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Félix Ismael Rodríguez: A Key Figure?


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Shanet wrote:

So now TIM GRATZ is defending FELIX RODRIGUEZ.

Anyone notice a pattern here ?

How astute of you to catch the pattern, Shanet.

I tend to object when a presumably innocent person is falsely being accused of being a murderer. I have condemned assassination as an instrument of foreign policy. Don't much cater to character assassionation either.

Edited by Tim Gratz
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So let's see what this Communist organ had to say to "link", as you put it, Rodriguez to the Kenedy assassination.

Here is the total verbiage from the Allard article "linking" Rodrigiez to the Kennedy assassination:

Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Some of those investigating the matter considered the possible implication of various Cuban conspirators, including Félix Rodríguez, Frank Sturgis, Herminio Díaz, Orlando Bosch and the Guillermo Brothers, plus Ignacio Novo Sampoll. However, the role of George Bush, Richard Nixon and various Texas oil barons was also brought into question.

On the day of Kennedy’s murder, George Bush was in Texas. He has always maintained that he can’t recollect his precise movements. Neither does Félix Rodríguez remember his.

Maybe Rodriguez was not closely involved in the assassination of JFK. However, I do think there is enough evidence to suggest he is a possible candidate and therefore it is worth looking at the evidence that links him to the assassination.

The confessions made by people like John Martino, Tony Cuesta and David Morales and the testimony of Fabian Escalante and others who are unwilling to go public with their stories, suggest that the assassination of JFK was carried out by anti-Castro Cubans with close links to the CIA.

Rodriguez of course falls into this category. We know that the CIA employed him on dangerous missions to Cuba. In 1961 while training with Brigade 2506 before the Bay of Pigs invasion, he volunteered to assassinate Fidel Castro. He admitted that the CIA presented him with "a beautiful German bolt action rifle with a powerful telescopic sight, all neatly packaged in a custom-made carrying case." The mission ended in failure but he freely admitted to the operation during the Senate investigations on the Iran-Contra scandal.

In 1963 Rodriguez worked with Manuel Artime and the MRP in establishing four bases in Costa Rica and Nicaragua in preparation for another exile military campaign against Castro. The operation was given support by Ted Shackley, head of the JM/WAVE station in Florida. Rodriguez became the project's communications chief. During this period Rodriguez was involved in a large number of covert anti-Castro operations in an attempt to prepare the way to a second invasion.

We also know that Rodriguez took part in a series of CIA political assassinations. This included working with David Morales in the killing of Che Guevara in 1967. In 1971 Rodriguez helped train Provincial Reconnaissance Units for Operation Phoenix (a policy of political assassinations in Vietnam).

I understand why you are embarrassed about Rodriguez’s links to George Bush. You had the same problem when we were discussing the Luis Posada case. Both reveal just how selective Bush is about the kind of terrorist he wants brought to justice. The same is true about the military dictators he is willing to support in exchange for various benefits to himself.

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John wrote:

Maybe Rodriguez was not closely involved in the assassination of JFK. However, I do think there is enough evidence to suggest he is a possible candidate and therefore it is worth looking at the evidence that links him to the assassination.

John, I submit one is either "involved in the assassination" (part of the conspiracy) or not. I do not believe that Rodriguez had foreknowledge of the assassination, but I do not think foreknowledge of the plot is sufficient to make one a conspirator. Else we would know Castro was guilty since several people, including Ron, believe Castro had foreknowledge of the assassination. And we would know the KGB was guilty since Nagell states the KGB had foreknowledge of the assassination.

So what do you mean that maybe Rodriguez was not "closely involved"? I submit it is like the famous pregnancy question. A lady is either pregnant or not. No shades of grey. A person was either a member of the conspiracy or not; matters not how important his role if he performed an act to further the conspiracy. That is classic conspiracy law.

So where is there any evidence linking Rodriguez to the conspiracy? As Larry posted, there is none. That is zilch. Nada.

Does that mean there is no possibility Rodriguez was involved? Of course not. Anything is possible. But you just don't go around accusing people of being involved in a murder conspiracy unless you have some evidence to that effect. Even if some anti-Castro Cubans killed Kennedy, that does not mean that EVERY anti-Castro Cuban was a conspirator, obviously.

Notice also that Allards' article only stated that unnamed investigators have linked Rodriguez to the JFK assassination. He did not name any such investigators. I don't think he meant you, John, since you made the accusation only after Allards' article. Are you even aware of any reputable assassination investigator who has linked Rodriguez to the assassination? Did Allard just make that up?

