How Bacardi sold Castro to the CIA (using Vilma Espin)

In 1957 the CIA sent its Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick to Oriente Cuba to determine if  Castro’s  Julio 26 movement had any Commie connections, as claimed by some “Batistiano deplorables!”

Well, the U.S. State Department and CIA’s officials on the ground in Cuba (obviously the most knowledgeable, right?) lined up a meeting between Kirkpatrick and some of the main bankrollers of Castro’s  terrrorist group the Julio 26 Movement movement. Chief among these bankrollers were members of the wealthy Bacardi Corp.

So Kirkpatrick was hosted by a Bacardi executive’s very daughter Vilma Espin, who was a prominent member of Castro’s terrrorist group. This elegant and cultured Bryn Mawr and MIT attendee spoke flawless English and seemed to fit flawlessly into most CIA officers’ cultural and social set, (unlike many of Castro movement’s opponents: those often crude, un-lettered, even mulatto Batistianos with whom typically Ivy league-educated, Eastern Establishment CIA people found little in common.) In brief; these anti-Castro people were typical “DEPLORABLES!’


(One of the CIA’s most trusted sources in Cuba, the wealthy society debutante  Vilma Espin, sandwiched between her husband Raul Castro  and her bosom chum Che Guevara. Earlier she had assured a grateful and greatly relieved CIA that both of these gentlemen were fervent devotees of liberty and democracy.)

“Don’t worry, we’ve infiltrated Castro’s guerrilla group in the Sierra. The Castros and Che Guevara have NO AFFILIATIONS WITH ANY COMMUNISTS WHATSOEVER.” (CRACKERJACK(!!!) CIA Havana station chief, Jim Noel, Nov. 1958.)

“Everyone in the CIA and everyone at State was pro-Castro, except [Republican] ambassador Earl Smith.” (Robert Weicha, CIA operative in Santiago Cuba.)

(Top left: “Vamos BIEN, CIA!”)

Vilma Espin, (a communist and Raul Castro’s soon-to-be wife) assured the CIA’s elegant and ultra-educated Kirkpatrick that any mention of Fidel or Che Guevara or Raul as Communists was SIMPLY LAUGHABLE!– “all such accusations were crude Batistiano rumors!” No respectable and enlightened person could POSSIBLY take those insufferable Batistianos seriously!

The Castro brothers and Che Guevara, the Bacardi family’s representative’ Vilma Espin assured the CIA, were as pure as the driven snow. And so the CIA’s crackerjack Lyman Kirkpatrick went home to further plot to oust Batista and to aid Castro.

In brief, the crackerjack CIA’s most valued and trusted source on pooh-poohing rumors of Communism in Castro’s movement (as recommended by the Bacardi clan) was Vilma Espin –Raul Castro’s (who’d enjoyed a KGB handler since 1953) fiance.!…..(Vamos Bien! CIA!)
On left: CIA Inspector General in 1957 Lyman Kirkpatrick. On right:  Raul Castro and his KGB handler in 1957 Nikolai Leonov reminicing about the monkeys they made of the CIA.)

Everything above thoroughly documented here.

By April 1959, according to the late researcher Armando Lago, probably 1000 plus Cubans had been murdered by firing squad (Che in La Cabana, Raul in Oriente, etc.) That month “Pepin” Bosch of Bacardi traveled to the U.S on Castro’s good-will tour, helping sell Castro to the U.S. as everything Herbert Matthews had promised.

(On left: Reaction by the CIA officials who worked in Cuba during the late 1950’s to the fully-documented expose’ of their follies by the author on the right.)

“Humberto Fontova’s book teaches us truths about Cuba that are very discomfiting for many intellectuals.” (Ana Botella, Spain’s former First Lady while giving a book reading in Madrid upon the Spanish-language release of the BOMBSHELL book “Fidel; Hollywood’s Favorite Tyrant.”)

“I read Fontova’s book in two sittings. I couldn’t put it down!” (Conservative Radio superstar Mark Levin.)



10 thoughts on “How Bacardi sold Castro to the CIA (using Vilma Espin)”

  1. So the Communists, as Whitaker Chambers always told us, infiltrated the information sectors and bought time as useful idiots took the word of communists that there are no communists here. The result is 54 years of horror going on uncontested and the blood is on the hands of the useful idiots and the rest is history.

