CubaBrief: Pedro Castillo backed by Castro, Maduro and Ortega.​ National Archives releases JFK assassination documents. Cuba’s Support for Terrorism

Marco Aquino in his Reuters article, “Peru’s Castillo jail term extended as diplomatic spat worsens” published on December 15, 2022 revealed that a “bloc of left-wing countries meeting in Havana, including Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua” … “forcefully backed the jailed Castillo, rejecting what they described as ‘the political framework created by right-wing forces.'”

Pedro Castillo backed by Castro, Maduro and Ortega.

Peru’s president Pedro Castillo was impeached on December 7, 2022 following his order to dissolve Congress, and his announcement that he would rule by decree and rewrite the Peruvian Constitution. Peru’s military responded: “Any act contrary to the established constitutional order represents an infraction to the Constitution and will lead to the nonacceptance by the Armed Forces and the Police.”

“The military and police, by refusing to go along with the assault on Peru’s constitutional order, set a positive example for democracies across the region,” stated John Suarez, executive director, Center for a Free Cuba. “Pedro Castillo’s attempted overthrow of Peru’s democracy and installation of a new Constitution while he would have ruled by decree would have sent Peru down the same path to dictatorship as followed by Venezuela and Nicaragua,” Suarez added.

“The Castro regime repeated Castillo’s talking points through the official news agency, Prensa Latina, justifying the dissolution of Peru’s Congress. Hopefully, there will be an investigation into what role foreign actors may have played in trying to subvert Peruvian democracy,” concluded Suarez. Steve Holland and Jarrett Renshaw in their December 15, 2022 Reuters article “National Archives releases documents related to JFK assassination” reported that “the U.S. National Archives on Thursday released thousands of documents related to the 1963 assassination of then-President John F. Kennedy, acting shortly after President Joe Biden issued an executive order authorizing the release that also kept hundreds of other sensitive records secret for up to another year.” The National Archives made these records available online. One of these declassified documents reveals that Jack Ruby, the man who assassinated Lee Harvey Oswald, had visited Cuba a year earlier. The document is reproduced below.

Key members of the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations believed that Havana had used Oswaldo to get rid of President Kennedy.

On November 29, 1963 in a phone call with President Lyndon Baines Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI revealed Oswald’s links with the Castro regime. “This angle in Mexico is giving us a great deal of trouble because the story is they have this man Oswald getting $6500 from the Cuban Embassy and then coming back to this country with it.”

Politico in 2014 reported, “White House aide Joseph Califano, who was part of the anti-Castro plotting, said he was convinced that ‘Robert Kennedy experienced this unbelievable grief after his brother’s death because he believed it was linked to his—Bobby’s—efforts to kill Castro.’”

In 1968, Johnson told ABC reporter Howard K. Smith that “Kennedy was trying to get to Castro, but Castro got him first.

Leo Janos, one of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s former speech writers, interviewed him for the July 1973 issue of The Atlantic in which LBJ “expressed his belief that the assassination in Dallas had been part of a conspiracy. ‘I never believed that Oswald acted alone, although I can accept that he pulled the trigger.” Johnson said that when he had taken office he found that “we had been operating a damned Murder Inc. in the Caribbean.’ A year or so before Kennedy’s death a CIA-backed assassination team had been picked up in Havana. Johnson speculated that Dallas had been a retaliation for this thwarted attempt, although he couldn’t prove it.”

Respected German documentary filmmaker Wilfried Huismann in 2006 made the case that Fidel Castro was behind the killing of the 35th president, and explained why.

We settled the question of why in three years of research on this documentary in Mexico, USA and Cuba. Oswald had been an agent for the Cuban intelligence services since November 1962. He was a political fanatic and allowed himself to be used by the Cuban intelligence services to kill John F. Kennedy. It was a Cuban reaction to the repeated attempts of the Kennedy brothers, above all the younger Kennedy, Robert, to get rid of Fidel Castro through political assassination — a duel between the Kennedys and the Castros, which, like in a Greek tragedy, left one of the duelists dead.

Following the President’s assassination within a year Operation Mongoose was scrapped and Fidel Castro would remain in power until 2006, then replaced by his brother Raul in a dynastic succession following a health crisis. General Raul Castro remains the maximum authority in Cuba today. Castro died of old age after causing much suffering in Cuba and around the world in places such as Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and Venezuela.

The dictatorship in Cuba has a decades long history of sponsoring and engaging in terrorism, and it continues to the present day.

