To what extent, if at all, were the Kennedy Brothers involved in the plot to assassinate Fidel Castro that was to receive its final sanction in the form of a murder weapon on November 22, 1963?


The assassin involved in this plot was Major Rolando Cubela. Cubela was a close associate of Castro's who came to Brazil in 1963 with a Cuban diplomatic mission and, on September 7, 1963, surreptitiously contacted the CIA. He then offered his services as an assassin (he had some prior experience: in 1959, he had assassinated the chief of Batista's military intelligence, Blanco Rico on behalf of Castro.). The CIA assigned him a Spanish-speaking case-officer, Nestor Sanchez and a code-name, AM/LASH. Cubela placed a condition on his secret service, however. He demanded to meet personally with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy so he could be assured that the Kennedys, and not just the CIA, were behind the planned murder of Castro.

Robert Kennedy was not only the brother of President Kennedy, but he effectively ran the Special Group Augmented (along with General Maxwell Taylor.) President Kennedy had assembled this elite body after the Bay of Pigs debacle. Its job was to ride herd over the CIA--nd its plots to overthrow Castro. It assigned the CIA such unconventional "planning tasks" as using biological and chemical warfare against Cuban sugar workers, employing gangsters to kill Cuban police officials and paying cash bonuses of up to $100,000 for the murder or abduction of Cuban officials. It also was pressing the CIA to get rid of Castro one way or another.

The person who could provide the liaison between Robert Kennedy and the newly-recruited assassin was Desmond Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was the chief of the CIA's Special Affairs Section (SAS), which carried out Special Group Augmented planning tasks. He was also a personal friend of both Robert and John Kennedy, who was often mistaken in as a relative of the Kennedy family. According to Fitzgerald's superior in the CIA, Richard Helms, who testified before the Church Committee, Robert Kennedy's relations with Fitzgerald allowed him to bypass the CIA's chain of command and directly called about covert operations against Castro. So Cubela's extraordinary request for a meeting with Robert Kennedy was immediately brought to the attention of Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald then arranged to meet personally with Cubela, identifying himself as a special emissary for Robert Kennedy. Top-ranking executives of the CIA usually did not meet operatives themselves--that was the function of case officers-- but in this situation, Fitzgerald made an exception. The contact plan for the meeting stated:

"Fitzgerald will represent himself as personal representative of Robert F. Kennedy who traveled to [Paris] for specific purpose of meeting AM/LASH and giving him assurances of full support with the change of the present government." There would be no reason for Fitzgerald not to clear the plan with his friend Kennedy, whom he would be compromising if Cubela/AM/LASH was a double agent, especially since the contact plan was part of a record that Kennedy's Special Group augmented could examine. Nor would such a plan shock Kennedy, who had already been briefed by J. Edgar Hoover on other CIA plots to assassinate Castro (Hoover even memoed the briefing into the files).

In any case, they met on October 29th 1963. Fitzgerald explained he had been sent by Robert Kennedy. Cubela asked about a high-powered rifle and further evidence that Fitzgerald represented Kennedy. To convince him, Fitzgerald offered to insert a "signal" into a speech that the President would give in the next few weeks. His use of the phrase would prove Fitzgerald had access to him. The agreed up signal was a phrase that described the Castro regime as a "small band of conspirators" that needed to be "removed."

In Miami on November 18th, President Kennedy delivering a speech that contained the agreed-upon signal. By doing so, he involved himself in the plot, whether or not he actually knew it.

Cubela now had his signal and agreed to meet the CIA conspirators in a hotel room in Paris in the late afte rnoon of November 22nd., 1963. Fitzgerald arrived with Sanchez. Sanchez handed over one murder weapon, a poison pen with lethal ink, and a promise that the requested weapon, the rifle with telescopic sights, was en route to Cuba. It was only a star-crossed rendezvous. At its conclusion, Fitzgerald learned that his commander-in-chief, and friend, had been gunned down in Dallas by another assassin using a rifle with telescopic sights.

Under U.S. Federal Law a person may be held involved in a criminal conspiracy if he is in contact with the conspirators and his actions further it, regardless of his state of knowledge. RFK was in contact with the conspirators, often on a daily telephonic basis. According to JFK's directive, it had to be kept "closely informed" of the CIA's anti-Castro plots and it got, accordingly, "detailed specific plans for every activity carried out,"(Church Report on assassinations, p.74). RFK's 7-man Special Group Augmented provided such frequent direction, including "planning tasks" that involved assassinations, to Fitzgerald's unit in the CIA, that the anti-Castro mission was considered its vest-pocket operation.

RFK also had direction knowledge of prior and assassinations. In May 1962, J. Edgar Hoover accidently learned of the CIA's assassination activities that relied on two mafiosi gangsters— John Rosselli and Sam Giancana. Although they had been recruited by the CIA before JFK became President, they continued to be employed and assigned new plots to kill Castro. Hoover also learned that Giancana's girlfriend, Judith Campbell, was having a sexual liaison with JFK. Hoover, no friend of the Kennedy Brothers, decided to confront RFK with what he had learned. He told him both that the FBI had now learned of both the Mafia-CIA assassination plot and that one of the gangster's girlfriend was visiting JFK in the White House. So RFK had to deal what Hoover had now exposed about these secret plots. On 4pm on May 7,1962, RFK had the CIA General Counsel Lawrence Houston and its Security Director, Sheffield Edwards officially brief him on the plots. Then, on May 9, 1962, RFK arranged a face-to-face meeting with Hoover in which he told him about his CIA briefing. Hoover them (May 10,1962) wrote a memo of this meeting "for the files", quoting RFK admitted knowledge of the assassination plots. By doing so, he stripped away RFK's veil of deniability. So there was a compromising paper trail. RFK contended with it by asking Edwards at the CIA to write a memo of his May 7th briefing. This memo, which was furnished to RFK deceptively stated that the Rosselli-Giancana plots had been terminated. Actually, Rosselli was still carrying out the Kill Castro assignment (Giancana was dropped for "security reasons"--IE. Hoover), and the Special Group augmented was kept informed by Fitzgerald's predecessor (Bill Harvey) of this operation. The only purpose therefore of this requested CIA memo was to conceal from Hoover that the assassination plot was still on-going.

JFK's knowledge of these activities of Fitzgerald, and the Special Group Augmented, depended on his relationship with his brother. But the acts that involved him in the conspiracy included assigning the Special Group Augmented the task of getting rid of Castro by covert means and speaking the phrase inserted by Fitzgerald that was designed as a signal to the assassin that JFK sanctioned the plot.

So both brothers, according to the conspiracy standards of their own Department of Justice, were involved in this plot.

MY COLLATERAL QUESTION: Was Cubela a dispatched agent working for Castro and testing the CIA to confirm that the Kennedys were behind the CIA assassination plots?

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