Revelation 19.63

For nearly four decades the CIA has kept secret the identity of a Miami agent who may have known too much too early about Lee Harvey Oswald

Joannides was 40 years old then, a native New Yorker who had attended City College and St. John's University School of Law in Queens. Recruited for the CIA in 1951, he'd spent eleven years in Greece and Libya, confounding communists and influencing local politicians. He was a cosmopolitan man, fluent in French and Greek, competent in Spanish. He wore tailored suits, spun bilingual puns, and enjoyed Greek pastries. He and his wife, Violet, and their three children lived in suburban anonymity on SW 65th Avenue in what is now the Village of Pinecrest.

Luis Fernandez-Rocha, now a doctor at Mercy Hospital, recalls his initial meeting with "Howard," as the CIA man called himself. Howard spoke confidently, with a New York accent, and wore an ornate pinky ring. In Fernandez-Rocha's view he compared favorably with the DRE's previous handler, Ross Crozier. "[He] was a great human being, but he was a sergeant," Fernandez-Rocha says. "When I was dealing with this guy Howard, I was talking to a colonel."

Howard was always available, Fernandez-Rocha adds. The agent would meet him anywhere from "three times a week to once every two weeks. We used to have a cup of coffee at a Howard Johnson's on U.S. 1."

The DRE plus 40 (clockwise from bottom): Organizational mastermind Juan Manuel
Salvat flanked by businessman José Antonio Lanuza, Brothers to the Rescue leader José Basulto, and spiritual founder Alberto Muller
Steve Satterwhite
The DRE plus 40 (clockwise from bottom): Organizational mastermind Juan Manuel Salvat flanked by businessman José Antonio Lanuza, Brothers to the Rescue leader José Basulto, and spiritual founder Alberto Muller
The DRE plus 40 (clockwise from bottom): Organizational mastermind Juan Manuel
Salvat flanked by businessman José Antonio Lanuza, Brothers to the Rescue leader José Basulto, and spiritual founder Alberto Muller
Steve Satterwhite
The DRE plus 40 (clockwise from bottom): Organizational mastermind Juan Manuel Salvat flanked by businessman José Antonio Lanuza, Brothers to the Rescue leader José Basulto, and spiritual founder Alberto Muller

Details

Related Links:
Based on documents found in Foreign Relations of the United States of America, Vol. XI, "Cuban Missile Crisis and Aftermath." President Kennedy comments on the DRE's story about Soviet missiles in cave in Documents 154 and 170.

The best online chat group on the JFK assassination is alt.assassination.jfk

The JFK Collection and database at the National Archives

John F Kennedy Library and archives

The National Security Archive Cuba Documentation Project

OMB Watch report "A Presumption of Disclosure: Lessons from the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board"

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The relationship was complicated. While the DRE was financially dependent on the CIA, its leaders publicly vilified Kennedy for his actions regarding Cuba: the Bay of Pigs defeat followed by a missed opportunity to topple Castro during the missile crisis. When the president came to Miami on December 29, 1962, to welcome returning Bay of Pigs prisoners at the Orange Bowl, DRE leaders stayed away in disgust.

In the spring of 1963, the Directorate's military section continued to plan raids on island targets, drawing up an elaborate scheme to destroy the Nazabal sugar mill in central Cuba. They sent word of the operation through Joannides to Richard Helms, according to a declassified CIA cable, but Joannides emphasized the CIA's opposition, and the raid never took place. The Kennedy White House, wanting no return to the tensions of the missile crisis, then cracked down hard on Cuban Miami. In April 1963 the Immigration and Naturalization Service issued an administrative order forbidding 25 of the most militant exile leaders from leaving Dade County without permission. On the list were DRE secretary-general Fernandez-Rocha, military-section leader Chilo Borja, and propaganda chief Juan Manuel Salvat, the group's corpulent, hot-tempered mastermind.

The exiles didn't obey the order. "We worked with the CIA," recalls Salvat. "We never subordinated ourselves to them." Nor did the Directorate's members try to hide their anger. Joannides walked a fine line -- trying to discourage the group's military ambitions while encouraging their propaganda campaigns and intelligence-collection efforts. But by the summer of 1963, the DRE harbored an "extremely bitter animosity" toward Kennedy, according to Ross Crozier, Joannides's predecessor. In fact they were scarcely less hostile to the president than to Castro.

On July 31 Joannides was promoted to chief of psychological warfare operations at the JM/WAVE station in South Dade. Among his most notable accomplishments, his supervisor wrote, was his "excellent job in the handling of a significant student exile group, which hitherto had successfully resisted any important degree of control."

Chilo Borja has a clear recollection of the summer of 1963. Now the owner of a Miami air-conditioning business, he was 28 years old at the time. Skilled with guns and familiar with boats, he became the chief of the group's military section in Miami in 1961. In the summer of 1963, the Directorate was desperate and divided. "At this point there's a big wedge between the international faction and the military faction of the DRE," Borja remembers. "The CIA is pumping money to do anything in Latin America, but it's not giving anything for anything in Cuba. We have a lot of our good friends that are killed or in jail. Alberto [Muller] is in jail. We've got to tell these people that we are still doing something."

Along with his good friend Salvat, Borja was undeterred by the Kennedy administration's crackdown on the exiles, and their antagonism didn't go unnoticed. The Miami station chief, Ted Shackley, had long since warned CIA headquarters that the DRE's attitude toward U.S. policymakers "was one of contempt repeat contempt."

Shackley's assessment was on target. In a strategy memo to the Directorate in May 1963, Salvat proposed that the DRE continue to take CIA funding while the military section, under Borja's leadership, would act covertly to evade Washington's control. The DRE's goal, Salvat wrote in the memo (preserved in the University of Miami's Cuban Heritage Collection), was "to strike a surprise blow so strong as to bring about the fulfillment of [the military section's] plan" to overthrow Castro.

As Borja safeguarded the group's boats and guns on Catalina Island, just off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, he heard from a close friend, Carlos Bringuier, with whom he had grown up on the beaches of Tarara, just east of Havana. "Carlitos," Borja reminisces. "We called him Vistilla [nearsighted], because he was a little bit blind, and his glasses were this thick. He was our delegate in New Orleans. He notified us that this guy was putting in propaganda all throughout New Orleans, and he wanted our directions."

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1 comments
Kriegar
Kriegar

What I do not, and cannot understand is how, after all these years, We The People, the soveriegn owners of these government records, cannot wrest control of them from our paid employees. Why he have to continually deal with redacted information, and how we are FORCED to allow all of the responsible actors to die off, with impugnity, after the greatest crime this country has ever known. Even now, as we watch actors of that time period waltz across the stage of the history of our nation.


Damnit, I want clear, concise, and unequivocal information.

 
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