In one of the emails leaked from the Democratic National Committee by WikiLeaks, DNC communications director Luis Miranda speculates that Rafael Cruz -- the father of Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas -- was once part of a conspiracy to assassinate former President John F. Kennedy. That same notion was aired during the primary season by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who went on to defeat Senator Cruz in the primaries. In his speech before the Republican National Convention last week, the senator said he was not Trump’s “puppy dog” and cited Trump’s claims about his father, Rafael.
The claim that the elder Cruz was somehow involved in a plot to kill the popular president in 1963 is based on a photograph that was published in the National Enquirer, which shows assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in New Orleans handing out leaflets in support of Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro. The scandal sheet went on to claim that another man in the photograph, who is also distributing leaflets, is Rafael Cruz. The theory has generally been regarded as discreditable.
However, in one of the 20,000 internal DNC emails released by Wikileaks on July 23, Miranda wonders whether Rafael Cruz may have had links to Cubans who plotted to kill Kennedy, who was widely blamed at the time for the failure of the invasion at the Bay of Pigs, orchestrated by the CIA, to unseat the communist Castro. The comments came on May 3 while Miranda was preparing a press release calling Trump to task for broadcasting the theory about Cruz’s involvement in the Kennedy assassination.
Miranda wrote, “While I will note that Cruz’s father was in fact a militant who fought the Batista regime (which Fidel Castro defeated),” and added, “And it would not be unusual for him to be caught up in the ugly web of Cuban militants with questionable histories … I think this is a fun hit.”
Other Cubans who Cruz might have contacted, Miranda speculated, might have included figures such as Watergate burglars Virgilio Gonzales and Eugenio Martinez, plane bomber Luis Posada Carriles, and others active during wars in Central America. Conspiracy theorists have often thrown around Posada’s name and even allege that he had knowledge of a plot against Kennedy and may have been present when the president was shot and killed.