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The Fair Play for Cuba Committee (FPCC) was an activist group set up in New York in April 1960.[1] The FPCC's purpose was to provide grassroots support for the Cuban Revolution against attacks by the United States government, once Fidel Castro began openly admitting his commitment to Marxism and began the expropriation and nationalization of Cuban assets belonging to U.S. corporations. The Committee opposed the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961, the imposition of the United States embargo against Cuba, and was sympathetic to the Cuban view during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Subsidiary Fair Play for Cuba groups were set up throughout the United States and Canada. Among its twenty-nine early notable supporters were William Appleman Williams, Norman Mailer, Truman Capote, James Baldwin, Jean-Paul Sartre, Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, as well as Latin Americans Waldo Frank and Carleton Beals.[2][3]

The Fair Play for Cuba Committee has been the subject of much speculation. It was accused by some of being a Soviet front, with little real support outside of a few dedicated American communists. However, it seems to have been connected to the Trotskyist Socialist Workers' Party.

The FPCC achieved notoriety through the activities of Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans. (Oswald was the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy.) One of Oswald's FPCC leaflets had the address "544 Camp Street" hand-stamped on it, apparently by Oswald himself.[4] This address was in the same building as the office of Guy Banister, an ex-FBI agent who was involved in anti-Castro and intelligence activities.[5]

Oswald's New Orleans activities were investigated by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison, as part of his prosecution of Clay Shaw in 1969. The House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) also investigated the possible relationship of Oswald to Banister's office in the late 1970s.[6]

In his 2002 book, The Kennedy Conspiracy (2002), Anthony Summers asserted that documents indicate both the Central Intelligence Agency and the FBI infiltrated the FPCC. He quoted a CIA officer saying "We did everything we could to make sure it was not successful -- to smear it ... to penetrate it. I think Oswald may have been part of a penetration attempt."

Vincent T. Lee shut down the national Fair Play for Cuba Committee in December 1963 when its landlord evicted the group from its national office; the notoriety accorded to it, following the Kennedy assassination, made it impossible for the committee to continue its work. Although, as of 2006, several groups are currently working to end the U.S. embargo against Cuba, none seem to be lineally descended from the Fair Play for Cuba Committee, or to be interested in being associated with the FPCC's name.[citation needed]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Richard Gott : Cuba a new History 177-178
  2. E.Van Gosse, Where the bous Are; Cuba and the Cold war, and the making of the new left,London 1993
  3. "Pro-Castro Organization Now Defunct" United Press International. December 29, 1963.
  4. 544 Camp Street and Related Events, House Select Committee on Assassinations - Appendix to Hearings, Volume 10, 13, p. 123.
  5. 544 Camp Street and Related Events, House Select Committee on Assassinations - Appendix to Hearings, Volume 10, 13, pp. 123-4.
  6. 544 Camp Street and Related Events, House Select Committee on Assassinations - Appendix to Hearings, Volume 10, 13, p. 128.

External linksEdit

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