and JFK HISTORIANS
TAPE 3 of 8
NASSAU BEACH HOTEL
7/9 DECEMBER 1995
NASSAU TAPE 3
?____________: ....this afternoon is DAVID ATLEE PHILLIPS
and other CIA figures.
from U.S. side to our Cuban colleagues is, "Do they have any
confirm that PHILLIPS
was, indeed, MAURICE BISHOP? Any information... anything
assassination and what about information on DAVE MORALES and
other CIA... and
information linking them to JOHNNY ROSELLI?"
And, I'm sure that we have... their questions to us, which
we'll get to later,
are essentially the same, so
what about the operations of the CIA in Mexico under David
And, do we have
information on the organization... the JM/WAVE station in
Miami? How did
this phase interact with
those involving ZR/RIFLE and Operation 40? And, I know that
some of you do
have information on
that, but, if we can turn first to the Cuban side and ask
about their information
on David Atlee Phillips
and various other CIA figures...
Escalante: ...contact with informants... contact with
Phillips in '58 and
'59... Salvat .... Lopez... Antonio
Veciana... Had contact with Phillips during that time.
?____________: What was the first name? Salvat?
Escalante: According to informant, this relationship was
Veciana gave him a
message... It's not known what the message was about...
Nunez: He told us he didn't know what the message was about.
?____________: He didn't remember the message?
Nunez: He didn't read it... He come to Veciana's office in
Escalante: As is known, David Phillips was in CIA operations
in Cuba in '58,
'59, and '60. We don't
know much of the relationship between Phillips and Antonio
Nunez: We didn't know at that time.
Abramson: At that time.
Escalante: This relation.
Abramson: Conspirator relationship.
Escalante: In this era there was an event of which we knew
about later, but
not at this time. In the late
1980's we came into contact with an informant who had known
who had contact with
Phillips in 58-59. This person told us about three Cubans
who had had contact
with Phillips at this time.
[Juan] Manuel Salvat, Isidro Borja and Antonio Veciana.
?____________: What was the first name again? Is this Salvat
of DRE Salvat?
Escalante: Manuel Salvat, si, si! [yes, yes]
Escalante: This informant whose name I cannot provide to you
only told us
that there was this
relationship between these three Cubans and Phillips.
According to this informant
was the following:
Nunez: No, he knew about this relationship such as he is
going to tell.
Escalante: Veciana.... According to Antonio Veciana,
Phillips gave him a
message. It is not known
what the message was about.
Nunez: No, no, no... Oh, sorry. The message was given to
this person, this
informant, from Veciana...
from Phillips to Veciana, but he didn't know what the
message was, at least
he told us that he didn't
know what the message was.
?____________: Could we try that, I didn't understand.
Abramson: Ya, I didn't understand.
?____________: He didn't remember the message?
Nunez: He didn't read it, he was just the messenger.
Escalante: The informant was a messenger between Veciana...
?____________: From Phillips to Veciana?
Nunez: From Phillips to Veciana.
Escalante: The other two people, Borja and ... Salvat, used
to come to Veciana's
office in Havana
very often... frequently. Phillips had an office in Havana,
office in Havana. That was el
Jumbo 106, Humbo street, a public office where you could
just come and visit.
The informant saw
Salvat and Isidro Borja in this public office. He knew who
they were because
they sort of _________
characters in something that happened in the soviet prime
____________. So he
showed him pictures of this incident that happened... He
their faces, names, he
recognized their faces from the photograph, he didn't know
who they were
Nunez: They could have been known, but it's not only that he
knew about the
names but he also knew
that this person was the person of ?_______, he identified
the person as
Escalante: Phillips left Cuba in the middle or the end of
1960, we're not
quite sure, but they came to
know that he was in Miami shortly after. And we came to know
about his relationship
Swan. He was managing a program in the information service
of this radio
station. Afterward, we
came to know about Phillips when he was in Mexico. The
information we had
of him in Mexico was
scant, it was pretty poor, we didn't know much about him. We
knew he was
there, we didn't know what
he was doing. After that we knew that he was in Santo
Domingo, the Dominican
Republic. Again we
didn't know what he was doing there. And the first
information from agents
we have about Phillips is
from the year 1966, seven. In London he conversed with one
of our agents
recruited by the CIA. His
name Nicolas Sirgado. S-I-R-G ... Sirgado.
?____________: He was a Cuban agent or CIA?
Nunez: He was a Cuban agent recruited by the CIA.
?____________: A Cuban agent recruited by the CIA.
Abramson: In London.
?____________: A double agent.
Nunez: A double agent, that's it.
Escalante: Our agents spoke with him in the King George
hotel in London.
From this point onward we
had periodic contact with him every few months until 1972.
So you know, the
CIA was trying to send
him in one direction, we were trying to send him in the
What was the main reason,
fundamental reason, why we had this conversation with
Nunez: The main reason we know that Phillips was having this
and I will let you know
later on why we knew of this.
Escalante: He was mainly interested in Fidel, his trips. The
the Cuban government.
Information about the people that were around Fidel Castro.
He was introduce
himself with a sir
name, Harold Benson. However, he used to smoke a pipe that
had an initial
that could be an H or M.
?___________: M or H?
Escalante: Ah, an M and a B.
?____________: H and B.
