and JFK HISTORIANS
TAPE 1 of 8
NASSAU BEACH HOTEL
7/9 DECEMBER 1995
NASSAU TAPE 1
OPENING SESSION DEC 7, 1995
Smith: Colleagues and guests who have come, not a long way,
but who have
come from Cuba to be here this morning. Senior Escalante,
Senior Rodriguez, Mirta Nunez, who is one of the best
interpreters in the
business. A lovely person in addition to that. We really
coming and sharing information with us. I think that I just
rule...that is please, as we are speaking, that this is
Moreover, while Mirta is a professional, Adam and Daria are
not and interpreting
services and equipment and all are very expensive and
frankly we simply don't
have the money to get into that so we helped Adam and Daria
spend a few days
in Nassau in return for helping us with interpreting
services. This is a
very informal gathering. If there are any problems with
that we get stuck on, Adam, Daria, Mirta or some of us are
not certain of,
we can simply stop for clarification. One of the problems in
Rio was the
interpreting was lousy. They were in a booth in the back and
there was no
way to stop and ask what the devil they meant. On the
agenda: I will have,
unfortunately the only one I have, doesn't have the change
on it. We begin
this morning talking about Jack Ruby in Havana. The change
is after the break.
At 11:00 we will come to Kennedy/Castro contacts in 1963
rather than as now
scheduled Oswald/Mexico. We will talk about that at the
second session tomorrow.
So "Contacts" is the second session this morning and then
after a lunch break
we will talk about David Atlee Phillips and other CIA
figures and I will
have copies. Most of you have copies with you. Let me say in
that I see this as the first meeting of the first step. We
only have two
days; a limited amount of time to go over a large amount of
we won't get to everything.
This is a passion with everyone in the room and lots and
lots of questions
and our Cuban colleagues have for us. So we can't expect to
in two days. There is no reason we can't get together six
months from now
or a year from now. Moreover, let me say Fabian Escalante
and Carlos where
in the Cuban government (?) and Arturo now in an Institute
and I used to
be a member of the State Department. But I certainly could
not go back to
the US Government and get documents. I have no way to do
that and General
Escalante can't simply produce documents without a process
that he would
have to go through. So people can't expect the Cubans to
simply hand over
all the documents on a given issue. That would be expecting
too much. It
is all right to record. But if we get to a point where the
speakers are uncomfortable
with being recorded, say so, and we will stop the recording.
The only other
thing--dinner. I think you've all signed up for tonight at
the Ocean View--7:00
pm. I had thought at first doing a dinner right here amongst
ourselves, the more I thought about it, the less attractive
it seemed. (more
dinner talk) You've seen the brochures of Gulf Stream
Airways. Stop in because
Gulf Stream is one of the funders of the conference. Tom
Tuper flies frequent
charters to Havana. (More sponsor info). We are flying by
the seat of our
pants and putting a lot of things on American Express
Corporate Card. Okay,
we are beginning this morning with Jack Ruby. Should I read
from the U.S. side? What about Ruby's trips?
?____________: You were going to do the introductions.
Smith: Right. I'm Wayne Smith.
Issacson: I'm Adam Issacson and I work with Wayne.
Each person says their name: Escalante, Mirta Nunez, Carlos
Rodriguez, John Newman, Alan Rogers, Gaeton Fonzi, Anthony
Summers, Jim Lesar,
Jeremy Gunn, Russell Swickard, Gordon Winslow, Dick Russell,
Peter Scott, Andy Kolis, John Judge, Peter Kornbluh, Ed
Smith: Essentially Jack Ruby's trip to Havana and so forth.
Escalante: On behalf of myself and my colleagues, I would
like to express
my pleasure in being here. I would like to state that we are
here in an unofficial
capacity. I hope with the experience and research that you
have done that
this will be a very productive meeting. We have participated
in a panorama
of US/Cuban relations from many different angles. Carlos
Lechuga who is a
politician and a diplomat, Ms. Nunez, who will be
translating today has held
has held many positions including the National Assembly.
