Fidel Castro in 1962
As the 50th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis nears, more and more documents continue to shed light on the conduct of the US and Cuba's leaders at the time the entire world stood at the brink of Armageddon for 13 days.
Recently released declassified German intelligence files show that Cuba's leader Fidel Castro recruited former members of the Nazi SS Waffen to train his troops at the height of the Cuban missile crisis, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported Monday.
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According to the report, the Communist leader also sought to buy weapons from arms dealers connected with Germany’s extreme Right, showing the extent to which he was prepared to collaborate with his ideological enemies to prevent a US invasion of the Caribbean country.
Fidel Castro in 1962 (Photo: AFP)
Papers released this week by the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), the German foreign intelligence agency, disclose the information gathered by German operatives 50 years ago during the tense days of the missile crisis.
They reveal that Castro personally approved a plan to hire former Nazi officers to instruct the Cuban revolutionary army, offering them wages that were four times the average salary in Germany and the chance to start a new life in Havana, the Telegraph said.
The papers, dating from October 1962, show that four former officers from the elite Nazi death squads had been invited to the Cuban capital, although subsequent reports could only confirm that two had arrived.
Evidently, the Cuban revolutionary army did not fear contagion from personal links to Nazism, so long as it served its own objectives,” said Bodo Hechelhammer, the BND’s historical investigations director.
The report also showed how the Castro regime negotiated with two traffickers linked with Germany’s far-Right to purchase Belgian-made pistols to arm the Cuban forces.
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