Jaime Suchlicki, Director of the Cuban Studies Institute, presented a report on Cuba’s support for terrorism at a seminar on “Latin American Security Concerns” held in Washington D.C., on November 30, 2022, sponsored by the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies and the International Law Institute.  This report reveals a disturbing correlation of forces between Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela to advance terrorist aims.

“Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela have developed a close and cooperative relationship against the U.S. in partnership with terrorist groups and states. The three regimes increasingly coordinate their policies and resources in a three-way association aimed at counteracting and circumventing U.S. policies in the Middle East and Latin America. Within this relationship, Cuba plays a strategic role in terms of geography (proximity to the U.S.), intelligence gathering (both electronic eavesdropping and human espionage) logistics, and training.”

 

Reuters, December 15, 2022

National Archives releases documents related to JFK assassination

By Steve Holland and Jarrett Renshaw

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (Reuters) – The U.S. National Archives on Thursday released thousands of documents related to the 1963 assassination of then-President John F. Kennedy, acting shortly after President Joe Biden issued an executive order authorizing the release that also kept hundreds of other sensitive records secret for up to another year.

The release of 13,173 documents was not expected to include any new bombshells or change the conclusion reached by the commission led by Chief Justice Earl Warren that Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine and communist activist who had lived in the Soviet Union, acted alone. However, the latest cache will be useful for historians focusing on the events around the assassination.

Kennedy was shot and killed while riding in his motorcade through Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, at the age of 46.

Thousands of books, articles, TV shows and films have explored the idea that Kennedy’s assassination was the result of an elaborate conspiracy. None have produced conclusive proof that Oswald – who was fatally shot by nightclub owner Jack Ruby two days after killing Kennedy – worked with anyone else, although they retain a powerful cultural currency.

Many of the documents released on Thursday belonged to the Central Intelligence Agency, including several that focused on Oswald’s movements and his contacts. Other documents focus on requests from the Warren Commission investigating the assassination.

The documents show that the U.S. government opened a so-called 201 file on Oswald in December 1960, nearly three years before Kennedy’s murder and after Oswald’s failed defection to the Soviet Union in 1959.

A December 1963 document described how CIA officials in Mexico City “intercepted a telephone call” Oswald made in October from that city to the Soviet Embassy there “using his own name” and speaking “broken Russian.” Oswald was hoping to travel through Cuba on his way to Russia and was seeking a visa, documents show.

There were initial concerns that Ruby, Oswald’s killer, might have had some connection to Oswald. But a newly released September 1964 memo to the presidential commission investigating the assassination said “the Central Intelligence Agency has no indication that Ruby and Lee Harvey Oswald ever knew each other, were associated, or might have been connected in any manner.”

Congress in 1992 had ordered that all remaining sealed files pertaining to the investigation into Kennedy’s death should be fully opened to the public through the National Archives in 25 years, by Oct. 26, 2017, except for those the president authorized for further withholding.

In 2017, then-President Donald Trump released a cache of records, but decided to release the remaining documents on a rolling basis.

All of the remaining JFK files were originally supposed to have been released in October 2021. Biden postponed that planned release, citing delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and announced they would be instead disclosed in two batches: one on Dec. 15, 2021, and another by Dec. 15, 2022, after undergoing an intensive one-year review.

With Thursday’s release, 95 percent of the documents in the CIA’s JFK assassination records collection will have been released in their entirety, a CIA spokesperson said in a statement, and no documents will remain redacted or withheld in full after an “intensive one-year review” of all previously unreleased information.

In a memorandum Thursday, Biden said that until May 1, 2023, the National Archives and relevant agencies “shall jointly review the remaining redactions in the records that had not been publicly disclosed.” After that review, “any information withheld from public disclosure that agencies do not recommend for continued postponement” will be released by June 30, 2023.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/national-archives-releases-documents-related-assassination-john-f-kennedy-2022-12-15/

Reuters, December 15, 2022

UPDATE 2-Peru’s Castillo jail term extended as diplomatic spat worsens

Marco Aquino

Thu, December 15, 2022 at 2:19 PM EST

(Recasts with court decision)

By Marco Aquino

LIMA, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Peruvian ex-President Pedro Castillo’s prison stay was extended by 18 months amid a deepening diplomatic spat with left-leaning countries in the region that oppose his removal as ongoing blockages threaten logistics at key copper mines.