Arturo and myself
[Escalante] have participated as State Security. Since 1978,
I have been
involved in research and investigations that have been done
in Cuba. I have
participated in research projects regarding to the CIA's
role in Cuba. A
very sensitive study from 1965-66 AM/Lash. (Nunez: He was
it). Participated in other important investigations. Arturo
and I have just
finished a book about the Kennedy assassination. For this
book we did interviews
with 157 Cubans. In selecting that names of the people to
interview, we had
to rely on much of the research that you have done. I have
to say with all
honesty that the materials that you produced were most
helpful. The principle
objective is to demonstrate that the plot against Kennedy
was also part of
the plot against Cuba. This has been our principle objective
During the process of our research, we found many facts and
data that where
useful in the process of clarifying the Kennedy
assassination. However, here
today we are not going to be able to clarify exactly who was
or that the (?) president of the United States. If the
had really been investigated, it could have been solved
right away at that
time in Dallas. This did not happen. Also I'll clarify
another point which
seems important. The Cuban government had two different
occasions to study
the Kennedy assassination. In 1964 at the request of the
and in 1978 at the request of the Select Committee. However,
Cuba has never
done an investigation. One of the problems was to obtain
The only thing that we did was to give them the information
that they requested.
We didn't do research. We just gave them the answers to the
wasn't until 1992-1993 that Arturo and myself began to
research the case
that we will be talking about. [Nunez: Personal interest.]
we don't bring final conclusions. The information that we
will offer today
we hope will serve to further the debate and form
hypotheses, form questions
which we can go to our archives and try to answer them.
[Nunez: The things
that we have there might be new hints that can be discovered
by you in your
own area or us in our area.] Like Wayne said, we are
entering a new road
or path together. This said, I would like to start with a
witness--Jose Verdacia Verdacia (?). He was the captain of
1959. He was in charge of a camp for undocumented aliens. At
this camp Mr.
Santos Trafficante was interned with other United States
citizens who were
involved in the gambling industry.
I can't declassify necessarily but I am going to read some
of the documents
on Santos Trafficante. June 9, 1959...This document is
(?__________ in answer
to your letter. I communicate to you that in this
North American citizen Santos Trafficante. He is interned
here and I request
that this be reported to the General of the Police. There is
same day. Here it says as follows: I send this document to
to the Commadante General. This is a copy of an order of
police wanting to
search for Santos Trafficante, Jr. This information should
be sent to every
place and try to arrest him. This document was sent by the
Minister of Government
to the head of the police department. In relation to the
arrest of the very
well known criminal, North American Santos Trafficante. In
is stated in Penal Code 64 (?) should be sent to the
immigration camp to
have him registered and detained in such a place until he is
sent to the
ship and back to the United States as an undesirable alien.
we want to congratulate on (?) finally capturing him in
search for this person
who was accused by Narco-bureau in Washington and Interpol.
Santos Trafficante was arrested in Cuba for two reasons:
first they were
detaining all the main operators of the gambling casino and
also at the request
of the Bureau of Narcotics of the United States. He was
detained there until
August 18 . He left once because of the marriage of
his daughter. But
at this moment it is not confirmed that the Interior
Minister was an agent
of the CIA. AM/LASH was the Vice Minister of the Interior.
Cubela was his
name and that's why he was given permission to go to the
wedding of his daughter.
He was under arrest but he was permitted to go to the
wedding of his daughter
because AM/LASH was the Vice Minister of the Interior.
Rogers: Was a date given for the wedding?
Escalante: No. Probably in the month of July, 1959. Santos
lawyer was a Cuban--Rafael Garcia Bango. He was very closely
related to Rolando
Cubela. He worked in Cuba until 1963. It is pretty much
confirmed that he
worked for the CIA in Spain in 1963-64. In 1964 he was
involved in the Cubela
and Artime plot against Fidel Castro. This is significant
because in 1959
Garcia Bango worked to obtain Trafficante's brief exit from
was absolutely prohibited--with Cubela. This demonstrates
Cubela's link to
Organized Crime since 1959.
?____________: Can we have a spelling of his last name?
Nunez: Bango. B A N G O.
