During his investigation into the assassination of John F. Kennedy case, Jim Garrison wanted to interview Eladio del Valle to obtain information against Clay Shaw. However, he was unable to find him.
Eladio del Valle was murdered on 22nd February, 1967. Police reported that del Valle had been tortured, shot in the heart at point-blank range, and his skull split open with an axe. His murder has never been solved. He died only hours after his friend, David Ferrie. Diego Gonzales Tendera, a close friend, later claimed de Valle was murdered because of his involvement in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. A senior member of the Cuban Secret Service, Fabian Escalante, agreed: "In 1962 Eladio Del Valle tried to infiltrate Cuba with a commando group of 22 men but their boat had an English key - a little island. In the middle of 1962. Of course, we knew this. I tell you about this, because one of our agents who was one of the people helping to bring this group to Cuba, was a man of very little education. They talked English on many occasions on this little island with Eladio Del Valle told this person, on many occasions, that Kennedy must be killed to solve the Cuban problem. After that we had another piece of information on Eladio Del Valle. This was offered to us by Tony Cuesta. He told us that Eladio Del Valle was one of the people involved in the assassination plot against Kennedy."
Three years later further evidence emerged linking Del Valle with the assassination. Tony Cuesta had been captured during a mission at Monte Barreto in the Miramar district of Cuba on 29th May, 1966. A member of his team, Herminio Diaz Garcia, was killed during the raid. Cuesta, who always vowed that Castro would never take him alive, attempted suicide by setting off a grenade, which blinded him and blew off his right hand. Cuesta spent a long time in hospital as a result of his serious injuries.
In 1978 President Jimmy Carter arranged for a group of imprisoned exiles to be released. This included Tony Cuesta. Just before leaving Cuba Cuesta asked to see General Fabian Escalante, the head of Cuba's G-2 Spy Agency. Cuesta told Escalante that he had been involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. He also named De Valle and Herminio Diaz Garcia as being involved in the conspiracy.
My involvement with the plans to assassinate John F. Kennedy commenced at the end of June, 1963. On July 1, I was contacted by (CIA head of Domestic Operations Officer) Tracy Barnes. He requested that I purchase four Mannlicher 7.35 mm surplus rifles. According to Barnes, the rifles were available in the Baltimore area from Sunny's Supply Stores. Upon my agreement to make the purchase, Barnes requested that I alter the forepiece of each rifle so that the rifles could be dismantled, hidden and reassembled quickly. I thought this last request odd until I was informed that the rifles were to be used for a clandestine operation.
One day later I received a second phone call. It was Eladio del Valle calling from, I assumed, Miami. He asked me to supply him with four transceivers which were not detectable by any communications equipment then available on the market. Although his request seemed impossible, I told him that I had an idea which might fulfill his requirement. I could provide him with sub-miniaturized units whose operation would be confined to a range of fifty or one hundred kilohertz. To operate any sizable distance, the units would require an antenna at least several feet in length. A wire taped to the user's leg would easily suffice for this purpose. The set-up would not be pretty, but I could assure him that no one would be monitoring these low frequencies.
Del Valle then requested that I deliver the transceivers and the rifles to David Ferrie. I was surprised by Ferrie's involvement in the transaction. Barnes, in our previous conversation, had neither informed me that the rifles were being made for Clay Shaw in New Orleans nor that David Ferrie would be the person responsible for picking them up once I had completed the required alterations. Del Valle explained to me that the rifles and communications equipment were for his Free Cuba Committee, and that Clay and Ferrie were assisting him in the operation. I assured him that the equipment would be ready on time as I would immediately order the Motorola-made special transceiver units. Motorola was manufacturing the units for railroad communications equipment; they were relatively easy to secure.
The radio transceivers for del Valle were more difficult to create than I had originally thought they'd be. An unusual amount of power was required for them to transmit over any significant distance. To solve this dilemma, I included an extra pack of four "D" type battery cells to be used for transmitting purposes only. The pack was plugged into the transceiver unit and could easily be carried in the user's pocket. Ironically, I later learned from del Valle that the transmission time was to be limited to five minutes, which meant my additional adjustments had been unnecessary.
Eladio Del Valle worked for two police services - military intelligence and the traditional police. He was in charge of narcotics. He was also a legislature in the government - a representative. He was from a little town from the south of Havana. He was a captain in the merchant marines. In 1958 he was doing business dealings with Santos Trafficante in a little coastal town south of Havana. There he brought in contraband whose destination was Santos Trafficante. When the revolution triumphed, he went to Miami. Eladio Del Valle went to Miami. He settled in Miami, we don't know the address and he allied himself with Rolando Masferrer and other Batista supporters and they formed an organization called the Anti Communist Cuban Liberation Movement. From that moment on, Eladio was involved in many project against Cuba. But as I told you yesterday, we managed to penetrate this organization. And we came to know of a lot of projects, efforts, for an invasion of Cuba in secret. In order to provide arms to internal rebel groups, they needed David Ferrie as the pilot on these flights. In 1962 Eladio Del Valle tried to infiltrate Cuba with a commando group of 22 men but their boat had an English key - a little island. In the middle of 1962. Of course, we knew this. I tell you about this, because one of our agents who was one of the people helping to bring this group to Cuba, was a man of very little education. They talked English on many occasions on this little island with Eladio Del Valle told this person, on many occasions, that Kennedy must be killed to solve the Cuban problem. After that we had another piece of information on Eladio Del Valle. This was offered to us by Tony Cuesta. He told us that Eladio Del Valle was one of the people involved in the assassination plot against Kennedy. As you know, he was taken prisoner and he was very thankful to be taken back - he was blind.
He asked that this information not be public. I am only saying it here, because he is already dead. It is finished. We didn't have any other kind of information to give. There are some things you must respect. He gave us this information and in 1978 we didn't know if it was true or not. In 1978, we were not aware of the participation of Eladio Del Valle. We didn't know who he was. Remember that I explained to you yesterday that when the Select Committee when they came to Havana - they didn't give us any specific information. They just came to question us. We didn't know the relationships.
The most intriguing news to come out of the Nassau conference, however, was Escalante's revelation about what another leader of the Alpha 66 group allegedly told him. As we have seen, Nagell would never reveal the true identities of "Angel" and "Leopoldo" - the two Cuban exiles who he said had deceived Oswald into believing they were Castro operatives. Instead, on several occasions when I prodded him, Nagell had cleverly steered the conversation toward a man named Tony Cuesta - indicating that this individual possessed the knowledge that he himself chose not to express. Cuesta, as noted earlier, had been taken prisoner in Cuba during a raid in 1966.
"Cuesta was blinded (in an explosion) and spent most of his time in the hospital," Escalante recalled. In 1978, he was among a group of imprisoned exiles released through an initiative of the Carter Administration. "A few days before he was to leave," according to Escalante, "I had several conversations with Cuesta. He volunteered, 'I want to tell you something very important, but I do not want this made public because I am returning to my family in Miami - and this could be very dangerous.' I think this was a little bit of thanks on his part for the medical care he received."
Escalante said he was only revealing Cuesta's story because the man had died in Miami in 1994. In a declaration he is said to have written for the Cubans, Cuesta named two other exiles as having been involved in plotting the Kennedy assassination. Their names were Eladio del Valle and Herminio Diaz Garcia.