the militant group Alpha 66, died Thursday in an assisted-care facility in Miami. He
for several months and been placed in hospice care.
armed struggle against the Cuban government of Fidel Castro, Veciana had been
active in the organization since the 1960s and collaborated with other early antiCastro fighters Andres Nazario Sargen and Eloy Gutiérrez Menoyo.
coordinated several attempts to assassinate Fidel Castro. When the first of those,
from within Cuba, failed, Veciana was forced to flee the island in 1961 and came to
remembers as a child attending exile meetings in Allapattah in which children
learned about Cuba and played, while adults conspired to achieve freedom in their
a time of many difficulties in which the family did not put up a Christmas tree
because they always thought they would soon return to Cuba.
Of Catalan origin, Veciana was an accountant in pre-Castro Cuba, where he also
worked with Julio Lobo, a wealthy businessman and owner of sugar mills on the
island before 1959.
said, noting that perhaps his leadership qualities and ability to learn quickly were
what caught the attention of the CIA for his recruitment.
recalled him as a smart man who had an ability to raise funds.
agent who was running him, David Atlee Phillips, who at one point told him that U.S.
policy toward Cuba had changed and that he could not carry out any more
operations to help liberate Cuba.
CIA Plots against Castro, Kennedy, and Che,” along with writer Carlos Harrison.
In the book, Veciana recounts an episode involving Phillips, whose code-name was
Bishop, and John F. Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.
Bishop was talking to a young man who left immediately. They were introduced in
passing, and after Kennedy’s assassination, Veciana recognized from TV images the
young man who had been with Bishop: It was Oswald.
incident, fearing that he or his family would be harmed, his daughter said.
believe that Cubans on the island were responsible for freeing themselves from
communism, his daughter said.
liberal and progressive person,” said Veciana-Suarez, who said there was a
difference between the public image of her father and the family man and loving
father and grandfather she knew.
participated in attacks on Fidel Castro, but in the end he was my father,” said
Veciana-Suarez, who lived with him and cared for him for his last 18 years, in which
he suffered from dementia.
he were a small child,” she said.
The family plans to hold a Mass for close friends and family, and perhaps a more
public memorial next year.