myself because it is my life insurance," Veciana told Fonzi."
Antonio Veciana Blanch was a public accountant who worked for the Cuban sugar magnate Julio Lobo. He rapidly opposed the Cuban Revolution and, in 1960 was recruited by the CIA in Havana. He received his initial training in an English Language Academy supervised by the U.S. embassy in the Cuban capital. In October 1961, after the failure of a plot he devised to assassination Prime Minister Fidel Castro with a bazooka during an event at the former Presidential Palace, Veciana fled Cuba.
In the interview that he gave to Fonzi he related that, once in Miami, he was looked after by a CIA official who used the pseudonym of Maurice Bishop. Among other tasks, this "Bishop" ordered Veciana to promote the creation of the ALPHA 66 organization.
"Bishop" had frequent contact with Veciana from 1962-1963 in the city of Dallas. Veciana recalled that, at one of those meetings in a public building, he saw Lee Harvey Oswald.
Fonzi noted that various acts of disinformation were organized as part of the operation that cost the life of President Kennedy: one in Dallas, another in Miami and a third in Mexico City. The objective of the disinformation was to manufacture the image of a "revolutionary" Oswald, a "defender of the Cuban Revolution."
Hence the ex-marine was filmed in acts of solidarity with Cuba, demonstrating in a very aggressive manner. But the most daring act of disinformation was effected in Mexico City. There, Lee Harvey Oswald turned up at the Cuban embassy to ask for an entry visa to the island. All of that was filmed from a surveillance post that the CIA had opposite the Cuban embassy, so that it would be documented.
The strange thing is, as Veciana told Fonzi, in one of his contacts with "Bishop" in early 1963, the latter said that he knew that he (Veciana) had a cousin in Cuban Intelligence, who was located at the Cuban embassy in Mexico. "Bishop" stated that if it suited his cousin to work for them in a very specific action, he would pay him whatever he wanted. Veciana commented to Fonzi that he had never spoken of this cousin to "Bishop" and also, at that time, "Bishop" was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Mexico City and even went directly from the Mexican capital to some contacts in Dallas.
In fact Veciana was the cousin of the wife of the then Cuban consul in Mexico City, Guillermo Ruiz, and in the days following the assassination of Kennedy, that woman was the victim of a recruitment attempt in the same city, with the clear proposition that, once in the United States, she would testify as to Oswald?s "complicity" with the Cuban secret services.
Questioned by Fonzi as to the existence of renewed contacts with "Bishop" after the Dallas homicide, Veciana answered that there had been, particularly in 1971, when he received an order to leave for Bolivia and work in the U.S. embassy in that country, where he would appear as an official for the Agency for International Development (USAID) and should wait for a visit from a known person. Fonzi checked the USAID archives in Washington and found an application form to enter the USAID in the name of Antonio Veciana, handwritten in letters distinct from those of Veciana and unsigned.
The "known person" who contacted him in Bolivia was "Bishop," at that time located in the U.S. embassy in Chile. "Bishop" immediately incorporated him into a team plotting an attempt on the life of President Fidel Castro, who was to visit the South American country.
Fonzi told us that he interviewed Antonio Veciana again, but this time accompanied by a specialist with the aim of composing a photofit of "Maurice Bishop" so as to determine his real identity.
Veciana gave a detailed description and the photofit was made. Fonzi spent weeks trying to identify the character, and one Sunday, suddenly received a call at home from a Republican senator for Pennsylvania for whom he was working at the time, and whom he had consulted on the identity of the man in the drawing.
The senator assured him that the he was absolutely sure that the man using the pseudonym of Maurice Bishop was none other than David Atlee Phillips. He was a veteran CIA officer who was in Havana on a working visit in 1958 as a specialist in psychological warfare, participated in the creation of Operation 40 and later, as part of the same, organized the Radio Swann transmitter. With time, Phillips would become head of the Western Hemisphere Division of the Agency.
However, at the end of 1993, in the documentary Case Closed, the former chief of Cuban Security, Divisional General (ret) Fabián Escalante, revealed a secret report from one of his agents, which spoke of a meeting between Antonio Veciana and David Phillips in a hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in the early 70s.
