The CIA unsuccessfully planned two plots to assassinate Cuban leaders Fidel and Raúl Castro in the 1960s, according to documents declassified today by the National Security Archive.
On the occasion of the inauguration of the VIII Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), which is expected to mean the political farewell of Raúl Castro, documents were released about a plot to fake an accident on a flight between Prague and Havana and another linked to the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961.
Workers raise a giant concrete Cuban flag in front of the US embassy in Havana. Cuba ‘challenges’ Washington with a huge concrete flag in front of the US embassy in Havana.
The documents, six in total and which include memos and telegrams, account for the arrangements made by intelligence agency officials, which included the offer of a payment of “$ 10,000 or a reasonable amount in excess of that figure” to “incur at risk of organizing an ” air accident.”
The head of the CIA in Cuba in 1960, William J. Murray, discussed this plan with the Cuban pilot José Raúl Martínez, who worked for Cubana Airlines, the company contracted for a charter flight to Prague in which Raúl Castro and other members of the communist party.
“The pilot, who the CIA had previously recruited as an intelligence asset in Cuba, ‘asked to be assured that in the event of his [own] death , the United States would see to it that his two sons received a university education,'” he said. the National Security Archive.
The plot was never carried out because the aviator “had no opportunity to organize an accident” on the return leg of the flight, which took place on July 21, 1960.
Those involved had analyzed the possibility of an engine overheating on land or of a splashdown “about three hours from Cuba.” Previously, Murray had received a countermanding annulling the plot, but had no opportunity to communicate with the pilot.
Another attempt, but this time to assassinate Fidel Castro , began to be hatched weeks after the plan against Raúl Castro, the National Security Archive noted.
In August 1960, the CIA’s director of covert operations, Richard Bissell, authorized “a delicate mission” that required action like that of organized gangs, with the aim of liquidating Fidel Castro and “increasing the chances of success.” of the Bay of Pigs operation, in which Cubans trained and financed by the United States participated in 1961 and which ultimately failed.
For operation, the Technical Services Division of the CIA “developed a pill that had the elements of rapid solubility, high content lethal and little or no traceability”, of which there were six expected him they were given to Fidel Castro with some food or drink.
The plot, which did not come to fruition, “was called off shortly after the Bay of Pigs episode.”
Peter Kornbluh, who heads the US National Security Archive’s Cuba project, noted that, “like the defeat of the CIA-led invaders at the Bay of Pigs marked a historic turning point for the young revolution.” , the “official beginning of the post-Castro era marks an important turning point for the future of Cuba.”