Escalante: Or could be an H and a B, H and B, or M and B,
could be either
one. That is something our
agent informed us of. We did a spoken picture of this Harold
Benson as we
do always. But we didn't
know really know who he was. In 1972, this CIA official had
with our agent. Our agent at
that time had a different case official. But this man came
as a.... as a
leader, as a boss or something.
Had an interview with our agent. This interview was... took
place in Mexico
they were just having a
few drinks. In between, Kennedy [Kennedy's name] came into
they were talking
about... into the conversation, not Kennedy came to, into...
So when the
subject comes up this
character explains to our agent that after Kennedy's death,
he visited his
grave and peed on it and
said he [JFK] was a communist and such and such. We still
didn't know who
Harold Benson was but
when Claudia Furiati did her research, among the people we
this agent. We showed
him a group of photographs. Plus we already knew about David
speaking of 92 and 93.
And the photograph that we showed him was a photograph of
And so he pointed out as
Harold Benson. This is all the information I can give you.
There are some
?____________: Do you recall the other photographs you
showed him at that
Escalante: I remember that it was Tracy Barnes. For example
all the we took
all the photographs that
were published in the Invisible Government. [...by] David
Escalante: He took the photographs from the book and put
them to the side.
We included Cuban
people that were there, but with photographs from those
years. This is something
you often do when
you are doing something like this. I think there were twelve
that were shown to them.
Winslow: Was one of them Paul Bethel, by any chance?
Escalante: No, no, no, Paul Bethel no...
Winslow: He didn't show him that.
Escalante: Tracy Barnes, Robert Hammery [were the only two I
were mainly in the
book -- Wise book.
I was telling you we have so much information. In 1979
Bercia told to one
of our own informants in
Miami that he had been pushed by a select committee that he
had given a fake
name to the CIA
officer that was in charge of him. He had given the name of
But, truly the official that
had to deal with him was David Phillips.
A third information comes from Mr. Manuel Rodriguez. Manuel
we didn't know who
he was. We heard about Manuel Rodriguez when we started to
do research on
Oscar Berot on
account of what information was received from the __________
Berot is the second
surname of Manuel Rodriguez
and in our organization the index is always made by the
first surname not
by the second one. But when
we found out that Oscar Berot was Manuel Rodriguez, then we
Manuel Rodriguez, Oscar Berot told one of our agents, first
of all that he
was in Dallas because he
was the officer 66 [Alpha-66] delegate in Dallas. And he was
for office 66 in Dallas and if
anyone came to know that he and Bercian took part in the
plot to kill Kennedy.
They were going to be
killed. He was already living in Puerto Rico or a little
after that he went
to live in Puerto Rico. And
another information comes from a very close person of
Bercian, I think...
some of you have already
interviewed. This person told us that Phillips threatened
Bercian in order
for him to not reveal his true
identity. I'm not going to reveal his name, but I will only
tell you that
some of you have had interviews
with this person (don't talk about it) ?__________________ I
this on account of an
ethics principle for the same cause, because some of you
will not make such
These are the moments in which we have found in relation to
and David Phillips of
course there was a very wide investigation made by
he also had had lots
of trucks and I think there's no doubt about both persons
are the same. I'm
going to tell you an
anecdote. This thing about using fake names is very
complicated. The CIA
in Havana has a book of
Cuban officials. And in that book I appear in two different
books. I have
my own name and I appear
with my fake name and I think that they already know that I
am the same person,
but when we
discovered that there were two different people. Those
About David Phillips, I can't add anything that you don't
know. I think this
is wide information about
him. And most of all his activities against Cuba and against
movement of Latin
America with characters such as Howard Hunt. As you well
know he was the
head of the Watergate. I
think there is something that... that the only thing that is
document from the CIA saying yes
both persons were the same. But I don't think there must be
any doubt it's
the same person. This is
what I can add to what you already know [in this case].
Excuse me, about
David Morales. David
Morales, we knew him in 1960. He was another _________ from
the United States
Havana and he was linked to another official, an American
official from the
VanHorn. He was a major in a conspiracy with Rolando
Masferrer and a North
Geraldine Chapman. This was a plot to kill Fidel Castro to
promote an armed
uprising. This plot
started in 1959 and our agent, which is already dead was a
man that had lived
many years in New
Orleans and then lived in Miami in 1959, and he was named
And also there was
another agent that was his partner in New Orleans and had
always things to
do with the case, and he's
still alive in Cuba. He was an official of security whose
name was Jose Veiga
?____________: What was the first one?
Nunez: Luis Tacornal
Nunez: Tacornal, coronal.
?____________: and the other is Veiga Pena?
Nunez: Veiga Pena... Veiga, with an e, ei, Veiga.
Escalante: This plot really started in the United States.
and it started when Masferrer pointed out Luis Tacornal as
his link with
Cuba. In the meeting there
was a person that you know Eladio del Valle Gutierrez and
our agent traveled
once to Washington
with Eladio del Valle because Masferrer was not able to
leave the Miami city
[Masferrer was under
an INS order not to leave] and that he had a meeting with
Colonel King to
coordinate an invasion that
was getting ready to come to Cuba maybe from the
Batistianos. By the end
of 1959 Luis Tacornal is in
Havana with Jose Veiga and the contacts that are given to
him by the embassy
are Colonel VanHorn
and David Morales but mainly VanHorn
they only saw once Morales and they would go frequently to
the embassy and
have meetings with
VanHorn with Geraldine Chapman, she was a North American
?_____________: Is that Shamron?
