Fidel Castro Recruited Nazi Death Squad Leaders During Missile Crisis

Categories: La Habana
Nazi lover?
As the world celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis this month, disturbing new details about the near-nuclear war keep leaking out. Last week, newly declassified papers showed that the Soviets left 100 nuclear bombs in Cuba for a month after the crisis.

Now, just released German files show that during the crisis, Fidel Castro recruited Nazi Waffen SS officers to Havana to train his troops, offering boatloads of cash and a safehaven to the war criminals. At least a handful took him up on it. 

The new papers from the BND, Germany's intelligence agency, date from October 1962 and show that Fidel personally approved a plan to bring members of the Nazi's infamous death squad to the island.

Castro offered the ex-Nazis four times the average salary in Germany at the time to come train his troops. In part, he hoped to open a new channel for military training away from the increasingly difficult Soviets, they say.

"Evidently, the Cuban revolutionary army did not fear contagion from personal links to Nazism, so long as it served its their own objectives," Bodo Hechelhammer, a BND historian, tells German newspaper Die Welt.

The papers show that at least four ex-Nazis took Fidel up on his offer, though intel operatives could only confirm that two actually made it to Havana.

Castro also worked a deal with Germany's far-right movement to secretly buy Belgian-made weapons, the papers show.

Today, incidentally, is the exact 50th anniversary of the start of the crisis, which began on Oct. 16 when JFK learned the Soviets had installed missiles in Cuba. It ended on Oct. 28, with the Soviets backing down and agreeing to remove the weapons.

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"The 8 years Reagan was in office represented one of the most bloody eras in the history of the Western hemisphere, as Washington funneled money, weapons and other supplies to right wing death squads. And the death toll was staggering–more than 70,000 political killings in El Salvador, more than 100,000 in Guatemala, 30,000 killed in the contra war in Nicaragua. In Washington, the forces carrying out the violence were called "freedom fighters." This is how Ronald Reagan described the Contras in Nicaragua: "They are our brothers, these freedom fighters and we owe them our help. They are the moral equal of our founding fathers." - 

Fr. Miguel D’Escoto, a Catholic priest based in Managua, Nicaragua. He was Nicaragua’s Foreign Minister under the Sandinista government in the 1980s.



The hypocrisy here is obvious and the Americans did more than bring nazis into NASA. But on the issue of "death squads", I am not sure about this but I do know President Ronald Reagan trained death squads at the School of Americas which were then deployed into South America to kill liberals.


.@timelfrinkmia Lest not forget our own NASA owes its existence to former Nazi scientists.. so this is different why?


@chucklivid Luring Nazi scientists for space research is a lot different than hiring SS death squad goons for security work.


@timelfrinkmia This all reminds me of Dr Strangelove. Can we agree that hiring ex-Nazi's regardless of "profession" is rather deplorable?

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