Mr. PREYER. Mr. Blakey, do I understand that Mr. Aleman also wishes to invoke rule 6?
Mr. BLAKEY. No, Mr. Chairman, he has changed his mind and he will permit both cameras and other recording devices to be operated.
Mr. PREYER. At this time the committee calls Mr. Aleman.
Mr. Aleman, do you solemnly swear the evidence you are about to give this committee will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. ALEMAN. I do.
Mr. PREYER. The Chair recognizes Mr. Cornwell for the questioning.
Mr. CORNWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ALEMAN. Where were you born?
Mr. ALEMAN. In Havana.
Mr. CORNWELL. Havana, Cuba?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. PREYER. I don't believe Mr. Aleman's microphone is on, or put it in front of you a little closer to you.
Mr. ALEMAN. Thank you.
Mr. CORNWELL. What was the occupation of your father in Cuba?
Mr. ALEMAN. He was Minister of Education.
Mr. CORNWELL. Under President Prio?
Mr. ALEMAN. Under President Grau.
Mr. CORNWELL. And how long did your family remain in Cuba?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, until 1947, they came to Miami, and then my father died in 1950.
Mr. CORNWELL. After that, did you remain in Cuba?
Mr. ALEMAN. I was a student at Miami University and then I remained in Cuba for some time.
Mr. CORNWELL. Apart from education in Miami, then you continued to reside in Cuba until approximately what year?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, 1960.
Mr. CORNWELL. And during that period of time, prior to leaving Cuba, you were active in efforts to overthrow Batista; is that correct?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. What basically was the nature of your role in those attempts?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, we were fighting against a dictatorship, totalitarian government, and we formed part of a few underground activities in Havana.
Mr. CORNWELL. Among other things, I understand that you were one of the leaders of the famous attempt on the Presidential Palace in 1957, is that correct?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. After leaving Cuba, did you continue to be active in attempts during that period to overthrow Castro?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. And, very briefly, what was the nature of your role in such activities?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, I tried many things, because in Cuba, before I had tried to do something against Communist totalitarian regime of Fidel Castro. Most of the activities, they didn't have any success whatsoever, because I was arrested many times, and there were so many things over there that I had to leave the island, the pressure I had.
Mr. CORNWELL. In 1963, where were you living and what was your occupation?
Mr. ALEMAN. I was living in the Scott Bryan. I had that property of mine.
Mr. CORNWELL. You were living---
Mr. ALEMAN. That is a hotel. Scott Bryan Hotel.
Mr. CORNWELL. You were living in Miami and you owned and managed the Scott Bryan Hotel?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. During approximately that period of time did you have occasion to meet Santos Trafficante?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes, I did. Mr. CORNWELL. Who introduced you to him or how did that introduction come about?
Mr. ALEMAN. Mr. George Nobregas came to me after we had some other conversations with some other individuals and there were American businessmen, and those American businessmen had lost a lot of property in Cuba, then he came to me and he said Santos wants to meet you. I some way refused because I had to testify against Santos' people in 1960.
Mr. CORNWELL. All right, who was Mr. George Nobregas?
Mr. ALEMAN. Mr. Nobregas was in all the activities against the Batista regime and also against Fidel Castro.
Mr. CORNWELL. And do you have any knowledge of how it was that he may have known Santos Trafficante prior to that time?
Mr. ALEMAN. The possibility that while we were smuggling arms in the 1950's they had all the connections with other Mafia people and they came about to maybe he was connected with them.
Mr. CORNWELL. So you have told us that when the suggestion was first made that you should meet with Trafficante, you were reluctant to do do, the reason being that you had previously testified against associates of his in a trial, is that correct?
Mr. ALEMAN. Correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. Who were those associates?
Mr. ALEMAN. Sammy Mannarino and Norman Rothman.
Mr. CORNWELL. The trial involved criminal charges and those individuals were convicted; is that correct?
Mr. ALEMAN. I believe so. I am not very sure about it. I left the Chicago grand jury in a hurry and I later on had some threats from them and that was it. I don't know, I didn't even ask about a trial.
Mr. CORNWELL. All right. In spite of your reluctance, however, did you ultimately go to one or more meetings with Trafficante.
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes, I did. I had various meetings with Santos Trafficante.
Mr. CORNWELL. And roughly during what period of time did the meetings take place?
Mr. ALEMAN. July, June, 1963, around that time.
