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Cuban Smoke and the French Connection:Why the CIA installed Fidel Castro


Paul Rigby
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More evidence of early CIA involvement with George Bush and Zapata Offshore...

http://realnews.org/rn/content/zapata.html

I especially like this line:

Indeed, Zapata's annual reports portray a bewildering range of global activities, in the Mideast, Asia and the Caribbean (including off Cuba) that seem outsized for the company's modest bottom line.

That's all Bush ever had with Zapata -- a modest bottom line.

It's interesting that the Bush interests settled out with the Liedtkes by giving

the Texas boys the actual oil production company -- Zapata Petroleum, which

became very successful -- while the Bush clan got Zapata Offshore, which wasn't

much of a success at all unless they used it as a front for smuggling operations.

I'll bet Harriman/Bush got the best end of the stick when all was said and done.

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"...I get more convinced every day that the Bay of Pigs was a trap for Kennedy--to discredit him, and to manipulate the Cubans into hating him and do the wet work on Nov 22, '63."

Myra,

Couldn't agree more - until the very end. They were simply additional patsies. My favourite quote on the related subjects of Mob and Cubans appeared in New Times in the late 1970s. Citing a New York Daily News piece - which I've never got round to hunting down, but would be delighted to learn details of - the author quoted unnamed "friends" of John Roselli to the effect that Oswald was a decoy while others ambushed Kennedy from closer range.

Roselli shortly thereafter took up residence in a 55-gallon oil drum.

(Source: Iona Antonov, “On the Trail of the President’s Killers: part 2,” New Times, 1977, pp.26-30)

"But, when did the supposed Castro/CIA alliance dissolve, if it ever did?"
I think it fell into abeyance, briefly, but has never been truly severed.
And why would Cuba be allowed to starve and crumble for decades if Castro was really the CIA's boy?

Why not? The Agency cares not a jot about the well-being of most Americans, so what chance some islanders ninety miles off shore?

Paul

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...

Hugo Chavez now fulfils the role of ostensible regional bogeyman, and US plots against him will almost certainly fail precisely as the elaborate paper exercises did in the case of Castro. The dirty secret in contemporary Venezuela's case is that Chavez is working for the economic integration of the region, an integration long earnestly desired by big capital in Washington and New York, but unachievable under overt US command. Hence Chavez's survival. The Guardian recently ran an unusually good piece arguing just this....

"Ok, hold the phone. You claim that Hugo Chavez, the man who stood on the floor of the UN and told America that the CIA was behind 911, is a CIA puppet?"

Myra,

Don't know for sure if Chavez is Agency, or merely a useful, if largely unwitting, tool. Ultimately, it makes little difference. Nevertheless, some reflections on the matter:

1) If he is Agency, he'd sure as hell undertake precisely the kind of action you accurately described, just as a Special Branch officer infiltrating, let us say, the Anti-Nazi League or the Socialist Workers'Party, would be sure to declaim his hatred of the SB/MI5 - before pouching the membership secretary's or treasurer's post!

2) His attribution of responsibility for 9/11 is, in my view, entirely justified. His recent decision to promote sales of the work of Noam Chomsky, the Agency's favourite "leftist" dissident, strongly suggests, however, a certain lack of lit crit rigour, and political consistency. Chomsky, is after all, the man who gave us the following pearl of Agency-serving nonsense:""One thing I would mention is that when it's a CIA operation, that means it's a White House operation. It's not CIA. They don't do things on their own…If it's a CIA operation it's because they were ordered to do it…" (Noam Chomsky. Class Warfare (London: Pluto Press, 1996), p. 92.) Very convincing.

2) On cue - very obliging of the chap, I must say - I note in my morning paper, under the headline "Chavez lays ground to socialism" (The Guardian, 8 January 2007, p.16) - that he is moving to occupy the vacuum left by the dying Fidel.

3) The Agency may yet decide to martyr him, but only if there's a suitable replacement in the wings.

4) A relatively unified Central and Southern American left offers rich scope for a Republican come-back after 4 to 8 years of Republican-lite government by the nominal opposition. (Buggins turn dictates some safe Democrat centrist is due for a spell in the White House.) In crude summary, think a re-run of the early/mid Reagan years.

5) All the while, Venezuelan oil money will be recycled on lots of essential infra-structure projects. They will benefit the countries concerned immensely, but prepare the country for integration with the US/North American trading bloc.

Sorry to seem so cynical, but this is the way it strikes me.

Paul

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More evidence of early CIA involvement with George Bush and Zapata Offshore...

http://realnews.org/rn/content/zapata.html

I especially like this line:

Indeed, Zapata's annual reports portray a bewildering range of global activities, in the Mideast, Asia and the Caribbean (including off Cuba) that seem outsized for the company's modest bottom line.

