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Where was Antonio Veciana on 11-22-63?


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I cannot find a single reference to his exact whereabouts anywhere. I would have thought Fonzi would have covered this but I cannot locate it in any materials since "The Last Investigation". Some time ago, I asked a member of "The Southern Florida Research Group" but he did not have the information at that time either. Mr. Hemming said he knew in another thread but did not disclose where. Does anyone on this forum have any information regarding WHERE Veciana was on 11-22-63? Thank you. Jason Vermeer

Edited by Jason Vermeer
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Here is the Simkins / Spartacus file on Antonio Veciana:

Antonio Veciana was born in Cuba. He worked as an accountant in a Cuban bank owned by Julio Lobo.

A strong opponent of Fidel Castro, Veciana established Alpha 66 after the communists gained power in 1959. This anti-Castro group received considerable funding from the Central Intelligence Agency.

Veciana claimed that his CIA contact was an agent named Maurice Bishop.

Over the next few years Veciana received $253,000 from Bishop.

In 1961 Veciana worked with Bishop on a plan to assassinate Fidel Castro.

In March 1963, the Alpha 66 group attacked Russian ships docked in Cuba.

This was seen as an attempt to undermine the improving relationship between the United States

and the Soviet Union that had followed the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Department of State made it clear that this attack did not have the support of President John F. Kennedy.

On 26th March 1963 Alpha 66 attacked another Soviet ship.

Members of Alpha 66 held a press conference suggesting the American government supported their actions. Kennedy was furious and ordered that Veciana and other leaders of Alpha 66 should be arrested and placed in a confined area in Florida.

After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy Veciana began work for the International Development Agency under the State Department in Bolivia.

Although officially an advisor to Bolivian banks,

he actually spent most of his time in anti-Communist activities.

In 1971 he was again involved in another failed attempt to assassinate Fidel Castro.

In 1976 Veciana was interviewed by the House Select Committee on Assassinations.

He told the committee about his relationship with Maurice Bishop.

He also claimed that in August, 1963, he saw Bishop and Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas.

Veciana admitted that Bishop and the Central Intelligence Agency had organized and funded the

Alpha 66 attacks on the Soviet ships docked in Cuba in 1963.

Veciana explained the policy:

"It was my case officer, Maurice Bishop, who had the idea to attack the Soviet ships.

The intention was to cause trouble between Kennedy and Russia.

Bishop believed that Kennedy and Khrushchev had made a secret agreement that the

USA would do nothing more to help in the fight against Castro.

Bishop felt - he told me many times - that President Kennedy was a man without experience

surrounded by a group of young men who were also inexperienced with mistaken ideas

on how to manage this country.

He said you had to put Kennedy against the wall in order to force him to make decisions

that would remove Castro's regime."

Richard Schweiker, a member of the committee, speculated that Bishop was David Atlee Phillips.

Schweiker arranged for Veciana and Phillips to be introduced at a meeting of the

Association of Retired Intelligence Officers in Reston.

Phillips denied knowing Veciana.

After the meeting Veciana told Schweiker that Phillips was not the man known to him as Bishop.

Schweiker was unconvinced by this evidence.

He found it difficult to believe Phillips would not have known the leader of Alpha 66.

Especially as Phillips had been in charge of covert action in Cuba when Alpha 66 was established.

Another CIA agent who worked in Cuba during this period,

claimed that Phillips used the code name, Maurice Bishop.

David Atlee Phillips testified before the House Select Committee on Assassinations

on 25th April, 1978. He denied he ever used the name Maurice Bishop.

He also insisted that he had never met Veciana.

Soon after testifying Veciana was ambushed on the way home from work.

Four shots were fired and one bullet hit him in the head.

Veciana survived the attack but now refuses to talk about his work with Alpha 66.

In February, 2005, Gerry P. Hemming claimed that it was

Jake Esterline and not David Atlee Phillips who was Maurice Bishop,

the man who met with Antonio Veciana and Lee Harvey Oswald in August, 1963,

in the building that housed the office of Haroldson L. Hunt in Dallas.

Open Debate on the Kennedy Assassination

(1) Antonio Veciana, interviewed by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1976.

It was my case officer, Maurice Bishop, who had the idea to attack the Soviet ships. The intention was to cause trouble between Kennedy and Russia. Bishop believed that Kennedy and Khrushchev had made a secret agreement that the USA would do nothing more to help in the fight against Castro. Bishop felt - he told me many times - that President Kennedy was a man without experience surrounded by a group of young men who were also inexperienced with mistaken ideas on how to manage this country. He said you had to put Kennedy against the wall in order to force him to make decisions that would remove Castro's regime.

