Archive for the ‘Cuba’ Category

The Anti-Empire Report by William Blum

November 7, 2007

The Anti-Empire Report by William Blum

The Anti-Empire Report
Read this or George W. Bush will be president the rest of your life

by William Blum
www.killinghope.org
November 6, 2007

In a sound-bite society, reality no longer matters

Last month, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told assembled world leaders at the United Nations that the time had come to take action against Iran. “None disagrees,” she said, “that Iran denies the Holocaust and speaks openly of its desire to wipe a member state – mine – off the map. And none disagrees that, in violation of Security Council resolutions, it is actively pursuing the means to achieve this end. Too many see the danger but walk idly by – hoping that someone else will take care of it. … It is time for the United Nations, and the states of the world, to live up to their promise of never again. To say enough is enough, to act now and to defend their basic values.”[1]

Yet, later the same month, we are informed by Haaretz, (frequently described as “the New York Times of Israel”), that the same Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni had said a few months earlier, in a series of closed discussions, that in her opinion “Iranian nuclear weapons do not pose an existential threat to Israel.” Haaretz reported that “Livni also criticized the exaggerated use that [Israeli] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is making of the issue of the Iranian bomb, claiming that he is attempting to rally the public around him by playing on its most basic fears.”[2]

What are we to make of such a self-contradiction, such perfect hypocrisy?

And here is Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International: “The one time we seriously negotiated with Tehran was in the closing days of the war in Afghanistan, in order to create a new political order in the country. Bush’s representative to the Bonn conference, James Dobbins, says that ‘the Iranians were very professional, straightforward, reliable and helpful. They were also critical to our success. They persuaded the Northern Alliance [Afghan foes of the Taliban] to make the final concessions that we asked for.’ Dobbins says the Iranians made overtures to have better relations with the United States through him and others in 2001 and later, but got no reply. Even after the Axis of Evil speech, he recalls, they offered to cooperate in Afghanistan. Dobbins took the proposal to a principals meeting in Washington only to have it met with dead silence. The then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, he says, ‘looked down and rustled his papers.’ No reply was ever sent back to the Iranians. Why bother? They’re mad.”[3]

Dobbins has further written: “The original version of the Bonn agreement … neglected to mention either democracy or the war on terrorism. It was the Iranian representative who spotted these omissions and successfully urged that the newly emerging Afghan government be required to commit to both.”[4] … “Only weeks after Hamid Karzai was sworn in as interim leader in Afghanistan, President Bush listed Iran among the ‘axis of evil’ — surprising payback for Tehran’s help in Bonn. A year later, shortly after the invasion of Iraq, all bilateral contacts with Tehran were suspended. Since then, confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program has intensified.”[5]

Shortly after the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iran made another approach to Washington, via the Swiss ambassador who sent a fax to the State Department. The Washington Post described it as “a proposal from Iran for a broad dialogue with the United States, and the fax suggested everything was on the table — including full cooperation on nuclear programs, acceptance of Israel and the termination of Iranian support for Palestinian militant groups.” The Bush administration “belittled the initiative. Instead, they formally complained to the Swiss ambassador who had sent the fax.” Richard Haass, head of policy planning at the State Department at the time and now president of the Council on Foreign Relations, said the Iranian approach was swiftly rejected because in the administration “the bias was toward a policy of regime change.”[6]

So there we have it. The Israelis know it, the Americans know it. Iran is not any kind of military threat. Before the invasion of Iraq I posed the question in this report: What possible reason would Saddam Hussein have for attacking the United States or Israel other than an irresistible desire for mass national suicide? He had no reason, and neither do the Iranians. Of the many lies surrounding the invasion of Iraq, the biggest one of all is that if, in fact, Saddam Hussein had those weapons of mass destruction the invasion would have been justified.

The United States and Israel have long strived to dominate the Middle East, viewing Iraq and Iran as the most powerful barriers to that ambition. Iraq is now a basket case. Iran awaits basketization. And, eventually perhaps, the omnipresent American military bases, closing the base-gap between Iraq and Afghanistan in Washington’s encirclement of China, and the better to monitor the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea areas.