Mr. CORNWELL. Where were the meetings?
Mr. ALEMAN. One of them, the meeting was at Junior's Restaurant. Another was at the Scott Bryan, and I don't know how many there were, three.
Mr. CORNWELL. The name of the restaurant was Junior's?
Mr. ALEMAN. Junior's Restaurant.
Mr. CORNWELL. And the other meetings occurred at the Scott Bryan Hotel?
Mr. ALEMAN. Correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. What was your objective in attending the meetings with Trafficante?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, Mr. George Nobregas came to me and said that J.J. Vila, director of public relations in the city of Miami, wanted to see me because he had a message from President Bosch of the Dominican Republic and President Bosch was a man that was very grateful to my father and that he wanted to talk to me about bringing to the Dominican Republic a lot of businessmen and whoever wanted to invest there. Mr. CORNWELL. So you understood that it was a request from people with business interests?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. That you assist in the introduction?
Mr. ALEMAN. Excuse me. At the same time, he said that one of the possible individuals that was interested in going was Santos Trafficante, going to the Dominican Republic.
Mr. CORNWELL. All right, well, that then explains what you were told about Santos Trafficante's reason for wanting to talk to you, he wanted, I take it, to see if there was a possiblility of you achieving some introduction with President Juan Bosch?
Mr. ALEMAN. That is correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. What was your reason for attending the meeting? Did you have a different motive or objective?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, other than the objectives of trying to overthrow Castro. He talked to me about, in favor of, the contracts in Dominican Republic, that I had a project, condominium project, and he wanted to facilitate the means for a loan with the Teamsters Union.
Mr. CORNWELL. So he suggested he could help you by securing a Teamster's loan for a condominium project you were interested in?
Mr. ALEMAN. Correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. Now, it has been reported that at one of these meetings, or on one of these occasions on which you met and spoke with Trafficante, you and he engaged in a political discussion or a discussion of the Kennedy administration.
Mr. ALEMAN. He did most of the talking. I mean, he was talking about President Kennedy and this is a thing that I want to bring to this committee that---
Mr. CORNWELL. Before you tell us what he said, if you wouldn't mind, tell us where the conversation occurred?
Mr. ALEMAN. At the Scott Bryan Hotel.
Mr. CORNWELL. And in what type of room? Was it a type of room that a guest would use?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes; a pretty large room.
Mr. CORNWELL. On this occasion, how many persons were present?
Mr. ALEMAN. There was Mr. Macho Gener, Nobregas, separated from the sofa and a chair, Santos Trafficante was sitting on the chair, and I was sitting on the sofa.
Mr. CORNWELL. It would be like a normal hotel room?
Mr. ALEMAN. It was a apartment, a large apartment.
Mr. CORNWELL. All right, Trafficante was sitting in like a comfortable leisure chair, that sort of thing?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes, sir.
Mr. CORNWELL. What were the other two men doing? Macho--
Mr. ALEMAN. Macho Gener was leaving the room at various times and Nobregas was separating like he didn't want to participate in the conversation.
Mr. CORNWELL. And apart from the part of the conversation that I want to have you explain in detail, why did this particular meeting occur, was it part of the general conversations over the business interests you have already described or was it of some other nature? Mr. ALEMAN. He talked various things. One of the things he said Hoffa could not secure the loan so far because he had a lot of troubles with the brothers Kennedy.
Mr. CORNWELL. OK. So, in other words, he was providing information on the same subjects that you had previously told us about, the possibility of a loan through Hoffa and the Teamsters for the condominium project?
Mr. ALEMAN. Correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. Then, the conversation, was it a relatively brief one or did it cover a long period of time on this occasion?
Mr. ALEMAN. It covered about 3 or 4 hours.
Mr. CORNWELL. Was it primarily related to business or was it a general discussion just between two people who sit down and talk?
Mr. ALEMAN. It was a general conversation.
Mr. CORNWELL. And during this period of time tell us specifically what was discussed, what was said by Mr. Trafficante, and what, if anything, you said in reply with respect to Hoffa and the political scene?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, he was very much upset. He said that the way the President was getting into Hoffa, a man of the workers, blue collar, and a man that was a very hard-working individual, and that at the same time he was very much upset, I mean, he thought for a long period of time.
Mr. CORNWELL. Very much upset what Kennedy had been doing to Hoffa, and he felt sympathetic toward Hoffa describing him as a man----
Mr. ALEMAN. Very much.
