HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » International » Latin America (Group) » Roaming Charges: The CIAs... » Reply #4

Response to A-Schwarzenegger (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 7, 2016, 07:04 AM

4. You imagine the leader of that island with approximately 10,000,000 people, maximum, at that time,

had the wherewithal, and the intention of killing John F. Kennedy?

Didn't you know John F. Kennedy held secret meetings between his aide, and Che Guevara in the months prior to his assassination?

[center]Kennedy Sought Dialogue with Cuba


Oval Office Tape Reveals Strategy to hold clandestine Meeting in Havana; Documents record role of ABC News correspondent Lisa Howard as secret intermediary in Rapprochement effort

Posted - November 24, 2003[/center]

Washington D.C. - On the 40th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the eve of the broadcast of a new documentary film on Kennedy and Castro, the National Security Archive today posted an audio tape of the President and his national security advisor, McGeorge Bundy, discussing the possibility of a secret meeting in Havana with Castro. The tape, dated only seventeen days before Kennedy was shot in Dallas, records a briefing from Bundy on Castro's invitation to a U.S. official at the United Nations, William Attwood, to come to Havana for secret talks on improving relations with Washington. The tape captures President Kennedy's approval if official U.S. involvement could be plausibly denied.

The possibility of a meeting in Havana evolved from a shift in the President's thinking on the possibility of what declassified White House records called "an accommodation with Castro" in the aftermath of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Proposals from Bundy's office in the spring of 1963 called for pursuing "the sweet approach…enticing Castro over to us," as a potentially more successful policy than CIA covert efforts to overthrow his regime. Top Secret White House memos record Kennedy's position that "we should start thinking along more flexible lines" and that "the president, himself, is very interested in [the prospect for negotiations]." Castro, too, appeared interested. In a May 1963 ABC News special on Cuba, Castro told correspondent Lisa Howard that he considered a rapprochement with Washington "possible if the United States government wishes it. In that case," he said, "we would be agreed to seek and find a basis" for improved relations.

The untold story of the Kennedy-Castro effort to seek an accommodation is the subject of a new documentary film, KENNEDY AND CASTRO: THE SECRET HISTORY, broadcast on the Discovery/Times cable channel on November 25 at 8pm. The documentary film, which focuses on Ms. Howard's role as a secret intermediary in the effort toward dialogue, was based on an article -- "JFK and Castro: The Secret Quest for Accommodation" -- written by Archive Senior Analyst Peter Kornbluh in the magazine, Cigar Aficionado. Kornbluh served as consulting producer and provided key declassified documents that are highlighted in the film. "The documents show that JFK clearly wanted to change the framework of hostile U.S. relations with Cuba," according to Kornbluh. "His assassination, at the very moment this initiative was coming to fruition, leaves a major 'what if' in the ensuing history of the U.S. conflict with Cuba."

Among the key documents relevant to this history:

•Oval Office audio tape, November 5, 1963. The tape records a conversation between the President and McGeorge Bundy regarding Castro's invitation to William Attwood, a deputy to UN Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, to come to Cuba for secret talks. The President responds that Attwood should be taken off the U.S. payroll prior to such a meeting so that the White House can plausibly deny that any official talks have taken place if the meeting leaks to the press.
•White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Mr. Donovan's Trip to Cuba," March 4, 1963. This document records President Kennedy's interest in negotiations with Castro and his instructions to his staff to "start thinking along more flexible lines" on conditions for a dialogue with Cuba.
•White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Cuba -- Policy," April 11, 1963. A detailed options paper from Gordon Chase, the Latin America specialist on the National Security Council, to McGeorge Bundy recommending "looking seriously at the other side of the coin-quietly enticing Castro over to us."
•CIA briefing paper, Secret, "Interview of U.S. Newswoman with Fidel Castro Indicating Possible Interest in Rapprochement with the United States," May 1, 1963. A debriefing of Lisa Howard by CIA deputy director Richard Helms, regarding her ABC news interview with Castro and her opinion that he is "ready to discuss rapprochement." The document contains a notation, "Psaw," meaning President Kennedy read the report on Howard and Castro.
•U.S. UN Mission memorandum, Secret, Chronology of events leading up Castro invitation to receive a U.S. official for talks in Cuba, November 8, 22, 1963. This chronology was written by William Attwood and records the evolution of the initiative set in motion by Lisa Howard for a dialogue with Cuba. The document describes the party at Howard's Manhattan apartment on September 23, 1963, where Attwood met with Cuban UN Ambassador Carlos Lechuga to discuss the potential for formal talks to improve relations. In an addendum, Attwood adds information on communications, using the Howard home as a base, leading up to the day the President was shot in Dallas.
•White House memorandum, Secret, November 12, 1963. McGeorge Bundy reports to William Attwood on Kennedy's opinion of the viability of a secret meeting with Havana. The president prefers that the meeting take place in New York at the UN where it will be less likely to be leaked to the press.
•White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Approach to Castro," November 19, 1963. A memo from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy updating him on the status of arrangements for a secret meeting with the Cubans.
•White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Cuba -- Item of Presidential Interest," November 25, 1963. A strategy memo from Gordon Chase to McGeorge Bundy assessing the problems and potential for pursuing the secret talks with Castro in the aftermath of Kennedy's assassination.
•Message from Fidel Castro to Lyndon Johnson, "Verbal Message given to Miss Lisa Howard of ABC News on February 12, 1964, in Havana, Cuba." A private message carried by Howard to the White House in which Castro states that he would like the talks started with Kennedy to continue: "I seriously hope (and I cannot stress this too strongly) that Cuba and the United States can eventually sit down in an atmosphere of good will and of mutual respect and negotiate our differences."

•United Nations memorandum, Top Secret, from Adlai Stevenson to President Johnson, June 16, 1964. Stevenson sends the "verbal message" given to Lisa Howard to Johnson with a cover memo briefing him on the dialogue started under Kennedy and suggesting consideration of resumption of talks "on a low enough level to avoid any possible embarrassment."

•White House memorandum, Top Secret, "Adlai Stevenson and Lisa Howard," July 7, 1964. Gordon Chase reports to Bundy on his concerns that Howard's role as an intermediary has now escalated through her contact with Stevenson at the United Nations and the fact that a message has been sent back through her to Castro from the White House. Chase recommends trying "to remove Lisa from direct participation in the business of passing messages," and using Cuban Ambassador to the UN, Carlos Lechuga, instead.

Key Figures in the Dialogue

William Attwood

Gordon Chase

Lisa Howard

Carlos Lechuga


[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
When J.F.K. Secretly Reached Out to Castro

Michael Beschloss

DEC. 17, 2014

President Obama’s surprise effort to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, concurrent with an economic embargo, recalls the two-track approach — economic and sometimes military force, along with secret, sporadic attempts to find some kind of accommodation — that formed American policy toward Cuba during the most dangerous years of that relationship.

On Monday evening, Nov. 18, 1963, at the Americana Hotel in Miami Beach — four days before his assassination — President John F. Kennedy, wearing black tie, told the Inter-American Press Association that only one issue separated the United States from Fidel Castro’s Cuba: Castro’s “conspirators” had handed Cuban sovereignty to “forces beyond the hemisphere” (meaning the Soviet Union), which were using Cuba “to subvert the other American republics.” Kennedy said, “As long as this is true, nothing is possible. Without it, everything is possible.”

The president had asked his speechwriter, Theodore Sorensen, for language that would open a door to the Cuban leader, although, as Sorensen later observed, the audience was “a very tough anti-Castro group.”

That same day, Ambassador William Attwood, a Kennedy delegate to the United Nations, secretly called Castro’s aide and physician, Rene Vallejo, to discuss a possible secret meeting in Havana between Attwood and Castro that might improve the Cuban-American relationship, which had been ruptured when President Eisenhower broke diplomatic ties in January 1961.


[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
OPINION: JFK’s Secret Negotiations with Fidel

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr

WHITE PLAINS, New York, Jan 5 2015 (IPS) - On the day of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in November 1963, one of his emissaries was secretly meeting with Fidel Castro at Varadero Beach in Cuba to discuss terms for ending the U.S. embargo against the island and beginning the process of détente between the two countries.

