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Seeks a Cuban Visa

Topic:  Oswald in Mexico

A presentation given in Rio de Janeiro, August 1995.

By Arturo Rodriguez
(Former Cuban Security Agent)

The visit of Lee Harvey Oswald to the Cuban Consulate in Mexico, in the fall of 1963, was the highlight of a project to blame Cuba for the assassination of President Kennedy.

To understand the scheme of the plot, it will be necessary to look at Oswald's past, his arrival in New Orleans in the spring of the same year, the activities he carried out there which identified him with supporters of the Cuban Revolution, the incidents with the Cuban exiles and the publicity given to this, his encounter with two elements of the CIA in September in Dallas, the incident with the Cuban exile, Silvia Odio, and finally his trip to Mexico and the negotiations carried out in the Cuban and Soviet Consulates to obtain a visa to allow him to travel to those countries.

In the investigation of Oswald's past, from the time he entered the U.S. armed forces on Oct. 24, 1956, until his return from the Soviet Union on June 2, 1962, it was evident that we were witnessing an intelligence agent, who "deserted" with a very definite purpose, subordinated to a project, directed by the CIA or other U.S. intelligence service.  We believe it to be that today, in light of the information known, shared by many, the reason why we won't dwell on its reasoning.  Nevertheless,  we are at your disposal to discuss our arguments at a convenient time.

In that way, we move to the analysis of the incidents that begin to unfold from the time Oswald arrived in New Orleans in the second half of April 1963.

Immediately after his settlement in New Orleans, Oswald started to conduct public activities that would tie him as an "ardent" sympathizer of the Cuban Revolution.  A review of all those activities, are known by all present here, indicate:

1.  Oswald and his manipulators, conscientiously documented his membership in the Comite Pro Justo Trato a Cuba (Fair Play for Cuba Committee).  Letters to the president of this organization, and the editing and publishing of pamphlets related to the defense of Cuba, were actions taken by Oswald during this period.  He also sent correspondence to the Communist Party, to the newspaper of this organization, and finally to the Soviet Consulate, where he expressed his wishes to return to the USSR.

The incident with the Cuban exiles, where apparently he tried to provoke the group headed by Carlos Bringuier, and had a public confrontation with them, when he (LHO) was caught handing out propaganda favoring Cuba were all part of an "episode" concluded with the radio debate between Oswald and Bringuier, where Oswald declared himself a Marxist and Castro sympathizer.

I believe we need not dwell on this topic, since it is evident that those actions had one purpose, to document Oswald's pro Castro affiliation -  for later use.

As you will remember, this information was later manipulated by the press after Kennedy's death.

2. According to the investigations of the colleague Gaeton Fonzi, Antonio Veciana confessed that at the end of August or in early September of 1963, while attending a meeting in Dallas with his case officer "Maurice Bishop".  When he arrived at the meeting place, he (MB) was talking with a young North American man which he later recognized to be Oswald.  Veciana added that when he arrived, the meeting (with the young man) ended and the young man left, and he stayed with Bishop to talk about his business.

         (Note: this is not in the transcript - but I had to read
          this sentence several times because Rodriguez keeps using
          he he he he and it is difficult to figure out which he,
          he is referring to  ---HE HELL!  You should check it out
          with the colleague Gaeton!)

This meeting was very strange. No intelligence officer makes  appointments in the same place without a reason, with two agents of different operations.  There had to be a need for this.

Later, Veciana told Fonzi that Bishop asked him, after the Kennedy assassination, to try to bribe a relative, Guillermo Ruiz, who worked as a diplomat at the Mexican Cuban Embassy, to testify that Oswald was a Cuban agent.

However, around that time the theory of the lone assassin was established, no one wanted, not even the CIA, to know any different.

Then, why did the three of them get together in Dallas in the Fall of 1963?  Was it by chance as explained by Veciana?  We don't think so.  There was something planned there in which Veciana, Bishop and Oswald had to participate in.

-It could have been the intent to recruit Ruiz's wife, a few days before the Kennedy assassination.  Maybe,  the visit to Silvia Odio.  And thinking broadly, as a result of uncovered CIA operations, it could have been a presentation among agents, one Veciana, who was infiltrated in an apparent anti-Castro group El JURE, but in reality it was plotting against Kennedy under orders from Cuba, and the other, Oswald, who was destined to unmask the conspiracy, traveling to Cuba to meet with the "bosses" (of the conspiracy).

Veciana was a friend of Silvia's father, they knew each other from Cuba and Oswald was an experienced agent that had carried out a mission in Moscow.

This hypothesis could explain Oswald's visit to Odio and the explanation of the two Latins about their affiliation and liking of Leon Oswald.

On our part, in 1973, we received information through two different sources, close to Veciana, where it was affirmed that "Bishop" was a name given by him to David Phillips.  As it is known, Phillips was the boss of the operative forces of the CIA, in charge of the Cuban case in Mexico City.