Mr. CORNWELL [continuing]. Of the workers?
Mr. ALEMAN. Very much.
Mr. CORNWELL. Go ahead. What did the conversation lead to next?
Mr. ALEMAN. At one point he said, "You see this man, he is not going to be reelected, there is no doubt about it, he has been the man that has been giving everybody a lot of troubles and he is not going to be reelected" and I don't know why he said that to me or anything. Then he said---
Mr. CORNWELL. Did you make a reply to that?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes; I said he has a lot of Democrats backing him and so far it looks very well. I don't see anything that he is not going to be reelected or anything.
Mr. CORNWELL. And what, if anything, did he reply?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, he said he is not going to be reelected, you don't understand me, he is going to be hit.
Mr. CORNWELL. Prior to that, had you heard the expression "he is going to be hit," the term before? Are you familiar with that expression?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, it is going to be hit with a lot of votes from the Republicans or anything. I didn't have any idea at that moment, that is why I want to bring this to the committee. I don't have no possible idea why he said it.
Mr. CORNWELL. Have you ever heard anyone use the expression "he is going to be hit" on any other occasion? Mr. ALEMAN. Not whatsoever. I mean, maybe if you are talking about something, I mean--that is all. I never, I never thought at that moment anything whatsoever.
Mr. CORNWELL. The question is, Have you ever heard that expression, "he is going to be hit"?
Mr. ALEMAN. In what respect?
Mr. CORNWELL. On any other occasion?
Mr. CORNWELL. In any of your activities in the attempts on Batista or Castro, any of dealings with Norman Rothman, or your Sam Mannarino, have you heard this expression?
Mr. ALEMAN. That was 1957, 1956, when we were trying to smuggle arms.
Mr. CORNWELL. OK, you had heard it during that period?
Mr. ALEMAN. No, no.
Mr. CORNWELL. The question is had you heard that expression on other occasions?
Mr. ALEMAN. No, no.
Mr. CORNWELL. Well, then, if you hadn't when Santos Trafficante said he is not going to be reelected, he is going to be hit, did you ask him to elaborate on that phrase?
Mr. ALEMAN. To the best of my recollection I thought that he was maybe saying at that time that he could provide a loan and that he was making a story or he was upset about that, and then he just made an alibi about the loan or something like that. That was my thought about it.
Mr. CORNWELL. The question was, when he used the expression did you ask him to elaborate, to explain the exact meaning of his phrase, "he is going to be hit"?
Mr. ALEMAN. He was talking, and I didn't, I wasn't interrupting for about a long time, and he kept on talking and talking and talking, and that is it.
Mr. CORNWELL. So the answer is you didn't ask him to explain?
Mr. ALEMAN. I didn't ask him anything. I just took it like somebody saying something, and I took it as you know, like he is talking about a lot of foolishness.
Mr. CORNWELL. OK, let me see if I can get what is in your mind, then, as to the specific details of the conversation. You first brought up Mr. Hoffa and the pressure that Kennedy was placing on him. He then suggested that Kennedy would not be reelected. You interjected an opposing view that you thought--
Mr. ALEMAN. No way, whatsoever?
Mr. ALEMAN. No way, whatsoever.
Mr. CORNWELL. You said --
Mr. ALEMAN. I respect the President of the United States and in no way whatsoever tried to say anything that I could take that the President was going to have some problem or anything like that, he just said maybe he is going to be, the way he said that word, I interpreted with a lot of votes from the Republican Party or something like that.
Mr. CORNWELL. After Mr. Trafficante indicated that he wouldn't be elected, you said something in reply to the effect that you thought he would be, is that accurate? Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. And at which point Mr. Trafficante replied no, he is going to be hit. Now, you told us he went on speaking at that point, is that correct?
Mr. ALEMAN. You see, this happened 15 years ago and to the best of my recollection I think that is the word he put. I am not saying positively that, I mean, the wording he put was something he is not going to make it, something like that, that is it, he is not going to be reelected. In a long conversation like that I didn't pay too much attention on it.
Mr. CORNWELL. Let me ask, Mr. Chairman, if we might show the witness JFK exhibit F-602?
Mr. FITHIAN [now presiding]. Permission granted. [A document was handed to the witness by the clerk.]
Mr. CORNWELL. This is a newspaper article which we have marked for identification.
Mr. FITHIAN. Does counsel wish that to be entered into the record?
