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Was Cuban hit man Herminio Diaz a second Kennedy assassin


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James, clearly that Diaz Garcia is not the fellow whose CIA interviews show arriving with wife and young daughter in July 1963 in Miami...there is obviously some confusion over the name, as reflected in one of the CIA name traces. Can you help clear some of that up for us...

-- thanks in advance, Larry

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James, clearly that Diaz Garcia is not the fellow whose CIA interviews show arriving with wife and young daughter in July 1963 in Miami...there is obviously some confusion over the name, as reflected in one of the CIA name traces. Can you help clear some of that up for us...

-- thanks in advance, Larry

Larry,

The Diaz Garcia mentioned above is the one who associated with Tony Cuesta. He had been a gun for hire and had been used by Felix Bernardino on several occasions including the failed hit on Jose Figueres. He was also known to Arturo Espaillat and Robert Emmett Johnson during their time in the Dominican Republic. He was allegedly killed on a mission in 1966.

There is another Diaz Garcia, same 201 file number, who associated with Evelio Duque and was mixed up with drug running in Costa Rica during the later part of the 1960's and early 1970's.

Speaking with a family member, they were suspicious of his death in 1966 as another family member said they had seen him during 1967 in Miami.

This is him (Sandalio Herminio Diaz Garcia) as he appeared in a Costa Rican newspaper in 1957.

post-624-0-05478900-1382415072_thumb.jpg

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Thank you James, that is a great help - one more question, the Diaz Garcia that arrived in Havana in July 1963 and was interviewed by CIA personnel described having worked at a casino in Miami, first as a security officer and then as a cashier all the way up to his departure. The CIA gives report from his interview and describes his arrival with a wife and young daughter. It also describes him having been in a Cuban jail a couple of times as a suspected subversive, including during the BOP. The interviews and related CIA docs are all on the MFF site. I was struck by the fact that he sounded like a true anti-Castro type rather than some gun for hire but I suppose you could say that about several of the Batista era folks.

Is that the fellow in the picture you posted and the reputed JFK shooter or yet a third Diaz Garcia?

Edited by Larry Hancock
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Hey Larry,

I'm not aware of any "Casino" in Miami in the 50's or 60's. The closest thing was the poker game at the Miami Beach Kennel Club. Of course, there were many illegal betting venues but they wouldn't be described as "casinos". I wonder what they are talking about and wether they are actually referring to a cuban operation in Cuba?

Let me know if I'm wrong.

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Sorry Chris, the casino was in Havana - I modified my post accordingly. According to the interview he had been working there up to the time he managed to get out of Cuba.

One of the things that needs to be resolved in the apparently conflicting information in several of the Diaz Garcia documents - they realized that their name traces had some issues

but never resolved them. If James can help us do that it will help establish some very important context for what Summers has in his newest edition.

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Thank you James, that is a great help - one more question, the Diaz Garcia that arrived in Havana in July 1963 and was interviewed by CIA personnel described having worked at a casino in Miami, first as a security officer and then as a cashier all the way up to his departure. The CIA gives report from his interview and describes his arrival with a wife and young daughter. It also describes him having been in a Cuban jail a couple of times as a suspected subversive, including during the BOP. The interviews and related CIA docs are all on the MFF site. I was struck by the fact that he sounded like a true anti-Castro type rather than some gun for hire but I suppose you could say that about several of the Batista era folks.

Is that the fellow in the picture you posted and the reputed JFK shooter or yet a third Diaz Garcia?

Larry,

The Trafficante employed Diaz Garcia was the same man who had been hired by Felix Bernardino in the past to perform several murders. He was part of a loose group of 'go to' men named the Riders of the East. HDG was booted out of Costa Rica in late 1956/ early 1957, then started work at the Riviera Hotel in 1959. His father in law was a Canadian geologist named Gerald McKenzie.

HDG had allegedly been involved in plots against Batista (had been close to Castro in the mid 50's) and had done time in Cuban prisons during the early 1960's where the suggestion was made he may have come across John Martino there.

The guy in the photo was the one hired by Bernardino to kill Jose Figures in 1956. The image came from a Costa Rican newspaper in 1957 regarding the assassination attempt. This is the man who was then exiled out of that country and then went to work for Trafficante in Cuba. It is the same man who mixed with Tony Cuesta and was allegedly a shooter during the JFK assassination.

The family member I spoke to said that HDG was very active in revolutionary activity from the early 1950's right through to when he was killed in 1966. Other unverified tid bits is that his case officer from mid 1963 was a guy named Rip and that he was close to Efigenio Amejeiras and Carlos Prio.

FWIW.

