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Friends of Democratic Cuba


John Simkin
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In 1976 Fabian Escalante was appointed as head of the Department of State Security (DSE). Later that year members of the US House of Representatives Select Committee visited Cuba and requested help with investigating the assassination of JFK and MLK. Escalante was asked to oversee this investigation.

See this thread for the background to this investigation:

http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=8835

During his investigation, Fabian Escalante came across a Cuban intelligence source report in April 1963. It seems that G-2 had someone spying on the Friends of Democratic Cuba in New Orleans. It seems that some interesting characters were associating with each other during this period. This included Guy Banister, David Ferrie, Orlando Bosch, Luis Posada, Sergio Arcacha, Antonio Cuesta, Eladio del Valle, Frank Bartes, Carlos Bringuier, Manuel Salvat and Manuel Villafana.

Between May and September, Cuban agents in the United States reported meetings between CIA officers and anti-Castro terrorists. This included Howard Hunt, Frank Sturgis, Orlando Piedra, Orlando Bosch, Luis Posada, Antonio Cuesta, Eladio del Valle, Antonio Veciana, Joaquin Sanjenis and the Novo Sampol brothers.

Another informant identified Lee Harvey Oswald as staying at a CIA safe-house on the outskirts of Miami during the summer of 1963. While there he met Orlando Bosch, Luis Posada and Antonio Cuesta.

The final report of interest concerns a Cuban agent who identified Eladio del Valle and Herminio Diaz in Dallas on 20th November, 1963. The agent also reported that the two men “handled large sums of money after the crime.”

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In 1976 Fabian Escalante was appointed as head of the Department of State Security (DSE). Later that year members of the US House of Representatives Select Committee visited Cuba and requested help with investigating the assassination of JFK and MLK. Escalante was asked to oversee this investigation.

During his investigation, Fabian Escalante came across a Cuban intelligence source report in April 1963. It seems that G-2 had someone spying on the Friends of Democratic Cuba in New Orleans. It seems that some interesting characters were associating with each other during this period. This included Guy Banister, David Ferrie, Orlando Bosch, Luis Posada, Sergio Arcacha, Antonio Cuesta, Eladio del Valle, Frank Bartes, Carlos Bringuier, Manuel Salvat and Manuel Villafana.

OK, now I'm confused. Does he say that someone was CURRENTLY spying on the FDC in April 1963?

The Friends of Democratic Cuba existed only from January 6, 1961 to the third week of March, 1961. All of the people involved with it agreed that it only lasted a few months in 1961, and contemporaneous documents (1961) support this.

This is why I worry sometimes about Escalante's reporting.

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OK, now I'm confused. Does he say that someone was CURRENTLY spying on the FDC in April 1963?

The Friends of Democratic Cuba existed only from January 6, 1961 to the third week of March, 1961. All of the people involved with it agreed that it only lasted a few months in 1961, and contemporaneous documents (1961) support this.

He definitely gives the date April 1963. He said these meetings took place in the offices of the CRC and the headquarters of the Friends of Democratic Cuba. He adds that they were both located in the same building as Banister's detective agency. (page 103)

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OK, now I'm confused. Does he say that someone was CURRENTLY spying on the FDC in April 1963?

The Friends of Democratic Cuba existed only from January 6, 1961 to the third week of March, 1961. All of the people involved with it agreed that it only lasted a few months in 1961, and contemporaneous documents (1961) support this.

He definitely gives the date April 1963. He said these meetings took place in the offices of the CRC and the headquarters of the Friends of Democratic Cuba. He adds that they were both located in the same building as Banister's detective agency. (page 103)

Something is definitely wrong here.

The FDC existed at 402 St. Charles Street (the Balter Building) from January 6, 1961 to the third week in March, 1961. This was the same building that the Frente Revolucionario Democratico was located in.

Guy Banister had had an office in that building from July 1958 to January 1960, when he moved to the Newman Building at 531 Lafayette Street. Banister was never in the same building, at the same time, as the FRD or the FDC. (But from October 1961 to February 1962, Banister and the FRD's successor, the Cuban Revolutionary Council, were in the same building, the Newman Building.)

With all due respect, Fabian Escalante's information is wrong. I have opined here before, based on Escalante's previous book (and the Furiati book) that Escalante combines what he gets from his flies/interviews with information in US assassination books. The problem is, some of the latter is wrong. One has to read his stuff with a fine filter, and use supporting sources wherever possible.

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With all due respect, Fabian Escalante's information is wrong. I have opined here before, based on Escalante's previous book (and the Furiati book) that Escalante combines what he gets from his flies/interviews with information in US assassination books. The problem is, some of the latter is wrong. One has to read his stuff with a fine filter, and use supporting sources wherever possible.

I have invited Fabian Escalante to join the forum. This should give us a clearer picture of what is in the files. I suspect the agent provided just names of the people visiting Banister. Maybe it was Escalante who added the name of the group.

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OK, now I'm confused. Does he say that someone was CURRENTLY spying on the FDC in April 1963?

The Friends of Democratic Cuba existed only from January 6, 1961 to the third week of March, 1961. All of the people involved with it agreed that it only lasted a few months in 1961, and contemporaneous documents (1961) support this.

He definitely gives the date April 1963. He said these meetings took place in the offices of the CRC and the headquarters of the Friends of Democratic Cuba. He adds that they were both located in the same building as Banister's detective agency. (page 103)

Something is definitely wrong here.