"Veciana told me," said the Cuban agent, "that he was a CIA agent and it was the CIA that assassinated Kennedy and that senior CIA officials including David Phillips, the official attending to him, were behind it all. Veciana never wanted to give me any details of that affirmation, but recently, I have been able to confirm it, because once when I was in a hotel with Veciana, I heard a conversation that he had with his officer, David Phillips, in which Veciana swore that he would never talk about what happened in Dallas in 1963."
General Escalante guarantees that the source has direct access to Veciana, and was in his total confidence:
"I believe," Escalante affirmed, "that that is very important information because I have to say that, in 1973, when Antonio Veciana was liquidated by the CIA; in other words, when the CIA took him off their books, he received a compensation payment of $300,000."
But there is more. According to Cuban State Security investigations disclosed by General Escalante in the abovementioned documentary, various witnesses quoted by the Warren Commission described two Cubans, one of them black, leaving the Daley Plaza Book Deposit in Dallas, a few minutes after the assassination was effected. In parallel, through secret information and public testimony (the statement by Marita Lorenz, ex-CIA agent to a congressional committee), Cuban Security knew that two days before the assassination various Cubans were in Dallas with weapons and telescopic sights, including Eladio del Valle and Herminio Díaz, two paid killers and expert sharpshooters linked to the Mafia and Batista politics. The physical characteristics of Del Valle and Herminio Díaz matched the descriptions that various witnesses gave to the Warren Commission of the two Cubans seen leaving the building seconds after the president had been assassinated.
The really curious fact is the final fate of both of them: Eladio del Valle was brutally murdered in Miami when Jim Garrison, the New Orleans district attorney initiated his investigation into the Kennedy assassination; Del Valle was chopped into pieces with a machete. Even more interesting was the end of Herminio Díaz, who died near the Havana coast in 1965, when he collided with a patrol boat while trying to infiltrate the island with the mission of assassinating Osvaldo Dortícos and submachine gunning the Riviera Hotel
In order to fulfill the mission on which he was sent, Díaz had to infiltrate the island right in the capital via Monte Barreto in Miramar (where a number of hotels are currently going up) at a time when, because of an incident at the Guantánamo naval base, the Cuban army was on combat alert, and aerial and coastal vigilance was been reinforced to the maximum. In the eyes of experts, and the Cuban Security, the operation was a veritable suicide mission.
The financial organizer and planner of such "a strange mission" was none other than Jorge Mas Canosa.
But the history of the CIA?s links with its Cuban agents and the Kennedy assassination has not only been explored by Fonzi. Many other authors and investigators, and even the film studios that gave origin to the U.S. movies Executive Action and JFK, have covered the subject.
In an article published in The Realist magazine, the investigator Paul Kangas affirms:
"Among other members of the CIA recruited by George Bush for the (Bay of Pigs) invasion) were Frank Sturgis, Howard Hunt, Bernard Baker and Rafael Quintero. On the day that JFK was assassinated, Hunt and some of the subsequent Watergate team were photographed in Dallas, as well as a group of Cubans, one of them with an opened umbrella as a signal, alongside the president?s limousine, right where Kennedy was shot? Hunt and Sturgis fired on JFK from a grassy knoll. They were photographed and seen by 15 witnesses."
On May 7, 1990, in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Frank Sturgis acknowledged:
"The reason why we robbed in Watergate was because (Richard) Nixon was interested in stopping the news leaks related to the photos of our role in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy."
Another of Bush?s recruits for the Bay of Pigs invasion, Rafael Quintero, who was also part of this underworld of organizations and conspiracies against Cuba, stated:
"If I was to tell what I know about Dallas and the Bay of Pigs, it would be the greatest scandal that has ever rocked to nation."
Up to here are certain details of one of the existing theories on the above-mentioned event but, will the whole truth come out some day? Will Antonio Veciana, former member of the "New Orleans group," decide to reveal his "life insurance" or Rafael Quintero, to tell what he knows and thus, "rock the nation?"