Why don't you invite this Allard character, who I believe is a prolific writer for Granma, to join the Forum so he can support his charges? Here is his e-mail address:

jean-guy@allard.net

Edited by Tim Gratz
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John wrote:

In 1963 Rodriguez worked with Manuel Artime and the MRP in establishing four bases in Costa Rica and Nicaragua in preparation for another exile military campaign against Castro. The operation was given support by Ted Shackley, head of the JM/WAVE station in Florida. Rodriguez became the project's communications chief. During this period Rodriguez was involved in a large number of covert anti-Castro operations in an attempt to prepare the way to a second invasion.

Tempted to say "Gotcha!". Supported by Shackley? This was a RFK project through and through. Artime was setting up bases in Costa Rica and Nicaragua so the Kennedys could argue they were not violating the pledge made not to invade Cuba. Artime was a close friend of both Kennedys, particularly Robert. Artime met with JFK on the last Sunday of JFK's life.

There is no way you can reconcile the Kennedys' support for "another exile military campaign against Castro" (your language) with an argument that JFK was honestly seeking peace with Castro in the fall of 1963. When she learned the facts, Lisa Howard, who initiated the peace talks, decided that the Kennedys were hypocrites and that is why she was willing to risk her broadcasting career to campaign against RFK in the fall of 1968. Within a year, she was dead. Was it really a suicide? If not, what dangerous facts did Howard know that caused someone to kill her?

Edited by Tim Gratz
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John, I do not want to accuse anyone of being involved in the assassination without good evidence to support it. But if it is your argument that every anti-Castro Cuban with close links to the CIA must be considered a suspect, then how do you classify Artime himself? As you know, Artime died suddenly, at a very young age, in the mid-seventies (an important period in the Kennedy investigation) but apparently of natural causes.

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John, I do not want to accuse anyone of being involved in the assassination without good evidence to support it.  But if it is your argument that every anti-Castro Cuban with close links to the CIA must be considered a suspect, then how do you classify Artime himself?  As you know, Artime died suddenly, at a very young age, in the mid-seventies (an important period in the Kennedy investigation) but apparently of natural causes.

Hi Tim,

I do not want to answer for John, but one has to consider that if Artime was not involved with the assassination itself, he was in a position to know who was.

Gerry Hemming named the Dal-Tex spotter as Nestor 'Tony' Izquierdo, an identification I tend to agree with. Artime and Izquierdo were very close friends having formed the Rural Commandos together during the revolution in Cuba.

Both men were together in Brigade 2506 and both men continued their anti-Castro activities after the failed invasion.

If Artime was in a position to know details of the plot, then his death on November 17, 1977 should be seen as suspicious. (IMO)

James

Edited by James Richards
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James, as my post implied, I tend to agree with you re the suspicious nature of Artime's sudden death at a young age and at a time when the investigation was reheating.

That being said, I stopped in to purchase a Kennedy-related book (of course) at Bordersbooks in Key West and saw a photo memorial to an employee who was probably younger than Artime who developed cancer and died within two months of the diagnosis. He was a nice fellow who had sold me books on several occasions. Doesn't necessarily mean that Artime's death was non-suspicious, but I guess it does show us we should cherish every moment of our life here! I really hope that members of this Forum do not get so engrossed in the mystery (part of the fascination of the tragedy) that they neglect time with their families!

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John wrote:

In 1963 Rodriguez worked with Manuel Artime and the MRP in establishing four bases in Costa Rica and Nicaragua in preparation for another exile military campaign against Castro. The operation was given support by Ted Shackley, head of the JM/WAVE station in Florida. Rodriguez became the project's communications chief. During this period Rodriguez was involved in a large number of covert anti-Castro operations in an attempt to prepare the way to a second invasion.

Tempted to say "Gotcha!".  Supported by Shackley?  This was a RFK project through and through.  Artime was setting up bases in Costa Rica and Nicaragua so the Kennedys could argue they were not violating the pledge made not to invade Cuba.  Artime was a close friend of both Kennedys, particularly Robert.  Artime met with JFK on the last Sunday of JFK's life.

There is no way you can reconcile the Kennedys' support for "another exile military campaign against Castro" (your language) with an argument that JFK was honestly seeking peace with Castro in the fall of 1963.  When she learned the facts, Lisa Howard, who initiated the peace talks, decided that the Kennedys were hypocrites and that is why she was willing to risk her broadcasting career to campaign against RFK in the fall of 1968.  Within a year, she was dead.  Was it really a suicide?  If not, what dangerous facts did Howard know that caused someone to kill her?

The Kennedys were playing both sides, Tim. They couldn't tell Lisa Howard "Oh Lisa, by the way, we're stringing along a bunch of anti-Castro Cubans down in Nicaragua, so don't get unnerved when you hear about them." It was the carrot-and-stick approach; they knew they'd get more out of Castro if he was concerned about Artime. Similarly, they knew that Artime and his boys would be nothing but trouble if they stopped supporting them.