Mr. CORNWELL. We would request that it be entered into the record at this time.
Mr. FITHIAN. Without objection, it shall be ordered. [The above referred to JFK exhibit F-602 follows:]


Mr. CORNWELL. It is an article written by Mr. Crile.
Mr. ALEMAN. Correct.
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you know Mr. Crile?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. I would like to direct your attention to the paragraph on the second page of the article, about halfway or threequarters of the way down the middle column on the page, beginning, "Aleman says that Trafficante spent most of evening philosophizing," and then it goes on. I would ask if you would read that paragraph to yourself, just read it to yourself.
Mr. ALEMAN. I can't read it to me because I can't find it very well.
Mr. CORNWELL. You can't find that paragraph?
Mr. ALEMAN. No, no, I can see it.
Mr. CORNWELL. It is the second column from the left, about two-thirds of the way down.
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Just read it to yourself. Let me ask you---
Mr. ALEMAN. The letters are too small. Will you please read it to me?
Mr. CORNWELL. Have you seen that article before?
Mr. ALEMAN. I seen the article but the letters are very small.
Mr. CORNWELL. Let me ask you, you said you know Mr. Crile. Did he interview you on the same subjects that we have asked you about here today?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Over what period of time?
Mr. ALEMAN. Many days. Many days.
Mr. CORNWELL. Prior to publishing the article, did he call you and advise you that he was going to do so, to print the matters that you had provided to him?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes; he said he was going to publish under Washington Post an article.
Mr. CORNWELL. Now, would you have had any reason to make a statement to Mr. Crile which was not accurate? Would you have had any motive or reason for making such a statement?
Mr. ALEMAN. One of the things that I couldn't answer was the visit of Santos Trafficante.
Mr. CORNWELL. Excuse me, what was the answer to that question, if you wouldn't mind?
Mr. ALEMAN. I couldn't answer why Mr. Santos Trafficante came to me to go to Dominican Republic, while at that time we had a conversation with some American businessmen that had properties in Cuba, and those American businessmen said they were going to try and they wanted me to do something against the Government of Castro, and then later on, these people said that they were going to give me a loan on a condominium project that they wanted to give me the loan and at the same time, this loan was going to be financed by, and that is why, the only reason why I went to talk to Trafficante because later on the thing about the Dominican Republic.
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes; those type of things, of course, are set forth in Mr. Crile's article, as you recall?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes; we discussed many things on Crile's article. I can tell you one thing. Trying to remember after 15 years all these things that occur is very difficult. There is no doubt about that.
Mr. CORNWELL. I understand. But, let me ask you if I might, to go back to the earlier question, would there have been any reason for you to make any statements to Mr. Crile which were not accurate? Would you have had any reason for doing that?
Mr. ALEMAN. Well, the context of a newspaper changes. You are talking to a newspaperman and he is asking questions and he will ask questions in such a way that when I saw the article, many things, you know, I was trying to recall.
Mr. ALEMAN. I was trying to recall a few things, I was trying to recall one time that he said, how many times have you talked to the FBI about these meetings between Santos Trafficante and the Dominican Republic, and I said, well, I told the FBI the following things.
Mr. CORNWELL. So you are suggesting that perhaps the material in the article may not be exactly correct, that it might be somewhat taken out of context, or is that the suggestion?
Mr. ALEMAN. It is not a matter of taken out of context, sir, it is a matter that when you are trying to recall. He said, we want to sit down and recall everything that happened, and I was trying to recall the many opportunities that I went to the FBI, to inform, about many things that were happening during those meetings.
Mr. CORNWELL. What I really want to find out is what the best memory you have on the subject is. OK, so let's start with the article. Is the article an accurate reflection of what you stated to
Mr. Crile?
Mr. ALEMAN. Some of the things I say are out of context.
Mr. CORNWELL. They are out of context?
Mr. ALEMAN. In some way, I mean.
Mr. CORNWELL. OK. You know Mr. Crile, correct?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Is it your basic impression that he printed or at least attempted to print the material accurately based on what you said to him?
Mr. ALEMAN. He might have, but they didn't come--then when I start thinking, and trying to remember, and trying to remember everything, it wasn't in context.
Mr. CORNWELL. OK. Let me then show you what has been marked for identification as JFK exhibit F-601. May we have this exhibit admitted into evidence, Mr. Chairman?