There was a time when I presumed that the sole purpose of United States hostile policy toward Iran was to keep the Iranians from acquiring nuclear weapons, which would deprive the US and Israel of their mideast monopoly and ultimate tool of intimidation. But now it appears that destroying Iran’s military capability, nuclear and otherwise, smashing it to the point of being useless defensively or offensively, is the Bush administration’s objective, perhaps along with the hope of some form of regime change. The Empire leaves as little to chance as possible.

Cuba and Original Sin

Since the early days of the Cuban Revolution assorted anti-communists and capitalist true-believers around the world have been relentless in publicizing the failures, real and alleged, of life in Cuba; each perceived shortcoming is attributed to the perceived shortcomings of socialism — It’s simply a system that can’t work, we are told, given the nature of human beings, particularly in this modern, competitive, globalized, consumer-oriented world.

In response to many of these criticisms, defenders of Cuban society have regularly pointed out how the numerous draconian sanctions imposed by the United States since 1960 are largely responsible for most of the problems pointed out by the critics. The critics, in turn, say that this is just an excuse, one given by Cuban apologists for every failure of their socialist system. It would be very difficult for the critics to prove their point. The United States would have to drop all sanctions and then we’d have to wait long enough for Cuban society to recover what it’s lost and demonstrate what its system can do when not under constant attack by the most powerful nation in the world.

The sanctions (which Cuba calls an economic blockade), designed to create discontent toward the government, have been expanding under the Bush administration, both in number and in vindictiveness. Washington has adopted sharper reprisals against those who do business with Cuba or establish relations with the country based on cultural or tourist exchanges; e.g., the US Treasury has frozen the accounts in the United States of the Netherlands Caribbean Bank because it has an office in Cuba, and banned US firms and individuals from having any dealings with the Dutch bank.

The US Treasury Department fined the Alliance of Baptists $34,000, charging that certain of its members and parishioners of other churches had engaged in tourism during a visit to Cuba for religious purposes; i.e., they had spent money there. (As George W. once said: “U.S. law forbids Americans to travel to Cuba for pleasure.”[7])

American courts and government agencies have helped US companies expropriate the famous Cuban cigar brand name ‘Cohiba’ and the well-known rum “Havana Club”.

The Bush administration sent a note to American Internet service providers telling them not to deal with six specified countries, including Cuba.[8] This is one of several actions by Washington over the years to restrict Internet availability in Cuba; yet Cuba’s critics claim that problems with the Internet in Cuba are due to government suppression.

Cubans in the United States are limited to how much money they can send to their families in Cuba, a limit that Washington imposes only on Cubans and on no other nationals. Not even during the worst moments of the Cold War was there a general limit to the amount of money that people in the US could send to relatives living in the Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe.

In 1999, Cuba filed a suit against the United States for $181.1 billion in compensation for economic losses and loss of life during the first forty years of this aggression. The suit held Washington responsible for the death of 3,478 Cubans and the wounding and disabling of 2,099 others. In the eight years since, these figures have of course all increased. The sanctions, in numerous ways large and small, makes acquiring many kinds of products and services from around the world much more difficult and expensive, often impossible; frequently, they are things indispensable to Cuban medicine, transportation or industry; or they mean that Americans and Cubans can’t attend professional conferences in each other’s country.

The above is but a small sample of the excruciating pain inflicted by the United States upon the body, soul and economy of the Cuban people.

For years American political leaders and media were fond of labeling Cuba an “international pariah”. We don’t hear much of that any more. Perhaps one reason is the annual vote at the United Nations on a General Assembly resolution to end the US embargo against Cuba. This is how the vote has gone:

Yes-No
1992     59-2   (US, Israel)
1993     88-4   (US, Israel, Albania, Paraguay)
1994   101-2   (US, Israel)
1995   117-3   (US, Israel, Uzbekistan)
1996   138-3   (US, Israel, Uzbekistan)
1997   143-3   (US, Israel, Uzbekistan)
1998   157-2   (US, Israel)
1999   155-2   (US, Israel)
2000   167-3   (US, Israel, Marshall Islands)
2001   167-3   (US, Israel, Marshall Islands)
2002   173-3   (US, Israel, Marshall Islands)
2003   179-3   (US, Israel, Marshall Islands)
2004   179-4   (US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau)
2005   182-4   (US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau)
2006   183-4   (US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau)
2007   184-4   (US, Israel, Marshall Islands, Palau)

Cuba’s sin, which the United States of America cannot forgive, is to have created a society that can serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model, and, moreover, to have done so under the very nose of the United States. And despite all the hardships imposed on it by Washington, Cuba has indeed inspired countless peoples and governments all over the world.