3.  In June of 1963 Oswald applied for his U.S. passport, with intentions, according to his letter to the corresponding agency, to travel to Western Europe, the USSR, Finland and Poland, - which was approved the next day.  It is really strange that a renegade like Oswald be granted a passport so quickly, and that the FBI, in charge of following all possible Moscow agents, would have allowed it, since it is known that these applications are made known to all intelligence organizations, especially in a case like this one.

4.  Oswald tried to travel to Cuba from Mexico.  On the 17th of September he visited the Mexican consulate in New Orleans applying for a tourist visa for 15 days to travel to that country - he gets it with no problems.

On the 26th of the same month, according to the Warren Commission, Oswald boarded a bus in Houston, in route to Laredo at 2:35 a.m.,  arriving in that city at approximately 1:20 p.m.  He must have crossed the border around noon on the 26th, arriving at the Aztec capital at 10:00 a.m. at which time he registered at the Comercio Hotel.

The Cuban consulate in Mexico City was located on the lower floor of a building whose top floor was occupied by the commercial office of the embassy.  A room on the lower floor was shared by both offices as a waiting  room or lobby.

Lee Harvey Oswald, arrived at the Cuban consulate on September 27, 1963.  Back then the office was represented by Eusebio Azcue Lopez who was in the process of turning over his responsibilities as general consul to comrade Alfredo Mirabal Diaz, who had been named to that post on July first of that year, and the secretary Silvia Tirado de Duran, a Mexican national.

Comrade Azcue was 52 years old, Mirabal 40 and Mrs. Duran 26.

The Cuban consulate working hours were from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday for the general public.  Saturday was set aside for internal matters -when necessary.

Statements given by witnesses Eusebio Azcue and Alfredo Mirabal and by the Mexican Silvia Duran--known to all of you--allows us to establish the fact that an individual identified as Lee Harvey Oswald visited the Cuban office on three occasions.

Silvia Duran recalls these visits to be on the 27th, although Azcue considers that the first two (visits) took place on that day which happened to have been a Friday, and the third on Saturday the 28th.  Mirabal's statements are not so precise.

The chronology of the visits were known 15 years after the assassination.  While Mrs. Duran's statements collected in total during interrogations conducted by the Mexican police, given to the CIA station there and later to the Warren Commission, (outlined) the relation of Oswald's encounters and other important data.

A brief review of these visits can be resumed in the following:

a.  The people that personally take care and speak to him were secretary Duran and the consul Azcue.  Comrade Mirabal, who did not speak English, is an eye witness of his presence on more than one occasion, at a distance of approximately four meters.

b.  Oswald applied for a visa to Cuba on his way to the USSR, expressing his wish to travel on the 30th of September, staying in Havana from one to two weeks.

c.  He showed documents and said he belonged to the U.S. Communist party and was secretary of the Fair Play for Cuba in New Orleans.  He showed a dubious passport - and as you can remember- he was issued a new one-stating his residency to be the USSR from October 1959 to June 1962 and a marriage certificate with a Soviet citizen.

d.  Silvia Duran made up the form for his visa application adding to it the photos given by the subject, which was signed in her presence.  This form included all documents presented by the subject for the purpose of his application and was signed by Alfredo Mirabal (at the bottom of the application) attesting to this.

e.  The Cubans, under instructions in force at that time, told the applicant that it was impossible to grant him a visa for the time he requested it for, until the country of destination had granted it.

f.  The situation of this subject was such, that Azcue as well as Duran called the Soviet consulate to explain his case.

g.  During the subject's visit to the Soviet consulate, it was explained to him that requirements for granting a visa to that country took generally two to three months, the reason why he would have to wait that long.

h.  He returned to the Cuban consulate somewhat disturbed and tried to force the visa granting, leading to an altercation between himself and consul Azcue, for which he was ordered out of the office.

This altercation was in the presence of comrade Mirabal and Antonio Garcia Lara, an official of the commercial office, who, at hearing the discussion and thinking this might be a provocation, went downstairs to the consulate office and was able to see the subject leaving.

Another witness to the visit was Guillermo Ruiz, in charge of the commercial office, who at the time was going to his office, was intercepted by Azcue who was arguing with a North American subject and asks him, since he spoke good English, to explain to him again why he was denied the visa and the reasons why.  Ruiz did this and had a chance to look at the subject's face for a few seconds at a short distance.

Since the moments after the Kennedy assassination, our embassy's personnel in Mexico noticed, with the exception of Azcue who was back in Cuba, that the accused assassin was the same person that had visited them in September.  Alfredo Mirabal informed his Ministry officially, Lara only commented about it, given the small participation they had in the events and knowing of the report made by Mirabal, an official superior to them.

On his part, Azcue in Cuba, did not recognize Oswald's photos published by the press as the person who visited the Cuban Consulate in Mexico.

This contradiction between Azcue and Mirabal, were made evident in statements given by both to the investigators of the Select Committee in 1978.

As for Mrs. Duran, she recognized Oswald from the first moment as the person that she helped in the Cuban Consulate at the end of September 1963.

