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Trained to Kill

Cover of Trained to Kill

Trained to Kill

The Inside Story of CIA Plots against Castro, Kennedy, and Che
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Antonio Veciana fought on the front lines of the CIA's decades-long secret war to destroy Fidel Castro, the bearded bogeyman who haunted America's Cold War dreams. It was a time of swirling intrigue, involving US spies with license to kill, Mafia hit men, ruthless Cuban exiles—and the leaders in the crosshairs of all this dark plotting, Fidel Castro and John F. Kennedy.
Veciana transformed himself from an asthmatic banker to a bomb-making mastermind who headed terrorist attacks in Havana and assassination attempts against Castro, while building one of the era's most feared paramilitary groups—all under the direction of the CIA.
In the end, Veciana became a threat—not just to Castro, but also to his CIA handler. Veciana was the man who knew too much. Suddenly he found himself a target—framed and sent to prison, and later shot in the head and left to die on a Miami street. When he was called before a Congressional committee investigating the Kennedy assassination, Veciana held back, fearful of the consequences. He didn't reveal the identity of the CIA officer who directed him—the same agent Veciana observed meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas before the killing of JFK.
Now, for the first time, Veciana tells all, detailing his role in the intricate game of thrones that aimed to topple world leaders and change the course of history.
Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history—books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Antonio Veciana fought on the front lines of the CIA's decades-long secret war to destroy Fidel Castro, the bearded bogeyman who haunted America's Cold War dreams. It was a time of swirling intrigue, involving US spies with license to kill, Mafia hit men, ruthless Cuban exiles—and the leaders in the crosshairs of all this dark plotting, Fidel Castro and John F. Kennedy.
Veciana transformed himself from an asthmatic banker to a bomb-making mastermind who headed terrorist attacks in Havana and assassination attempts against Castro, while building one of the era's most feared paramilitary groups—all under the direction of the CIA.
In the end, Veciana became a threat—not just to Castro, but also to his CIA handler. Veciana was the man who knew too much. Suddenly he found himself a target—framed and sent to prison, and later shot in the head and left to die on a Miami street. When he was called before a Congressional committee investigating the Kennedy assassination, Veciana held back, fearful of the consequences. He didn't reveal the identity of the CIA officer who directed him—the same agent Veciana observed meeting with Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas before the killing of JFK.
Now, for the first time, Veciana tells all, detailing his role in the intricate game of thrones that aimed to topple world leaders and change the course of history.
Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade imprint, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in history—books about World War II, the Third Reich, Hitler and his henchmen, the JFK assassination, conspiracies, the American Civil War, the American Revolution, gladiators, Vikings, ancient Rome, medieval times, the old West, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

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About the Author-
  • Antonio Veciana is one of the most swashbuckling figures from the underground war against Fidel Castro in the 1960s and '70s. A former bank accountant in pre-revolutionary Havana, Veciana turned himself into a daring leader of the anti-Castro movement, organizing multiple assassination attempts and founding one of the most militant Cuban exile groups, Alpha 66, under the secret guidance of the CIA. He lives in Miami, Florida.
    Carlos Harrison is a former reporter for the Miami Herald, where he won the Pulitzer Prize, and has worked as a national and international correspondent for Fox News. He is the author of fourteen books in English and Spanish, and has written numerous magazine articles and award-winning television documentaries. He lives in Miami, Florida.

Reviews-
  • New York Post

    "A tale with all the twists, turns and action sequences of a 'Bourne' film."

  • Newsweek "Trained to Kill is not another tinfoil hat Kennedy-conspiracy book--declassified CIA cables confirm Veciana's working relationship with the agency and even his code name, AMSHALE-1. The book is a soldier's story about what he saw on the front lines of the Cuban-American struggle for power."
  • Daily Mail "Astonishing."
  • Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media, culture, and communication at New York University and author of Fooled Again: The Real Case for Electoral Reform Trained to Kill is one of those essential books that 'our free press' is all too likely to ignore, because of all the awful truth between its covers--especially its shattering confirmation that David Attlee Phillips of the CIA did introduce the author to Lee Harvey Oswald just weeks before the assassination of John Kennedy. While thus exploding the old myth of Oswald as 'lone gunman,' this chilling memoir also sheds new light on Che Guevara's murder, Operation Condor, and the fanatic amorality behind the management of US covert operations."
  • David Talbot, founder of Salon and New York Times bestselling author of The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government “Antonio Veciana's Trained to Kill is one of the most important historical documents to have emerged in the U.S. in the past decade. This inside story of the CIA plots to kill Fidel Castro, President John F. Kennedy and Che Guevara not only makes for riveting reading, it also shines a stark light on the darkest corners of U.S. covert operations in the 1960s and '70s. In one of the most dramatic episodes in a book filled with them, Veciana confirms that his CIA handler--a smooth and ruthless rising star at the agency named David Atlee Phillips--was also running Lee Harvey Oswald. This is a real history of American power, one that is destined to disturb and enlighten any citizen who can handle the truth."
  • Jefferson Morley, author of The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton "Antonio Veciana is a witness to history who cannot be ignored. Laconic and lucid, this crafty accountant tells the story of his deadly operations against Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. He details the intimate dealings he had with top CIA officers. And his story culminates in a perilous series of events that exposed a dangerous truth and changed Veciana's way of thinking: his suave CIA handler, David Phillips, had played a role in the ambush of President Kennedy in Dallas. In telling his story with candor and humility, Veciana demonstrates the courage of a now-peaceful warrior."
  • Dick Russell, New York Times bestselling author of The Man Who Knew Too Much "At long last, the primary leader of the CIA-backed, anti-Castro group of Cuban exiles has come forward to shatter the Warren Commission's finding that the assassination of President Kennedy was the work of a 'lone nut.' Antonio Veciana's story should revise the history books."
  • James DiEugenio, author of Reclaiming Parkland "From Havana to Santiago to New York, Antonio Veciana plotted to kill Castro. This book describes those plots and his other attempts to reverse Cuba's Marxist revolution. His was a true terrorist campaign before the phrase became a commonplace of journalism. But Veciana planned his acts of murder and mayhem as an agent of the American government, more specifically the CIA. This well-written, candid, and exciting book describes his Agency career and provides a memorable portrait of his recruiter and manager. The legendary David Phillips--the man who likely had a role in the conspiracy to kill JFK--comes alive and inhabits these pages as he does in no other book you will read."
  • Fernand R. Amandi, Bendixen & Amandi International “As was once said about him and the words in these pages confirm, Antonio Veciana is one of history's most important individuals. Whether as the CIA's point man in Havana in post-revolutionary Cuba, the mastermind behind the legendary anti-Castro exile group Alpha 66, or the unwitting witness to Lee Harvey Oswald's meeting with his CIA handler at an office building in Dallas days before the JFK assassination, Mr. Veciana's unflinching and courageous confessional memoir definitively answers so many of the baffling questions raised by CIA's operations in the twentieth century--and his answers both illuminate and disturb."
  • Marie Fonzi "Antonio Veciana had a compelling mission in life, to help free his countrymen from a ruthless dictator. His long, painful path...
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Trained to Kill
Trained to Kill
The Inside Story of CIA Plots against Castro, Kennedy, and Che
Antonio Veciana
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