Fidel Castro: ‘Oswald Could Not Have Been the One Who Killed Kennedy’


The Zapruder film: A moment before the Assassination

Jeffrey Goldberg travelled to Cuba, per Fidel Castro’s request to talk with him about a cover story he did on Israel’s threat to strike militarily at Iran’s nuclear facilities. The conversation got onto Kennedy, and this is what Fidel Castro had to say.

via The Atlantic

Fidel Castro shares at least one belief with the majority of Americans: He is convinced that the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was not the work of a lone gunman, but was the culmination of a broad conspiracy. According to a recent Gallup poll, 61 percent of Americans believe Lee Harvey Oswald did not act alone in Dallas 50 years ago. But Castro suspects that Oswald might not have been involved in the assassination at all. Here is what he told me–to my great surprise–over lunch one day in Havana: “I have reached the conclusion that Oswald could not have been the one who killed Kennedy.” Castro is of course a confident man, but he said this with a degree of surety that was noteworthy.

Fidel told us at lunch—as he would—that none of his associates or officials had anything to do with the assassination, and that the Cuban embassy in Mexico City, which Oswald had visited, denied him permission to visit Cuba, fearing that he was a provocateur.

I asked Fidel why he thought Oswald could not have acted alone. He proceeded to tell the table a long and discursive story about an experiment he staged, after the assassination, to see if it were possible for a sniper to shoot Kennedy in the manner the assassination was alleged to have happened. “We had trained our people in the mountains during the war”—the Cuban revolution—“on these kind of telescopic sights. So we knew about this kind of shooting. We tried to recreate the circumstances of this shooting, but it wasn’t possible for one man to do. The news I had received is that one man killed Kennedy in his car with a rifle, but I deducted that this story was manufactured to fool people.”

He said his suspicions grew especially pronounced after Oswald was killed. “There was the story of Jack Ruby, who was said to be so moved by the death of Kennedy that he decided to shoot Oswald on his own. That was just unbelievable to us.”

I then asked Castro to tell us what he believes actually happened. I brought up the name of his friend, Oliver Stone, who suggested that it was the CIA and a group of anti-Castro Cubans (I used the term “anti-you Cubans” to describe these forces aligned against Castro) that plotted the assassination.

“Quite possibly,” he said. “This is quite possibly so. There were people in the American government who thought Kennedy was a traitor because he didn’t invade Cuba when he had the chance, when they were asking him. He was never forgiven for that.”

So that’s what you think might have happened?

“No doubt about it,” Fidel answered.

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  • Rhoid Rager

    Octogenarian pontificates on murder from 52 years ago—news at 11.

    • Barking Spider

      52 years ago? It’s 2015 already? Damn…

  • Haystack

    I would be like “Ah, you Americans–you still don’t know, do you? Ha. Ha. Ha.”

  • DeepCough

    JFK was put down for the same reason MLK was: they both opposed war in Viet Nam.

    • mannyfurious

      Eh, it goes much deeper than that. They were both threats to the “powers that be.” That’s why you see these subtle (well, in JFK’s case, not so subtle) pushes to “humanize” these men by making public their extramarital affairs and such. The idea is that somebody like Kennedy wasn’t actually the hero we all like to believe, he’s simply a horny sex-fiend who pissed off the wrong people. But say what you want to about JFK and RFK, at the very least they were both aware of their potential places in history and they both attempted to place themselves on the proper side and they were both murdered for it.