A judicial panel within the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Castillo, initially jailed for seven days, will remain behind bars as prosecutors continue their investigation into criminal charges against the former leader.

The decision did not touch on the merits of the accusations faced by Castillo, who has been charged with rebellion and conspiracy, but a judge heading up the panel cited the risk of flight by the former president.

Castillo has denied all the charges and has claimed he remains the country’s lawful president.
The leftist Castillo, the son of peasant farmers and a former teacher who won a narrow victory at the polls last year running under the banner of the Marxist Free Peru party, was removed by an overwhelming vote of lawmakers who accused him of “permanent moral incapacity” just hours after Castillo ordered the Congress dissolved on Dec. 7.

The swift removal of Castillo, who led the South American country for just 17 months, has reverberated far beyond Peru’s borders, with several leftist allies of the deposed leader rallying to his support as angry and sometimes violent street protests extend into their second week, with a state of emergency declared.

Earlier this week, four nations led by leftist presidents – Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico – signed onto a joint statement declaring Castillo “a victim of undemocratic harassment.”

A bloc of left-wing countries meeting in Havana, including Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua, also forcefully backed the jailed Castillo, rejecting what they described as “the political framework created by right-wing forces.”

Foreign Minister Ana Cecilia Gervasi, new to the post after President Dina Boluarte took over from Castillo last week, responded on Thursday by summoning home Peru’s ambassadors in Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia and Mexico for consultation.

Gervasi wrote that the consultations “relate to interference in the internal affairs of Peru” in a post on Twitter.

She did not specify when the talks would take place, or what other actions Boluarte’s government might take.

Peru’s constitution allows a president to shut down Congress, but only if lawmakers approve motions of no confidence twice on the president’s Cabinet, which did not happen on the day of his ouster last Wednesday.

(Reporting by Marco Aquino; Additional reporting by Valentine Hilaire; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Anthony Esposito, Alistair Bell, Christian Plumb and Leslie Adler)

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/1-peru-diplomatic-spat-grows-191952341.html

Cuba Insight

A publication of the Cuban Studies Institute
 

CUBA’S SUPPORT FOR TERRORISM

* By Jaime Suchlicki

December 9, 2022

Although President Barack Obama removed Cuba in 2015 from the U.S. State Department list of countries supporting terrorism, and President Trump included it again in 2020, the Cuban regime continues to support terrorist groups and countries, and harbors U.S., Spanish, and Colombian terrorists in the island.

Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela have developed a close and cooperative relationship against the U.S. in partnership with terrorist groups and states. The three regimes increasingly coordinate their policies and resources in a three-way association aimed at counteracting and circumventing U.S. policies in the Middle East and Latin America. Within this relationship, Cuba plays a strategic role in terms of geography (proximity to the U.S.), intelligence gathering (both electronic eavesdropping and human espionage) logistics, and training.

In addition to its proven technical prowess to interfere and intercept U.S. telecommunications, Cuba has deployed around the world a highly effective human intelligence network. The type of espionage carried out by Ana Belén Montes, the senior U.S. defense intelligence analyst who spied for Cuba during some 16 years until her arrest in 2001, has enabled the Cuban regime to amass a wealth of intelligence on U.S. vulnerabilities as well as a keen understanding of the inner-workings of the U.S. security system.

Such information and analysis were provided to Iraq and now to strategic allies like Iran. While one may argue that factors such as Iran’s limited military capabilities and sheer distance diminish any conventional concerns, one should expect that Tehran, in case of a U.S.-Iran conflict, would launch an asymmetrical offensive against the U.S. and its European allies through surrogate terrorist states and paramilitary organizations. In such a scenario, Cuban intelligence would be invaluable to Iran and its proxies, and Cuban territory could be used by terrorist groups to launch operations against the U.S.

Following is recent evidence of Cuba’s involvement with terrorism:

* Cuba directly and through Venezuela continues to provide intelligence to Hamas and Hezbollah.

* Hezbollah, on orders from Hasan Nasrallah, set up an operational base in Cuba.           

* Working in coordination with the Cuban government, Venezuela is promoting Hezbollah and Iranian targets in South America and against the U.S. They fundraise for Hezbollah, facilitate travel for Hezbollah activists to Venezuela, and through Venezuela to other countries. This is all part of the strategic alliance between Venezuela, Cuba, and Iran.

* Venezuela is providing its territory to train, with Cuba’s support, terrorist fighters from Latin America and the Middle East.