The FDC existed at 402 St. Charles Street (the Balter Building) from January 6, 1961 to the third week in March, 1961. This was the same building that the Frente Revolucionario Democratico was located in.

Guy Banister had had an office in that building from July 1958 to January 1960, when he moved to the Newman Building at 531 Lafayette Street. Banister was never in the same building, at the same time, as the FRD or the FDC. (But from October 1961 to February 1962, Banister and the FRD's successor, the Cuban Revolutionary Council, were in the same building, the Newman Building.)

With all due respect, Fabian Escalante's information is wrong. I have opined here before, based on Escalante's previous book (and the Furiati book) that Escalante combines what he gets from his flies/interviews with information in US assassination books.

Stephen, could you provide the name of the book he got this "wrong" information from?

The problem is, some of the latter is wrong. One has to read his stuff with a fine filter, and use supporting sources wherever possible.

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OK, now I'm confused. Does he say that someone was CURRENTLY spying on the FDC in April 1963?

The Friends of Democratic Cuba existed only from January 6, 1961 to the third week of March, 1961. All of the people involved with it agreed that it only lasted a few months in 1961, and contemporaneous documents (1961) support this.

He definitely gives the date April 1963. He said these meetings took place in the offices of the CRC and the headquarters of the Friends of Democratic Cuba. He adds that they were both located in the same building as Banister's detective agency. (page 103)

Something is definitely wrong here.

The FDC existed at 402 St. Charles Street (the Balter Building) from January 6, 1961 to the third week in March, 1961. This was the same building that the Frente Revolucionario Democratico was located in.

Guy Banister had had an office in that building from July 1958 to January 1960, when he moved to the Newman Building at 531 Lafayette Street. Banister was never in the same building, at the same time, as the FRD or the FDC. (But from October 1961 to February 1962, Banister and the FRD's successor, the Cuban Revolutionary Council, were in the same building, the Newman Building.)

With all due respect, Fabian Escalante's information is wrong. I have opined here before, based on Escalante's previous book (and the Furiati book) that Escalante combines what he gets from his flies/interviews with information in US assassination books. The problem is, some of the latter is wrong. One has to read his stuff with a fine filter, and use supporting sources wherever possible.

I'm glad you brought this up. I have been chasing this story across three threads trying to nail down some of the mercurial "facts," including the date in April 1963 of the purported report. I'd also like to know its actual content. As you correctly have pointed out, if the April 1963 report describes "spying on the Friends of Democratic Cuba," then the report has to be describing events taking place over two years earlier, in the first few months of 1961.

As you also correctly point out, the HSCA documented that Bannister and the Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC) were in the Newman building, which has the dual address of 544 Camp Street and 531 Lafayette Street in New Orleans, the Secret Service reporting to HSCA that CRC had vacated the premises, as you say, in February 1962.

This, however, brings up an oddity: The HSCA report goes on to say that unnamed CRC leaders were questioned about any association with or knowledge of Oswald or the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Here is the odd quote: "The Cubans said they had none because they had vacated the building 15 months prior to Oswald's appearance in new Orleans."

Ignoring, for the sake of sanity, that the HSCA accepted "the building" as the only possible means of association or knowledge, when did Oswald "appear in New Orleans"? 24 April 1963. (Bringing us exactly back to the April 1963 date of this purported report.)

There were kids in school that used to push a whirligig around as fast as they could until they made somebody cry or puke.

Ashton

Edited by Ashton Gray
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Name: FRIENDS OF DEMOCRATIC CUBA, INC.

Type Entity: Non-Profit Corporation

Mailing Address: C/O GRADY C. DURHAM, 526 MARITIME BLDG, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130

Domicile Address: 526 MARITIME BLDG, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130

File Date: 01/09/1961

Registered Agent (Appointed 1/09/1961): GRADY C. DURHAM, 526 MARITIME BLDG, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130

Registered Agent (Appointed 1/09/1961): MARTIN L. MCAULIFFE, 5668 WOODLAWN PLACE, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70124

Amendments on File

REVOKED (05/15/1998)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Name: FRIENDS OF DEMOCRATIC CUBA, INC.

Type Entity: Non-Profit Corporation

Mailing Address: C/O GRADY C. DURHAM, 526 MARITIME BLDG, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130

Domicile Address: 526 MARITIME BLDG, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130

File Date: 01/09/1961

Registered Agent (Appointed 1/09/1961): GRADY C. DURHAM, 526 MARITIME BLDG, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130

Registered Agent (Appointed 1/09/1961): MARTIN L. MCAULIFFE, 5668 WOODLAWN PLACE, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70124

Amendments on File

REVOKED (05/15/1998)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MARTIN L. MCAULIFFE

Name: MCAULIFFE ASSOCIATES, INC.

Type Entity: Business Corporation

Mailing Address: 325 INT'L TRADE MART, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130

Domicile Address: 325 INT'L TRADE MART, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130

File Date: 06/22/1965

Registered Agent (Appointed 6/22/1965): ARTHUR L. BALLIN, 1006 CARONDELET BLDG, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70130

Registered Agent (Appointed 6/22/1965): MARTIN L. MCAULIFFE, 5668 WOODLAWN PLACE, NEW ORLEANS, LA 70116

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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