Long-time writer about Cuba, Karen Lee Wald, has observed: “The United States has more pens, pencils, candy, aspirin, etc. than most Cubans have. They, on the other hand, have better access to health services, education, sports, culture, childcare, services for the elderly, pride and dignity than most of us have within reach.”

In a 1996 address to the General Assembly, Cuban Vice-President Carlos Lage stated: “Each day in the world 200 million children sleep in the streets. Not one of them is Cuban.”

On April 6, 1960, L.D. Mallory, a US State Department senior official, wrote in an internal memorandum: “The majority of Cubans support Castro … the only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship. … every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba.” Mallory proposed “a line of action that makes the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and the overthrow of the government.” Later that year, the Eisenhower administration instituted the embargo.[9]

Hugo the demon dictator strikes again

The latest evidence that Hugo Chavez is a dictator, we are told, is that he’s pushing for a constitutional amendment to remove term limits from the presidency. It’s the most contentious provision in his new reform package which has recently been approved by the Venezuelan congress and awaits a public referendum on December 2. The lawmakers traveled nationwide to discuss the proposals with community groups at more than 9,000 public events[10], rather odd behavior for a dictatorship, as is another of the reforms — setting a maximum six-hour workday so workers would have sufficient time for “personal development.”

The American media and the opposition in Venezuela make it sound as if Chavez is going to be guaranteed office for as long as he wants. What they fail to emphasize, if they mention it at all, is that there’s nothing at all automatic about the process — Chavez will have to be elected each time. Neither are we enlightened that it’s not unusual for a nation to not have a term limit for its highest office. France, Germany, and the United Kingdom, if not all of Europe and much of the rest of the world, do not have such a limit. The United States did not have a term limit on the office of the president during the nation’s first 175 years, until the ratification of the 22nd Amendment in 1951. Were all American presidents prior to that time dictators?

Is it of any significance, I wonder, that the two countries of the Western Hemisphere whose governments the United States would most like to overthrow — Venezuela and Cuba — have the greatest national obsession with baseball outside of the United States?

Reason Number 3,467 for having doubts about our God-given free-enterprise system

I recently bought my first cellphone and took it with me to Burlington, Vermont, only to discover that it didn’t work there. It seems that AT&T/Cingular doesn’t have cellphone towers in that area. But other phone companies do have towers there and their subscribers’ phones work. Is that not a really clever system?

To have a single national telephone system with all towers available for use by everyone would presumably upset libertarians and others who worship at the shrine of competition.. So instead we’re given another charming “market solution”, and the beauty of competition is preserved. Why stop there?  Just imagine the advantages in being able to call around to find out which fire station will give you the best rate should your house suddenly go up in flames.

An unwelcome guest at the table of respectable opinion

In the September edition of this report I presented a review of New York Times reporter Tim Weiner’s new book “Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA”. It was rather critical of the book, particularly as to what has been left out about CIA operations and the effect upon foreign peoples of these operations. The net result of these numerous omissions is to paint a picture of US foreign policy that significantly downplays the actions most destructive to the peace, prosperity, and happiness of the world.  It’s an old story — the media decide which issues to cover in the first place; they then decide how many sides there are to an issue; and then they decide what type of coverage is “balanced”. The major ideological problem of the American media is that they do not believe that they have any ideology.