Escalante: There is another element to this lineage of
and Bango. Since the middle of the 1950's there is another
person of Italian
origin. He was recruited by the CIA in 1959. He had a
He was called Carlos Tepedino. His code name was AM/WIN. He
was a good friend
of Cubela in 1956. At the same time he was good friends with
And after 1960, he played an important role in the
recruitment of Cubela
by the CIA. He met with Cubela in Italy in 1960, June or
July, and in February
of 1961 he participated in the recruitment of Cubela in 1961
in Mexico along
with a CIA agent. This is a description of this CIA agent.
In taking into consideration Cubela's description about the
who had met in Mexico. The Inspector General's report in
1967 and according
to this report the fact that the official had met with
Cubela in Havana
when he was assigned and a similar contact was planned that
could never have
taken place, it is probably the identity of this official
could be David
Phillips. The description of this character: he was a tall
40 years old, thin, with a receding hairline, shadows under
his eyes, good
manners, well dressed, sociable, and speaks fluent Spanish.
We are not sure if it is Phillips but it is a very similar
Newman: As a point of order, we are talking about a meeting
in Feb. of '61
Scott: And who's description is this? Cubela's?
Winslow: And what did you say about his eyes?
Discussion: We were unsure about the word.
Winslow: Were they deep sockets?
Discussion [Nunez]: Circles under his eyes. He looked tired.
His eyes were
?____________: (?) Meetings in March. Who's describing?
Escalante: I would like to say a little bit more about this
relates Mafia, Trafficante, CIA to the plot against Castro.
the 1967 CIA Inspector General's report, the end of March
1961, there was
a plan for ex-filtration from Cuba. This was planned by the
CIA. Two Cubans,
Rolando Cubela and Juan Orta. In this moment he was head of
the office of
Prime Minister (?). He is compelled to deliver some poison
pills. This information
surprises us because Cubela came back to Cuba from Mexico
How was it then that they could have just taken him from
Cuba that very same
month? That they also wanted to take him out with Santos
Trafficante at the
same time? This looks like something that needs to be
to Jack Ruby. In 1978 the Select Committee Investigators
Verdacia. He was head of the immigration camp. He was
interviewed by Richard
Pryor, Edwin Lopez, Robert Blakey. They met with members of
the Cuban Interior
Ministry and Foreign Ministry. Blakey, he asked many
questions. Reading it
afterward, many details standout. There is a rumor (?) that
must have had to been asked. It is a wonder that they just
They did not ask them. This Cuban guy was scared, terrified.
including a woman, wanted to take a picture to prove the
He said no. This shows up in the records. He was asked,
"what are you worried
about?" He said I knew Santos Trafficante. He had many
relations with him.
He was capable of killing him. This is a very important
element. In this
interview he actually remembered Santos Trafficante. He
remembered him because
he was a very important person and he had a lot of visitors
in the camp.
This is something that he could not forget. He also
remembered a British
journalist that was interned at the camp at the same time as
Wilson Hodgeson. But in the interview he did remember having
met or known
Jack Ruby. (?) He said he did not really remember the people
Santos Trafficante in those days. After the interview
however, he said he
didn't want any declarations with the staff. He did remember
a friend, Lewis
McWillie, and he was the operator of the Trafficante casino.
He was the person
that went with Jack Ruby to visit Trafficante. There is no
evidence of this.
No material proof. The Cuban that ran the camp, he died. It
to get affidavits from them.
Fonzi: I need to get a clarification here. From what I
the House Select Committee interview with Verdacia, he did
not remember Ruby.
Fonzi: But after the staff left, Verdacia remembered?
[Discussions about Lewis McWillie and Ruby]
Escalante: No. He did remember after the Select Committee
that McWillie was there several times to meet Trafficante
with someone else
that he couldn't he was Jack Ruby.
Fonzi(?)______________: He never remembered Ruby but he did
Nunez: He said that he was coming with someone else and he
assumed that they
were together in all the
Summers: Just a finer detail. Is this posted to the memory
of Verdacia something
which was recorded by the Cuban authorities at the time and
or is this a verbal memory of somebody that Verdacia spoke
Escalante: Verdacia told this to somebody else and they told
this to us.
Summers: Thank you.
Winslow: I have a question sir. Where was the camp located?
