Did the father of presidential candidate Ted Cruz work with Lee Harvey Oswald
Or is the whole thing a hoax promulgated by Wayne Madsen, a writer known for pushing some rather "iffy" claims?
Here's the backstory.
In the early 1960s, a pro-Castro organization called the "Fair Play for Cuba Committee" had attracted some major intellectuals, thereby gaining some measure of respectability. Rightwingers presumed that the USSR or Cuba funded the group -- but proof was lacking.
Though forbidden by statute from operating domestically, the CIA embarked on a project to discredit the organization.
In New Orleans, in the summer of 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald -- having returned from the Soviet Union -- formed his own chapter of Fair Play for Cuba in New Orleans. Listing himself as "secretary," he was, in fact, the sole member.
Weirdly, on August 5, 1963, the allegedly pro-Castro Oswald made an approach to an anti-
Castro group called the Cuban Student Directorate (or DRE), run by one Carlos Bringuier. Oswald offered to train the anti-Castro activists. Bringuier immediately suspected Oswald of being an infiltrator of some sort. The group was secretive, and Bringuier had no idea how Oswald knew of its location.
On August 9, 1963, Oswald was on Canal Street, handing out FPCC fliers and a 40-page pro-Castro pamphlet entitled "The Crime Against Cuba," written by Corliss Lamont. The pamphlet bore a rubber stamp with the address of Guy Bannister and Associates, a "detective" agency run by a fiercely anti-communist former FBI man. (A number of witnesses had seen Oswald in Bannister's offices.)
In that era, pro-Castro activity on a public street was bound to cause quite a stir. Informed of what was going on, Carlos Bringuier and two DRE associates ran out to confront Oswald. Bringuier was furious: Previously, he suspected that Oswald was an FBI agent checking up on him, but now it appeared that Oswald was a communist.
The DRE members got into a screaming match with Oswald and tore up his pamphlets. Oswald told Carlos: "Hit me." Bringuier refrained, but the scene remained on the edge of violence.
Police arrived and arrested Oswald. Sergeant Horace Austin interviewed Oswald and concluded that he knew very little about the "ultimate purpose or goal" of the FPCC. Oswald spent the night in jail.
On August 12, he pled guilty to a "disturbing the peace" charge and paid a fine -- and then tried to get a local newsman to write a story about the incident. No interest. Oswald wrote to the headquarters of the FPCC, bragging about his grand sacrifice on behalf of the cause. After dropping the letter in the mail slot, he went to the library and checked out a book called "The Treasury of Science Fiction Classics." (I love
You would think that the Canal Street fracas would have taught Oswald a lesson. But on August 16, he was at it again, handing out FPCC pamphlets in front of the International Trade Mart, managed by Clay Shaw, the man later indicted by Jim Garrison. There are photos which seem to show Oswald and Shaw acknowledging each other.
Guy Bannister received word of what was happening in front of the Trade Mart. His reply: "One of them is mine."
Interestingly, Oswald had two partners on this day. Unlike actual
left-wingers, who rely on volunteer efforts, Oswald had paid two people to help him hand out FPCC literature -- a surprising expenditure, since Oswald was quite poor. One of these two helpers was Charles Steele, whom Oswald met via the employment office. He was just a student at Tulane looking to earn a couple of dollars.
The other "helper" was a young Latino man who has never been identified. Until now. Allegedly.
Identifying the Mystery Man.
Wayne Madsen claims that the second helper was Rafael Cruz Sr., the father of Ted Cruz.
The evidence? Alas, Madsen is up to his old tricks:
WMR has been informed by a source that the individual to Oswald's left is none other than Rafael Cruz.
"A source." Typical.
How many times have we been down this road? Madsen seems to have a legion
of unnamed sources. Unnamed sources are the basis of his entire career. Nearly all of the more spectacular (and questionable) claims which Madsen has made over the years trace back to people without names. For example, unnamed sources informed Madsen that Marco Rubio
is a "gay homosexual." (Not just homosexual, mind you: A gay
homosexual. That's the worst kind.)
Still, we do have something more to go on: There are several photos of Oswald and his helpers, taken on August 16. I reproduce the photos here. The mystery man is identified by a red arrow.
Now lets compare our Mystery Man to Rafael Cruz. Madsen provides a photo from the 1950s as well as a more recent image.
My verdict? Yes, a definite resemblance exists. But the photos themselves can hardly be called conclusive. Any number of young Latino men had the same general appearance.
About Ted's father.
Rafael Cruz opposed the Batista regime as a teen, and was beaten and imprisoned. He fled Cuba in 1957, arriving with very little money. He somehow ended up in Austin, Texas, where he attended the University of Texas. The former anti-Batista activist soon became a staunch opponent of Castro.
After being graduated from the University in 1961, he moved to New Orleans -- which puts him in the right place at the right time. Interesting, but not probative.
Cruz left Catholicism and became an evangelical Protestant, as is his son, Ted. The elder Cruz has been described as a Dominionist -- an advocate of theocracy.
I've yet to see any evidence of a connection between the elder Cruz and the CIA. Such a link would not terribly surprise me: Cruz would have been a natural fit for Bringuier's group, which did receive a small amount of Agency funding. But right now, we simply have no evidence.
Back to Oswald.
After the Trade Mart Incident, Oswald appeared on television
, and then made a couple of appearances on the radio
with none other than Carlos Bringuier -- who dramatically revealed that Oswald had lived in the Soviet Union. In 1963 terms, this was tantamount to exposing Oswald as a commie infiltrator.
This dramatic revelation gave a huge black eye to the Fair Play for Cuba Committee. After the assassination, that interview was heard on radios throughout the land, and the FPCC pretty much disappeared.
We should also say a few further words about that 40 page pamphlet by Corliss Lamont, which Oswald handed out. Printing pamphlets "on the fly" is easy in the computer age -- but back then, one had to use the services of a professional print shop, at no small cost.
The copies handed out by Lee Harvey Oswald came from the first
printing of the Lamont booklet, published in 1961 -- while Oswald was still in the Soviet Union.
Nearly the entire run of that first printing was purchased by the CIA
. Lamont was willing to sell to them: The Agency's money was as green as anyone else's.
Decades later, Lamont provided evidence of this purchase to author Jim DiEugenio, who published the evidence in the first edition of his book Destiny Betrayed
. (The much-expanded second edition mentions this transaction briefly, but does not reprint the photocopies which prove the point.)
A final word about Ted:
You may think that the above tale must be the strangest Ted Cruz story you'll hear all day. But you would be wrong
Is that article disinformation? If it is, then the originator must be David Lynch. "Damn
, that's good soup! And hot!