But I wondered if I was not being somewhat unfair to Weiner in one or more cases; perhaps he had a good reason for some of his omissions; perhaps in the 700 pages, including 155 pages of small-type notes, I had missed something I thought had been omitted. I decided to send a copy of the review to him, hopefully to get his reaction, and wrote to the Times asking for his email address. I got back an email from Weiner himself which read, in full:

“Dear Mr. Blum: I read your review several days ago. And I’ve read all your books. best wishes, tw”

No challenges to anything I said; no corrections. I’d be surprised if he’s done more than skim a few pages of any of my books. His letter is his way of saying: “I really don’t want to hear from you again. Our worlds are not designed for mingling. Our truths are not the same, and neither my publisher nor the New York Times pays me to disseminate yours.”

NOTES
[1] Haaretz.com (Israeli newspaper), October 1, 2007

[2] Haaretz.com, October 25, 2007; print edition October 26

[3] Newsweek, October 20, 2007

[4] Washington Post, May 6, 2004

[5] Washington Post, July 22, 2007, p.B7, op-ed by Dobbins

[6] Washington Post, June 18, 2006, p.16

[7] White House press release, October 10, 2003

[8] Press release from the Cuban Mission to the United Nations, October 17, 2007, re this and preceding three paragraphs.

[9] Department of State, “Foreign Relations of the United States, 1958-1960, Volume VI, Cuba” (1991), p.885

[10] Washington Post, October 31, 2007, p.12

William Blum is the author of:
Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Interventions Since World War 2
Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower
West-Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Memoir
Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire

Portions of the books can be read, and signed copies purchased, at <www.killinghope.org>

Previous Anti-Empire Reports can be read at this website at “essays”.

To add yourself to this mailing list simply send an email to <bblum6@aol.com> with “add” in the subject line. I’d like your name and city in the message, but that’s optional. I ask for your city only in case I’ll be speaking in your area.

Or put “remove” in the subject line to do the opposite.

Any part of this report may be disseminated without permission.  I’d appreciate it if the website were mentioned. www.killinghope.org

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The Killing Machine by Fidel Castro

July 11, 2007
The Killing Machine
by Fidel Castro; July 03, 2007

Sunday is a good day to read something that would appear to be science fiction.

 

 It was announced that the CIA would be declassifying hundreds of pages on illegal actions that included plans to eliminate the leaders of foreign governments. Suddenly the publication is halted and it is delayed one day. No coherent explanation was given. Perhaps someone in the White House looked over the material.

 

The first package of declassified documents goes by the name of “The Family Jewels”; it consists of 702 pages on illegal CIA actions between 1959 and 1973. About 100 pages of this part have been deleted.  It deals with actions that were not authorized by any law, plots to assassinate other leaders, experiments with drugs on human beings to control their minds, spying on civil activists and journalists, among other similar activities that were expressly prohibited.

 

The documents began to be gathered together 14 years after the first of the events took place, when then CIA director, James Schlessinger became alarmed about what the press was writing, especially all the articles by Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein published in The Washington Post, already mentioned in the “Manifesto to the People of Cuba”.  The agency was being accused of promoting spying in the Watergate Hotel with the participation of its former agents Howard Hunt and James McCord.

 

In May 1973, the Director of the CIA was demanding that “all the main operative officials of this agency must immediately inform me on any ongoing or past activity that might be outside of the constituting charter of this agency”.  Schlessinger, later appointed Head of the Pentagon, had been replaced by William Colby. Colby was referring to the documents as “skeletons hiding in a closet”. New press revelations forced Colby to admit the existence of the reports to interim President Gerald Ford in 1975. The New York Times was denouncing agency penetration of antiwar groups. The law that created the CIA prevented it from spying inside the United States. 

 

That “was just the tip of the iceberg”, said then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. 

 

Kissinger himself warned that “blood would flow” if other actions were known, and he immediately added: “For example, that Robert Kennedy personally controlled the operation for the assassination of Fidel Castro”. The President’s brother was then Attorney General of the United States. He was later murdered as he was running for President in the 1968 elections, which facilitated Nixon’s election for lack of a strong candidate. The most dramatic thing about the case is that apparently he had reached the conviction that Jack Kennedy had been victim of a conspiracy. Thorough investigators, after analyzing the wounds, the caliber of the shots and other circumstances surrounding the death of the President, reached the conclusion that there had been at least three shooters.  Solitary Oswald, used as an instrument, could not have been the only shooter. I found that rather striking. Excuse me for saying this but fate turned me into a shooting instructor with a telescopic sight for all the Granma expeditionaries. I spent months practicing and teaching, every day; even though the target is a stationary one it disappears from view with each shot and so you need to look for it all over again in fractions of a second.

