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Herbert L. Matthews of the New York Times


John Simkin
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Does anyone know if Herbert Matthews of the New York Times ever wrote anything about the JFK assassination?

In 1957 Ruby Phillips, the Bureau Chief in Havana, arranged for Matthews to interview Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra. In the interview Castro spoke about his plans to overthrow Batista.

In July 1959 Matthews returned to Cuba. His reporting of events caused a great deal of controversy: "This is not a Communist revolution in any sense of the word, and there are no Communists in positions of control... Even the agrarian reform, Cubans point out with irony, is not at all what the Communists were suggesting, for it is far more radical and drastic than the Reds consider wise as a first step to the collectivization they, but not the Cubans, want." This was in contrast to the views of Ruby Phillips, who also worked for the New York Times: "Since the victory of the Castro revolution last January, the Communists and the 26th of July movement have been in close cooperation."

Matthews was denounced as a communist sympathizer (he had been attacked for the same reason during the Spanish Civil War).

Earl E. T. Smith, the former Ambassador to Cuba, gave evidence to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on 27th August, 1960. He claimed that Matthews had been working closely with pro-Castro elements in the CIA.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPmatthewsH.htm

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Does anyone know if Herbert Matthews of the New York Times ever wrote anything about the JFK assassination?

In 1957 Ruby Phillips, the Bureau Chief in Havana, arranged for Matthews to interview Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra. In the interview Castro spoke about his plans to overthrow Batista.

In July 1959 Matthews returned to Cuba. His reporting of events caused a great deal of controversy: "This is not a Communist revolution in any sense of the word, and there are no Communists in positions of control... Even the agrarian reform, Cubans point out with irony, is not at all what the Communists were suggesting, for it is far more radical and drastic than the Reds consider wise as a first step to the collectivization they, but not the Cubans, want." This was in contrast to the views of Ruby Phillips, who also worked for the New York Times: "Since the victory of the Castro revolution last January, the Communists and the 26th of July movement have been in close cooperation."

Matthews was denounced as a communist sympathizer (he had been attacked for the same reason during the Spanish Civil War).

Earl E. T. Smith, the former Ambassador to Cuba, gave evidence to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on 27th August, 1960. He claimed that Matthews had been working closely with pro-Castro elements in the CIA.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPmatthewsH.htm

The Man Who Invented Fidel; Castro, Cuba and Herbert L Matthews of the New York Times by Anthony DePalma

http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Invented-Fid...ader_1586484427

Jonathan Alter reviewed the above book for The New York Times. There are some great links to Matthews' articles on the left side of the page. A quote from the review:

"His career did not crater all at once. In 1961, John F. Kennedy asked him to the Oval Office after the failure of the C.I.A.-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs. A candid president, trying to learn from his mistakes, had earlier told The Times's managing editor, Turner Catledge, that "you would have saved us from a colossal mistake" if the paper had gone ahead and printed what it knew about the operation beforehand — a sharp contrast to President Bush's attitude toward critical reporting. In his private chat with Matthews, unearthed by DePalma, Kennedy told the reporter that if it hadn't been for the failed invasion, "we might be in Laos now — or perhaps unleashing Chiang." In other words, the botched invasion of Cuba may have spared the United States a much more disastrous invasion of mainland China."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/23/books/review/23alter.html

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Does anyone know if Herbert Matthews of the New York Times ever wrote anything about the JFK assassination?

In 1957 Ruby Phillips, the Bureau Chief in Havana, arranged for Matthews to interview Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra. In the interview Castro spoke about his plans to overthrow Batista.

In July 1959 Matthews returned to Cuba. His reporting of events caused a great deal of controversy: "This is not a Communist revolution in any sense of the word, and there are no Communists in positions of control... Even the agrarian reform, Cubans point out with irony, is not at all what the Communists were suggesting, for it is far more radical and drastic than the Reds consider wise as a first step to the collectivization they, but not the Cubans, want." This was in contrast to the views of Ruby Phillips, who also worked for the New York Times: "Since the victory of the Castro revolution last January, the Communists and the 26th of July movement have been in close cooperation."

Matthews was denounced as a communist sympathizer (he had been attacked for the same reason during the Spanish Civil War).

Earl E. T. Smith, the former Ambassador to Cuba, gave evidence to the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on 27th August, 1960. He claimed that Matthews had been working closely with pro-Castro elements in the CIA.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/SPmatthewsH.htm

The Man Who Invented Fidel; Castro, Cuba and Herbert L Matthews of the New York Times by Anthony DePalma

http://www.amazon.com/Man-Who-Invented-Fid...ader_1586484427

Jonathan Alter reviewed the above book for The New York Times. There are some great links to Matthews' articles on the left side of the page. A quote from the review:

"His career did not crater all at once. In 1961, John F. Kennedy asked him to the Oval Office after the failure of the C.I.A.-backed invasion at the Bay of Pigs. A candid president, trying to learn from his mistakes, had earlier told The Times's managing editor, Turner Catledge, that "you would have saved us from a colossal mistake" if the paper had gone ahead and printed what it knew about the operation beforehand — a sharp contrast to President Bush's attitude toward critical reporting. In his private chat with Matthews, unearthed by DePalma, Kennedy told the reporter that if it hadn't been for the failed invasion, "we might be in Laos now — or perhaps unleashing Chiang." In other words, the botched invasion of Cuba may have spared the United States a much more disastrous invasion of mainland China."

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/23/books/review/23alter.html

Thank you for that Mike. I have ordered a copy of the book and will report back when I have read it.

In 1931 Matthews was sent by the New York Times to work at the Paris Bureau. It was from here that he was dispatched to cover the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935. Matthews later wrote: "If you start from the premise that a lot of rascals are having a fight, it is not unnatural to want to see the victory of the rascal you like, and I liked the Italians during that scrimmage more than I did the British or the Abyssinians." He later admitted: "The right or the wrong of it did not interest me greatly." This attitude resulted in him being labeled a "fascist".

However, after his reporting of the Spanish Civil War he was accused of being a communist. This was reinforced by the way he covered Cuba. It is not out of the question he was being briefed by liberal elements in the CIA. I am very interested in discovering more about his relationship with JFK.

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