Trained to Kill: The Inside Story of CIA Plots against Castro, Kennedy, and Che (Paperback)

Trained to Kill: The Inside Story of CIA Plots against Castro, Kennedy, and Che By Antonio Veciana, Carlos Harrison, David Talbot (Foreword by) Cover Image
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Explosive account of the intrigue, hit men, and Cuban exiles in the CIA's war to destroy Fidel Castro

Antonio Veciana fought on the front lines of the CIA’s decades-long secret war to destroy Fidel Castro, the bearded bogeyman who haunted America’s Cold War dreams. It was a time of swirling intrigue, involving US spies with license to kill, Mafia hit men, ruthless Cuban exiles—and the leaders in the crosshairs of all this dark plotting, Fidel Castro and John F. Kennedy.

Veciana transformed himself from an asthmatic banker to a bomb-making mastermind who headed terrorist attacks in Havana and assassination attempts against Castro, while building one of the era’s most feared paramilitary groups—all under the direction of the CIA.

In the end, Veciana became a threat—not just to Castro, but also to his CIA handler. Veciana was the man who knew too much. Suddenly he found himself a target—framed and sent to prison, and later shot in the head and left to die on a Miami street. When he was called before a Congressional committee investigating the Kennedy assassination, Veciana held back, fearful of the consequences. He didn’t reveal the identity of the CIA officer who directed him—the same agent Veciana observed meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas before the killing of JFK.

Now, for the first time in paperback, Veciana tells all, detailing his role in the intricate game of thrones that aimed to topple world leaders and change the course of history.

About the Author

David Talbot is the New York Times bestselling author of Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years and The Devil’s Chessboard. He is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon and has written for the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and Time. He lives in San Francisco.

Praise For…

"A tale with all the twists, turns and action sequences of a ‘Bourne’ film.” —New York Post

"Trained to Kill is not another tinfoil hat Kennedy-conspiracy book—declassified CIA cables confirm Veciana’s working relationship with the agency and even his code name, AMSHALE-1. The book is a soldier’s story about what he saw on the front lines of the Cuban-American struggle for power." —Newsweek

"Astonishing." —Daily Mail

Trained to Kill is one of those essential books that ‘our free press’ is all too likely to ignore, because of all the awful truth between its covers—especially its shattering confirmation that David Attlee Phillips of the CIA did introduce the author to Lee Harvey Oswald just weeks before the assassination of John Kennedy. While thus exploding the old myth of Oswald as ‘lone gunman,’ this chilling memoir also sheds new light on Che Guevara’s murder, Operation Condor, and the fanatic amorality behind the management of US covert operations.” —Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media, culture, and communication at New York University and author of Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform

“Antonio Veciana’s Trained to Kill is one of the most important historical documents to have emerged in the U.S. in the past decade. This inside story of the CIA plots to kill Fidel Castro, President John F. Kennedy and Che Guevara not only makes for riveting reading, it also shines a stark light on the darkest corners of U.S. covert operations in the 1960s and ’70s. In one of the most dramatic episodes in a book filled with them, Veciana confirms that his CIA handler—a smooth and ruthless rising star at the agency named David Atlee Phillips—was also running Lee Harvey Oswald. This is a real history of American power, one that is destined to disturb and enlighten any citizen who can handle the truth.” —David Talbot, founder of Salon and New York Times bestselling author of The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government

"Antonio Veciana is a witness to history who cannot be ignored. Laconic and lucid, this crafty accountant tells the story of his deadly operations against Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. He details the intimate dealings he had with top CIA officers. And his story culminates in a perilous series of events that exposed a dangerous truth and changed Veciana’s way of thinking: his suave CIA handler, David Phillips, had played a role in the ambush of President Kennedy in Dallas. In telling his story with candor and humility, Veciana demonstrates the courage of a now-peaceful warrior.”—Jefferson Morley, author of The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton

"At long last, the primary leader of the CIA-backed, anti-Castro group of Cuban exiles has come forward to shatter the Warren Commission's finding that the assassination of President Kennedy was the work of a 'lone nut.' Antonio Veciana's story should revise the history books." —Dick Russell, New York Times bestselling author of The Man Who Knew Too Much

"From Havana to Santiago to New York, Antonio Veciana plotted to kill Castro. This book describes those plots and his other attempts to reverse Cuba’s Marxist revolution. His was a true terrorist campaign before the phrase became a commonplace of journalism. But Veciana planned his acts of murder and mayhem as an agent of the American government, more specifically the CIA. This well-written, candid, and exciting book describes his Agency career and provides a memorable portrait of his recruiter and manager. The legendary David Phillips—the man who likely had a role in the conspiracy to kill JFK—comes alive and inhabits these pages as he does in no other book you will read." —James DiEugenio, author of Reclaiming Parkland

“As was once said about him and the words in these pages confirm, Antonio Veciana is one of history’s most important individuals. Whether as the CIA’s point man in Havana in post-revolutionary Cuba, the mastermind behind the legendary anti-Castro exile group Alpha 66, or the unwitting witness to Lee Harvey Oswald’s meeting with his CIA handler at an office building in Dallas days before the JFK assassination, Mr. Veciana’s unflinching and courageous confessional memoir definitively answers so many of the baffling questions raised by CIA’s operations in the twentieth century—and his answers both illuminate and disturb.” —Fernand R. Amandi, Bendixen & Amandi International

“Antonio Veciana had a compelling mission in life, to help free his countrymen from a ruthless dictator. His long, painful path towards freedom intersected with my husband’s passion to help solve the mystery of the death of President Kennedy. Veciana’s startling revelation that he saw his CIA mentor, Maurice Bishop, with Lee Harvey Oswald, led my husband on his own mission to identify Bishop.” —Marie Fonzi
Product Details
ISBN: 9781510769472
ISBN-10: 1510769471
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication Date: January 18th, 2022
Pages: 240
Language: English