FWIW.

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Thanks James, some of that is certainly matching up, I need to go back and do some detailed comparison. Of course Diaz Garcia is not really a new name in all this, I discussed him and have a photo in SWHT. Escalante surfaced him a long time ago and there was an arrest photo in the book written by the lady who interviewed Escalante - whose name I fail to recall but you will...grin.

If you have time give me a sanity test on this - HDG was not a native Cuban, he went to Cuba from Costa Rica after committing murder there. He went to Cuba, got work in the Casino's, became part of the group you mentioned, was actively anti-Batista (an pro Castro/revolutionary, why? seems like he should have been pro Batista) and then become an anti-Castro activist bu the BOP but stayed employed in the Casino's until he came to the U.S. in 1963. There he was debriefed in entry by the AMMOTs - we have those documents - he reportedly tried to kill Castro in Dec 1963 - we have a CIA doc on that - and in 1966 he was off with Cuesta on a mission into Cuba after telling associated they were going off to kill Castro - we have a CIA document on that.

How close am I getting, you now it takes me a while to follow along on such things... Larry

Edited by Larry Hancock
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Thanks James, some of that is certainly matching up, I need to go back and do some detailed comparison. Of course Diaz Garcia is not really a new name in all this, I discussed him and have a photo in SWHT. Escalante surfaced him a long time ago and there was an arrest photo in the book written by the lady who interviewed Escalante - whose name I fail to recall but you will...grin.

If you have time give me a sanity test on this - HDG was not a native Cuban, he went to Cuba from Costa Rica after committing murder there. He went to Cuba, got work in the Casino's, became part of the group you mentioned, was actively anti-Batista (an pro Castro/revolutionary, why? seems like he should have been pro Batista) and then become an anti-Castro activist bu the BOP but stayed employed in the Casino's until he came to the U.S. in 1963. There he was debriefed in entry by the AMMOTs - we have those documents - he reportedly tried to kill Castro in Dec 1963 - we have a CIA doc on that - and in 1966 he was off with Cuesta on a mission into Cuba after telling associated they were going off to kill Castro - we have a CIA document on that.

How close am I getting, you now it takes me a while to follow along on such things... Larry

Larry,

You are right, Diaz Garcia is not new in all of this. The book you refer was called 'ZR Rifle' and the author was Claudia Furiati.

HDG was born in Aguacate in Cuba. Interestingly enough, in 1949, Castro defended one of his first cases there as a lawyer. Castro met a woman named Hortensia Valcárcel Valdez, who was also well known to HDG. She was the owner of a textile workshop. Later, secret meetings were held at her house regarding revolutionary activity against Batista of which HDG also attended.

Castro and HDG were very close at one time but after Fidel took power, he made an enemy of HDG, not uncommon with many of the revolutionaries. HDG didn't become actively involved in anti-Castro activity until after he arrived in the US. Before that, he was more mercenary in nature it seems.

I will have to dig out my ancient notes for more exact details. The trouble is, I got some very damning information from the family member but none of it can be verified. They believe he fired from the 6th floor of the TSBD but from the opposite end of the sniper's nest. Post assassination, he went to Canada where he was hidden away by Arturo Espaillat and Robert Emmett Johnson, also having connections of his father in law. HDG allegedly stayed with an asset of Robert Johnson named Marc Krausse which was an alias for an associate of Gerry Hemming. He is still alive so I won't mention his name here.

FWIW.

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That's really helpful James and I think it is coming together, his pattern would not be all that unfamiliar. At this point two main things stand out to be reconciled, first the CIA report that Diaz Garcia just missed Castro in a shooting attack at the end of 1963 - the report on that would give no suggestion that it was an Agency operation but one never knows. It would demonstrate he was pretty radical though. The second would be how he hooked up with Cuesta in a relatively risky 66 mission, and one that HDG had remarked to associates before hand was another attempt on Castro.

Cuesta was a straight shooter and dedicated revolutionary, so the Cuesta connection is important. Following his capture, Cuesta apparently decided that he might have been set up on the mission and that the Castro forces were waiting on him, he suspected somebody wanted to dispose of him - or possibly Cuesta? It sounds a bit like the Vidal boat mission in 64 that you and I have discussed previously. Independent and possibly a set up.

Edited by Larry Hancock
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The Appendix to Furiati's tome has a page from an article referencing the Trujillo assassination; Costa Rican newspaper La Republico, May 18, 1957, with the headline TRES PISTOLEROS TRUJILLO, with accompanying individual photographs of Herminio Diaz, Jesus Gonzalez Cartas, and Juan Manuel Delgado.....

