Sergio Arcacha Smith

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Sergio Arcacha-Smith
Born January 22, 1923
 Cuba
Died July 5, 2000(2000-07-05) (aged 77)
Known for Involvement in Anti-Castro politics

Sergio Arcacha Smith (January 22, 1923 – July 5, 2000) [1] was born in Havana, Cuba. He moved to the United States in 1945 and attended college in Texas.[2] In 1951, Arcacha Smith returned to Cuba to join the diplomatic service under the military ruler, Fulgencio Batista.[2][3] He left the diplomatic service in 1954 to become Assistant Manager of the Lago Hotel in Caracas, Venezuela. He returned to Cuba for a time, but after Fidel Castro gained power, he left Cuba in August 1960 and went into exile in the United States where he began to work against Castro.[2]

In late 1960, he became head of the New Orleans chapter of the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front, an anti-Castro group, known in Spanish as the Frente Revolucionario Democrático (FRD)[4] and became close to FRD volunteer David Ferrie.[2][5][6] According to an April 1961 FBI report, New Orleans Mafia boss Carlos Marcello "...offered Arcacha Smith a deal whereby Marcello would make a substantial donation to the [anti-Castro] movement in return for concessions in Cuba after Castro's overthrow."[7] In May 1961, Arcacha Smith was flown to Miami, in David Ferrie's plane, by private investigator Hugh Ward to meet with Bay of Pigs survivors.[2]

In September 1961, Arcacha Smith was implicated in a 1961 raid on a munitions depot in Houma, Louisiana, "...in which various weapons, grenades and ammunition were stolen."[6] In October, he introduced David Ferrie to Carlos Bringuier, leader of the New Orleans branch of the Student Revolutionary Directorate (DRE), an anti-Castro organization. Arcacha Smith was expelled from the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front in January 1962 for misappropriating funds. Later that year he made a secret trip to Mexico.[2]

As a witness/suspect in the assassination of President Kennedy, Arcacha Smith was to appear at the Trial of Clay Shaw in New Orleans, Louisiana, but fled to Texas. Texas Governor John Connally, himself a victim of gunfire in the Kennedy assassination, refused to extradite Arcacha-Smith to Louisiana for the trial. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison continued his prosecution without Arcacha Smith's testimony.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JKPJ-N3X
  2. ^ a b c d e f David Blackburst Archive: Sergio Arcacha Smith Background
  3. ^ Summers, Anthony. Not in Your Lifetime, (New York: Marlowe & Company, 1998), p. 231. ISBN 1-56924-739-0
  4. ^ Cuban Revolutionary Council (CRC): New Orleans Chapter, House Select Committee on Assassinations - Appendix to Hearings, Volume 10, 5, p. 61.
  5. ^ David Ferrie, House Select Committee on Assassinations - Appendix to Hearings, Volume 10, 12, p. 109.
  6. ^ a b 544 Camp Street and Related Events, House Select Committee on Assassinations - Appendix to Hearings, Volume 10, 13, p. 127.
  7. ^ David Ferrie, House Select Committee on Assassinations - Appendix to Hearings, Volume 10, 12, p. 112.
  8. ^ Jim Garrison Interview, Playboy magazine, Eric Norden, October 1967.
  9. ^ Marrs, Jim. Crossfire: The Plot that Killed Kennedy, (New York: Carroll & Graf, 1989), p. 507-8. ISBN 0-88184-648-1