Escalante: In a place that's near Havana called Casa Blanca
where there was
eight big barracks.
Winslow: What was the immigration officer's name?
Escalante: Jose Verdacia Verdacia.
Winslow: Was there a man there by the name of Verdeja?
Winslow: Then Verdacia and Verdeja couldn't have gotten
mixed up as far as
Escalante: Could be. There was a whole group of police
there. It might have
been somebody else.
Scott: There are a lot of questions. We just want to be
Escalante: I want to comment (?)_____________ . Really we
don't know more
about this visit. We have the entry card of Jack Ruby in
There they are [shows file]. That proves he entered. As many
of you that
investigate Jack Ruby know he was ties to the Mafia.
Winslow: What is the date?
Escalante: August...and one in September.
Winslow: What year? 1959?
Nunez: If you want a photocopy we can do this.
?_____________: We have these in the House Committee files.
Escalante: He was in Cuba. He left from New Orleans the
first time and the
second time from Miami. What he did in Cuba, we don't know.
There are many
hypotheses about what he did in Cuba. For instance, did you
know he was tied
to McWillie? McWillie was related to Trafficante. We suspect
that he was
there to extract gambling money to bring back to the United
we can't say anything for certainty because we don't know.
expelled from Cuba once and for all in January 1960.
Apparently, Jack Ruby
never came back to Cuba. That's the basic information that
?_____________: Is that apparently....in quotes?
Discussion: [Note audible]
Smith: Apparently, they don't have any information that Ruby
Cuba after January.
Escalante: [Not interpreted]
Newman(?)______________: There are rumors that Trafficante
returned to Cuba.
That is why the question was asked.
Escalante: Trafficante was let out of camp in August of
Winslow: How did that process occur? How did he get out?
Escalnte: Let me explain. The Interior Ministry said that
there did not exist
any order for him to be arrested...from the government of
the United States.
He was free because the government of the United States said
that there was
no order for him to be arrested.
Smith: Although there had been an earlier...
Nunez: There had been an earlier...through the Interpol a
call for him having
been involved in narcotics.
Escalante: So they couldn't have detained illegally. Without
order he had to be freed.
Summers: Is this attitude of the U.S. reflected in
documents, in other words,
is there a record of the U.S. this guy let him go?
Escalante: We don't have any American documents but we have
our own that say so.
?____________: How about an Interpol document?
?____________: Who was the final person who made the
the final order for Trafficante?
Escalante: The official of the Ministry of the Interior that
was in charge
of this case. Blanco is his last name. He was the one that
signed the order
to release Trafficante.
?____________: Is he the one to make the decision?
Nunez: He was at least the one to sign the document. It say
Blanco. He is
the head of public order in the Ministry of the Interior.
?____________: He had authority to do that? The ultimate
authority? He didn't
have to go any higher?
Escalante: No. That's what they do everywhere. If the
embassy says you don't
have to detain them you let them go. Trafficante was in Cuba
1960. This doesn't mean that he didn't leave Cuba sometime
Nunez: He may have gone out and back in during those days.
Escalante: He may not have left through official means
If he had a yacht he may have just up and left. What is
certain is that he
left in 1960. Cuban authorities did create the expulsion of
At that time Santos Trafficante was staying in the Hotel
Trafficante managed several casinos in Havana that had by
that point been
closed. He was tied to two Cubans who played a very
important role in this--Senior
Daniel Hernandez Ortega (?); he was a manager of
Trafficante's in a gambling
casino in Havana called Sans Souci. During 1960, Santos
had a Cuban bodyguard. His name was Herminio Diaz Garcia. We
will talk about
later. ...Hernandez met and talked with Richard Cain in
December of 1960
regarding a plot against the life of Fidel Castro.
