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realclearworld

Is Camilo’s killer your Neighbor? Curiouser and Curiouser–the Huber Matos/Camilo Case

Babalu friend and Dan Rather/Gregory Craig nemesis, Pedro Porro, got an intriguing e-mail and sent it out to his list (with the e-mailer's permission):
"Enrique, one thing he [Huber Matos] does not talk about (in his recent Herald interview) is how he allowed himself to be apprehended without a fight.
"Matos is related to my mother from Veguitas. I heard the story from Antonio Rodríguez, a Rebel Army Captain and a family friend, that left soon after the Matos episode. Supposedly, Camilo had convinced Matos to surrender as part of a ploy to use him as bait for some possible contras that were plotting to kill Fidel. Right after apprehending Matos, Camilo flew back in a Cessna 310, formerly owned by the Babuns. Camilo's plane disappeared; however, there was also another plane, a Sea Fury flying along the northern coast by Caibarién. The Sea Fury pilot was Tomás Domínguez of the Fuerza Aérea Rebelde. Domínguez, who was from my hometown was also trained as a pilot by my father, prior to joining the Rebels. When Domínguez landed in Camagüey, where he was based, the plane's guns had been fired and the seals blown off. He claimed he was just target shooting dolphins. My father, who knew Domínguez from childhood, asked him when he came to the US, "Did you kill Camilo?" His reply was vague and defensive. "If I say anything I know, they will find out and have me killed here."
"The Cuban tragedy still has too many unsolved mysteries, some true and some myths, all part of the black hole that is the history of our sad island.
"I am sure Matos would not talk about being taken for a fool. My father died convinced that it was the truth and so did Antonio Rodríguez."

Me again: That Camilo's plane was shot down is not exactly front-page news for many. But the possible presence of the trigger man in our midst ("Tonight on Maria Elvira Live! The man who sent Camilo to Sleep with the Fishes!") and the possible motive for the Matos arrest definitely intrigue and certainly merit more study.

4 comments to Is Camilo’s killer your Neighbor? Curiouser and Curiouser–the Huber Matos/Camilo Case

  • theCardinal

    I know this is a blog and not a paper but an effort should have been made to reach Dominguez before posting. Knowing how Cubans are I'm sure this story has been around but I've honestly never heard it. The Camilo mystery has never been a mystery to me - of course Fidel had him offed. If there is even a shred of truth to this it needs to be investigated.

  • JackSnurd

    I lived in Camaguey at the time Camilo disappeared. One of our former employees worked at the airport as a mechanic and he related to us the same story about the fighter coming back with the wing seals broken.
    There was a long search conducted over the land but of course nothing was ever found.
    Earlier that day Camilo had been at the Teatro Principal in Camaguey.

  • Rayarena

    The tragedy about what happened in Cuba is that too many people were involved in supporting Castro in one way or another. Many refuse to fess up even though it would be the morally and historically right thing to do, simply because that would implicate them even more. Make no mistake about it, despite his years in prison, Matos's hands are pretty dirty.
    Every time that I hear stories about how people helped Castro, everyone from the priest who sneaked Castro out of a tight spot under his robes to the Cuban officers that were given orders to kill Castro and refused to do so, to the Cuban legislators and judges that abrogated their duties and gave Castro a slap on the hand for El Moncada attack where the future tyrant committed mass murder and HIGH TREASON [attack a military baracks in the USA and kill American soldiers with the intend of overthrowing the US government and you'll fry in an electric chair quicker than gnat bats its wings], it makes me sick to my stomach.

  • roland

    My grandfather José Carlos Millás was the director of “el Observatorio Nacional”, Cuba’s national weather service from the 1920’s through 1961. Shortly after Camilo’s plane disappeared, Fidel Castro showed up at “el Observatorio” and met with my grandfather. Fidel wanted my grandfather to support his claim that bad weather was the cause of the plane’s disappearance. My grandfather told him that the meteorological conditions on that day, in that area, were not hazardous to air travel, and as such he could not support the hypothesis that bad weather had brought Camilo’s plane down. Fidel then asked him, if there was even a very remote possibility that bad weather was a factor. To which my grandfather responded: I guess anything is possible, but it is highly unlikely. At this point, Fidel and his entourage quickly departed.
    I've always thought this sounded like they were looking for an alibi.