?____________: Chapman. It's nothing to do with Geraldine
who was also...
Escalante: It could be the same. It could be the same, it
could be the same,
maybe it's a pronunciation
thing, I don't know. Sharma Chapman?
Abramson: Chapman, with CH or Sharma with SH?
Nunez: He thinks it is the same person, could be Sharma or
?____________: There was a woman who wrote about her time in
Escalante: To my memory, it didn't have an L. She was
arrested in Cuba in
November 1960; she
should be the same.
The plot had as a main operative to kill Fidel Castro in
Ramiro Valdez house
at that time he was the
head of the security service. In February 1960 there was an
the [CIA] headquarters
called Luis C. Herber to supervise the operation. Of course
we made this
operation fail. We have
penetration of all the organizations and in November all the
people in the
plot were arrested except
for the diplomatic, of course. And this was published in the
They were on trial in it.
There is another moment when we knew about David Morales. In
1973 we arrested
one of the CIA
agents that used to be a member of the Batista police he was
1958. He was called
Francisco Munoz Olivette and he told us about the official
that was in charge
but of course he had a
different name, a woman surname, Moralma. We didn't know who
he was. However,
he was sure that
it was someone who had worked in the embassy. So we showed
him the photographs
of the people
working in the embassy. I don't know if wine was there or
not, in the photographs,
but identified David
Morales as Moralma. He told us in those days, I mean, I mean
Olivette, but in
several moments Morales or Moralma had told him about a plot
Castro's life that he
had headed in 1959. And that this plot was going on, to be
carried out in
the headquarters of the
military air force. We never knew who this person was. But
after having so
much information in our
hands we think that this could be Frank Sturgis because
Frank Sturgis was
in a plot with Fidel in the
Air Force with Jerry Hemming and with Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz
and the last information
We have it from Cubela. Cubela told us when he was arrested
that he had interviews
with at least
three CIA officials from Latin origin. In different moments
we didn't know
who they were but in 1978
in Havana there was a youth festival and there was an
activity that had to
do with an explanation to
the youth about the CIA activities against Cuba. Cubela
agreed on going to
this meeting to explain
which were his activities with the CIA in those days. It was
the Grama magazine
newspaper several histories about CIA activities, one of
them was this one
about Francisco Munoz,
where David Morales photograph was shown.
Once, I remember I personally was talking to Cubela and
Cubela told me that
this was one of the
officials that spoke with me in Paris. Well, the
conversation with Cubela
was very... informal. I say
very informal because he was a person you couldn't do big
things with; he
said he had already been
sentenced. I asked him what had he told him. He said, No he
in knowing how could we
kill Fidel. But I... I thought he was a very vulgar man. So
I told him I
didn't want to talk with him or
that if he was to do it, it would have to take place in
September of 1963.
And this is what we know
?____________: Getting back to David Phillips. Veciana told
me when I interviewed
him in 1976
about, and I'll just read you the quote, of exactly what he
said. It is about,
ah, his cousin, who is Luis.
"Yes", it says, "I had a cousin, Guillermo Ruiz who worked
with the Cuban
intelligence service in
Mexico City after the assassination sometime early in 1964
Bishop said to
me that I think by getting
my cousin a considerable amount of money would he say he
talked to Oswald
to make it appear
Oswald was working for Castro because of this I asked Bishop
if it was true
Oswald had been talking
to Castro agents. Bishop said it did not matter if it was
true what was important
was to get my cousin
to make that statement".
So my question is did you ever speak to, is this, do you
know anything more
about this? Did you ever
speak to Guillermo Ruiz about this?
Escalante: Yes, of course we have. We knew about this
interview from this
book about the
investigation of the select committee and we had an
interview with Guillermo
Ruiz in 1963, Guillermo
Ruiz. In August 1963, he was appointed to commercial (?) of
the Cuban Embassy
in Mexico City.
?____________: In Mexico City?
Escalante: In Mexico City.
He told me that when he arrived in Mexico a group of Cubans
for him at the airport to
welcome him, an act of repudiation, yes that's it. Guillermo
Ruiz never worked
for the Cuban
intelligence. He was not an official of Cuba. He was not
really a cousin
to Veciana. Veciana's cousin
was his wife. Guillermo Ruiz's wife. Guillermo Ruiz. So also
is one of the
persons who saw Oswald at
the embassy, he will explain that when he gets to Oswald.
?____________: Ruiz saw Oswald at the embassy?
Escalante: Yes. There is one moment when he gets there and
then you see Eusebio
Azcue having a
big discussion with Oswald in the last interview they have.
He had an office
on the top of the consulate
and when Guillermo is about to pass through Guillermo spoke
than Azcue. Azcue
please explain to this gentleman that I cannot give him a
visa to go to Cuba
if he doesn't have a visa
from Moscow. So Guillermo looked at him and he is one of the
confirmed that he saw
Oswald in our Cuban consulate. This is what we know.
When we read this story told by Veciana, it looks very
strange to us. We,
in our book, have a chapter
it is dedicated to the press campaign that was started
before and after the
Kennedy assassination to
blame Cuba. However, there is a moment in December in 1963
after the Warren
appointed and this company started to go lower, and lower
still because they
were just not
interviewed, I think. On the other hand, some other events
which had happened
in Cuba, didn't happen
to us it has always had very few meaning in 1964. Maurice
Bishop gives this
task to Veciana because
this was out of the context of the moment, (?) the most
We have some other theory
about it. And we believe that the meeting Veciana speaks of
of 1963 was for that was to
try to recruit Guillermo Ruiz.