The investigations done by us show that the typewriter used to fill out the questionnaire form of the subject said to be named Oswald, was the same one as the one in Mrs. Duran's office, used to fill out other forms.  The photo was Oswald and if we note the Warren Commission's verdict, the signature in the document was also his.  There is one additional element.  The signature of comrade Mirabal, attesting to the data given by the applicant, was his.  There is no doubt.

An arithmetic addition of the testimonies tell us that four [persons] recognized Oswald as the person that visited and requested a visa, and one and only one, Azcue, did not recognized him.  Other evidence already explained, points out that it was Oswald and not someone else who visited the Consulate.

As such, we conclude that the subject that identified himself as Lee Harvey Oswald, during a visit to the Consulate in the month of September of 1963, to request a transit visa to Cuba, was indeed the same person, that after the----was identified by the same names.

5.  Nevertheless, these were not the only events that took place at that time. Sometime after the Kennedy assassination, two witnesses, the Mexican Elena Garro de Paz and the Nicaraguan Gilberto Alvarado Ugarte, alleged that Silvia Duran was connected to Oswald during the visit.  Garro even commented that the consul Azcue, had said during a conversation held with the poet Emilio Carballido, that "Kennedy had to be killed".

It seemed to us that those elements were in the works - in what we call in the business - of an "active measure" -in other words, intentional and false information geared to deceive or divert attention of an issue or objective.

Another incident to consider was the one occurring a few days before the assassination.  The intent to compromise the wife of comrade Guillermo Ruiz, Hilda Veciana.  According to her, walking towards the embassy, she found a large roll of dollar bills in the middle of the sidewalk.  When she stopped, stunned by what she saw, a citizen that could have been Mexican, approached her and said: "Lady, you have dropped your money, please pick it up - it is yours".  Meanwhile two other people approached her, the reason why Hilda became scared.  She ran towards the embassy, where two comrades came out to help her, but of course, they found nothing.

We know that David Phillips was the boss of the operative forces of the CIA in the Aztec capital (they are so dramatic- why can't they say Mexico City).  Also, the strange meeting in the first few days of September in Dallas with Veciana and Oswald.  It is not necessary to argue the tight bond with the false "Cuban case", which he states in his own autobiography book.  Another essential fact, was that Phillips was an expert in psychological warfare, in other words, in the fabrication of lies and half truths, something which he admits to.  (that he takes credit for lies etc.)

Other information came to aid us in understanding this plot.  The Nicaraguan Alvarado, turned out to be an agent of the Somosa intelligence and the Garro information, who declined to testify to the Select Committee in 1978, verified by, proceeding from a source, that-- (Darn - they beat around the bush) according to declassified information by the CIA in 1993, -- was an official of the U.S. embassy in Mexico and according to our records, a CIA official.  Mr. Charles Thomas, committed suicide in 1970.

According to what Phillips narrated in his book, already mentioned, the covering (I think he means the masking device -  conceal - pretext) of the Cuban embassy at that time was total.  Lets see what he says:

"The boss of the Cuban Section (he refers to when he arrived at the embassy, before the N. del A events), was Wally, whom I had encountered for the first time at the University of Chile, in Santiago.  He had also been hired by the CIA as an intelligence officer".

"Wally's task was to maintain total coverage of the Cuban embassy,  ideally to cover a hostile apparatus (installation) abroad with intelligence means including: inside spies informing about their own government; able to read correspondence to and from the embassy; able to listen to telephone conversations; at least a microphone to transmit inside secrets; able to obtain photographs of everyone working at the embassy and those who visited and the access to trash would be incorrect to say what was Wally's total coverage of the Cuban embassy, when I arrived in Mexico in 1961, but it was pretty good..."

As known by those present here, -- having been informed by the Select Committee -- the photographic post across from our embassy, located in the street Francisco Marquez 149-1 Colonia Condesa, was operated by a Cuban, posing as a Colombian named Augusto Cesar Rodriguez Gallegos, from where everyone entering and leaving the diplomatic office was photographed.

Oswald visited at least three times the Cuban consulate and on one or two occasions the soviet consulate, that was also "covered".  However, after the assassination none of the photos appeared and the one that  did was strange.

If the CIA obtained photos, information, telephone recordings, and microphone recordings placed in the sofa of the Cuban consulate, years later uncovered, - why did all this evidence disappear?

Reflecting on all of this we make the following hypothesis.  Everything was arranged to document Oswald's visit, therefore there was a plot to involve Cuba in the assassination that was to later  "unchain" the American reply.

However, almost immediately after Oswald's arrest in Dallas, when the requests for Oswald's Mexico material starts by the (principal center?  meaning an official agency) - incorrect information was given.  Was it that the arrest was not planned by those who plotted, threw out (did away with) the well conceived plan to blame Cuba?  The truth is that almost immediately after Oswald's assassination, in the coarse and precipitated conditions known to all, appeared the theory of the "lone assassin" and the "Cuban plot" took second stage.  What are the reasons?  What are the motives?

These are essential questions that North American authorities should answer to the public and once and for all make it clear about the assassination of president John F. Kennedy.

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