“The facts are that President Kennedy was a martyr in the Cold War struggle against communism. The assassin was a communist and not a bigot or a right-winger.” James Piereson, The Wall Street Journal, November 11, 2013, p. A 13
“A Soviet spokesman said that, ‘Senator [Barry] Goldwater and other extremists on the right could not escape moral responsibility for the president’s death.’” Ibid
“A new book, Dallas 1963, put out by a respected publishing house, traces the assassination to ‘a climate of hatred’ created by rightwing businessmen, religious leaders and media moguls.” Ibid
“The assassin’s motives for shooting Kennedy were undoubtedly linked to a wish to interfere with the president’s campaign to overthrow Castro’s government…Castro, however, was probably aware of these plots against him, thanks to information thought to have been provided by a Cuban double agent. In early September, Castro declared in an interview with an American reporter that U.S. officials wouldn’t be safe if they continue efforts to assassinate Cuban leaders.” Ibid
“In June 1963 Lee Harvey Oswald established a local chapter of Fair Play for Cuba, a national organization dedicated to gaining diplomatic recognition for Castro’s regime. Oswald was filmed by a local television station in New Orleans circulating leaflets on behalf of the Castro government and was jailed briefly following a street altercation with anti-Castro Cubans. Soon thereafter he appeared on a local television program to debate [with Carlos Bringuier, etc.] U.S. policy toward Cuba.” Ibid
In spite of the obvious connections between Fidel Castro, Lee Harvey Oswald and John F. Kennedy the following Americans and American institutions continue to portray Fidel Castro, a Stalinist communist, and his chief executioner Che Guevara, as heroes worthy of adulation and sainthood. Go figure…
The following information is from one of the most important books of 2013…Humberto Fontova, The Longest Romance: The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro…
“Newsweek hailed Cuba as among ‘the best countries in the world to live.’” vii
“Newsweek: ‘Castro is honest, and an honest government is something unique in Cuba. Castro is not himself even remotely a Communist.” 2
“He [Fidel Castro] is one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met.” Emanuel Cleaver, Congressional Black Caucus, 3
“We greeted each other as old friends.” Jimmy Carter, 4
“To my knowledge, that’s never been proven [that Castro murdered people]…I admire certain things about him. He’s trained a lot of doctors.” Ted Turner, 7
“Judicial evidence is an archaic bourgeois detail. We execute from revolutionary conviction.” Che Guevara, 9
“According to the Cuba Archive Project, headed by scholars Maria Werlau and the late Armando Lago, the Castro regime—with firing squads, prison tortures, forced-labor camps and drowning at sea—has caused an estimated 100,000 Cuban deaths.” 9
“Today the U.S. State Department still lists Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.” 11
“OK, let’s try the names of some women political prisoners who were jailed and tortured for years and even decades by Fidel Castro’s regime: Ana Rodriguez, Miriam Ortega, Isabel Tejera, Nelly Rojas, Olga Morgan, Maritza Lugo, Georgina Cid, Caridad Roque, Sara Del Toro, Mercedes Pena, Aida Diaz, Morejon, Agata Villarquide, Alicia Del Busto, and Albertina O’Farrill.” 11
“Again the names are all unfamiliar, right? Yet these ladies all live in the U.S. today, mostly minutes from mainstream media studios. But no producer for Oprah or Joy Behar or Katie Couric, none from the Lifetime or Oxygen TV, much less the History Channel, has ever called them.” 12
“’The national media have never shown the slightest interest in any of our stories,’ shrugs Caridad Roque from Miami today. Ms. Roque was arrested by Castro’s KGB-trained police at the age of 19 and suffered 16 years of prison and torture in Cuba.” 12
“The Discovery Channel, on the other hand, seems to have a perpetual red carpet into Castro’s fiefdom.” 43
“National Geographic’s partnership with Castro’s propaganda ministry started with a January 1977 article—really an infomercial for Castroism—called ‘Inside Cuba Today.’” 51
“In March 2012 National Geographic finally dropped any pretense of objectivity and ran an unabashed tourist infomercial entitled ‘Falling for Cuba.’” 51
“The Washington Post’s Tom Miller, whose services to the [Castro] regime began with his book Trading With the Enemy: A Yankee Travels Through Castro’s Cuba, published in 1996.” 51
“The New York Times’ Herbert Matthews … ‘invented’ Fidel Castro, according to fellow Times reporter Anthony DePalma.” 53
“Herbert Matthews, Ed Murrow, Dan Rather, Barbara Walters, Ted Turner, Andrea Mitchell, etc. on the other hand, visit Castro’s fiefdom, bask in the Stalinist regime’s red-carpet treatment in appreciation for their ongoing sponsorship, then scoot back to Georgetown or the Upper West side of Manhattan while sipping mojitos on the flight.” 60