 

Oswald wanted to come through Cuba on his trip to the USSR. He had already been there before. Someone sent him to ask for a visa in our country’s embassy in Mexico but nobody knew him there so he wasn’t authorized. They wanted to get us implicated in the conspiracy. Later, Jack Ruby, –a man openly linked to the Mafia– unable to deal with so much pain and sadness, as he said, assassinated him, of all places, in a precinct full police agents.

 

Subsequently, in international functions or on visits to Cuba, on more than one occasion I met with the aggrieved Kennedy relatives, who would greet me respectfully. The former president’s son, who was a very small child when his father was killed, visited Cuba 34 years later. We met and I invited him to dinner.

 

The young man, in the prime of his life, and well brought up, tragically died in an airplane accident on a stormy night as he was flying to Martha’s Vineyard with his wife. I never touched on the thorny issue with any of those relatives. In contrast, I pointed out that if the president-elect had then been Nixon instead of Kennedy, after the Bay of Pigs disaster we would have been attacked by the land and sea forces escorting the mercenary expedition, and both countries would have paid a high toll in human lives. Nixon would not have limited himself to saying that victory has many fathers and defeat is an orphan.  For the record, Kennedy was never too enthusiastic about the Bay of Pigs adventure; he was led there by Eisenhower’s military reputation and the recklessness of his ambitious vice-president. 

 

I remember that, exactly on the day and minute he was assassinated, I was speaking in a peaceful spot outside of the capital with French journalist Jean Daniel. He told me that he was bringing a message from President Kennedy. He said to me that in essence he had told him: “You are going to see Castro. I would like to know what he thinks about the terrible danger we just experienced of a thermonuclear war. I want to see you again as soon as you get back.”  “Kennedy was very active; he seemed to be a political machine”, he added, and we were not able to continue talking as someone rushed in with the news of what had just happened. We turned on the radio. What Kennedy thought was now pointless.

 

Certainly I lived with that danger. Cuba was both the weakest part and the one that would take the first strike, but we did not agree with the concessions that were made to the United States. I have already spoken of this before.

 

Kennedy had emerged from the crisis with greater authority. He came to recognize the enormous sacrifices of human lives and material wealth made by the Soviet people in the struggle against fascism. The worst of the relations between the United States and Cuba had not yet occurred by April 1961. When he hadn’t resigned himself to the outcome of the Bay of Pigs, along came the Missile Crisis. The blockade, economic asphyxiation, pirate attacks and assassination plots multiplied. But the assassination plots and other bloody occurrences began under the administration of Eisenhower and Nixon.

 

After the Missile Crisis we would have not refused to talk with Kennedy, nor would we have ceased being revolutionaries and radical in our struggle for socialism. Cuba would have never severed relations with the USSR as it had been asked to do. Perhaps if the American leaders had been aware of what a war could be using weapons of mass destruction they would have ended the Cold War earlier and differently. At least that’s how we felt then, when there was still no talk of global warming, broken imbalances, the enormous consumption of hydrocarbons and the sophisticated weaponry created by technology, as I have already said to the youth of Cuba.  We would have had much more time to reach, through science and conscience, what we are today forced to realize in haste.

 

President Ford decided to appoint a Commission to investigate the Central Intelligence Agency. “We do not want to destroy the CIA but to preserve it”, he said.

 

As a result of the Commission’s investigations that were led by Senator Frank Church, President Ford signed an executive order which expressly prohibited the participation of American officials in the assassinations of foreign leaders. 

 

The documents published now disclose information about the CIA-Mafia links for my assassination.

 

Details are also revealed about Operation Chaos, carrying on from 1969 for at least seven years, for which the CIA created a special squadron with the mission to infiltrate pacifist groups and to investigate “the international activities of radicals and black militants”.  The Agency compiled more than 300,000 names of American citizens and organizations and extensive files on 7,200 persons.

