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Saturday, October 13, 2012

CIA documents reveal plot to pay Mafia to kill Fidel Castro


A CIA document outlining a Mafia-connected plan to assassinate Fidel Castro for $150,000 is among thousands of Robert F. Kennedy documents made public Thursday.
The National Archives and Records Administration and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston released about 2,700 pages of documents Kennedy compiled as attorney general from 1961 to 1964, offering a glimpse into Cold War decision-making. Kennedy advised John F. Kennedy during the Bay of Pigs invasion and the missile crisis, key moments during his brother's presidency.
Though the documents, released just shy of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, don't rewrite Cold War history, they do provide insight into the personal thoughts of the era's key figures, historians say.
His title as attorney general "disguised his real position, which was the closest adviser to the president and the president's confidant and the person the president trusted most," said journalist and historian Michael Dobbs, who blogs for Foreign Policy.
"That's the interesting point of this, that he kind of reflects his brother's thinking."
The seven boxes of newly released material include telegrams, reports, meeting transcripts and handwritten notes by Kennedy, some with doodles and quotes in the margins.
"It gives you a sort of insight into what was on his mind, what he doodled," Dobbs said. "It's interesting from a human perspective."
The 1961 botched invasion sought to oust communists with the help of anti-Castro Cuban exiles and veiled U.S. support. More than 100 members of the CIA-sponsored invasion team were killed and many were captured by Cuban forces.
One CIA document offers a profile of Castro: It calls him intelligent but "not very stable" and "touchy, impatient and rash."
Another outlines plans to assassinate Castro, including a 1964 plan with connections to the Mafia. The mob and "patriotic Cuban exiles" settled on a payment of $100,000 for killing Castro, $20,000 for his brother, Raul, and $20,000 for Ernesto (Che) Guevara, plus $2,500 for expenses.


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