?____________: He tried to recruit Ruiz?
Escalante: (?) the meeting between Oswald, Veciana and
Phillips in 63, September
63, was really to
try to recruit Guillermo Ruiz
?____________: How so? I don't really understand.
Escalante: Let me explain. A few days before Kennedy's
Ruiz's wife walks
from her house to the Cuban embassy. She was about 200 feet
in from the entrance
of the embassy,
she looks at the..a big bunch of dollars on the sidewalk.
?____________: A big bunch of what?
Nunez: Dollars on the sidewalk.
Escalante: And a Mexican person. She recalls that it was a
from the accent and tells
her, lady this money is yours. She gets scared because there
are the two
people coming to approach
her, so she starts running for the embassy asking for help.
When people from
our embassy went to the
same place, no money nor the people were there anymore.
Obviously, this is
not something normal.
Imagine finding a big bunch of money in the middle of Mexico
City. For us
this had never had an
explanation and I think that the only explanation that we
can give is a form
to try to recruit her.
Lechuga: She was a cousin of Veciana.
Escalante: As you know, in front of our embassy there was a
post from the CIA. That
was handled by the Cuban CIA agent.
Lechuga: Hugo Cesar Rodriguez Gallegos
Escalante: Hugo Cesar Rodriguez Gallegos, a Cuban. I
imagine, if she ever
takes that money she was
going to have photographs taken of her grabbing the money.
And that was a
moment to compromise,
that it would be easy to talk to Guillermo Ruiz, show him
the photos; if
you don't collaborate these
photos will be published.
Smith: I don't understand how Phillips having Veciana in
Dallas see him with
Oswald has to do with
the recruitment effort against Ruiz
Escalante: I'm going to say once more. Veciana told to Fonzi
that in January of 1964 his
case officer, Maurice Bishop made a promise to recruit
Guillermo Ruiz for
him, to say that Oswald
was a Cuban agent. That was out of context, out of moment,
because in January
1964 the campaign
against Cuba has lowered down, diminished. So we think that
the true reason
of the interview enter
Veciana, Oswald and Maurice Bishop in Dallas, in September
1963 could have
been that, or probably
would have been that, and simply Veciana was given the
information out of
context, out of date to mix
up everybody and to give only part of the truth, not the
whole truth, not
the same that happened in
September, but in January 64. That is what we assumed even
more logical that
this (?) was in
September and there was a plot to try to include Guillermo
Ruiz. He doesn't
have any sense would
have wanted to put him in after murdering, but before...
Abramson: Would anyone like to...
Fonzi: I would like to... we have a slight disagreement on
you know why...
Why Phillips... General
Escalante believes deliberately had Veciana see him with
Oswald and I still
tend to believe, as a
result, the manner in which the information came up
originally in the interview,
that it was a mistake
on Phillips part. Now Phillips was not a man who did not
make mistakes in
his history. Joseph B.
Smith, of the CIA, who wrote the book told me, I think he
told Tony Summers
also that he recall
Phillips making two very bad mistakes in the course of his
career one was
in Havana when he was
caught in the house of prostitutes and called the American
Embassy even though
he was supposedly
not connected to the agency. And another story that Smith
tells is that at
one point Phillips was
supposed to have a meeting with a Russian in a restaurant
and Phillips was
asked to bring some
bonapita, and he did, and then on leaving he left his
briefcase on a chair.
So the point is that Phillips,
despite being a sophisticated spy, did make mistakes. The
other factor I
find difficult to find an
answer to involves the basis of Veciana's talking to me in
the first place.
I did not tell Veciana when I
first approached him that I was interested in the Kennedy
At the time I was working for
Senator Schweiker who was on the Senate Intelligence
Committee and my approach
to all the Cubans
I interviewed at the time was that I was interested in the
the CIA and
anti-Castro Cuban groups. And it was on that basis that
Veciana began talking
with me. When I had
originally gone to see Veciana and discovered Veciana, as a
result of a suggestion
by Paul Hoch out in
California, who had written an article for the Saturday
Evening Post I think,
suggesting that it may
have been Veciana who had visited (?)_____________. Hoch
sent an advance
copy, actually sent a
manuscript of the article, and I was unaware that it had
been published in
the Post already. So when I
was trying to work the interview around to the Kennedy
being very blatant
about it, I asked Veciana whether Alpha 66 had branches in
other cities and
then whether or not they
happen to have one in Dallas and Veciana said... I said,
then I asked him
had he ever been to Dallas
at that house and Veciana said "yes, I have been there and
now you are going
to ask me whether I
saw Oswald there". And I said, "Why would I ask you that?"
He said "because
I just read it in the
Saturday Evening Post". I have it here in the bedroom. And
he went to the
bedroom and took it out.
So the subject of Oswald came up in that manner, not by any
and so I have trouble
trying to figure out why Veciana would even bring up Oswald,
why if he was
involved in the
assassination, why he would even link himself to the Kennedy
with me at all even
though he told me everything about Bishop. He didn't have to
tell me about
the meeting with Oswald
Escalante: But let's take the facts. I said he was a
Let's go back to the facts. The CIA. We are not going to
identify any names,
thought that Guillermo
Ruiz was an official from the Cuban intelligence service.