Herminio Diaz is one of the people we feel was most
definitely involved in
the plot against Kennedy. Herminio Diaz died in Cuba in May
1966. He had
a confrontation against Cuban forces when he tried to enter
But we are talking about other things now. Turning to Ruby,
from the United States....(?) Cuba. That Ruby had a coffee
business in Cuba
in the 1950's. He also engaged in arms trafficking. He is
very tied to former
president of Cuba Carlos Prio. This is also a CIA agent,
very well known,
Frank Sturgis. There is a U.S. version of this story that
says a Cuban gave
a letter to Ruby asking him to sell weapons to Cubans in
1959. We know very
little about this incident at this moment. However, we found
of our Cuban army who knew of an attempt to sell jeeps on
behalf of an American
citizen whose name he cannot remember, more or less the same
time Ruby was
in Havana. That's all we know about this. We would like to
know if you guys
know anything about this.
Smith: Let's take that as a point of departure because they
have sent out
some questions, essentially what information... we do we
have linking Ruby
to Trafficante, Giancana, Roselli; do we have documents
a link and what evidence we may have on this Ruby
involvement to sell arms
in which others have written about. Peter, why don't we go
Scott: In 1977, I made a film about the Kennedy
assassination with the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation--CBC. We explored the jeep story,
we had heard the
same story. We interviewed people in Chicago who were
involved in the import/export
fields with Cuba . We obtained a partial corroboration with
someone who said
that yes he saw Ruby had been involved in such a deal. He
said this on film
but because it was not precise we did not use it. I would
like to come back
to the visit of the presence of Trafficante in this camp
which the House
Select Committee calls Trescornia...is that an accurate
Scott: Because McWillie was interviewed by the House
Committee and confirmed
that he had gone out and that maybe Ruby had come with him.
But he said that
when he went to the camp he saw many people: Jake Lansky,
Cellini is confirmed involved in the CIA/Mafia plots against
Castro and the
last person that he talked to...seeing, the primary person
was somebody he
called Guiseppe and later clarified as Guiseppe de Giorgio.
Guiseppe de Giorgio
was the major courier in the narco-traffic of the time, and
possibly I would
say more to you about this in private because it becomes
that de Giorgio had become involved in the planting of
They stole securities from a Canadian bank and they had to
be deposited in
a Swiss bank. I suspect that Ruby knew about this particular
a lawyer involved called Louis Knutner in Chicago who
definitely could have
known Ruby quite well. And so a question to you, have you
ever looked at
this Guiseppe de Giorgio recently who an alias (?) Conevese?
Escalante: There is no formal registry of information about
this man. Apparently
the registers were destroyed. These registers were
apparently destroyed and
I say apparently I want to explain why. About the registers.
that came in was registered by formal process. In 1961 just
after the Bay
of Pigs invasion, he was preparing himself for a very large
war. At this
time as we prepared for war the archives were moved around.
their location many times. They destroyed the archives that
They saved the things that were most important in order to
have them at hand
rather than things that were not (?). These documents were
kept in boxes
and in the following years a lot of these boxes were not of
interest or truly
necessary were not taken out. Many are still hidden and
unopened. Over time
these documents have deteriorated, humidity, just plain
time, they have broken
down and made them unreadable. When we have the resources,
which we don't
have now unfortunately, we will go over this. Maybe then a
few others will
emerge but right now there is nothing that will happen.
That's why I can't
respond to your question.
Summers: To what extent what you've said this morning is
reflected in documents
or reports or research materials that we can have access to.
I don't mean
the Ruby immigration records that we have seen already. Is
there any papers
that we can study?
Escalante: The ones I have mentioned...
Summers: I'm sorry. What I mean is you have talked to us
for some time about the conversations...something that
had said so and so and the information with the various
names of the people
that you have gathered together. Has this been set down on
Escalante: They do exist but we do not have them available.
Those are government
documents. I have records but I cannot open the files.
Summers: SO they are still retained?
Nunez: I think that it is worth to say here that to help
documents and things like that we don't have a document
release system. It
doesn't exits in Cuba. Nobody has taken the position to
declassify such and
such a document. So it is very difficult to get some
documents from the files
of the government. It doesn't exist in the system.
Smith: Can I clarify something for all of us? Someone
mentioned to me six
or seven months ago, one of the American researchers, that
be coming available because they were released in Cuba five
years ago, but I said at the time that I didn't think that
was the case and
you're confirming it that there is no system of
documents in five years, certain documents in ten. There is
no such system.