That was more than 50 years ago and now, finally, President Barack Obama is resuming the process of turning JFK’s dream into reality by re-establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Those clandestine discussions at Castro’s summer presidential palace in Varadero Beach had been proceeding for several months, having evolved along with the improved relations with the Soviet Union following the 1962 Cuban missile crisis.

During that crisis, JFK and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, both at odds with their own military hardliners, had developed a mutual respect, even warmth, towards each other. A secret bargain between them had paved the way for removing the Soviet missiles from Cuba – and U.S. Jupiter missiles from Turkey – with each side saving face.

. . .

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was spying on all parties. In a top secret January 5, 1963 memo to his fellow agents, Richard Helms (later to become Director of the CIA in 1966) warned that “at the request of Khrushchev, Castro was returning to Cuba with the intention of adopting with Fidel a conciliatory policy toward the Kennedy administration for the time being.”

JFK was open to such advances. In the autumn of 1962, he and his brother Robert had dispatched James Donovan, a New York attorney, and John Dolan, a friend and advisor to my father Robert Kennedy, to negotiate the release of Castro’s 1500 Cuban prisoners from the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Donovan and Nolan developed an amiable friendship with Castro. They travelled the country together. Fidel gave them a tour of the Bay of Pigs battlefield and then took them as his guests to so many baseball games that, Nolan told me, he vowed to never watch the sport again.

After he released the last 1200 prisoners on Christmas Day 1962, Castro asked Donovan how to go about normalising relations with the United States. Donovan replied: “The way porcupines make love, very carefully.”

My father Robert and JFK were intensely curious about Castro and demanded detailed, highly personal, descriptions of the Cuban leader from both Donovan and Nolan.

The U.S. press had variously caricatured Fidel as drunken, filthy, mercurial, violent and undisciplined. However, Nolan told them: “Our impression would not square with the commonly accepted image. Castro was never irritable, never drunk, never dirty.” He and Donovan described the Cuban leader as worldly, witty, curious, well informed, impeccably groomed, and an engaging conversationalist.


[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
Learning about the secret meetings years ago was real food for thought for a lot of US Americans. Finding out as much as possible can only help, no matter how set in one's way a person might be at the moment.

[center]~ ~ ~[/center]
Memorandum on Conversation between Richard Goodwin and Che Guevara


Bay of Pigs


In August, 1961, just 4 months after the Bay of Pigs invasion, presidential aide Richard Goodwin traveled to Uruguay for the Punta del Este Conference. Here, a meeting between him and Che Guevara was set up. As Guevara was wholeheartedly opposed to US foreign policy and one of Castro's best friends (he was instrumental in the 1959 revolution), the conversation went much better than expected. Both were at ease, spoke freely, and even humored one another. Guevara promised no attack upon Guantanamo, that free elections would be held after the revolution was complete, and that they could pay for expropriated US properties.
Guevara explained the Cuban revolution to Goodwin in terms he was unaware of, namely, that Cuba is now irreversibly out of the US sphere of influence, and that the revolution, too, is irreversible. They have the support of the masses, and that support will grow even more as time passes, Guevara asserted. Above all, Guevara sought a modus vivendi with the United States. This conversation was extremely important for the top of Kennedy’s administration to understand the “new” Cuba, and to deal with it more effectively in the future (a year later during the Cuban Missile Crisis).


Richard Goodwin




The White House


August 1961


Tyler Gabrielson

Original Format

Paper Memorandum


Reply to this post

Back to OP Alert abuse Link to post in-thread

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 10 replies Author Time Post
Judi Lynn Dec 2016 OP
A-Schwarzenegger Dec 2016 #1
Judi Lynn Dec 2016 #2
A-Schwarzenegger Dec 2016 #3
LineLineLineLineNew Reply You imagine the leader of that island with approximately 10,000,000 people, maximum, at that time,
Judi Lynn Dec 2016 #4
A-Schwarzenegger Dec 2016 #5
Judi Lynn Dec 2016 #7
A-Schwarzenegger Dec 2016 #9
A-Schwarzenegger Dec 2016 #6
Judi Lynn Dec 2016 #8
A-Schwarzenegger Dec 2016 #10
Please login to view edit histories.