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The Anti-Latell Report (V): J. Edgar Hoover Report on SOLO

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The Cuban Embassy in 1963: 160 Francisco Marquez St., Colonia Condesa, Mexico City
(image by Emilio Ichikawa)
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"In June 1964 FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover submitted a report that minimized and distorted the meaning of the Operation SOLO information acquired from Castro." This was written by Dr. Brian Latell and his efforts for making the point plainly demonstrate he is a hell of scholar.

On June 17, 1964, Hoover dated a top secret letter to the Warren Commission [WC] for advising its General Counsel, J. Lee Rankin, of statements made by Castro in private: "Our people in Mexico gave us the details in a full report of how he [Oswald] acted (") Nobody ever goes that way for a visa. [He] stormed into the embassy, demanded the visa and when it was refused to him, headed out saying, "I'm going to kill Kennedy for this.'"

The FBI source was Jack Childs, who had infiltrated the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) with his brother Morris in the long-running (1958-77) Operation SOLO . The almost 7,000 page SOLO file began to be released on August 2011. By January 2012, the SOLO Mission 15 was declassified. Jack Childs flew from Moscow to "the beach" [Cuba] on May 20, 1964. He spent ten days there and talked with Castro about the JFK death. Childs reported in essence:

"Castro said "I was told this by my people in the Embassy exactly how he (Oswald) stalked in and walked in and ran out. That in itself was a suspicious movement, because nobody comes to an Embassy for a visa (they go to a Consulate). [Castro] stated that when Oswald was refused his visa at the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City, he acted like a madman and started yelling and shouting on his way out, "I'm going to kill this bastard. I'm going to kill Kennedy' [Castro] was speaking on the basis of facts given to him by his embassy personnel, who dealt with Oswald, and apparently had made a full, detailed report to Castro after President Kennedy was assassinated" (FBI Records: The Vault - SOLO [http://vault.fbi.gov/solo], Part 63, pages 58-59 ).

Dr. Latell trims the actual time --"after President Kennedy was assassinated"-- and sets back the clock to a pre-assassination report for letting slip: "Castro revealed to Childs that he had been aware that, while at the Cuban Consulate in Mexico City, Oswald had threatened to murder Kennedy."

Beyond Castro foreknowledge, Dr. Latell asserts that some officers of the General Directorate of Intelligence (DGI) wind Oswald up in such a way that "when he left the Consulate and shouted his intent to kill Kennedy, it must have been as the war cry of a fully primed soldier for Fidel."

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This trickery miserably fails since Castro emphasized to Childs that Oswald had made the "suspicious movement" of going for a visa to the Embassy, instead of the Consulate. Indeed, FBI Special Agent Nathan L. Ferris was advised by Mexican informants on January 1964 that Elizabeth Mora [almost certain American-born Mexican artist Elizabeth Catlett-Mora] had spilled the beans about a conversation with Cuban Cultural Attaché Teresa Proenza. The latter confided to Mora "that Oswald walked in "cold' to the Cuban Embassy and [she] was the first person he talked to." Proenza didn't speak English and "turned him over the nearest person [not known by Mora] higher in rank and who spoke English." She added that Oswald's had come to the Embassy for "a visa to go to Russia."

Oswald uttered the threat "on his way out" from the Embassy. That's why both the outgoing (Eusebio Azcue-Lopez) and incoming (Alfredo Mirabal-Diaz) Cuban consuls testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) that they did not hear Oswald threatening Kennedy's life [Volume III, pages 127-58 and 173-78 , respectively]. Neither did the Mexican employee Sylvia Duran, who concurred with them in both her interview by HSCA and the two rounds of harsh interrogation by the Mexican Directorate of Federal Security (DFS).

The HSCA Lopez Report (1978) on "Lee Harvey Oswald, the CIA, and Mexico City" provides the explanation: the Consulate "was in a separate building from the Embassy" (See 2003 Release , page 27-28).

The Cuban diplomatic compound in Mexico City covered a block at Francisco Marquez Street with two main entrances: one to the Embassy, on the corner of Tacubaya Alley, and the other to the Consulate, on the corner of Zamora Street. No wonder the CIA photo surveillance point (LIONION) --at a third-floor apartment cross the Francisco Marquez Street-- employed an agent   at one window for photographing the visitors to the Embassy, while from another window a pulse camera covered those entering the Consulate.

Childs himself reasoned: "The Cuban Embassy people must have told Oswald something to the effect that they were sorry that they did not let Americans into Cuba because the U.S. government stopped Cubans from letting them in, and that is when Oswald shouted out the statement about killing President Kennedy."

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It goes without saying that Oswald was told to apply anyway for a visa at the proper place: the Consulate. After having entered at the corner of Tacubaya Alley, he didn't have to exit the compound for being around 11:00 am at the Consulate, where Mexican employee Silvia Duran will attend him two more times the same Friday, September 27, 1963, for his in-transit visa application.

The Cuban Embassy personnel were obliged to and did inform Castro just after Oswald made the news in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The HSCA has already given the logically and circumstantially justified explanation for dismissing Castro foreknowledge: "Nothing in the evidence indicated that the threat should have been taken seriously, if it had occurred, since Oswald had behaved in an argumentative and obnoxious fashion." Without any shred of evidence, Dr. Latell plots that "it would have been logical for [DGI officers] to have stoked Oswald's loathing."

In no way DGI officers would have dared to wind Oswald up for killing Kennedy. They would have never "planted the seed" in an absent-minded American who tried to travel illegally to Cuba, but had forgotten the photos for the visa in his first visit; showed a CPUSA credential in his second visit, but had made no previous contact with the Cuban brother party; and told Duran in his third visit there was no problem with the Russian visa, but she caught him in a lie just by calling the Soviet Consulate. However, there is no insurmountable obstacle for Dr. Latell.

Although he acknowledges there is no "evidence that Oswald remained in contact with [DGI] after he left Mexico," the problem is solved with ease: "A call from Dallas pay booth could have been all that was necessary for the DGI to learn of his plan." Oswald's pocket address book had only the phone number of Duran --given to any applicant who needed to inquire about a pending consular process-- but Dr. Latell desperately requires a contact with some DGI officer identified by defector Vladimir Rodriguez-Lahera [AMMUG-1]. Thus, the fairy tale follows: "I might have been Luisa Calderon who received Oswald's call." And he only had to say: "On Friday [November 22, 1963], I'm going to do what I told you."

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Former Professor of Law at the University of Havana Former Instructor of Journalism at the University of Miami Contributor to CTKA on the JFK assassination Contributor to History Today and The Miami Herald


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For proving Castro foreknowledge of Oswald, Dr. Br... by Arnaldo M. Fernandez on Friday, Feb 7, 2014 at 7:18:40 AM