 

According to The New York Times, President Johnson was convinced that the American anti-War movement was controlled and funded by Communist governments and he ordered the CIA to produce evidence.

 

The documents recognize, furthermore, that the CIA spied on various journalists like Jack Anderson, performers such as Jane Fonda and John Lennon, and the student movements at Columbia University.  It also searched homes and carried out tests on American citizens to determine the reactions of human beings to certain drugs. 

 

In a memorandum sent to Colby in 1973, Walter Elder who had been executive assistant to John McCone, CIA Director in the early 1970s, gives information about discussions in the CIA headquarters that were taped and transcribed: “I know that whoever worked in the offices of the director were worried about the fact that these conversations in the office and on the phone were transcribed. During the McCone years there were microphones in his regular offices, the inner office, the dining room, the office in the East building, and in the study of his home on White Haven Street. I don’t know if anyone is ready to talk about this, but the information tends to be leaked, and certainly the Agency is vulnerable in this case”.

 

The secret transcripts of the CIA directors could contain a great number of “jewels”. The National Security Archive is already requesting these transcripts.

 

A memo clarifies that the CIA had a project called OFTEN which would collect “information about dangerous drugs in American companies”, until the program was terminated in the fall of 1972.  In another memo there are reports that manufacturers of commercial drugs “had passed” drugs to the CIA which had been “refused due to adverse secondary effects”.

 

As part of the MKULTRA program, the CIA had given LSD and other psycho-active drugs to people without their knowledge.  According to another document in the archive, Sydney Gottlieb, a psychiatrist and head of chemistry of the Agency Mind Control Program, is supposedly the person responsible for having made available the poison that was going to be used in the assassination attempt on Patrice Lumumba.

 

CIA employees assigned to MHCHAOS –the operation that carried out surveillance on American opposition to the war in Vietnam and other political dissidents –expressed “a high level of resentment” for having been ordered to carry out such missions.

 

Nonetheless, there is a series of interesting matters revealed in these documents, such as the high level at which the decisions for actions against our country were taken.

 

The technique used today by the CIA to avoid giving any details is not the unpleasant crossed out bits but the blank spaces, coming from the use of computers.

 

For The New York Times, large censored sections reveal that the CIA still cannot expose all the skeletons in its closets, and many activities developed in operations abroad, checked over years ago by journalists, congressional investigators and a presidential commission, are not in the documents.

 

Howard Osborn, then CIA Director of Security, makes a summary of the “jewels” compiled by his office. He lists eight cases –including the recruiting of the gangster Johnny Roselli for the coup against Fidel Castro –but they crossed out the document that is in the number 1 place on Osborn’s initial list: two and a half pages.

 

“The No. 1 Jewel of the CIA Security Offices must be very good, especially since the second one is the list for the program concerning the assassination of Castro by Roselli,” said Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive who requested the declassification of “The Family Jewels” 15 years ago under the Freedom of Information Act.

 

It is notable that the administration which has declassified the least information in the history of the United States, and which has even started a process of reclassifying information that was previously declassified, now makes the decision to make these revelations.

 

I believe that such an action could be an attempt to present an image of transparency when the government is at an all time low rate of acceptance and popularity, and to show that those methods belong to another era and are no longer in use. When he announced the decision, General Hayden, current CIA Director, said: “The documents offer a look at very different times and at a very different Agency.”

 

Needless to say that everything described here is still being done, only in a more brutal manner and all around the planet, including a growing number of illegal actions within the very United States. 

 

The New York Times wrote that intelligence experts consulted expressed that the revelation of the documents is an attempt to distract attention from recent controversies and scandals plaguing the CIA and an Administration that is living through some of its worst moments of unpopularity.

 

The declassification could also be an attempt at showing, in the early stages of the electoral process that the Democratic administrations were as bad, or worse, than Mr. Bush’s.

 

In pages 11 to 15 of the Memo for the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, we can read:

 

“In August 1960, Mr. Richard M. Bissell approached Colonel Sheffield Edwards with the objective of determining whether the Security Office had agents who could help in a confidential mission that required gangster-style action. The target of the mission was Fidel Castro.

