New Documents on JFK Assassination Shed Light on Lee Harvey Oswald's Ties to Cuba, Russia

The National Archives released to the public almost 1,500 documents related to the November 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy Wednesday, revealing information on the U.S. government's investigation into his killer.

Lee Harvey Oswald has been confirmed been many sources as the sole shooter of Kennedy, though many conspiracy theories say otherwise. While the documents did not include any information that would validate any conspiracies, they did go into further detail of Oswald's support of Communism.

Some documents include CIA memos and cables regarding Oswald's visits to Mexico City's Cuban and Soviet embassies in the months before the assassination.

According to one cable, a Mexican employee at the Cuban Embassy told Mexican authorities Oswald had "professed to be a Communist and an admirer of [Fidel] Castro."

Oswald apparently wanted to visit the Soviet Union, asking for a visa at the Soviet Embassy, then at the Cuban Embassy asking for a visa to go to Cuba to wait for the Soviet visa. Another memo also showed that Oswald had spoken over the phone with a KGB officer while at the Soviet embassy.

He appeared to have given up on his efforts on October 3, 1963, when he drove back from Mexico to the United States via Texas, where the next month he would assassinate the president.

JFK, National Archives, documents
The National Archives made public on December 15 nearly 1,500 documents related to the U.S. government's investigation into the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Above, part of a file from the CIA, dated October 10, 1963, details "a reliable and sensitive source in Mexico" report of Lee Harvey Oswald's contact with the Soviet Union embassy in Mexico City, that was released November 3, 2017, by the National Archives. Jon Elswick, File/AP Photo

The disclosure of secret cables, internal memos and other documents satisfies a deadline set in October by President Joe Biden and is in keeping with a federal statute that calls for the release of records in the government's possession. Additional documents are expected to be made public next year.

One CIA document marked "Secret Eyes Only" traces U.S. government plots to assassinate the Cuban leader at the time, Fidel Castro, including a 1960 plot "that involved the use of the criminal underworld with contacts inside Cuba."

Another document weighs whether Oswald, while living in New Orleans, may have been affected in any way by the publication in the local newspaper of an interview an Associated Press correspondent conducted with Castro in which Castro warned of retribution if the U.S. were to take out Cuban leaders.

The new files include several FBI reports on the bureau's efforts to investigate and surveil major Mafia figures like Santo Trafficante Jr. and Sam Giancana, who are often mentioned in conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy's assassination.

Apart from the Kennedy investigation, some of the material would be of interest to scholars or anyone interested in the minutiae of 1960s counterespionage, with many pages of arcane details on such things as the methods, equipment and personnel used to surveil the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico City.

In blocking the release of hundreds of records in 2017 because of concerns from the FBI and the CIA, President Donald Trump cited "potentially irreversible harm." Even so, about 2,800 others were released at that time.

The Warren Commission in 1964 concluded that Oswald had been the lone gunman, and another congressional probe in 1979 found no evidence to support the theory that the CIA had been involved. But other interpretations have persisted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.