And speaking of "Gotcha!," in Shackley's recently released book he admits that Artime was being built up outside the U.S. in hopes of creating wide-spread support for him and rebellion within Cuba itself, and that until that day came they never would have tried a BOP 2. In other words, First Naval Guerrilla, or whatever it was called, was a mirage designed to keep the anti-Castro Cubans moving forward, but was never intended as a destination. It wasn't even on the map.

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Pat, I'll need to think and research this. I do not think I agree with it.

Are you aware of the monthly retainer our government (by order of the Kennedys) was giving to Artime personally and to the program?

If it was all just a farce, then the Kennedys were really wasting taxpayers' money and perhaps we should broaden our suspect base to include disgruntled taxpayers.

One initial thought: if the Artime operation was a SOP to the anti-Castro Cubans, why was it such a closely guarded secret (known only to the few anti-Castro forces involved and to the DGI). Why was the operation in fact hidden from most of the anti-Castro exile organizations?

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Pat wrote:

The Kennedys were playing both sides, Tim. They couldn't tell Lisa Howard "Oh Lisa, by the way, we're stringing along a bunch of anti-Castro Cubans down in Nicaragua, so don't get unnerved when you hear about them." It was the carrot-and-stick approach; they knew they'd get more out of Castro if he was concerned about Artime.

Pat, I think the exact opposite would be true (and probably was). Castro heard Kennedy's peace entreaties but he knew about the Artime operation. His only reasonable conclusion would be that Kennedy was conning him.

And it wasn't just the planned invasion. Major JFK sabotage operations were being directed against Cuba in the fall of 1963. Plus the ongoing assassination attempts. As I previously posted, castro caught a bunch of CIA-trained assassins in late October of 1963. Castro had every right to assume that the Kennedys had approved the assassination attempts as well.

So, Pat, I suggest that with what was going down against Castro and Cuba in the fall of 1963, plus the planned invasion (which Castro had no way of knowing was all just a ruse, if, as you argue, it was) Castro had every reason to conclude: 1. JFK was violating the spirit of the deal that ended the Cuban missile crisis, showing he was not a man whose word could be trusted (while the Kennedys were using legal technicalities to argue they were abiding by, at least, the letter of the agreement) ; and 2. Kennedy was conning him with the peace talks while preparing for war (just as the Japanese peace negotiators conned the US before Pearl Harbor).

On a different post, Ron has stated that it is his belief that Castro wanted Kennedy dead. Which is why Castro did not tell the US of his knowledge of any assassination efforts that were not his. Clearly, the activities of Artime, Rodriguez and Cubela gave Castro a motive--a BIG motive!

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  • 5 years later...

From The Seattle Times

by Laura Wides-Munoz

AP Hispanic Affairs Writer

April 14, 2011

Bay of Pigs marked men who helped make Miami, US

MIAMI — In the weeks before U.S.-backed exiles invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, Felix Rodriguez was spirited into the island to work with underground forces against Fidel Castro's fledgling revolutionary government. A 19-year-old named Santiago Alvarez stood ready in the Florida Keys for orders to attack by sea, while another exile, Alfredo Duran, trained in Guatemala for a beachfront assault at Playa Giron on Cuba's southern coast.

Half a century later, they are still waiting for victory.

Castro decimated the underground before Duran ever reached shore. The U.S. never provided the air and naval support the exiles expected, and Cubans on the island never rose up to join them.

The failed invasion 50 years ago this Sunday forever shaped the lives of Rodriguez, Alvarez and Duran, just as it defined U.S. policy at home and abroad.

But the veterans themselves also marked the nation, helping turn Miami into a world famous, Cuban-dominated metropolis and playing key roles in Vietnam, Watergate and the Iran-Contra scandal.

Rodriguez, the operative who clings to the fame he earned for his role in capturing communist revolutionary Che Guevara, now heads the veterans association and its small museum - a requisite political stop, particularly for Republicans seeking the U.S. presidency.

Alvarez became a successful developer, literally helping build up Miami, while quietly backing renegade anti-Castro operations, a history that eventually cost him three years in prison.

Duran, a defense lawyer-turned-real estate attorney and rare Democrat among his Cuban contemporaries, turned heads a decade ago when he returned to Cuba to meet the men he fought against.

But for Brigade 2506, as the Bay of Pigs force was known, their first fight - driven by a vision of a Cuba without Castro - stays with them, even as their struggle now belongs to younger generations....

Full story: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2014768954_apusbayofpigsanniversary.html

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