* Cuban military officers are acting as liaison between Venezuelan military and  the narco-guerrillas of the Colombian FARC. Cuban General Leonardo Ramon Andollo,Chief of Operations of the Cuban MINFAR (Ministry of the Armed Forces), has visited Venezuela several times and acted as a go between the Cuban and Venezuelan military involved in drug trafficking.

 * The FBI estimates that Cuba has provided safe harbor to dozens of fugitives from U.S. justice who live on the island under the protection of the Cuban regime. Some of these fugitives are charged with or have been convicted of murder, kidnapping, and hijacking, and they include notorious killers of police officers in New Jersey and New Mexico, most prominent among them Joanne Chesimard (Assata Shakur), placed by the FBI in 2013 on the “Most Wanted Terrorist List.”

 * Current and former Spanish members of Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA), a Basque terrorist organization continue to reside in Cuba. While some  of these terrorists are on the island as part of an accord between the Cuban and Spanish governments, others are hiding in Cuba, fugitives of Spanish justice. ETA terrorist, Jose Angel Urtiaga Martinez, has lived in Cuba since the 1980s and is wanted by Spanish Justice. In addition, there are about a dozen other ETA members living in Cuba. Also, several “Macheteros” Puerto Rican terrorists have found refuge in Cuba.

* Former Cuban intelligence official, Uberto Mario, has described how the Cuban regime trained Venezuelan “Tupamaros,” pro-Maduro groups who violently attack Venezuelan students.

* “Hezbollah in Cuba,” the Hamas-funded Turkish “charity” known as IHH continues to operate in Havana. IHH is a member of the “Union of Good,” an umbrella organization that financially supports Hamas.

 * Managed by Cubans and Venezuelans sympathetic to Cuba, Venezuela’s immigration system, “Misión Identidad,” facilitates the entry of Cuban agents into Venezuela. Cubans also control SIME (Servicio de Identificacion, Migracion y Extranjeria, Caracas) which facilitates the travel of drug organizations, Colombian guerrillas, and Islamist terrorists. Cuba also has on the island duplicate Venezuelan forms and stamps to issue passports and identifications to these groups.

 * Warranting special mention are the outstanding U.S. indictments against Cuban Air Force pilots and General Rubén Martínez Puente, the head of the Cuban Air Force, who in 1996 shot down two unarmed civilian American aircraft over international waters in the Florida Straits. That act of terrorism, ordered by Fidel and Raul Castro, killed four men, three of them American citizens. The Castro brothers personally accepted responsibility for the shot-down.

 * “Prensa Islamica” published an article on Cuba-Iran growing relationship. The article explains that Cuba has shared with Iran its “vast knowledge on intelligence” and has discussed cooperation “on electromagnetic weapons capable of sabotaging enemy communications.”

 * The Jerusalem Post reported on October 16, 2022 that Hezbollah was helping the Iranian regime quash protests in Iran.

 * In January 2019, Colombia’s President asked Cuba to extradite several leaders of Colombian terrorist group Ejército de Liberación Nacional (ELN). Yet Cuba refused.There are also three female members of the ELN in Cuba: Consuelo Tapias, Isabel Torres, and Luz Amanda Pallares, aka Silvana Guerrero.

 * Other leaders of the Colombian terrorist group, Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, FARC have used Cuba as temporary safe heaven.

* The electro-magnetic cyber-attacks against U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Havana that harmed a number of them, is still an unresolved issue. 

In an attempt to obtain unilateral concessions from the U.S., the Cuban regime has toned down some of its violent anti-U.S. propaganda of Fidel and Raul. Yet their commitment to and interrelationships with anti-American terrorist groups have not disappeared. They have taken a more sophisticated approach; many times, using proxies such as Venezuelan supporters. 

*Jaime Suchlicki is Director of the Cuban Studies Institute, CSI, a non-profit research group in Coral Gables, FL. He is the author of Cuba: From Columbus to Castro & Beyond, now in its 5th edition; Mexico: From Montezuma to the Rise of the PAN, 2nd edition, and Breve Historia de Cuba.
 

*   This report was presented at a seminar “Latin American Security Concerns” held in Washington D.C., November 30, 2022, sponsored by the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies and the International Law Institute. Foreign intelligence services provided information for this report.

This is a publication of the Cuban Studies Institute. 

https://www.cubacenter.org/articles-and-events/2022/12/9/cubas-support-for-terrorism-bynbspjaime-suchlicki-cuban-studies-institute