Mr. FITHIAN. Without objection, so ordered.
[The above-referred to JFK exhibit F-601 follows:]


Mr. CORNWELL. Mr. Aleman, that is an excerpt from a report of an investigator of ours, Gaeton Fonzi, dated March 12, 1977, and I would like to specifically direct your attention to the first paragraph which reads as follows: "Aleman said in more than one way that Trafficante did specifically tell him that Kennedy is "going to get hit." He also specifically confirmed the quote that Crile printed in the Washington Post on this point: "Aleman says that he argued that Kennedy would get reelected and Trafficante replied, 'no, Jose he is going to be hit." Let me ask you, did you meet with Mr. Fonzi on that occasion?
Mr. ALEMAN. I met with Mr. Fonzi on that occasion. Now, after the first article, when I talked all those things about trying to remember, I had the doubt that Mr. Trafficante was in some way trying to get Cubela from Cuba, he was trying to get other people, and during that time, when that happened, Mr. Cubela, after I talked to him many times to do something against the regime of Castro, he didn't do anything, and in some way he was trying to bring this man, and that is why I brought to the point that these things were happening and it was very important to pay attention of the possibility of Castro being mixed with Santos Trafficante because in Miami everybody talks that the Bolita is being paid, used to be repaid to the G-2 agents by Santos Trafficante and G-2 agents in Cuba used to be, I mean in Miami used to be paid that way, and I wanted for them to pay attention to this. That is the main reason I brought all these.
Mr. CORNWELL. What we would like to attempt to do first is to determine, to the best of your memory, what the words were that Trafficante used in this conversation, and the interview report which we have just placed into evidence indicates that you did specifically confirmed that, to the best of your memory, those were the exact words, when you were interviewed in March 1977. Is that report accurate?
Mr. ALEMAN. The report, I, again, will tell you, that I was trying to recollect things from a long period of time and I was talking about Castro maybe being involved with Cubela, with Papina Ronjo, in a lot of things.
Mr. CORNWELL. I understand that part. Specifically with respect to the first paragraph where it states that you specifically confirmed that with respect to Kennedy, Trafficante stated, "No, Jose, he is going to be hit," is that an accurate---
Mr. ALEMAN. Because if this man was in Cuba, arrested, Santos Trafficante, then Garcia Banjo, Cubela and all these people tried to get him out of jail and he had connections with the Castro government, there is no doubt that you have to pay attention to all this. That's the main reason why I am bringing this to the committee because no doubt that at that very moment, Santos Trafficante, I believe, has a lot of connections with the regime of Fidel Castro, There's no doubt about that in my mind.
Mr. FITHIAN. If the Chair could interrupt----
Mr. ALEMAN. Even after some time I heard the opinion of a Communist talking that he didn't have nothing whatsoever.
Mr. FITHIAN. Will the witness suspend for just 1 minute?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. FITHIAN. The Chair is informed, Mr. Aleman, that there is an important vote on the floor and all members wanted to hear what you had to say. So I am going to ask for a 10-minute recess. Prior to that, however, the security service, the marshals, have asked that all members of the audience and the press remain seated and in place at this time until the witness is escorted from the room. We would ask then that the witness and the marshals do that at this time and then we will declare the recess. [Mr. Aleman left the room with the marshals.]
Mr. FITHIAN. The committee will recess for 10 minutes. [A brief recess was taken.]
Mr. PREYER [presiding]. The committee will come to order. Let me remind everyone in the hearing room that the U.S. marshal service has asked that all of you remain seated when the witness is brought into the hearing room and when he leaves the hearing room. We will ask that the witness be brought in at this time, and we will ask everyone in the hearing room to remain seated. I understand that it may take about a minute for the witness to be brought in. [Mr. Aleman was escorted into the hearing room.]
Mr. PREYER. Would you have your seat, Mr. Aleman. Mr. Cornwell is recognized.
Mr. CORNWELL. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Aleman.
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Returning to the subject matter that we were discussing with you before the break.
Mr. ALEMAN. I beg your pardon?
Mr. CORNWELL. I say, returning to the same subject matter.
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. Do you have any reason to believe that the interview report of Mr. Fonzi is inaccurate?
Mr. ALEMAN. When you try to recollect for 15 years something, I am trying to--it is impossible to--the wording is impossible to reconstruct.
Mr. CORNWELL. I meant to ask you though, do you have any reason to believe that Mr. Fonzi did not accurately reflect in his report what you said to him? Did he accurately write it down?
