There he goes again, stirring up people. No it’s not a March Of Dimes cup in his hand. It’s Mr. Oswald in New Orleans, during the summer of 1963, handing out Pro-Castro leaflets.
This brazen act of standing in the streets of New Orleans handing out Pro-Communist literature has sparked many of a debate amongst researchers. There is an overwhelming majority of people that believe this act was some sort of intelligence operation performed by Oswald. They point to possible links with rabid anti-communist characters such as Ex-FBI agent turned private investigator, Guy Bannister, Naval Intelligence, FBI, etc. The common thread running in these theories was Oswald was acting as intelligence operative for this government to “lure” possible commie sympathizers so the intelligence agencies could monitor their activities. This leads to all kinds of international espionage and adventure theories from people who clearly attempt to link Oswald to everyone’s favorite boogeyman, the CIA. From that easy link, they go onto conclude the CIA murdered President John Kennedy with Oswald as a fall guy or operative.
Ok, I admit all this talk of Cuban revolution, spies, mercenaries, nuclear mass destruction, Mafia and international espionage is more exciting than what I’m going to discuss in this article. Oswald’s Pro-Castro “activities” in New Orleans have spawned all kinds of spy vs. spy rabbit holes sucking researchers to bottomless pit stories with no conclusions. However, this is an article about Oswald in Dallas and I would be remiss if I didn’t point out something researchers have possibly overlooked.
In the first article I gave a little background info on the Oswald’s living on 214 West Neely street in Oak Cliff. Oswald was working at Jaggers-Chiles Stovall on 525 Browder street in downtown Dallas. He would ride the bus everyday to work. Oswald had everything set up downtown for convenience from his post office box on North Ervay street to some shopping excursions to HL Green’s. On payday, he would occasionally cash his Jagger’s check at Mart’s Liquor store just up the street. HL Green’s department store could be best described as a large Five & Dime type store that carried a little of everything from clothing to pet box turtles. It sat on the busy corner of Ervay and Main streets.
It was at this busy corner in front of HL Green’s that something occurred that angered some shoppers and citizens. Citizens were used to seeing the occasional civil rights picketing on the HL Green company out front, but this time an unusual man with a sign around his neck was causing a scene.
After the assassination, a couple of Dallas Police officers remembered an encounter with a man passing out Pro-Castro literature in front of HL Green’s back in the late spring of 1963. The first on scene was DPD officer W.R. Finigan, who called for back-up. Finigan was joined by Commissioner of the Northern Texas Judicial District, W. Maddon Hill who remarked “Something should be done about that guy passing out literature”. The man was described as a white male of medium height, white shirt and no hat. He was wearing a sign or placard on his back that read ” Viva Castro” and handing out literature. Sound familiar?
As Sgt. David Harkness drove up on his three wheel motorcycle, the “man” dropped his sign and ran inside the HL Green department store. A passerby who observed the scene remarked to officer Finigan “the white male said, oh hell, here come the cops”. Harkness told Finigan to let him go, and the ordeal was all over. Everyone went on about their own business. (1) Was this Lee Harvey Oswald handing out Pro-Castro literature before his New Orleans adventure? I believe the probability remains high that they are one in the same, as you will see forthcoming.
In fact, he did claim to have a placard around his neck, passing out Pro-Castro literature with “Hands Off Cuba! – Viva Castro!” handwritten on it. He states this was the first time in his life that he did this in this letter to the Fair Play For Cuba Committee. (2) Oswald lost his job at Jagger-Chiles-Stovall on April 1, 1963. The notation on the above letter, written by FPCC personnel, shows April 19, 1963.(3) It is unclear when Oswald wrote the letter, but it’s very close to the Walker shooting attempt on April 10, 1963.
Oswald eventually moves out of 214 West Neely, skipping out on the rent, on April 24, 1963. Ruth Paine takes him to the bus station to his next adventure in New Orleans.
So there you have it, Oswald had already started his Pro-Castro activities in Dallas, before New Orleans. Was this a high level covert intelligence operation going on with Oswald handwriting a homemade sign and wearing it around his neck in a right wing town? I seriously doubt it………
- Warren Report, Vol 22, CE 1409
- Vincent T. Lee testimony, Warren Report Vol. 10, page 86