That is something
that has been proved.
Guillermo Ruiz was in the city of Mexico from August 1963.
His wife is Veciana's
cousin. They both
are (?)______________. That is the second part.
The third part.. The information that Veciana gives you that
he had had an
interview with his case
official in September 1963 in Dallas and that he saw there a
men that looked
like Oswald, that he later
identified as Oswald. The fourth fact, is that Guillermo
Ruiz's wife was
a provocation to her, a few
days before Kennedy's assassination. The fifth point,
Veciana tells that
in January 1964 his case
official in Mexico makes him a proposition to try to recruit
for him to confirm that
Oswald is a Cuban agent. These five facts obviously
happened. All the information
that we have
available, is that these five things happened. The only
thing I give you
is that the order in which this
timing in this facts, is not the one that Veciana says it
was... No the way
he said it was.
?____________: Possibly the way it was. I may be mistaken,
because I haven't
reviewed my notes on
this but my recollection is that Veciana told me, that
Bishop shortly after
the assassination made the
proposal to him to contact Ruiz. Later he said there was a
CIA agent who
came to him and asked him
to try and recruit Ruiz and Veciana said he made an attempt
to reach Ruiz
in Spain. Was he in Spain
at some point?
?____________: And they are two separate things?
Escalante: It was in 1967
?____________: I don't remember
Escalante: I have Guillermo Ruiz's statement.
?____________: Was that... when he was in Spain?
Nunez: Yes, in 1967.
?____________: In 67.
Escalante: And he made another proposition. He made a
proposition to trade
the hands of
______________ for the liberation of one person in prison.
It's a different
operation and there's one
sixth fact when I talk about five that David Phillips, when
he heard of the
operation against Cuba in
Mexico in 1962. There are a group of coincidences that make
me think that
the order of this facts, in
this case, they do make a different final result and has
?____________: I have to change the emphasis slightly and I
do so despite
my great respect for the
work done today _____, but what you just said is to me is
the most important
thing. That we know that
Phillips was in charge of operations against Cuba in Mexico
City, in the
period when so much
happened down there in respect to Oswald. There is the
second thing we know
about Phillips that is
even bigger, more obvious, and that is that Phillips had
been in charge of
this information about the
assassination since it happened and if there is a single key
to this disinformation
it is to blame the
assassination on Cuba. And it seems to me that we should
talk primarily about
this and only in this
context come back to the Veciana story. I would like to make
One is that at the
time that the Maurice Bishop story began, Phillips had
caught the public
eye and therefore Phillips in
a sense had a reason to start creating disinformation about
himself and his
own role. Another point
which I think is relevant, is that at a certain point and I
(?) to know better
than me, is that Veciana
was shot through the head. It is important what year that
was. It was in
1973. July 1973. I spoke to
him myself by telephone, not long after this. And he said to
me, I know who
you are. I would be... it
would be interesting to talk to you but consider this, I
have just been shot
through the head.
?____________: And there is a point there.
Escalante: That's a very strong point. Would you offer to be
the head? I would like to
talk about what you are speaking of.
?____________: Let me back up a bit. Did he ask me a
Nunez for Escalante: No, he would like to say something in
response to what
you just said. He does
not think, we cannot analyze the events isolated. I have
just affirmed, and
I took one side that Phillips
could have been in charge of the disinformation operation.
And let us think
from another angle the
events that are going to happen in Dallas in that days,
1963. We are going to
relate what has happened. Now we know that Manuel Rodriguez
in Dallas in September in 1963. And we also know that Manuel
Salvat was there
in October 1963, in
Dallas [and] was involved in an arms program. And we also
know that in September
that was Silvia
Odio's incident and we all know that. According to Silvia
one day two persons
arrived to meet her, a
Cuban and a North American that presented himself,
represented himself as
Lee Oswald and two
persons that could have been Cubans or Mexicans, No? We have
done some research
about this. But
there is a character who calls our attention, which I
mentioned this morning
is Isodro Borja Simo.
Because Isodro Borja Simo was born in Mexico. He came in the
early 50's to
Cuba and he became an
engineer. And after the triumph of the revolution he was
linked to Salvat's
?____________: DRE? DRE, Directorio.
Nunez: DRE, yes, directorate, he was looking for another
name, but he can't
?____________: Directorio Estudiante...
?____________: Another name?
Nunez: No, he was thinking of a name, the name of someone at
the head of
Escalante: The first head of the DRE.
Escalante: Traviesa, no, no, one that came to Cuba, before
Giron and was
guerillas. In a little while (?)___________ The point is
that Isidro Borja
joined this group and had to
get into an embassy a Latin American Embassy, with somebody
?____________: There's more?
Escalante: Oh no, there's more, "es muy interesante". He is
a very interesting
person, a lot of
people. If we look at exhibit one in Warren Commission where
Oswald is seen,
pamphlets. Behind Oswald, I think it was left corner, it
looks like there
is a man, very low, short.
Escalante: That looks like a Mexican person. And that could
have been Isidro
Borja, I don't know
whether he is alive.
?____________: Can we talk about the photo in New Orleans?
Escalante: Exhibit one photo from the Warren Commission, the
Escalante: Ya mataron a Viviela...
Lesar: Si, estalo de Viviela y seguro...