“The very week Castro took power—with everyone from Herbert Matthews to Ed Murrow and Ed Sullivan singing his praises as a ‘Christian humanist’—Castro’s hit teams went after Marques-Sterling’s partner in drafting Cuba’s social-democratic 1940 constitution.” 69
“Castro’s revolution is very pure and beautiful. I’m encouraged by it. The Cuban people now have a decent change for the first time.” Ernest Hemingway, 77
“As for the famous novelist—according to KGB defector Alexander Vassiliev, ‘the 42-year old Hemingway was recruited by the KGB under the cover name ‘Argo’ in 1941, and cooperated with Soviet agents whom he met in Havana and London.” 77
“Fidel Castro is one of the most extraordinary men of our age.” I.F. Stone, 81
“Declassified Soviet documents expose I.F. Stone as a full-fledged KGB agent from 1936 to 1939 and a desultory ‘agent of influence’ for the rest of his life.” 81
“You’ll find the identical ‘incongruity’ in Castro fans from Charles Rangel to Maxine Waters, from Danny Glover to Jack Nicholson, from Sidney Pollack to Steven Spielberg, from Francis Ford Coppola to Norman Jewison, from Ry Cooder to Bonnie Raitt.” 92
“Former “Pretender’ singer Chrissie Hynde’s latest album is entitled Fidelity! in honor of Fidel Castro.” 92
“In Cuba freedom is nonexistent,’ the rock guitarist told Mexico’s Proceso magazine. ‘The regime demands submission. It persecutes all hippies, homosexuals, poets and free thinkers. It employs total repression against them.’ The Cuban rocker quoted above divulged the truth only because he’d managed to escape the nation-prison that Bonnie Raitt, Chrissie Hynde, Jimmy Buffett, Andy Summers, etc. all herald. That escapee’s name is Canek Sanchez Guevara—Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s very grandson.” 93
“Penalver, Zapata, Biscet and thousands upon thousands of other Cubans were convicted in secret, by the regime’s hack judges, in a court system copied from Stalin. They suffered their sentences 90 miles from the U.S., with press bureaus including CNN, NPR, ABC, CBS, NBC, AP and Reuters within walking distance or a short cab-ride of their cells. Chances are you’re familiar with the injustices against Nelson Mandela but have never heard the names of the Cuban political prisoners, much less the details of their suffering.” 107
“Learn some history! The movie is Che. Go! Learn! Stephen Colbert, 135
“A great piece of work. This movie is based on history. It went to the source. If you own the poster and t-shirt you owe it to yourself to go learn about the man.” MSNBC’s Willie Geist, 135
“I still have my Che Guevara poster. Che Guevara was a freedom fighter.” Bob Beckel, Fox News, 135
“While accepting the ‘best actor’ award at the Cannes Film Festival for his role as Che Guevara in Steven Soderbergh’s movie Che, Benicio Del Toro gushed: ‘I’d like to dedicate this to the man himself, Che Guevara!” 135
“It wasn’t enough that Stephen Soderbergh and Benicio Del Toro produced what even The New York Times recognized as an ‘epic hagiography’ of the Stalinist who co-founded a regime that jailed political prisoners at a higher rate than Stalin during the Great Terror; murdered more Cubans than Hitler murdered Germans during the Night of Long Knives; craved to incite a worldwide nuclear war; and in the process converted a nation with a higher per-capita income than half of Europe into a pesthole that repels Haitians.” 136
“’The U.S. is the great enemy of mankind,’ raved the terrorist [Che Guevara] whom Soderbergh and De. Toro glorified and who got a standing ovation in Hollywood with both Robert Redford’s The Motorcycle Diaries and Soderbergh’s Che. ‘Against those hyenas [Americans] there is no option but extermination!” 137
“’In all essentials Castro’s battle for Cuba was a public relations campaign, fought in New York and Washington.’ That’s no right-wing Miami Cuban; it’s British historian Paul Johnson, who initially sympathized with the Castro-Che regime.” 141
“Let’s see—both Felix Rodriguez and Dariel Alarcon are intimately tied to the Che Guevara story; both were alternately cat-and-mouse with each other as part of this narrative; both have fascinating first-person accounts of war and international intrigue; and both live in free countries. So both could be easily located and both could speak at length without fear of censorship about Che Guevara’s military exploits.” 146
“But don’t look for their fascinating story anywhere. It doesn’t fit the Hollywood narrative, nor that of PBS, NPR, ABC, CBS, NBC, the History Channel, A&E, and so on.” 146
“Che Guevara often cheekily signed his early correspondence as ‘Stalin II.” 153
“Frankly, to be a poor child in Cuba may in many instances be better than being a poor child in Miami, and I’m not going to condemn their lifestyle so gratuitously.” Eleanor Clift, The McLaughlin Group, 159
“Cuba could serve as a model for health-care reform in the United States.” Morgan Neill, CNN, 159
“For more than a quarter-century, we have struggled unsuccessfully to guarantee the basic right of universal health care for our people…but Cuba has superb systems of health-care and universal education.” Jimmy Carter, 161
