Although the Odio Affair is one of the more controversial parts of the JFK assassination, it needn’t be. Here I give my take on what is going on.
Sylvia Odio was part of an organization called JURE, Cuban Revolutionary Junta, which was dedicated to overthrowing Fidel Castro.
Sylvia Odio was the daughter of Amador Odio, a Cuban dissident, who had been jailed by Fidel Castro on the Isle of Pines, an island off the coast of Cuba.
Sylvia and her sister had fled Cuba and were living in Dallas.
Sometime in late September 1963, either 9/26/63 or 9/27/63, three men visited Sylvia Odio in Dallas.
They had come to enlist her support.
They wanted her to translate a letter to help them solicit funds to support JURE (of which she was a member) in their efforts in overthrowing Fidel Castro.
The three men were named Leopoldo, Angelo, and Leon Oswald. Leon Oswald was an American who spoke little Spanish.
This visitation was witnessed by her sister Annie.
The following day, the man named Leopoldo called back and spoke to Sylvia Odio. He wanted to know what she thought of the American. He told her that he was a Marine, an excellent shot, and that he was a little crazy. He stated that the American, Leon Oswald, said that the Cubans should’ve taken out JFK after the Bay of Pigs incident.
Sylvia told Leopoldo she would get back to them. No letters were translated.
She wrote her father who told her to have nothing to do with these men as he did not know them.
What’s going on here? Was this man Lee Oswald?
Much debate has been undertaken. Since Oswald was supposed to have been traveling to Mexico from 9/25/63 to 10/2/63 how could Lee Oswald, masquerading as Leon Oswald, possibly have visited Ms. Odio?
Also, why would Lee Oswald go on such a mission? Did Ms. Odio get her dates wrong? Unlikely. What she mistaken?
I believe the story to be an intentional fabrication, and here is why.
By 11/23/63, the day after JFK’s assassination, another Sylvia, a Sylvia Duran had been picked up and interrogated harshly by the Mexican police at the behest of the CIA.
Sylvia Duran was a Mexican national working in the Cuban consulate where Lee Oswald supposedly visited on Friday, 9/27/63.
By the evening of 11/23/63, Fidel Castro would have learned of Ms. Duran’s interrogation and Oswald’s supposed visit to the Cuban and Russian embassies.
Fidel may have been a murderer, but he wasn’t stupid.
He would have been able to put two and two together – rapidly.
He would have understood what the Americans were angling for.
They were planning to paint Oswald as a commie nut job linked to him, Fidel Castro, and then blame the Kennedy assassination on Cuba, specifically Fidel Castro.
This could be used as a pretext to invade Cuba. Fidel would have understood the need for urgency. Thus he created what is known as the Odio incident.
He quickly asked his advisers what assets he had to work with.
A simple denial would not do. As a politician he had learned over the years that denials are tantamount to confession. A much better tactic is to build upon the existing lie or to construct a brand new one.
Which is what I believe he did.
He approached his old friend, Amador Odio, and he made the following proposition. And, of course, I’m speculating.
“Amador, we can help each other out here. I can make your life easier here in prison. I can even release you. This is the situation; the gringos are planning to blame the Kennedy assassination on me. What this will mean is an invasion of Cuba, in which case we all lose. We can prevent that. We can also make your life easier. I don’t have to kill you.
What I want you to do is the following: I want you to speak to your daughter and have her and her sister, Annie, construct an imaginary meeting. We are going to have three men visit her in Dallas to solicit support to take me out. One of the men will be an American who looks like Lee Oswald. The men will ask her to translate letters of support for JURE. One of our men will call Sylvia the next day and talk about Leon Oswald. He will mention that Leon is crazy, that he is a Marine, and that he believes that Cubans should have taken out Kennedy.
In this way I will not be linked to a man who will want to kill me. It’s a good story, Amador. You win. Sylvia wins. I leave you alone. I leave Sylvia alone.”
It’s an offer Amador and Sylvia can’t refuse.
Now, how can we know this?
By understanding the crafty mind of Fidel Castro.
By grasping the complete implausibility of Oswald even being invited to such a meeting with Ms. Odio.
Are there clues in Ms. Odio’s testimony that this might be a fabrication?
Let’s analyze the story that Ms. Odio tells from the perspective of Fidel Castro. Let’s imagine that Fidel is writing the story.