(2) Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen, 70 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time (2001)

David Philips suspected by the House Select Committee on Assassinations of doubling as the shadowy "Maurice Bishop" CIA overseer of the Cuban Alpha 66 anti-Castro brigade. The same David Philips in charge of spinning the Oswald-Mexico City incident in the CIA's favor may have engineered the "Mexico City scenario" in the first place. Lane, who has made a legal and literary career out of blaming the CIA for JFK's death, says he did.

Alpha 66's Cuban leader Antonio Veciana claimed that at one of his hundred or so meetings with Bishop, Oswald was there not saying anything, just acting odd.

"I always thought Bishop was working with Oswald during the assassination," Veciana told Russell.

Veciana's cousin worked for Castro's intelligence service and after the assassination Bishop wanted Veciana to bribe his cousin into saying that he met with Oswald, in order to fabricate an Oswald-Castro connection.

Investigators never established for sure that Bishop and Philips were one and the same, but descriptions of Bishop's appearance and mannerisms mirrored Philips'. Veciana drew a sketch of his old controller and Senator Richard Schweiker, a member of the assassination committee, recognized it as Philips. When the select committee's star investigator Gaeton Fonzi finally brought Veciana and Philips together, the two started acting weird around each other. After a short conversation in Spanish, Philips bolted. Witnesses to the encounter swear that a look of recognition swept Veciana's visage, but Veciana denied that Philips was his case officer of more than a decade earlier.

(3) Lisa Pease, Probe Magazine (March-April, 1996)

During the Church committee hearings, Senator Richard Schweiker's independent investigator Gaeton Fonzi stumbled onto a vital lead in the Kennedy assassination. An anti-Castro Cuban exile leader named Antonio Veciana was bitter about what he felt had been a government setup leading to his recent imprisonment, and he wanted to talk. Fonzi asked him about his activities, and without any prompting from Fonzi, Veciana volunteered the fact that his CIA handler, known to him only as "Maurice Bishop," had been with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas not long before the assassination of Kennedy. Veciana gave a description of Bishop to a police artist, who drew a sketch. One notable characteristic Veciana mentioned were the dark patches on the skin under the eyes. When Senator Schweiker first saw the picture, he thought it strongly resembled the CIA's former Chief of the Western Hemisphere Division-one of the highest positions in the Agency - and the head of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO): David Atlee Phillips.

(4) Anthony Summers, The Kennedy Conspiracy (1980)

In 1978, exile leader Antonio Veciana added a disturbing postscript to his account of meeting "Bishop" in Oswald's company shortly before the Mexico episode. After the assassination, Veciana told me "Bishop" made a strange request. "He asked me to get in touch with a cousin of mine who worked in the Cuban embassy in Mexico City, Guillermo Ruiz. Bishop asked me to see if Ruiz would, for money, make statements stating that Lee Harvey Oswald had been at the embassy a few weeks before the assassination. I asked him whether it was true that Oswald had been there, and Bishop replied that it did not matter whether he had or not - what was important was that my cousin, a member of the Cuban diplomatic service, should confirm that he had been."

Veciana did have a cousin by marriage called Ruiz, and he worked, fronting as a diplomat, in Castro's intelligence service. Veciana says, though, that he could not immediately contact Ruiz following "Bishop's" request. Before he could do so, "Bishop" told him to "forget the whole thing and not to comment or ask any questions about Lee Harvey Oswald."

It must be stressed that, for all the imponderables about the "Bishop" allegation. Committee staff were able to make this report on Veciana's character: "Generally, Veciana's reputation for honesty and integrity was excellent." A former associate who worked with him when Veciana was chief of sabotage for the MRP in Havana said, "Veciana was the straightest, absolutely trustworthy, most honest person I ever met. I would trust him implicitly."

"Bishop," Veciana has said, "did work for an intelligence agency of this country, and I am convinced that it was the CIA... The impression I have is that the Mexico City episode was a device. By using it, 'Maurice Bishop' wanted to lay the blame for President Kennedy's death fairly and squarely on Castro and the Cuban government."

(5) Interview with the Assassination (2002)

Alpha 66's Cuban leader Antonio Veciana claimed that at one of his hundred or so meetings with Bishop, Oswald was there. "I always thought Bishop was working with Oswald during the assassination," Veciana told Russell. Veciana's cousin worked for Castro's intelligence service and after the assassination Bishop wanted Veciana to bribe his cousin into saying that he met with Oswald, in order to fabricate an Oswald-Castro connection.

Investigators never established for sure that Bishop and Phillips were one and the same, but descriptions of Bishop's appearance and mannerisms mirrored Phillips'. Veciana drew a sketch of his old controller and Senator Richard Schweiker, a member of the assassination committee, recognized it as Phillips.