Mr. ALEMAN. It wasn't Mr. Fonzi, the one that wrote the article; it was Mr. Crile.
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes, sir, but the last exhibit was prepared by our investigator Mr. Fonzi.
Mr. CORNWELL. Did Mr. Fonzi accurately write that---
Mr. ALEMAN. I have to read it again in order to---
Mr. CORNWELL. May we show him the exhibit one more time? This is JFK exhibit F-601.
Mr. ALEMAN. This is taken out of the article of the Washington Post.
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes, sir, in effect, it asks you if the article accurate, if you did say the things that are reported in the article
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes, that's the reason why I asked for protection for coming over here because at the time I was, later on after a things had happened in the United States, very much worried. I bring this to the attention of this committee that I had a puzzle and I couldn't understand what was it. That's the main reason brought this to the committee.
Mr. CORNWELL. Simply, for the record, Mr. Chairman, let me that JFK exhibit F-603 be entered into the record.
Mr. PREYER. Without objection, JFK exhibit F-603 is admitted into the record at this point.


Mr. CORNWELL. And may we show a a copy of it to the witness, please? Mr. Aleman, on the front page of the exhibit there is a paragraph which is titled "Summary" and reads as follows: Aleman confirms reports that Santos Trafficante personally told him that President Kennedy was going to be hit. Aleman indicates that Santos Trafficante made clear to him implicitly that he was not guessing about the killing. Rather, he was giving the impression that he knew Kennedy was going to be killed.
Mr. ALEMAN. No way. No way, whatsoever. You can be reassured, that I always in my life fought for democracy.
Mr. CORNWELL. I don't think you understood the paragraph
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes, but----
Mr. CORNWELL. We understand---
Mr. ALEMAN. Rather than he was giving the impression that he knew Kennedy was going to be killed.
Mr. CORNWELL. That's what Santos Trafficante---
Mr. ALEMAN. That he was not guessing about the killing.
Mr. CORNWELL. That Trafficante was----
Mr. ALEMAN. Aleman confirms the report that Santos personally told him that President Kennedy was going to be hit.
Mr. CORNWELL. Yes, sir In other words that's a recitation of what Trafficante----
Mr. ALEMAN. Aleman indicates that Santos Trafficante made clear to him implicitly that he was not guessing about the killing.
Mr. CORNWELL. He, meaning Trafficante, was not guessing, and the second part again is not a reference to you, it is a reference that you stated that he, meaning Trafficante, was giving the impression--
Mr. ALEMAN. Let me tell to this committee the following thing: By no way possible you can think that after all the suffering in Cuba and all the struggle to put a democratic country, and after all the struggle we've been fighting against Castro and after all the problems that I can see that has come to our country, I, if, in any way, I would have thought that the context at that time was that something was going to happen in that respect, I would have immediately advised the proper authorities about it.
Mr. CORNWELL. And didn't you do so?
Mr. ALEMAN. I talked in some way to members of the FBI about what was going on in the conversation, and I told them that something wrong was in some way, the wording that Hoffa and these--I went to the FBI and I informed something about that type of conversation. Like I previously had been informing the FBI about the meetings with Santos Trafficante.
Mr. CORNWELL. And when Trafficante and--
Mr. ALEMAN. Because when all these things were happening, I was informing the FBI about that.
Mr. CORNWELL. And I believe you previously told me that, is this accurate, that you did specifically tell the FBI about the comments of Trafficante on this occasion?
Mr. ALEMAN. We talked in some way, and whatever is about this thing in the FBI files must be the exact thing because now I am trying to recollect things that happened 15 years ago. You must understand that.
Mr. CORNWELL. What we want to do is----
Mr. ALEMAN. So after so many years, trying to recollect what went on, and that I had in some way a worry, I said. what happened here, what transpired here, this is why I was bringing this.
Mr. CORNWELL. The comments that were made to you by Trafficante worried you, is that correct?
Mr. ALEMAN. After all the years that have passed by after seeing all the things, it worried me.
Mr. CORNWELL. In fact, immediately after the assassination, the FBI came to you and asked you again about the previous comments you had overheard, didn't they?
Mr. ALEMAN. Whatever transpired during that period of time, I informed the FBI about it.
Mr. CORNWELL. They came to you after the assassination and asked you again to tell in more detail the nature of the comments; is that correct?