Summers: I have one more thing to say and then I'll keep
quiet. I was interested
very early in your address when I thought I understood you
to say that you
had provided information--that Cuba had provided
information--not only to
the House Assassination Committee but also to the Warren
commission in 1964.
I understood that also by something that was said casually
to me yesterday.
I know of no evidence in Warren Commission publications.
?____________: In the immigration. In the visa application.
Summers: Yes, except for the Ruby thing.
?____________: The Oswald visit to the embassy.
Summers: There was some paper work on that?
?____________: Yes. Visa application...
Escalante: There are various documents. Including documents
that were published
and given to the Warren Commission. They could do what they
Nunez: We could give them to you if you need them.
Summers: I was told recently by a senior Commission lawyer
only that during
his work he had made a mission that is still secret, he said
clear where he went, but I understand from one of his
colleagues that he
may have gone to met a senior Cuban official during his work
for the Warren
Commission. Do you know of any such contact?
Escalante: No. The only contact we had with the Warren
Commission was through
the Swiss Embassy. Including a letter that came from the
thanking them [Cuba] for their cooperation and helping
clarify the question
of Ruby in Mexico.
Winslow: This declassification of documents...I have two
things I want to
ask you about. How did Claudia [Furiati] get those documents
her book? And the second thing is, right after the three
that was in November of '94 a French newspaper reported a
high Cuban official
as saying that all the Kennedy materials are open and that
anybody that wants
to look at them can come and see them. Do you have any
comments on that?
Escalante: Yes, I have a few. First thing, that high Cuban
you are speaking of--you are speaking to him [Fidel Castro].
questions you have you should ask him. I know he spoke...it
was Paris Match,
the French magazine. I don't know what documents that he was
Really, you will have to ask him. I don't know which
documents the Cuban
Winslow: I had somebody go to the Ministry of Interior, a
and they inquired about photocopying these things and they
were told that
there was a declassification process that they [the records]
had to go through
and it had not been started yet, it was not implemented and
it would take
two to five years to get it. Is this declassification
that because you said...I think you said there was none,
but, would this
be taken care of under the Ministry of Interior?
Escalante: In the first place, I don't have as much
information as you. I
know that there was a will on the part of the Cuban
government in this sense.
But in the current circumstances it is not a real priority
of the Cuban government.
Right now the Cuban government is involved in the questions
of its own survival.
And such an issue as this would have to be presented before
Assembly Conference. As far as I know, this certainly has
not been presented.
I don't even know if this process has begun or set in
Gunn: When President Castro met with the HSCA on
assassinations he generously
agreed to give the HSCA any records that Cuba had related to
the issues that
they were concerned in and he made no limitations on the
willingness to supply
records. My question is: what would be the best way to
continue or to renew
that offer that he made in 1978?
Escalante: I unfortunately don't know how to do this. There
might be complications.
Fidel Castro talked to members of the Select Committee. The
only thing we
did was answer the questions that had been asked of Cuba.
were declassified and handed over. And as your
(?)____________ indeed know
I needed more than that at the time. I will clarify in a
little while. I
directed the Cuban part of this investigation. I am
permitted to answer any
questions and make the interviews go more smoothly.
(?_____________ in 1992-1993....it
was until 1992-1993 that we started a real investigation on
our own. It was
easy for me to do then. I had access to these documents
[Nunez: Had] In addition
to that I had information from your own research which
allowed me to look
in other directions from which the representatives from the
never mentioned. For instance, Fidel Castro no doubt was
Select Committee mentioned [mumbled]
?____________: Follow up to that As far as I understood the
did give to the HSCA what the HSCA asked for. The question
would be in light
of additional research both by people here and by people in
Cuba. Is there
a way that previous offer could be renewed and how would be
the best way
to go about that?