When the select committee's star investigator Gaeton Fonzi finally brought Veciana and Phillips together, the two started acting weird around each other. After a short conversation in Spanish, Phillips bolted. Witnesses to the encounter swear that a look of recognition swept Veciana's visage, but Veciana denied that Phillips was his case officer of more than a decade earlier.

Veciana's reluctance to make the ID, Fonzi theorized, was related to two unfortunate events that had befallen him of late: one, he was convicted of running drugs and suspected that Bishop set him up to silence him; two, he was shot in the head. Veciana's desire to clear his drug rap and avoid absorbing another bullet may have had something to do with the fact that he would not rat on his old benefactor.

(6) Michael Dorman, Newsday (1995)

A long-secret government document released this week lends credence to a favorite theory of conspiracy advocates on President John F. Kennedy's assassination: the contention that Lee Harvey Oswald was seen in Dallas with a U.S. intelligence agent about two months before the murder.

That issue has long been connected with unproved reports that a violent Cuban exile group - perhaps with the help of an American intelligence agency - was involved in the assassination. The House Select Committee on Assassinations investigated the reports but said in 1978 it was unable to substantiate them.

However, the document obtained yesterday by Newsday provides a previously lacking measure of credibility to the reports. Those reports center on a shadowy figure called Maurice Bishop - likely a pseudonym - said to have been an intelligence agent during the early 1960s.

Antonio Veciana, founder of the Alpha 66 Cuban exile group that launched repeated guerrilla raids against Fidel Castro's regime, testified before the House committee that he considered Bishop his US intelligence contact; that he met with Bishop more than 100 times over a 13-year period; that Bishop had directed him to organize Alpha 66 and had paid him $253,00. Moreover, he said, he had met briefly in Dallas with Bishop and Oswald sometime around September, 1963, two months before Kennedy's Nov. 22 assassination. G. Robert Blakey, chief counsel to the House committee, said: "After careful analysis, we decided not to credit Veciana's claim" because, among other things, there was no proof that Maurice Bishop existed.

But the document, released by the US Assassination Records Review Board, supports the contention that Bishop existed and otherwise backs Veciana's story. Government sources said the document - a US Army intelligence report dated Oct. 17, 1962 - describes a man who fits the profile of Maurice Bishop. "He used a different name, but we believe this man fits Bishop's profile very closely," one official said.

The document is a report from an Army intelligence officer, Col. Jeff W. Boucher, to Brig. Gen. Edward Lansdale, assistant to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and a controversial figure in the Vietnam War. It said the intelligence operative described as fitting Bishop's profile "has contact with the Alpha 66 group" and that Alpha 66 "was going to conduct raids against Cuba."

Alpha 66 leaders, the document said, had told the operative they "desired support of the US Army in the action phase," including funds, equipment and arms. "In return the group would provide intelligence information, would furnish captured equipment, and could land agents in Cuba. The group estimated it would require $100,000 to complete the balance of its program, consisting of four more raids on Cuba."

The document said a unit of Army intelligence had approved debriefing Alpha 66 frogmen who had conducted underwater operations against Castro; exploring the possibility of buying captured Soviet equipment from Alpha 66 and briefing Lansdale on the Alpha 66 proposal to furnish intelligence information and material for financial support.

I cannot find a single reference to his exact whereabouts anywhere. I would have thought Fonzi would have covered this but I cannot locate it in any materials since "The Last Investigation". Some time ago, I asked a member of "The Southern Florida Research Group" but he did not have the information at that time either. Mr. Hemming said he knew in another thread but did not disclose where. Does anyone on this forum have any information regarding WHERE Veciana was on 11-22-63? Thank you. Jason Vermeer
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Somewhere there is a list of people whom Chauncey Holt claimed to have false credentials for in Dallas on 11/22. I used to have a copy but have lost it. As I recall it included Posada, Masferrer, and Echeverria among others. I checked the Holt interview transcript but the list is not in that, the interview only names two or three. I think the list was in an email, perhaps written by Wim. Does anyone know where this list can be found and if Antonio Veciana is on it?

Edited by Ron Ecker
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If Veciana was on a list of Chauncey Holt's regarding who was in Dealey Plaza, I'm not sure I'd give it credence at this point. Given the evidence so far, I don't believe Veciana was there BUT the evidence so far doesn't nullify the possibility he was in Dealey Plaza. I find nothing that indicates Veciana was EVER ASKED WHERE he was on 11-22-63. I find this hard to believe given Fonzi's relationship with him. Jason Vermeer

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