November 19, 1963: Gun in the Oval Office
Deputy CIA director Helms brought a weapon to the White House to argue for a tougher Cuba policy
On November 19, the fierce debate among Kennedy’s advisers about Cuba policy came to a head. Deputy CIA director Richard Helms informed Robert Kennedy that the CIA had caught Castro “red handed.”
The Agency had been monitoring Castro's ties with a "fringe revolutionary group in Venezuela,” Helms wrote in his posthumous 2002 memoir.
“An agent informed us that Castro operatives were about to land some three tons of small arms, ammunition, mortars on the Venezuelan coast. The plan, as concocted in Havana and slipped to us by our agent, was to use the weapons to paralyze the Venezuelan government to halt the national elections slated for December 1."
The CIA claimed to have intercepted Cuban arms caches intended to supply revolutionaries seeking to overthrow a U.S. ally.
But was it true?
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