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Tue Dec 6, 2016, 03:54 PM

Roaming Charges: The CIAs Plots to Kill Castro

December 2, 2016
Roaming Charges: The CIA’s Plots to Kill Castro

by Jeffrey St. Clair

When it came to trying to eliminate Fidel Castro, the Central Intelligence Agency spared no effort across a quarter of a century. In 1975, former CIA director William Colby admitted to the US Senate’s Church Committee investigating CIA abuses that the agency had tried and failed to kill Castro several times, but, Colby claimed, not nearly as often as its critics alleged.

“It wasn’t for lack of trying,” Colby observed. “Castro gave McGovern in 1975 a list of the attempts made on his life – there were about thirty by that time – as he said, by the CIA. McGovern gave it to me and I looked through it and checked it off against our records and said we could account for about five or six. The others – I can understand Castro’s feeling about them because they were all ex-Bay of Pigs people or something like that, so he thinks they’re all CIA. Once you get into one of them, then bingo! – you get blamed for all the rest. We didn’t have any connections with the rest of them, but we’d never convince Castro of that.”

Five or six assassination plots is a sobering number, especially if you happen to be the intended target of these “executive actions.” But even here Colby was dissembling. He certainly had the opportunity to consult a secret 1967 report on the plots against Castro by the CIA’s Inspector General John S. Earman, and approved by Richard Helms. The CIA had in fact hatched attempts on the Cuban leader even prior to the revolution. One of the first occurred in 1958, when Eutimio Rojas, a member of the Cuban guerrillas, was hired to kill Castro as he slept at a camp in the Sierra Maestra.

On February 2, 1959, Cuban security guards arrested Allan Robert Nye, an American, in a hotel room facing the presidential palace. Nye had in his possession a high-powered rifle equipped with a telescopic scope, and had been contracted to shoot Castro as he arrived at the palace. A month later Rolando Masferrer, a former leader of Batista’s death squads, turned up at a Miami meeting with American mobsters and a CIA officer. There this deadly conglomerate planned another scenario to kill Castro outside the presidential palace.


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