That's all Bush ever had with Zapata -- a modest bottom line.

It's interesting that the Bush interests settled out with the Liedtkes by giving

the Texas boys the actual oil production company -- Zapata Petroleum, which

became very successful -- while the Bush clan got Zapata Offshore, which wasn't

much of a success at all unless they used it as a front for smuggling operations.

I'll bet Harriman/Bush got the best end of the stick when all was said and done.

That is a great quote Cliff. "Bewildering range"--right. Only bewildering for the history challenged.

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And why would Cuba be allowed to starve and crumble for decades if Castro was really the CIA's boy?

Why not? The Agency cares not a jot about the well-being of most Americans, so what chance some islanders ninety miles off shore?

Paul

Yeah the CIA is/was a bunch of sociopaths. But the prospect of Castro letting his people suffer for decades... that's a lot to overcome both logically and emotionally. Dunno.

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...

Hugo Chavez now fulfils the role of ostensible regional bogeyman, and US plots against him will almost certainly fail precisely as the elaborate paper exercises did in the case of Castro. The dirty secret in contemporary Venezuela's case is that Chavez is working for the economic integration of the region, an integration long earnestly desired by big capital in Washington and New York, but unachievable under overt US command. Hence Chavez's survival. The Guardian recently ran an unusually good piece arguing just this....

"Ok, hold the phone. You claim that Hugo Chavez, the man who stood on the floor of the UN and told America that the CIA was behind 911, is a CIA puppet?"

Myra,

Don't know for sure if Chavez is Agency, or merely a useful, if largely unwitting, tool. Ultimately, it makes little difference. Nevertheless, some reflections on the matter:

1) If he is Agency, he'd sure as hell undertake precisely the kind of action you accurately described, just as a Special Branch officer infiltrating, let us say, the Anti-Nazi League or the Socialist Workers'Party, would be sure to declaim his hatred of the SB/MI5 - before pouching the membership secretary's or treasurer's post!

2) His attribution of responsibility for 9/11 is, in my view, entirely justified. His recent decision to promote sales of the work of Noam Chomsky, the Agency's favourite "leftist" dissident, strongly suggests, however, a certain lack of lit crit rigour, and political consistency. Chomsky, is after all, the man who gave us the following pearl of Agency-serving nonsense:""One thing I would mention is that when it's a CIA operation, that means it's a White House operation. It's not CIA. They don't do things on their own…If it's a CIA operation it's because they were ordered to do it…" (Noam Chomsky. Class Warfare (London: Pluto Press, 1996), p. 92.) Very convincing.

2) On cue - very obliging of the chap, I must say - I note in my morning paper, under the headline "Chavez lays ground to socialism" (The Guardian, 8 January 2007, p.16) - that he is moving to occupy the vacuum left by the dying Fidel.

3) The Agency may yet decide to martyr him, but only if there's a suitable replacement in the wings.

4) A relatively unified Central and Southern American left offers rich scope for a Republican come-back after 4 to 8 years of Republican-lite government by the nominal opposition. (Buggins turn dictates some safe Democrat centrist is due for a spell in the White House.) In crude summary, think a re-run of the early/mid Reagan years.

5) All the while, Venezuelan oil money will be recycled on lots of essential infra-structure projects. They will benefit the countries concerned immensely, but prepare the country for integration with the US/North American trading bloc.

Sorry to seem so cynical, but this is the way it strikes me.

Paul

Well you did touch on the single most bothersome thing (to me) President Chavez has done--promoting pseudo-leftist CiaOmsky. Hard to believe that Chavez is naive enough to think Chomsky is for real, but a lot of people are and do.

Still, it would take a lot to convince me that Chavez is a fraud. Are you saying the CIA coup attempts against Chavez, which he openly blames on the CIA, were a big show?

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"pseudo-leftist CiaOmsky"

I must remember to pinch that description of the great fraud: Plagiarism, the highest form of literary compliment.

"Hard to believe that Chavez is naive enough to think Chomsky is for real, but a lot of people are and do.
Couldn't agree more. In mitigation, those who've fallen for the deception have precious little else to hold on to, most obviously in America.
"Still, it would take a lot to convince me that Chavez is a fraud. Are you saying the CIA coup attempts against Chavez, which he openly blames on the CIA, were a big show?"

It did - and still does - look that way to me. Going from memory, wasn't the Reagan-era esquadron de la muerte gang running this one? Now that lot aren't synonymous with the Agency. The grand clash, though admittedly not at the highest levels, between Agency and pro-Pentagon neo-cons was still to come: Iraq. Imagine the Agency's fate had that one gone to plan!

Paul

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Don't know for sure if Chavez is Agency, or merely a useful, if largely unwitting, tool. Ultimately, it makes little difference.