Escalante: As a result of this meeting that it one of the
requests that we
would like to make and I think it's possible. It's not my
decision. I'm not
going to commit myself on this. But based upon Fidel
Castor's previous speaking
on this and the responses in the past, it certainly is
Summers: Senior Lechuga was not in the room when I asked my
possible high level contacts between the Warren Commission
and the Cuban
government during this investigation. Now that he is here I
wonder if I could
ask you sir as a senior diplomat at that time, were you
aware of any mission
by or human contact by a senior Warren Commission person
with senior Cuban
?____________: After President Kennedy's assassination
wouldn't the Soviet
government and Cuba be exchanging all their previous
Escalante: One moment. Yes. And information from the Soviet
From the '70's the era of the Select Committee...no no the
19060's in this they sent the file that had to do with
Oswald. The information
about what Oswald was doing while in the Soviet Union. I can
read it to you
when we get to that point. But I'm not going to talk about
that now in order
to stay with the theme of the current discussion.
Nunez: We will do that when we are all caught up.
Scott: You say that the person responsible for releasing
Scott: Is this the same Cesar Blanco who is the Cesar Blanco
who is from
Teres (?)_____________ who immigrated to the States and
became a leader in
the counter-revolution there?
Scott: Is it Cesar Blanco Gutierrez?
Escalante: I tried to verify that but couldn't get it.
Scott: It would be very interesting. This man became [part]
of the 30th of
Escalante: Cesar Blanco did sign that order and the order
Scott: I would like to pursue this matter.
Escalante: We'll try to do that.
Winslow: Fabian, I don't know if you overlooked it or not
but the first part
of my question before: how did Claudia get the documents if
there is no process
Escalante: We are talking about Jack Ruby?
Winslow: No, I'm talking about the documents that she
published in her book
that were Cuban documents.
Nunez: Because she had an authorization from the Cuban
Winslow: Oh. How do we get one of those? [Laughter]
Escalante/Nunez: She wrote a letter to Castro.
Winslow: Who? To Fidel?
Escalante: No to me. She didn't just talk to me she talked
to different people.
Winslow: Yeah, I understand that but I'm wondering how did
she get the authority?
What department? He doesn't know.
Escalante: She wrote a letter to the Cuban government.
Winslow: To the who?
Nunez: To the government.
Escalante: And they just authorized it.
[However it was, Escalante who authenticated the
Winslow: Ok... [Laughter]
Smith: I would imagine Claudia went first to the Cuban
embassy in Brazil
and talked with them and made an approach to the embassy in
Nunez: I think she made several approaches.
?____________: Didn't I read somewhere that NSA has created
some kind of
bridge across to another information center in Cuba?
?____________: Yes, on the Bay of Pigs documents.
?____________: That's right. Just asking.
?____________: Can that channel be expanded? Can a similar
channel be created?
Smith: Let's talk about that later on among ourselves.
?____________: Wayne, can I just ask one...this seems like
the most obvious
question. If Mr. Escalante is probably still a friend of
Castro, why doesn't
he just ask Castro to release the documents? I mean we don't
need all these
committees to release this, Castro usually does what he
Escalante: That's what we are trying to do. I would say
remain near here (?). I will reiterate this idea. Cuban
today, the Cuban
government, this is just not a priority. However, documents
Telling about a specific event for instance the Cuban
Missile Crisis. At
the last meeting in Havana they discussed this Cuban Missile
declassified a great volume of documents. Right now they are
a similar process for the Bay of Pigs. From this we can
perhaps move on to
declassify documents regarding this. In respect, the Kennedy
should be the same thing. We are going to propose that this
Smith: Good. I suggest that it behooves us that we make an
those lines and perhaps the review board. Why don't we
discuss that among
ourselves and see how we should proceed. Peter Kornbluh was
the Missile Crisis conference process and he is with the Bay
of Pigs process
and the National Security Archives and thus and I don't see
why we don't
do the same thing. Why don't we have a crew go to them and
ask. We'll have
further discussions and try to provide them with information
and ask for
declassification of documents as we go along. The same way
we did with the
Missile Crisis process. So the ball is our court.
We've come to 11:15.
We could go on talking about Ruby and issues that we've been
the past hour or so but will you prefer. But I think we
should take a very
short break and then turn to "Contacts." We haven't
exhausted the subject
by any means. We'll have other opportunities. If someone has
we can put them to our Cuban guests over coffee in the
hallway. Why don't
we take a very quick break and talk about the "Contacts".
END TAPE 1
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