Why would Fidel have the three men know incredible detail about Amador Odio but then have Amador Odio deny knowing the men later? First, the three men have to know incredible detail to get a foot in the door. It’s the knowledge of her father that gets the men in the door so that they can sell the presence of Lee Oswald as Leon. Fine, then why have Amador Odio deny knowing the men? To close the story down. If Sylvia Odio gets approval from her father, then she translates the letter which leads to more questions.
Why would Fidel have the men mention Leon Oswald’s name twice (during the introduction) in the same meeting? To sell the rube (us) that Sylvia Odio has indeed heard the name correctly.
Why does Fidel have Leopoldo call back the next day to offer seemingly superfluous information on Oswald, that he is a Marine, that he is a good shot, that he’s nutty, that he thinks Cubans should’ve killed JFK? This is a no brainer. By cementing him as the real Lee Oswald, he sows doubt that Lee Oswald was ever in Mexico City.
And, of course, by linking Lee Oswald with JURE, Fidel effectively shuts down the connection that he is working with Lee Oswald.
Now, that is typical Fidel Castro.
Finally, that Ms. Odio and her sister would recognize Oswald as the man who visited them a month earlier seems unlikely. People of different ethnicities often have difficulty discriminating the fine differences in other peoples facial features. In other words people of different races and ethnicities tend to look the same to outsiders. I can speak from personal experience where Latinos have often confused me with other Anglos who appear quite different from me.
There appears to be an ethnic or racial mask which overwhelms the mind and renders it less capable in making fine distinctions in facial features.
One more thing, if you please.
If Leopoldo thought Leon Oswald was “kind of nuts,” why would he be considering introducing him to the underground in Cuba? And why would they take him along to visit Ms. Odio? What would Leon Oswald add to the mission?
Let us examine the following exchange in which Ms. Odio appears to be talking to Leon Oswald.
Mrs. Odio: I asked these men when they came to the door. I asked if they had been sent by Alentado, because I explained to them that he had already asked me to do the letters and he said no. And I said, “Were you sent by Eugenio,” and he said no. And I said, “Were you sent by Ray,” and he said no. And I said, “Well, is this on your own?”
And he said, “We have just come from New Orleans and we have been trying to get this organized, this movement organized down there, and this is on our own, but we think we could do some kind of work.” This was all talked very fast, not as slow as I am saying it now. You know how fast Cubans talk. And he put the letter back in his pocket when I said no. And then I think I asked something to the American, trying to be nice, “Have you ever been to Cuba?”
And he said, “No, I have never been to Cuba.”
And I said, “Are you interested in our movement?” And he said, “Yes.”
This I had not remembered until lately. I had not spoken much to him and I said, “If you will excuse me, I have to leave,” and I repeated, “I am going to write to my father and tell him you have come to visit me.”
And he said, “Is he still in the Isle of Pines?” And I think that was the extent of the conversation. They left, and I saw them through the window leaving in a car. I can’t recall the car. I have been trying to.
How would Leon Oswald know that Amador Odio was on the Isle of Pines unless he was connected in a substantive way with the Cuban community or if indeed the story here is a fabrication? The men indicate that he is not connected with the underground thusly:
Mrs. Odio: I imagine it must have been Friday. And they had come on Thursday. I have been trying to establish that. He was trying to get fresh with me that night. He was trying to be too nice, telling me that I was pretty, and he started like that. That is the way he started the conversation. Then he said, “What do you think of the American?” And I said, “I didn’t think anything.”
And he said, “You know our idea is to introduce him to the underground in Cuba, because he is great, he is kind of nuts.” This was more or less – I can’t repeat the exact words, because he was kind of nuts.
The Warren Commission has been positioning Oswald as a self-promoting ne’er-do-well who really didn’t have much to do with the Cuban community. Now, perhaps this is a mix-up and Ms. Odio was referring to Leopoldo as the person who asks: “Is he still in the Isle of Pines?”
Of course, Leopoldo and Angelo could have told Leon that Sylvia’s father was on the Isle of Pines. But if he then knew that, then why did he ask her? Perhaps Leon was just being nice (quite at odds with the rude, surly Oswald the Warren Commission paints, eh?). Or perhaps Fidel wanted you to think that Leon Oswald really was a part of JURE.
What do you think?
Here I have diagrammed out the incident in rough detail.
Copyright 2020 Archer Crosley Al Rights Reserved