“Enter Fox News and Sean Hannity in particular [because ABC refused to broadcast the videos]…On October 10, 2007 they ran huge segments of the smuggled videos. Fox viewers saw naked patients covered with flies while lying on hospital beds consisting of a bare mattress. They saw hospital buildings that would be condemn by the health board of any U.S. municipality. They saw and heard Dr. Darsi Ferrer along with other Cubans who describe their inability to obtain something as basic as aspirins.” 165
“An April 2005 story from Agence France-Presse entitled ’96 Cuban Doctors Expelled from Brazil’ reported: ‘Federal Judge Marcelo Bernal ruled in favor of a demand by the Brazilian state of Tocantins’ Regional Council on Medicine that Cuban doctors be prohibited from practicing in their state.’ Based on the results they’d achieved with Tocantins’s’ residents, the judge referred to the Cuban doctors as ‘witch-doctors and shamans. We cannot accept doctors who have not proven that they are doctors.’” 168
“Though two more epidemics have been reported by the Cuban samizdat press since 1997, CNN (along with NBC, CBS and ABC) has never seen fit to mention outbreaks of Dengue fever in Cuba…The reason is not far to seek: most of those media possess Castro-issued Cuban visas, or full-fledged Cuban bureaus.” 171,175
“On September 20, 2001, the FBI arrested the enemy spy that had managed the deepest penetration of the U.S. Department of Defense in history. The spy’s name is Ana Montes and during her 15 years in the Defense Intelligence Agency she operated as an agent for Fidel Castro. At the time of her arrest she had moled her way to the head of the DIA’s [Defense Intelligence Agency] Latin America division. From here, she greatly influenced (if not actually directed) the Clinton administration’s Cuba policy. Today she serves a 25-year sentence in federal prison. She was convicted of ‘conspiracy to commit espionage.’” 195
“’Ana Montes compromised our entire program against Cuba, electronic as well as human,’ admitted Joel F. Brenner, a national counterintelligence executive. She ‘passed some of our most sensitive information about Cuba back to Havana,’ disclosed then undersecretary for international security, John Bolton.” 195
James Piereson, The Wall Street Journal, November 16-17, 2013, p. A 13
It has been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was cut down on the streets of Dallas by rifle shots fired by Lee Harvey Oswald, a self-described Marxist, defector to the Soviet Union, and admirer of Fidel Castro. The evidence condemning Oswald was overwhelming.
The bullets that killed President Kennedy were fired from his rifle, which was found in the warehouse where he worked and where he was seen moments before the shooting. Witnesses on the street saw a man firing shots from a window in that building and immediately summoned police to provide a description. Forty-five minutes later a policeman stopped Oswald in another section of the city to question him about the shooting. Oswald killed him with four quick shots from his pistol as the policeman stepped from his squad car. He then fled to a nearby movie theater where he was captured (still carrying the pistol).
Yet opinion polls suggest that 75% of American adults believe that JFK was the victim of a conspiracy. Most of the popular books published on the murder have argued for one or another conspiracy theory, with the CIA, FBI, organized crime or right-wing businessmen cast as the villains. Why does the Kennedy assassination still provoke so much controversy?
A large part of the answer can be found in the social and political climate of the early 1960s. Immediately after the assassination, leading journalists and political figures insisted that the president was a victim of a “climate of hate” in Dallas and across the nation seeded by racial bigots, the Ku Klux Klan, fundamentalist ministers and anticommunist zealots. These people had been responsible for acts of violence across the South against blacks and civil-rights workers in the months and years leading up to Nov. 22, 1963. It made sense to think that the same forces must have been behind the attack on Kennedy.
James Reston, then chief political correspondent for the New York Times, published a front-page column the day after the assassination under the title, “Why America Weeps: Kennedy a Victim of Violent Streak He Sought to Curb in Nation.” Chief Justice Earl Warren, who would soon head the investigation into the shooting, blamed “bigots” for the assassination. Syndicated newspaper columnist Drew Pearson wrote that JFK was the victim of a “hate drive.” Sen. Mike Mansfield, in a eulogy, attributed the assassination to “bigotry, hatred, and prejudice.”
Many said that JFK had been killed because of his support for a civil-rights bill. Others, the Kennedy family included, wanted the slain president remembered with Abraham Lincoln as a “martyr” to the cause of racial justice.
