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Happy Birthday, Fidel


Tim Gratz
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I don't think his popularity saved him.

It was either the incompetence of the CIA or the competence of both that saved him.

Or, in part, his survival may be explained by the possibility that Trafficante was working for Castro and not for Rosselli and Giancana. That of course does not explain the failure of the CIA plots to kill him that did not involve the Mafia, e.g. the plot involving Veciana.

Gerry Hemming told me today that people were trying to lure Fidel to places such as news conferences which were intended to be ambushes. Castro apparently never "fell" for any of them.

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I don't think his popularity saved him.

It did in the sense that it made no sense to kill him. It would have only helped reinforced the idea that communism was the best system for Cuba. As early as 1961 the CIA (including our friend David Atlee Phillips) and the Mafia were saying that it made no sense to kill Castro unless it was followed by a US invasion.

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It is hard to believe that if the Mafia had really wanted Castro dead it could not have pulled it off, despite Castro's obviously outstanding security and intelligence. As Rosselli reportedly said when warned of a possible Trafficante threat to him and urged to leave Florida, "Why should I run? If Trafficante is really after me, he will get me." (Or words to that effect.)

Query whether Rosselli was just a total BS artist, was totally aware of Trafficante's relationship with Castro, and was no more serious about things than Trafficante was? He may not have been as all-American as he put on.

Any thoughts on this?

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Who knows? Castro could easily survive two terms of the next president (whoever she or he might be). My father is eight years older than Castro and is in excellent health.

Too bad Fidel does not hold one democratic election before he dies.

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