Jump to content
The Education Forum
  • Announcements

    • Evan Burton

      OPEN REGISTRATION BY EMAIL ONLY !!! PLEASE CLICK ON THIS TITLE FOR INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION!:   06/03/2017

      We have 5 requirements for registration: 1.Sign up with your real name. (This will be your Username) 2.A valid email address 3.Your agreement to the Terms of Use, seen here: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=21403. 4. Your photo for use as an avatar  5.. A brief biography. We will post these for you, and send you your password. We cannot approve membership until we receive these. If you are interested, please send an email to: edforumbusiness@outlook.com We look forward to having you as a part of the Forum! Sincerely, The Education Forum Team
Sign in to follow this  
Dale Banham

Student Questions: Plots to kill Castro

Recommended Posts

My Year 10 (aged 14-15) are now starting on a piece of coursework: 'Why is JFK remembered so positively?'. I have attached the questions they came up with in groups. Answers and different views from experts would be great for when we start back in September or for pupils to look at over the Summer.

Question: Was JFK aware of the plots to kill Castro? If so, did he do anything to try and stop them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Author Tad Szulc, who interviewed Castro extensively in the early 1960s and wrote a Castro biography, related a story about how President Kennedy once launched a "trial balloon" by asking him (Tad Szulc) what he thought about the idea of assassinating Castro. Szulc replied with some horror that he was against that idea very much. JFK immediately agreed, and stated that "others" in government were urging him to do just that. (I believe this was post-Missile Crisis, but I am not abolutely certain.) Tad Szulc related that he felt JFK was being disingenuous, and that he only opined against assassination in order to agree with his guest.

My own personal opinion is that JFK must have known about, and approved of, some of the CIA plots to kill Castro. His brother Robert, the Attorney General, played a key role on the 5412 Committee, or "Special Group, Augmented," which was the government committee in the Executive Branch charged with trying to bring down the Castro government through sabotage, dirty tricks, coups, etc. RFK also was personally acquainted with certain CIA officers involved with assassination plots (such as Desmond Fitzgerald). There is no way, in my view, that RFK could have known and JFK NOT known. RFK was JFK's "cutout," for deniability purposes.

Now, it is true that JFK made certain peace overtures to Castro following the Missile Crisis, but I think that all this means is that he had a "2-track" policy on Cuba. If Castro would reform and behave responsibly, fine, but President Kennedy probably had no real hope of this, so he was simultaneously prepared to "do him in" to get rid of his regime. Duplicitous? Yes, certainly. But this was the height of the Cold War, and JFK and his brother Robert viewed Castro as an unstable madman, or at the very least a hothead with poor judgment, who had damn near caused World War III by putting Soviet Missiles in Cuba.

The Kennedy brothers prided themselves as being "tough"---all the New Frontiersman did. JFK certainly wanted to avoid a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, especially an unintended escalation which could lead to a nuclear war...but in my view he dealt with the Castro problem in a different compartment of his mind...the tough Irish compartment, that wanted revenge against an unstable leader who had embarrassed him (twice) and almost dragged the world into armaggedon.

I think it is wishful thinking to believe that JFK knew nothing about Castro assassination plots, and that he never would have approved of them if he had.

In my view, JFK would have welcomed an assassination of Castro (if "deniability" had been in place), or a fomented coup against Castro which would have resulted in his death. The death of Castro would have pleased hawks in the US, and would have made a costly and dangerous full-scale invasion unnecessary. END

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Question: Was JFK aware of the plots to kill Castro? If so, did he do anything to try and stop them?

John and Robert Kennedy seem to have been aware of the anti-Castro plots, and to have supported them--upset only upon learning that the CIA had become enmeshed with the Mafia in the process. They ordered this aspect stopped, but with mixed success.

Martin Shackelford

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×