For his part, President Lyndon Johnson saw that his job as national leader was to supply meaning to the tragedy. “John Kennedy had died,” he said later, “but his cause was not really clear. I had to take the dead man’s program and turn it into a martyr’s cause.”
In his first address to Congress as president, Johnson challenged the House and Senate to pass the stalled civil rights bill as a memorial to his slain predecessor. On the international front, Johnson feared a dangerous escalation of tensions with the Soviet Union. As Reston wrote for the Times on Nov. 25, just three days after Kennedy’s assassination: “One of the things President Johnson is said to be concerned about is that the pro-Communist background of Lee Oswald . . . may lead in some places to another Communist hunt that will divide the country and complicate the new President’s relations with Moscow.”
Ironically, U.S. leaders adopted a line similar to the one pushed by the Soviet Union and communist groups around the world. They likewise blamed the “far right” for the assassination. A Soviet spokesman said that, “Senator [ Barry ] Goldwater and other extremists on the right could not escape moral responsibility for the president’s death.”
These were the myths that grew up around the assassination and, strangely enough, they are still widely believed. A new book, “Dallas 1963,” put out by a respected publishing house, traces the assassination to “a climate of hatred” created by right-wing businessmen, religious leaders and media moguls.
The facts are that President Kennedy was a martyr in the Cold War struggle against communism. The assassin was a communist and not a bigot or a right-winger. Oswald defected from the U.S. to the Soviet Union in 1959, vowing when he did so that he could no longer live under a capitalist system. He returned to the U.S. with his Russian wife in 1962, disappointed with life under Soviet communism but without giving up his Marxist beliefs or his hatred of the U.S. By 1963, Oswald had transferred his political allegiance to Castro’s communist regime in Cuba.
In April 1963, Oswald attempted to shoot Edwin Walker, a retired U.S. Army general, as he sat at a desk in his dining room. Walker was the head of the Dallas chapter of the John Birch Society and a figure then in the news because of his opposition to school integration and his demand that the Castro regime be overthrown. The rifle Oswald used in the attempt at Walker’s life was the one he used to shoot Kennedy.
Dallas police would not identify Oswald as Walker’s would-be assassin until after the assassination of Kennedy, but Oswald, fearful that he would be identified for the Walker shooting, fled Dallas for New Orleans. In June 1963 he established a local chapter of Fair Play for Cuba, a national organization dedicated to gaining diplomatic recognition for Castro’s regime. Oswald was filmed by a local television station in New Orleans circulating leaflets on behalf of the Castro government and was jailed briefly following a street altercation with anti-Castro Cubans. Soon thereafter he appeared on a local television program to debate U.S. policy toward Cuba.
In late September, Oswald left New Orleans to travel to Mexico City in pursuit of a visa that would permit him to travel to Cuba and then to the Soviet Union. As documented in the Warren Commission Report, he took along a dossier of news clippings on his pro-Castro activities to establish his revolutionary bona fides with personnel at the Cuban and Soviet embassies in the city.
Oswald returned to Dallas empty-handed after being told that his application would take months to process. He was still waiting on his application six weeks later when he read that President Kennedy’s forthcoming visit to Texas would include a motorcade through downtown Dallas and past the building where he worked.
The assassin’s motives for shooting Kennedy were undoubtedly linked to a wish to interfere with the president’s campaign to overthrow Castro’s government. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy pledged to abandon efforts to overthrow Castro’s regime by force. But the war of words between the two governments continued, and so did clandestine plots by the Kennedy administration to eliminate Castro by assassination.
Castro, however, was probably aware of these plots against him, thanks to information thought to have been provided by a Cuban double agent. In early September, Castro declared in an interview with an American reporter that U.S. officials wouldn’t be safe if they continued efforts to assassinate Cuban leaders. A transcript of the interview was published in the local paper in New Orleans where Oswald was then living; and it may have been Castro’s remarks that sent him on his trip to Mexico City a few weeks later. Oswald was attentive to the smoldering war between the U.S. and Cuban governments and to the personal and ideological war of words between Castro and Kennedy.
The JFK assassination was an event in the Cold War, but it was interpreted by America’s liberal leadership as an event in the civil-rights crusade. This interpretation sowed endless confusion about the motives of the assassin and the meaning of the event. The vacuum of meaning was filled by a host of conspiracy theories claiming that JFK was a victim of plots orchestrated by right-wing groups.
The widespread feeling that disreputable elements in American culture contributed to Kennedy’s death—fed by liberal media figures and politicians—encouraged an anti-American attitude that was a pronounced aspect of the radical and countercultural movements of the 1960s. In the process, the real assassin, his political coloration and likely motives were airbrushed from history.
Mr. Piereson, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is the author of “Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism” (Encounter, 2013).