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1950s CIA Aid to Castro Reported

October 19, 1986|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The CIA, which allegedly sponsored numerous assassination attempts against Cuban President Fidel Castro, had secretly provided financial support to Castro's movement prior to his overthrow of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959, according to a new book.

Tad Szulc, author of "Fidel: A Critical Portrait," said the CIA's apparent goal in providing the movement with "no less than $50,000" was to purchase good will for the United States among the rebels in the event that they triumphed.

The irony of the CIA's reported pro-revolutionary role is that the agency sponsored an exile invasion of Cuba in 1961 and later tried eight times to assassinate Castro, according to a 1975 Senate Intelligence Committee report.

"On the one hand, the United States continued to supply the Batista regime with weapons to fight the rebels," Szulc wrote of U.S. activities during the fall of 1957, "while on the other hand, it secretly channeled funds to the 26th of July Movement (Castro's guerrilla organization) through the CIA."

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