The Cuba Hoaxes

     When President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 top US officials thought that it was a conspiracy.
Because of Oswald's defection to Russia and his support of Fidel Castro, the suspicion was that he was acting on behalf
of Castro or the Russians. This was later reinforced by a series of hoaxes designed to link Oswald to Castro.
     On November 25,  1963 a Nicaraguan intelligence officer sympathetic to the Cuban exiles named Alvarado
Ugarte Gilberto claimed that on September 18, 1963 he saw a Cuban consulate
employee give $6,500 in cash to Oswald to assassinate the President. Because
his story was so elaborate and because it fit in with the prevailing suspicions
in the intelligence community it was widely believed to be true. But under
intense questioning by the CIA, Alvarado's story began to unravel. Oswald
could not have been at the Cuban Consulate in Mexico on the day that he
allegedly received the cash,
because he was known to have been in New Orleans appplying for unemployment insurance.  And there was no
red-headed Negro Cuban intelligence officer working at the Cuban Consulate in Mexico. Alvarado admitted that
he had made up the story in hopes that the US would be prompted to invade Cuba in retaliation. The assassination of
a head of state is a casus belli. Another false allegation seemed to confirm Alvarado's story. A Cuban named
Fernando Penabaz claimed that Oswald had been contacted in Nicaragua by a Cuban intelligence officer. But Penabaz
had no direct knowledge. His story came from two Cuban Exile leaders, Sixto Mesa and Miguel de Leon, associates of
the Cuban Exile leader Manuela Artime. Helping to spread these false rumors were the virulent anti-Communist
journalists Jerry and James Buchanan in Miami. One of their stories alleged that Oswald had been seen in Miami in
contact with a Cuban intelligence officer. It turned out that the source of their story was CIA operative Frank Sturgis.
None of the facts checked out and Oswald was never in Miami. It was yet another hoax.
     The very possibility that Oswald had been paid to assassinate President Kennedy is what caused the cover-up of
the JFK assassination and the formation of the Warren Commission. President Johnson was concerned that rumors
of Cuban involvement would get out of hand and force the US to invade Cuba, thus sparking WWIII. President Johnson
was convinced that the assassination was indeed a conspiracy, but if that fact ever became public, it might lead to WWIII
and a full nuclear exchange with Russia. It was for reasons of national security that the public had to be convinced that
Oswald had acted alone. Lyndon Johnson told several key people of the report from Hoover that Oswald had been paid
by the Cubans to shoot President Kennedy. But the decision was made to cover it up rather than retaliate. LBJ
blackmailed Earl Warren and other Warren Commission members into serving on the commission by telling them about
the rumor of Oswald being paid in Mexico, but if that ever became public it could lead to WWIII and the death of 40
million Americans. For example, listen to LBJ's November 29, 1963 phone conversation with Senator Richard Russell .
     Just as these rumors were beginning to die down, a new hoax appeared which could have been even more
devastating. A series of letters were mailed from Havana, Cuba which suggested that Oswald was working for Cuban
intelligence. The first letter was postmarked November 28, 1963 from Havana, Cuba addressed to Lee Oswald.
It was signed by a "Pedro Charles" and dated November 10, 1963. It appeared to discuss the upcoming assassination.
In addition to personal chit-chat it contained references to Oswald's great markmanship, the job that he was going to do,
the money he had been paid, and how proud the "Chief" would be. U.S. intelligence considered the "Chief" to be a
reference to Fidel Castro. But there were a few tip-offs which indicated the letter was not genuine. The letter was sent
to Lee Oswald c/o "Mail Office", Dallas, Texas. And the FBI and CIA could not find anyone named Pedro Charles in
Cuba. A second letter also postmarked November 28, 1963 was mailed from Havana, Cuba to Attorney General
Robert Kennedy alleging that a Cuban agent named Pedro Charles had met with Oswald in Miami several months
previously and paid him $7,000 to assassinate the President. This letter was signed by a "Mario del Rosario Molina."
But FBI analysis revealed that both the Molina letter and the Pedro Charles letter had been typed on the same typewriter,
a Remington Number 10, large Pica type, mailed in envelopes from the same batch, postmarked at the same place, and signed with the same type of pen and ink. And again there was no such person as Mario del Rosario Molina. Later analysis by Cuban intelligence identified the unique characteristics of the typewriter used for both letters. In particular they noted that the "a" key had a characteristic wear mark. This was presented at a conference in Havana in 1995. Two more letters were sent from Havana, postmarked December 3, 1963 and signed by a "Miguel Galban Lopez." One was addressed to Voice of America and the other to the Editor of  the "Diario del New York." Both letters announced that it was Pedro Charles who paid Lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate the President. The FBI examined all four letters and concluded that they probably represented a hoax by anti-Castro groups to blame the assassination on Cuba. But the most amazing thing is that it took Hoover so long to catch onto the fact that these letters were a hoax. On December 12, 1963 the very day that his lab was informing him that the Pedro Charles letters were a hoax, he was citing them to his closest aides as the reason why he felt that the FBI report should not conclude that there was no conspiracy. Although Hoover was personally satisfied that Oswald alone had fired all the shots,
he still suspected that Oswald was working on behalf of someone, in particular Castro, based on those letters.
     This was the reason for the cover-up of the JFK assassination, not because US officials thought that Oswald acted alone,
but because they thought that he was acting on behalf of Castro and if that fact ever became public, it would lead to WWIII.

Below are the actual letters and documents which you can click on and view. The original letters were written in Spanish
and translated into English by the FBI.

Pedro Charles letter:  Spanish English  envelope
Letter to AG Robert Kennedy:  Spanish, page 1  Spanish, page 2  English, page 1  English, page 2  envelope, both sides
Letter to Voice of America:  Spanish English  envelope
Letter to Diario de New York:  English

Dallas agent Heitman report to FBI HQ on December 5, 1963:  page 1  page 2  page 3  page 4
Griffith to Conrad memo on December 10, 1963:  page 1  page 2
FBI memo to State Department on December 12, 1963:  page 1  page 2
Griffith to Conrad memo on December 30, 1963:  page 1  page 2
Wannall to Sullivan memo on January 2, 1964:  1 page
Hoover memo to WC's Rankin on January 17, 1964:  page 1  page 2