There has to be a "real photo" somewhere, instead of a dupe from a newspaper article over 50 years ago......

Edited by Robert Howard
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After pondering this a bit more and going back through SWHT plus the following document: http://www.maryferrell.org/mffweb/archive/viewer/showDoc.do?docId=47902&relPageId=2

I'm going to offer some thoughts that might begin to string together...

1. Diaz Garcia seems to have been a militant anti-batista type and revolutionary for many years but as James pointed out, soured on Castro and became dedicated to killing Fidel .

2. When Roselli was brought into the CIA plan to use Havana casino resources to kill Castro he was selected because he had operated there but also because he was close to others

who had particularly deep networks there

3. In SWHT I present information from John Sanders, my friend who has done more recent in depth research on Roselli than anyone else, which gives some much better insight

into Roselli including his deep connection to Meyer Lansky and to the guys in the Cleveland Gang.

4. Diaz Garcia worked at the Havana Riviera which was a Lansky casino in Havana, with major investment by the Cleveland guys - not a Trafficate casino as Summers has it

5. It has been rumored for some time that Diaz Garcia may have been one of the first Roselli contacts used to try and pass poison in to kill Castro

6. Certainly as James noted, Diaz Garcia may well have had a life outside the casino and done work for Trafficante, Trafficante was well thought of by Lansky, at least early on

and for all we know the introduction to Diaz Garcia might have come though Trafficante.

7. CIA records document a Diaz Garcia attack on Castro in December 63

8. CIA records document Diaz Garcia talking about a mission into Cuba to kill Castro in 66 - apparently the same mission that got him killed and Cuesta captured.

9. Roselli created a rather interesting story about people who had tried to kill Castro actually killing JFK, he may have only had to spin it a little.

10. As I speculate in NEXUS, a meeting between Harvey, Roselli and a third party - ostensibly dedicated to closing out the ZRIFLE project on Castro may well have been the

kick off for a conspiracy to kill JFK.

11. And in the end, the word is that Roselli was killed because in his conversations with staff on the Church committee, he had mentioned names of the people Trafficante

had referred to him for the Castro project, that got back to either them or Trafficante and Roselli suddenly became a real danger for talking too much.

....food for thought, Larry

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My spanish has much to be desired. So I'll leave the translation to someone who won't completely butcher this but the news-to-me-part is: Ruben Diaz of Miami was Herminio Diaz' brother maybe that's a lead.

from:

http://otrolunes.com/28/este-lunes/trujillo-intento-asesinar-a-romulo-betancourt/

Orlando García regresó a Cuba y participó en el primer intento de asalto al Palacio Presidencial dirigido por la Organización Auténtica(O/A), en el que iba a disparar un mortero. Volvió a Costa Rica.Figueres lo nombró capitán de la Guardia Presidencial. En 1957 detuvo a Herminio Díaz, Jesús González Cartas y un piloto apodado el Francés, bajo cargos de ingresar al país para matar a Figueres por órdenes de Trujillo. Rubén Díaz, hermano menor de Herminio y miembro fundador de la UIR, quien se encontraba exiliado en Miami, viajó a San José y tras una fuerte discusión con García logró la liberación del grupo. En la primera semana de enero de 1959, Orlando llegó a Cuba junto a Sánchez Arango a bordo de un yate con armas procedentes de Costa Rica y Venezuela, para combatir a Batista. Una tormenta impidió su llegada a tiempo. A principio de los 60 fue a Venezuela. Durante sus dos mandatos presidenciales Carlos Andrés Pérez lo mantuvo al frente de la jefatura de operaciones de la DISIP(Servicios de Inteligencia Policial) y de su guardia personal. Murió en Miami,en el año 2003.

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Via Google Translate:

"Orlando Garcia returned to Cuba and participated in the first attempt to assault the presidential palace led by Authentic Organization (O / A) , which was going to shoot a mortar. She named him captain Costa Rica.Figueres Presidential Guard . In 1957 arrested Herminio Díaz , Jesús González Letters and a pilot nicknamed the French , on charges of entering the country to kill Trujillo 's orders Figueres . Ruben Diaz , Herminio younger brother and founding member of the UIR who was in exile in Miami , flew to San Jose and after a heated argument with Garcia secured the release of the group. In the first week of January 1959, Orlando reached by Sánchez Arango Cuba aboard a yacht with arms from Costa Rica and Venezuela , to fight Batista. A storm prevented its timely arrival . In the early 60's was to Venezuela . During his two terms as president Carlos Andres Perez remained in front of the headquarters of the DISIP operations ( Police Intelligence Services ) and his bodyguard. He died in Miami in 2003."

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