The issue is settled. Or rather, it soon will be. Definitively. Forever. Hugo is the real McCloy.

We know this because Mr. Philip Agee is, according to The Gruaniad, Britain's dauntless "centre-left" daily, shortly to pronounce on Chavez's terrible ordeal at the hands of CIA coupsters. (You remember, the ones who didn't depose him, the swines.)

Agee is to tell all - courtesy of peturbed CIA moralists/pinko State Dept whistle-blowers/the man in the Brooks Bros boiler suite at the corner of the bar (delete as applicable) - in a forthcoming tome of unspecified title: "...he remains as committed as ever, and busy on another book, this time about the CIA's activities in Venezuela over the years," (Duncan Campbell, "The spy who stayed out in the cold," The Guardian, G2, 11 January 2007, p.15).

Mr. Agee the fearless 21st century chronicler of the CIA in Venezuela is no relation to Mr. Agee the fearless 20th century chronicler of the Agency in the broader region who, in the mid-1970s, told Claude Bourdet, in "The CIA Against Portugal," as found in JEAN PIERRE FAYE (Ed.). Portugal: The Revolution In The Labyrinth (Nottingham: Spokesman Books, 1976), p. 194, that "...the CIA is not a mysterious body with its own brand of politics: it is a tool in the hands of the President of the United States…"

I am pleased to help dispel the confusion.

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  • 2 months later...
All the while, Venezuelan oil money will be recycled on lots of essential infra-structure projects. They will benefit the countries concerned immensely, but prepare the country for integration with the US/North American trading bloc.

Another Grauniad piece, another piece in the jigsaw.

This morning’s edition carries a joint report from Sibylla Brodzinsky in Bogota and Rory Carroll, the paper’s Latin American correspondent, by the title “Key US ally ‘helped Colombian traffickers’” (p.26). It opens with a revolutionary proposition - the head of the Colombian army, General Mario Montoya, “has collaborated with right-wing paramilitaries and drug traffickers.” Now there’s a shock.

The second paragraph contains equally surprising news: Said Montoya “allegedly worked closely with illegal militias during a military crackdown against leftwing guerrillas in 2002 which left dozens of people dead or missing.” Again, so far, so predictable. Now for the interesting bit.

The organisation scuppering US loyalist Montoya is none other than…the CIA: “News of the CIA report, which was leaked to the Los Angeles Times, was expected to add to pressure on the Bush administration to reduce its annual £350m in aid to Colombia, most of which goes to the military. It will also engulf President Alvaro Uribe in more political turmoil over his government’s ties to the paramilitaries.” The appalling general, the report discloses later, “has worked closely with the Pentagon,” and not, you will be relieved to hear, those nice, civilised people over at Langley.

Chavez, or his successor, wait in the wings, petro funds in hand – and no bad thing, of course, for the long-suffering people of Colombia; or the United States’ long term plans for the continent.

Paul

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  • 3 months later...
  • 5 years later...
Cuban Smoke and the French Connection: why the CIA installed Fidel Castro

I recently rediscovered the following piece. It's tongue-in-cheek, deadly serious, and thought-provoking - not a bad combo. Enjoy!

Fidel Castro - Supermole by Servando González

http://www.amigospai...rg/oagsg022.php

A rare airing for the above:

FIDEL CASTRO OF THE CIA

http://aangirfan.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/fidel-castro-of-cia.html

"Castro's road to power was conveniently paved by the American government and media..."

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  • 1 month later...

Itches scratched simultaneously by the Bay of Pigs:

  1. Lanced boil of Guatemalan-style paramilitary counter-revolution
  2. Entrenched Fidel Castro in power
  3. Opened way to Red Army penetration of the island
  4. Discredited Kennedy (“soft” on Communism)
  5. Misdirected attention (real move against De Gaulle)
  6. Transformed the Dulles succession (Bissell’s chances of succeeding to Directorship of Central Intelligence ended)

5. The Dulles succession

Richard Cumings. The Pied Piper: Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream (NY: Grove Press, 1985), 159

Richard Bissell, the CIA’s chief of Clandestine Services, who had, at one point, favoured using covert agency operatives in support of the anti-Communist Left and the ‘progressive political forces.’

