Posted on July 5, 2007

Cuba hits newly released CIA documents

HAVANA 07/01- Communist Cuba`s parliament said Friday that a 47-year-old plot to assassinate Fidel Castro still reflects U.S. policy toward the island.

The National Assembly unanimously approved a resolution condemning CIA documents made public this week that described the agency`s attempt in 1960 to use mobsters and poison pills to kill Castro.

“What the CIA recognizes is not old history. It is present-day reality and the facts show it,” the resolution said.

Acting President Raul Castro, seated next to the empty chair of his recuperating older brother Fidel, presided as the legislature passed a declaration that “the CIA documents reveal part of the efforts to kill comrade Fidel Castro and bring death and pain to our people.”

“The conduct of the Bush government clearly shows its intention to keep employing the worst possible tactics against Cuba.”

Revelations about the CIA plot were among hundreds of pages of CIA internal reports, known as “the family jewels,” released this week.

The documents show that in August 1960, the CIA recruited an ex-FBI agent to approach mobster Johnny Roselli to take part in a plot against Castro, who took power in January 1959.

The agency gave him six poison pills, which they tried unsuccessfully to have other people put in Castro`s food. The plot was scrapped after the failed CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961, and U.S. authorities retrieved the poison pills.

U.S. law has forbidden official assassination attempts since the administration of Gerald Ford, and Washington denies it has attempted to kill Castro since then.

Still, Havana officials say there have been more than 600 documented attempts to kill Castro over the decades. Now 80, Cuba`s “Maximum Leader” has not been seen in public since handing power to a provisional government headed by his younger brother while recovering from intestinal surgery last July.

National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon said later Friday that, “God willing, (Castro) will live to see the regime change in the United States that has begun” evidently referring to the U.S. presidential elections. “That country has to change because its people deserve something better, something more decent.”

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