    So when I always told my liberal friends about the communists who infiltrated all sectors of U.S. society, unions, State Dept. press, etc and they make sure the wrong advice goes to the people that matter, my liberal friends all scoffed at me. And when communism fell, first they impeded Reagan every way they could and mocked him because communism was not the enemy, he was, then they took credit for it saying that they knew it would fall all along. So the useful idiocy of the left then elected leftists and finally the most left of them all, Obama, and now communism can rise again unimpeded as the U.S. is distracted by scandals and women’s issues and global warming and and and.

    What is a sensible person to do when half of our beloved country has allowed itself to be duped by those who wish to do it harm?

  2. The Bacardi people were at best stupid, but stupidity was the order of the day. However, unlike the vast majority of other stupid Cubans, the Bacardi people gave significant material and PR support to the Castro movement, so their responsibility for its triumph is correspondingly greater. Bacardi did not have the excuse of someone like writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante, who was raised by communist parents and was predictably pro-Castro initially. In other words, Bacardi is tainted, and no amount of advertising campaigns will undo that. There were many other rich supporters of the “revolution,” which gladly took their money only to stab them in the back later. Let’s just say the picture gets uglier the more you scratch beneath the surface.

  3. Vilma, btw, came from the haute bourgeoisie and never lost her expensive tastes. She talked the talk but never walked the proletarian walk. Her name, however, was honest enough: la tipa era vil.

  4. The fact so many rich “oligarchs” played into Castro’s hands, effectively giving him the rope with which he’d later hang them out to dry, reflects how VERY deceptive he deliberately was until he was well entrenched in power. This is quite different from what happened in Venezuela with Chavez, which means Venezuelans were MUCH more stupid than Cubans, and that’s saying something.

  5. Many in Cuba knew that Castro was a commie since his University days; but people saw what they wanted to see in him-and many kept their mouths shut thinking they could control him. Commie infiltrators were active in Cuba since the 1920’s; and Mella’s University movement, which proved so influential in Cuban society and power structure, was infiltrated by commies. The commies themselves openly supported Batista, while their not so open compatriots continued to agitate openly and not openly. A surprise to me over the last few years, much to my dismay, was discovering that pre-Castro Cuba had many socialist programs in place. They were already on an accelerated pace towards socialism; similar to what is happening to the US now.

  6. Yes, a lot of people played ball with Castro because they thought they could manipulate him to their advantage, and they all got played big time. Trying to outsmart the devil is not a good idea.

  7. The problem is Cuba had never faced anybody like Castro in power before. It had had plenty of corrupt politicians, some worse than others, but it had never known an out-and-out monster. Of course Fidel lied–up, down and sideways–but nobody imagined he would turn out to be so bad.

  8. Indeed, Raddoc, portions of Cuba’s 1940 Constitution make Obama look Reaganite.
    Pre-Castro Cuba’s main economic problem was persistent and moderately high unemployment. Much of it a consequence of Batista’s deals, first with the Commies ,then with the labor syndicate CTC.

  9. Hum-Boy-Dah, Vilma’s father, Pepé Espín, was an executive at Bacardi. He was a millionaire who owned land on the shore of the Bay of Santiago, in front of Punta Gorda, that he sold to Texaco for a huge sum, which is where they built the Texaco oil refinery. Vilma received a visa to study in the U.S. However, her sister Nilsa was denied a student visa in the the U.S. because she was a member of the Cuban Communist Party. Her father then sent Nilsa and her husband to study in the Sorbonne University in Paris, but they instead continued to Moscow. The couple returned to Cuba in 1962 with the Soviet troops and the nuclear rockets. Her husband was executed by the Castroites due to his unconditional loyalty to the Soviets and in consequence Nilsa committed suicide in Juan Almeida’s office.
    Lyman Kirkpatrick was in a wheelchair due to polio. He created the Buro de Represion de Actividades Comunistas (BRAC) in Cuba in 1954, which had a special ramp for his visits. Kirkpatrick wrote the whitewash critical report blaming the Bay of Pigs failure on CIA director Allen Dulles, instead of Kennedy, in the hope that he would be ascended to director when Kennedy fired Dulles. However, because he was in a wheelchair and the Kennedy administration was all about image, he was passed over as director.

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