Michael Holzman. James Jesus Angleton, The CIA, & the Craft of Counterintelligence (Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 2008), 186-187

When Angleton returned to Washington in the spring of 1961 he had found the new Administration preoccupied with what would become known as the Bay of Pigs...an adventure which President Kennedy only half-heartedly supported...The CIA was split on the Cuban invasion scheme. Richard Bissell...had been made head of Clandestine Services after Frank Wisner’s collapse. He allied himself with Wisner’s old group of covert warriors, including Tracy Barnes and Desmond Fitzgerald...The intelligence collection specialists, who looked to Richard Helms, now chief of operations for the Clandestine Service under Bissell, were once again more sceptical, Helms famously withdrawing from conversations about Cuba (when not already excluded from those discussions by Bissell)...The OSS group around Helms not only quietly withheld their support from Bissell; they made sure that those seconded to the Cuban effort were not the most capable members of their staffs…The suppressed CIA inspector general’s report on the Bay of Pigs noted this simultaneous passive opposition by one group…and specifically listed lack of active involvement of the Counterintelligence Staff as a significant factor…

We know that Bissell met with Jacques Soustelle in Washington in December 1960. All together less well-known is the location of James Angleton in the summer of 1960. Confined to a sanitarium due to a “tubercular ailment,” the FBI reported: climbing mountains in the Languedoc region – in between excursions to Cathar ruins, it was claimed - of France, postcarded his wife, Cicely. As Holzman remarked, with quite admirable restraint, “It does seem remarkable he was able to go mountain climbing…so soon after leaving the hospital.”

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Cuban Smoke and the French Connection: why the CIA installed Fidel Castro

I recently rediscovered the following piece. It's tongue-in-cheek, deadly serious, and thought-provoking - not a bad combo. Enjoy!

Fidel Castro - Supermole by Servando González

http://www.amigospai...rg/oagsg022.php

A rare airing for the above:

FIDEL CASTRO OF THE CIA

http://aangirfan.blo...tro-of-cia.html

"Castro's road to power was conveniently paved by the American government and media..."

Paul,

We've had some good debates over the years. Though I frequently disagree with your conclusions you normally stick with reliable sources. This time however you posted a link to a page - on a pretty much overtly anti-Semitic website (Aangrifan)- whose main sources are an obscure far-Right Cuban exile (González) and a disgraced white nationalist 'journalist' (Bollyn) who lied under oath at his trial and was fired by his neo-Nazi bosses for "filing false stories"

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  • 4 months later...

Itches scratched simultaneously by the Bay of Pigs:

  • Lanced boil of Guatemalan-style paramilitary counter-revolution
  • Entrenched Fidel Castro in power
  • Opened way to Red Army penetration of the island
  • Discredited Kennedy (“soft” on Communism)
  • Misdirected attention (real move against De Gaulle)
  • Transformed the Dulles succession (Bissell’s chances of succeeding to Directorship of Central Intelligence ended)
5. The Dulles succession

Richard Cumings. The Pied Piper: Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream (NY: Grove Press, 1985), 159

Richard Bissell, the CIA’s chief of Clandestine Services, who had, at one point, favoured using covert agency operatives in support of the anti-Communist Left and the ‘progressive political forces.’

Michael Holzman. James Jesus Angleton, The CIA, & the Craft of Counterintelligence (Amherst, Mass.: University of Massachusetts Press, 2008), 186-187

When Angleton returned to Washington in the spring of 1961 he had found the new Administration preoccupied with what would become known as the Bay of Pigs...an adventure which President Kennedy only half-heartedly supported...The CIA was split on the Cuban invasion scheme. Richard Bissell...had been made head of Clandestine Services after Frank Wisner’s collapse. He allied himself with Wisner’s old group of covert warriors, including Tracy Barnes and Desmond Fitzgerald...The intelligence collection specialists, who looked to Richard Helms, now chief of operations for the Clandestine Service under Bissell, were once again more sceptical, Helms famously withdrawing from conversations about Cuba (when not already excluded from those discussions by Bissell)...The OSS group around Helms not only quietly withheld their support from Bissell; they made sure that those seconded to the Cuban effort were not the most capable members of their staffs…The suppressed CIA inspector general’s report on the Bay of Pigs noted this simultaneous passive opposition by one group…and specifically listed lack of active involvement of the Counterintelligence Staff as a significant factor…

We know that Bissell met with Jacques Soustelle in Washington in December 1960. All together less well-known is the location of James Angleton in the summer of 1960. Confined to a sanitarium due to a “tubercular ailment,” the FBI reported: climbing mountains in the Languedoc region – in between excursions to Cathar ruins, it was claimed - of France, postcarded his wife, Cicely. As Holzman remarked, with quite admirable restraint, “It does seem remarkable he was able to go mountain climbing…so soon after leaving the hospital.”

Who made sure Bissell was fingered early (and accurately)? One of Angleton’s most important press assets of the period: Wallace Carroll of the NYT

It was only one final step when on April 21, with the whole operation in a shambles, Times correspondents James Reston and Wallace Carroll pinned it clearly on the CIA. Within hours, newspapers were calling the CIA for photographs of Richard M. Bissell, Jr., who, according to Carroll, had managed the project.

Douglas Cater & Charles L. Bartlett, “Is All the News Fit to Print?” The Reporter, 11 May 1961, 24

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