Castro Feared U.S. Invasion for JFK Killing, Files Say
An “emotional and uneasy” Cuban President Fidel Castro mobilized his armed forces and went on Cuban national television after President Kennedy’s assassination out of fear that the United States would blame him and invade in retaliation, government documents say.
The National Security Agency, in declassified documents released Tuesday, reported that Castro feared the United States would use the Kennedy assassination as an excuse to oust his communist government.
Lee Harvey Oswald, arrested for Kennedy’s killing, had been to the Soviet Union and was active in a pro-Castro group in the United States.
The NSA documents quoted an unnamed American ambassador as believing that Cuba and the Soviet Union were behind Kennedy’s killing. Castro tried to counter with allegations that Oswald really was a spy for the CIA or FBI.
“This caused Castro to wonder whether the assassin was . . . the mere instrument of a monstrous plot of American militarists, who, by eliminating Kennedy, would put [President] Johnson in a position from which there would be only one way out: to drain off anti-Cuba hysteria by an action of declared war,” the NSA reported.
In another NSA report, Cuban officials suggested that “ultrarevolutionary circles” in the United States engineered the assassination because they believed Kennedy had failed to strongly confront Havana.
The partially censored NSA documents were the latest on the Kennedy assassination to be released by the Assassination Records Review Board.