Escalante: And Carlos Bringuier, exhibit 1. I cannot say
that it is the same
person, because the
photograph is not very good. The photo we have from Isidro
Borja is from
the 50's, but no doubt that it
is a person, that looks like a Mexican, but used to speak
like a Cuban. It
is an interesting fact that we
should take into account.
?____________: Did he spend time in Mexico in the early, in
1962 or 63, or
was he ever linked to
Escalante: Yes. Yes, he was in Mexico City in 62-63. Yes,
con Alpha 66?
Escalante: That I don't know, if he was linked with Alpha
66. We knew he
was linked with the DRE.
?: The DRE.
?: And he was in Mexico City in 62-63?
N: In 62-63.
Escalante: But we do not know if he had links in Alpha 66.
The only thing
that I want to point out is
that both incidents, that when told by Veciana the Odio
incident and the
DRE incident, in Dallas
E: Yo no lo veria de (?)
N: DRE incident in Dallas.
N: D-R-E, yes
?: Oh, DRE, ok
Escalante: I did not see them isolated. In a disinformation
cannot see them separate.
For instance, I have thought a lot about why this visit to
Silvia Odio, why
Silvia Odio's father, Amador
Odio, he was imprisoned [in Cuba]. Amador Odio was one of
the founders of
the MRP. Manolo Ray
left Cuba at the end of the 60's. Manolo Ray was a social
democrat and when
he got to Miami, into
exile, he found a very strong opposition for the CIA for him
to belong to
the revolutionary Cuban
council. And after Giron he was put apart from this council.
the CIA made... some
contacts with their agency in Cuba in order to take him out,
in the outside.
Something that had really happened, Manolo Ray after the
some contacts happened
between Ray and some of the Kennedy administration officials
and Ray had
already founded the
_________?: JURE, JURE
Nunez: JURE, that's it, JURE
_________?: Junta Revolucionaria
Nunez: Junta Revolucionaria, esta bien.
Escalante: And this group started the privileged, by the
I think, what I didn't know the
plans for this administration is that we should take into
account what we
spoke about this morning. In
the case of negotiation between the United States and Cuba.
The United States
would have to have
something of his hand to impose him to Cuba. They were going
to demand that
somebody would be a
part of that new government to be established in Cuba and
who would be better
than Manolo Ray,
who used to be a minister in that government. Manolo Ray,
that was a person
that didn't have good
relations with the CIA. He was a social democrat. And it
turns out to be
that Silvia Odio belongs to the
same group. So I could think that Oswald's presence, and
Emilio Cordo (?)______________
have some link to some involvement of JURE? as Castro
agents... who is a
Castro agent that later
would kill Kennedy. So I think all these episodes have to be
one to another. For instance,
I think the same way you... some of you do that Oswald was
taken to a trap
from the very beginning.
But he was penetrating a Castro group that wanted to kill
Kennedy. But I
don't think that Veciana had
anything to do with it. I think that people that had to do
with that, are
people in the DRE, the DRE,
but here I am just... using some technical... because when
you are going
to carry out an operation as
complex as this one, you cannot put all your money in one
single horse. You
have to use different
ways in order not to have any mistakes. And obviously, the
DRE was in the
whole plot against Cuba.
Again, this was the organization that was ________
Fonzi: I would like to share two small pieces of
information... ah, with
the Cuban side. One is from the
new releases and that is the date that Phillips became in
charge of anti-Cuban
operations in Mexico
City. We now have the cable from headquarters to the
station. He was there
of course already. I'm
not entirely sure in what capacity, maybe counter
the local leftist file that you
have commented... Sorry?
?____________: Cuban covert actions.
Fonzi: Covert actions?
Fonzi: And we know that he had the local leftist file from
June Cobb... the
June Cobb documents. But
we now know that it was in the days immediately following
October 1; it begins
October 1. No, he is a TDY, he doesn't get back till the
9th, the 7th, 8th,
or the 9th. He is TDY the 7th
thru the 9th. Right, and he returns at that point as the
chief of anti-Cuban
Nunez: I can't translate this, because I couldn't understand
Fonzi: It's in the first week of October 1963. Yes. And the
CIA cable is
specific about this point.
?____________: This is interesting. But what is also
interesting is that
he comes... he comes to D.C.
to pick up a package. Right... under a code name. And
that's, that's in connection
with the TDY
business I think. Explain that, TDY is temporary...
Temporary duty, TDY means
temporary duty. He
went to Washington and then Miami and then came back and was
chief of operations.
terms, it means that he was stationed at one place, and then
up to 90 days
he was sent to another
place. That's temporary duty, TDY. Anyway, I just bring this
up because I
think it's interesting. Is
germane to the comments General Escalante was making. One
other small point.
?____________: Excuse me... I want to interject while you
are talking about
interesting point is when Howard Hunt sued A. J. Weberman
they took a deposition
Phillips said mostly nothing in all the questioning. But
what de did admit
was that, he might have been
in Dallas, at least the Dallas airport, in early September,
Escalante: La primera mitad?
_________?: On September
Nunez: On September or in September?
_________?: September, early September.
Nunez: Ah, Septiembre.
?_________: The other point I wanted to share is not from a
from an interview.
