“Of all the people I interviewed in New Orleans regarding the Kennedy assassination, Carlos Bringuier was the one I trusted most. I could see in his eyes he was always telling me the complete truth.” - Oriana Fallaci, L, Europeo, 1969
"The skinny guy walked into my store and started looking around," recalls Carlos Bringuier about the afternoon of Aug. 5, 1963. "But I could sense he wasn't a shopper. Sure enough, after a few minutes of browsing he came up and extended his hand.
"Good afternoon," he said. "I'm Lee Oswald."
In this Nov. 23, 1963 file photo, Lee Harvey Oswald is led down a corridor of the Dallas police station for another round of questioning in connection with the assassination of U.S, President John F. Kennedy. Oswald, who denied any involvement in the shooting, was formally charged with murder. (AP Photo)
In 1963 the CIA regarded the Directorio Revolucionario Estudiantil (DRE) “the most militant and deeply motivated of all the Cuban exile organizations seeking to oust Castro." Carlos Bringuier was their representative in New Orleans. It was DRE agents who infiltrated Cuba and brought out the first reports of Soviet missile installations - to the scoffs of the White House's best and brightest. It took two months for anyone to finally take them seriously. A U-2 flight then confirmed every last detail of what the DRE boys had been risking their lives for months to report.
“Oswald approached me because my name was so often linked to anti-Castro activities in the local (New Orleans) news,” recalls Bringuier. “He even jammed his hand in his pocket and pulled out a roll of bills, offering to contribute to the anti-Castro cause. I was suspicious and declined, but he kept blasting Castro and Communism in very colorful terms the whole time he was in the store. He returned the next day, snarled out a few more anti-Castroisms and dropped off his training manual for the anti-Castro fight, Guidebook for Marines.”
Two days later Bringuier was astounded to spot Oswald a few blocks away from his store distributing Fair Play for Cuba pamphlets. Carlos approached, accepted a pamphlet, ripped it to pieces and a scuffle ensued. The cops arrived, the scuffle made the news, and a few days later Bringuier and Oswald debated on New Orleans radio and TV.
Dozens of books, movies, articles and TV specials depict these events.
What they don't depict is how, between their scuffle and debate, Bringuier and a friend Carlos Quiroga turned the tables on Oswald. Posing as a Castro-sympathizer eager to join Oswald’s Fair Play for Cuba Committee, Quiroga (who had not been in the store or involved in the scuffle) visited Oswald at his home and they commiserated for hours.
“You read everyplace that Oswald was dumb, a flake, a patsy, a set-up,” says Bringuier. “Nonsense. He was a smooth operator and spoke fluent Russian.”
[sharequote align="center"]Everyone said Oswald was dumb & a patsy. Nonsense. He was a smooth operator & spoke fluent Russian[/sharequote]
Quiroga noticed that Oswald’s living room was filled with Fair Play For Cuba Committee literature. From one stack Oswald pulled an application to join the Committee and offered it to Quiroga. Yet during the Warren Commission circus The Fair Play for Cuba Committee repeatedly denied that Oswald had any links with them.
Among the things that caught Quiroga's eye during his visit was Oswald speaking Russian with his wife and daughter.
"It's good practice," explained Oswald. "I'm studying foreign languages at Tulane University."
He was lying. Also keep in mind the date: this was three months before the assassination. Oswald’s stint in Russia was virtually unknown at the time.
On the very night of Nov. 22, 1963 Carlos Bringuier went public on American radio and TV: “We don’t know yet if Lee Harvey Oswald is President Kennedy’s assassin. But if he is, then Fidel Castro’s hand is involved in this assassination. "
This image provided by Warner Bros. from Oliver Stone's 1991 movie "JFK" shows a recreation of the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Dallas. "This murder in broad daylight ... Everything changed," says Stone, the Baby Boomer director who served in Vietnam and made a movie about it before turning his critical lens on the Kennedy assassination. Photo Credit: AP
Fidel Castro immediately called a press conference to denounce Carlos Bringuier by name and kick off the media disinformation campaign that finally peaked as high comedy with Oliver Stone's JFK.
“For 15 years of my life at the top of the Soviet bloc intelligence community, I was involved in a world-wide disinformation effort aimed at diverting attention away from the KGB’s involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald. The Kennedy assassination conspiracy was born - and it never died.” - Ion Pacepa, the highest ranking intelligence official ever to defect from the Soviet bloc.
But Carlos Bringuier was on to the disinformation campaign from its very birthday.
“Oliver Stone interviewed me for hours while researching for his movie JFK,” recalls Bringuier. “This was almost 30 years ago. Stone’s loony–left credentials weren’t yet blatant. I figured he was after the truth. So I went along, telling him everything. Well, his movie comes out and turns out I'm involved in the conspiracy to kill JFK!” Bringuier laughs.
“For 50 years the media has either ignored or turned everything I’ve told them upside down,” says Bringuier. “Finally I got sick of it so when a couple years back 60 Minutes asked me for an interview, I told them: 'sure. I’ll do an interview - but this time it has to be live, no editing.' That ended whatever relationship I had with CBS producers.”
Fidel Castro said in a telecast on May 27, 1960, that U.S. action in halting technical aid was "reprisal" for U.S. "annoyance" over Cuba's giving a million dollars worth of disaster aid to Chile. He termed the U.S. technical aid "insignificant." Photo Credit: Britannica.com
"U.S leaders who plan an eliminating Cuban leaders should not think that they are themselves safe!" warned Castro on Sept. 7, 1963. "We are prepared to answer in kind!"
For 34 years Markus Wolf was the chief of East Germany's foreign intelligence service, a branch of the STASI with many contacts and operations in Castro's Cuba. It was the STASI rather than the KGB that undertook the training of Castro's police and intelligence services. Wolf's autobiography is titled, Man Without a Face and subtitled, "The Autobiography of Communism's Greatest Spymaster."
Most intelligence experts agree that the subtitle fits. Wolf was once asked about the Kennedy assassination and quickly replied. "Don't ask me – ask Fidel Castro.”
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