Mr. ALEMAN. They asked something in that concern.
Mr. CORNWELL. In the previous reports of your recollections of this event, as in your testimony today, the phrase has occurred that "Kennedy will be hit." Today you offered, for the first time, an explanation that that might have been a reference to the fact he will be hit'-
Mr. ALEMAN. No, no, no, no, because when that happened, I had informed the FBI about it. So later on they told me, Jose, he was a loner, you must not be concerned about anything, no problem whatsoever.
Mr. CORNWELL. The FBI said, don't worry about these comments, Lee Harvey Oswald was a loner.
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes; after the Warren Committee.
Mr. CORNWELL. You offered the explanation, though, earlier in your testimony today that the phrase, "he's going to be hit," might have been understood by you to mean hit with a number of votes?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. That explanation appears in no prior report of your statements that we have been able to find, and I would like to, in that vein, direct your attention to yesterday.
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. You arrived at the airport from Miami, is that correct?
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. My staff has reported that when they picked you up, took you to the hotel
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. CORNWELL. You expressed alarm or concern that there was no protection provided for you.
Mr. ALEMAN. Surely. I mean this article have been for a long period of time. Undoubtedly, Santos Trafficante have seen it. I think he came to the committee some time. Didn't he come to the committee? I am asking you that question.
Mr. CORNWELL. They won't let me answer that question. I'm sorry. But at any rate, go ahead. I didn't mean to interrupt.
Mr. ALEMAN. In reference to this. So all this time, I have been very much worried, I am very much concerned about my safety. After I brought this Washington Post, and that was about 2 years and 3 months ago, and I have been worried. I sold my business, I been in my home because I mean Santos Trafficante can try to do anything at any moment. The DGI in Cuba tried to do something to me and when I was called to come over here, I was subpenaed to come over here, I was very much worried that I didn't have the protection, and I still believe that the DGI and Santos Trafficante could try to do something to me. There's no doubt about that. The article was there. I wanted a reaction. Let's see what the reaction has been.
Mr. CORNWELL. I have no further questions. Thank you.
Mr. ALEMAN. The reaction, you can see in the letter of Fidel Castro, in the tapes that he brought to this committee, in the days of suffering of Fidel Castro that he has been a few days very much concerned and talking all the time about that he hasn't done anything whatsoever against the President of the United States. And I don't believe it. There is some connection between Santos Trafficante and the Cuban Government. There's no doubt about that. I came very brave here to this committee to talk that I had been concerned about this and you should pay attention, as patiently I have been with you people, and react.
Mr. CORNWELL. Thank you. I have no further questions.
Mr. ALEMAN. Thank you.
Mr. PREYER. The Chair recognizes Mr. Edgar for such time as he may consume.
Mr. EDGAR. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Aleman, I noticed this morning you are accompanied by marshals.
Mr. ALEMAN. Yes.
Mr. EDGAR. Would you indicate to the committee at whose request the marshal service has been provided?
Mr. ALEMAN. My request.
Mr. EDGAR. Mr. Chairman, I had a number of questions that I wanted to pose to this particular witness, and I have gone over many of them last evening and have several pages of questions that I would like to pursue with the witness, by in light of the drastic change in his testimony which has been at least somewhat apparent this morning and somewhat related to his feelings of fear, I think that there would be little good served to ask those specific questions at this time. And so I will yield back the balance of my time and ask those questions at a later date.
Mr. PREYER. Are there any further questions from members of the panel?
Mr. Cornwell, any further questions from you?
Mr. CORNWELL. No, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. PREYER. Mr. Aleman, under the committee rules, every witness is entitled to take 5 minutes at the end of his testimony and the questioning to make any statement that he may care to make by way of clarifying his testimony or explaining it further or just making any statement that you care to make. If there is anything further you wish to say about this matter at this time, the Chair will recognize you for 5 minutes.
Mr. ALEMAN. Thank you, sir. I don't want to make no statement. That's all.
Mr. PREYER. Thank you, Mr. Aleman. At this time, the committee will excuse Mr. Aleman. Let me again caution everyone in the hearing room to remain seated as Mr. Aleman is excorted from the hearing room.
Mr. Aleman, I would like to say to you, from the committee's knowledge of your background and despite anything you may have said here today, the committee has respect for your background and the bravery, the bravery you have shown in the past. We appreciate you being here with us today.
Mr. ALEMAN. Thank you