Actually, it began with a mutual friend of many of us here,
his name is Larry
Haapanen. A good
researcher who is not written in the books, who had an
occasion many years
ago where James Hosty
visited his class. And they discussed the Silvia Odio
incident. And at that
time, Mr. Hosty, who as you
know was an FBI agent watching Oswald. At that time, Hosty
told the class,
that he thought the
visitors to Odio's house were agents of William Pawley. More
had occasion to talk with
Mr. Hosty. At present he will not talk to any of us
including me, but before
I was very far into doing
research for my book he called me and did not know I was
a book. He was asking me
for some information. I took the opportunity to ask him some
this piece about the
Odio visit. And he reiterated again, that that was his
feeling. I don't have
any documents. But I find...
?____________: You took notes?
?____________: I took notes, and I find this an interesting
the same token, because it
would fit, would it not? If you had the right wing elements
the left wing elements, and as
you say, perhaps even with the view to do something more
nasty than that
?____________: I'd like to touch on something that Peter
brought up earlier
because I've felt now for
several years that one of the ways, perhaps the only way,
that you can get
a handle on the Kennedy
assassination is to carefully analyze the disinformation
aspect after the
assassination, and see if that
gave you any clues as to who might be involved. And I think
that we should
maybe take a little time
here and go over some of those incidents and see whether or
not they relate
to Phillips. I think there
are some of them that are well known. I guess perhaps the
is the one involving how
Hendrix, who, on the afternoon of the assassination leaves a
Seth Kantor to call him. And
later Kantor learns that Hendrix was trying to give him
Oswald's background. That
seems to be an obvious candidate for an attempt to plant
would paint Oswald in a
way...favorable to those who would want to make him a patsy.
And I believe
that we know that
Hendrix had a relationship with David Phillips
I think probably Gavin or Tony can probably fill in more on
But I would like to hear a discussion on the specific
incidents of disinformation
after the assassination.
There's the Alvarado incident.
?____________: It's another..., on the Hendrix thing, we
a year or two ago in
connection with the Frontline Program.
Nunez: I'm sorry, I can't hear...
?____________: We interviewed him a couple of years ago in
a television program
called Frontline. And he now claims that he could not even
remember the journalist
that he told this
information to, let alone having talked about the
information. Which is very
implausible, because it
was his contribution on the afternoon of the assassination.
I was involved
in history, but I don't
?____________: I was there. What also interests me about
that is that of
course the information about
Oswald's connections to the Assassination Cuban Committee,
and so on, would
have come up. What
seems to have been important was for them to get the
information out very
quickly, like within hours
after the assassination, and that is in itself
Winslow: I have a couple here on Monkey Morales. You've
brought his name
up, and then you just
left me hanging here.
Escalante: The only thing I said was he went into exile with
Winslow: OK, that's fine. What was... what were the dates of
his work with
the Cuban intelligence, and
what did he actually do?
Escalante: Ricardo Morales you mean?
Winslow: I'm talking about Morales Navarrete, Ricardo
Escalante: He never worked with our Cuban intelligence
He worked for the Cuban police. There is a difference.
Winslow: The civil police?
Escalante: The criminal police.
Winslow: The FBI? or the...
Escalante: The FBI, the criminal police. They are very
no... como Tony Cuesta
worked for the police or Virjilio Dias worked for the CIA
police. In 1959
all these people were in the
Winslow: He was there in '59 until when?
Escalante: Only until June of '59.
Winslow: And then he came to the United States?
Escalante: And then he came to the United States.
Winslow: Okay, and then he worked for what organization?
Escalante: He knows that he worked for the FBI.
Winslow: For the Central Intelligence Agency or the FBI?
Escalante: With the CIA.
Winslow: With the CIA. In '68 he was working for the FBI?
Escalante: It's possible, I do not know.
Winslow: I know that because he was an informant with a bug
on him tape recording
testimony which was repeated in a trial. Then he went... And
then he went
to Venezuela. And he wasn't
affiliated with Cuban intelligence in any manner?
Escalante: No, never.
Winslow: Do you believe that he supplied the explosive that
blew up the Cubana
Escalante: He could have been.
Nunez: We know it was supplied, from which he took part
Escalante: But, we do not know which role each one played.
Winslow: He admitted that in a sworn deposition in Miami, a
deposition where he was... every bombing he ever did. But he
says he worked
for Cuban intelligence, DGI.
Escalante: Are you going to believe him?
Winslow: Well, the circumstances that indicate that he may
have been telling
the truth... Because he
also worked for the Mossad, the CIA, the FBI, and the
Venezuelan secret police.
Escalante: First of all, you are preparing us with very high
and remember, during
those early days we were just a bunch of young people that
were no more than
25. But no, I can
assure you, he never worked for us. He never worked with
office. At least to my
knowledge, at least to my knowledge.
Winslow: At least to his knowledge. O.K., now, does, did
or Cuba have anything to
do with the death of Roselli?
Escalante: Let me not say something terrible.
Winslow: I got, I'll show you later if you want to see it. I
got a, I have
a document that was just sent to
me by the Central Intelligence Agency, questions that were
asked of them
by homicide detectives in
Miami about the Roselli... And it is very interesting. I'll
see you later
Smith: I think that in our discussion this afternoon we
should remember that
LaFontaines will be here, and they have special knowledge of
in Dallas. But, there are
some things that have come up here, and also this morning
that pull everything
concerns me is that sometimes we talk as if Borja and
Morales, because they
defected at the same
time are of the same politics?