 

“Given the extreme confidentiality of the mission, the project was known only to a small group of people. The Director of the Central Intelligence Agency was informed and he gave it his approval.  Colonel J. C. King, Head of the Western Hemisphere Division, was also informed, but all the details were deliberately concealed from officials of Operation JMWAVE. Even though some officials of Communications (Commo) and the Technical Services Division (TSD) took part in initial planning phases, they were not aware of the mission’s purpose.

 

 “Robert A. Maheu was contacted, he was informed in general terms about the project, and he was asked to evaluate whether he could get access to gangster-type elements as a first step for achieving the desired goal.

 

“Mr. Maheu informed that he had met with a certain Johnny Roselli on several occasions while he was visiting Las Vegas. He had only met him informally through clients, but he had been told that he was a member of the upper echelons of the ‘syndicate’ and that he was controlling all the ice machines on the Strip. In Maheu’s opinion, if Roselli was in effect a member of the Clan, he undoubtedly had connections that would lead to the gambling racket in Cuba.

 

“Maheu was asked to get close to Roselli, who knew that Maheu was a public relations executive looking after national and foreign accounts, and tell him that recently he had been contracted by a client who represented several international business companies, which were suffering enormous financial losses in Cuba due to Castro. They were convinced that the elimination of Castro would be a solution to their problem and they were ready to pay $ 150,000 for a successful outcome. Roselli had to be made perfectly aware of the fact that the U.S. government knew nothing, nor could it know anything, about this operation.

 

“This was presented to Roselli on September 14, 1960 in the Hilton Plaza Hotel of New York City.  His initial reaction was to avoid getting involved but after Maheu’s persuasive efforts he agreed to present the idea to a friend, Sam Gold, who knew “some Cubans”. Roselli made it clear that he didn’t want any money for his part in all this, and he believed that Sam would do likewise. Neither of these people was ever paid with Agency money.

 

“During the week of September 25, Maheu was introduced to Sam who was living at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. It was not until several weeks after meeting Sam and Joe –who was introduced as courier operating between Havana and Miami –that he saw photos of these two individuals in the Sunday section of Parade. They were identified as Momo Salvatore Giancana and Santos Trafficante, respectively. Both were on the Attorney General’s list of the ten most wanted. The former was described as the boss of the Cosa Nostra in Chicago and Al Capone’s heir, and the latter was the boss of Cuban operations of the Cosa Nostra. Maheu immediately called this office upon learning this information.  

 

“After analyzing the possible methods to carry out this mission, Sam suggested that they not resort to firearms but that, if they could get hold of some kind of deadly pill, something to be put into Castro’s food or drink, this would be a much more effective operation. Sam indicated that he had a possible candidate in the person of Juan Orta, a Cuban official who had been receiving bribery payments in the gambling racket, and who still had access to Castro and was in a financial bind.

 

“The TSD (Technical Services Division) was requested to produce 6 highly lethal pills.

 

“Joe delivered the pills to Orta. After several weeks of attempts, Orta appears to have chickened out and he asked to be taken off the mission. He suggested another candidate who made several unsuccessful.”

 

Everything that was said in the numerous paragraphs above is in quotes. Observe well, dear readers, the methods that were already being used by the United States to rule the world.

 

I remember that during the early years of the Revolution, in the offices of the National Institute for Agrarian Reform, there was a man working there with me whose name was Orta, who had been linked to the anti-Batista political forces. He was a respectful and serious man. But, it could only be him. The decades have gone by and I see his name once more in the CIA report. I can’t lay my hands on information to immediately prove what happened to him. Accept my apologies if I involuntarily have offended a relative or a descendent, whether the person I have mentioned is guilty or not.

 

The empire has created a veritable killing machine that is made up not only of the CIA and its methods. Bush has established powerful and expensive intelligence and security super-structures, and he has transformed all the air, sea and land forces into instruments of world power that take war, injustice, hunger and death to any part of the globe, in order to educate its inhabitants in the exercise of democracy and freedom. The American people are gradually waking up to this reality.

 

“You cannot fool all of the people all of the time”, said Lincoln.

 

Fidel Castro Ruz

 

June 30, 2007

 

6:45 p.m.