?____________: I'd like to ask you a question. Is it not
true that if you
take the whole of the counter
revolutionary Cuban presence there is a right wing and a
left wing? And you
should place the DRE
over on the right wing and place Alpha, not only JURE, but
also Alpha 66
over on the left wing?
Escalante: I wouldn't put Alpha 66 on the left. JURE yes,
but Alpha no.
?____________: Well, there has been quite a lot of
literature that has, for
Orcarberro has been called simultaneously Alpha 66
representative and also
a DRE (?)
?____________: The second is false, I think.
?____________: And that, if we are trying to visualize what
that, as you said yourself,
these initiatives that the Kennedys were taking to create
alliance with JURE
were -- caused great
consternation in the right wing. And we will, at some point,
be talking about
John Martino. John
Martino, in December of '63, published an article and he
said -- he talked
about the well-known plot
between Khrushchev and Kennedy to install a left wing
government in Cuba
which he said would be
headed by Huber Matos and the Minutemen who were close to
Martino. The Minutemen
document at the same time to the same effect and I think
that what makes
sense to me is that they,
either on their own or after instigation from the CIA, the
right wing were
saying if we don't, we not
only have to worry about Castro now, we have to worry about
this new government
that Kennedy is
planning to bring into Cuba
Escalante: About what you just said, I would like to read an
article to you.
An article that was
published in the United States and it's absolutely
contradictory. But listening
to you it begins to have
sense, some reason. This is an article that was published
28th. And it's called
("Los impulsionistas Anti-Castristas, construyen una fuerza
la CIA tiemble") "The
anti-Castro ______ are building an air force, which the CIA
This was published in the
Jackson Daily News, Jackson, Mississippi. It was signed by
Robert Allen and
Paul Scott. You know
?____________: No, but we know the authors. We have talked
about this before.
Escalante: Here they say or they used to say That President
Kennedy and his
advisors on foreign
policy and very much compromised and several entries but,
anti-Castro in ....
Abramson: Cursionists? Cursionists, I guess. That sounds
like that would
Escalante: It speaks about the organization of an air fleet
to carry on excursions
actions against Cuba and that this Air Force is not
officially under the
United States control and that's
the way it says and that call my attention. He mentions a
Rorke, but at a certain moment, something that has no
meaning is said...
Nunez: This very unusual consul.
Abramson: Sort of conjunction.
Nunez: No, no.
Nunez: Disconcerting events in the American policy.
Escalante: Comes in the moment when secret sources are
sending around almost
of the next Cuban crisis. According to the news we cannot
confirm the operation,
should happen in Cuba in 1964 and secretly it's been
organized by certain
officials in Moscow, in
Havana, and Washington. The plan includes the use of Soviet
troops in Cuba
to control less as
possible the sparing of blood and uprising, forcing Kennedy
to send troops
to Cuba. To keep this
compromise, this promise of not allowing another Hungry in
Cuba in front
of the possibility for nuclear
war, by Cuba, the United Nations would be called for a cease
fire so the
United States and Russia
would agree and a correlation government would be started in
the communists, the
United States and Russia will use this new environment for
including a nuclearized
zone in America. What do you think about that?
?____________: Who says it sounds like, sounds like an
article that might
be written by Mr. Remos
in the Diario de las Americas today.
Escalante: I recall your attention on one part. Who speaks
about a concert
is an agreement between
Washington and Havana and Moscow. They speak about the
communist plot because
with three, in a
group of three, when two are out, it's the third should be a
(?). And this
was published on September
?____________: After my book was published,
I received a phone call from someone that I came to
consider... she sounded
pretty reliable. And the
name that she mentioned to me as having been directly
involved in the assassination
was the CIA
agent, or officer, named Grayston Lynch. And I wondered if
you ever had any
information that might
have linked him to Phillips or any of the people.
?____________:(John): We got some information before the
very first national
conference of the
Coalition of Political Assassinations about a luncheon
meeting between top
former CIA officials which
are Richard Helms, William Colby Richard Helms, William
Colby. I don't know
if he is a high ranking,
or even former. But, Gus Russo was apparently there and he
told some people
that and they had a
concern about what was going to be presented in our
conference and one of
their main concerns, they
said, was with how we were going to deal with their friend
David Atlee Phillips.
Well it was, I think it
was Joe Goulden was also present at that meeting and he was
close to David Phillips.
And, in fact, is executor of David Phillips estate. And his
Phillips goes way back, they are
both from Texas And I believe I saw some where in one of the
by the CIA a year or so
ago that Goulden grew up in the same town that David
Phillips father was
from I think it was
Marshall, Texas, or somewhere. Anyway, it was a long time
Phillips. And Goulden has been extremely concerned about
?____________: Goulden. It's spelled, G-O-U-L-D-E-N
?____________: Dave Goulden?
?____________: No, Joseph Goulden, Joseph...
?____________: Well, their strategy, as I understand it, as
it was explained
?____________: Goulden, if I could just add one other thing,
Goulden is one
of the two reporters, the
other being Lonnie Hudkins who broke the story that Oswald
had an FBI informant
were you going to say something? Ya, John.
?____________: If we are talking about disinformation and
in an attempt to pin the
blame on the assassination on Cuba I think it's time we
Duran's sex life for many
reasons the least of which is Mr. Lechuga sitting to my left
here. And Anthony
Summers, sitting over
there who on my behalf interviewed Silvia Duran just
recently, but first
of all let me say that, if it could
be shown that Silvia Duran...
END TAPE 3
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