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Documents Show Oswald’s Zeal To Go to Cuba

November 9, 1995

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) _ Lee Harvey Oswald wept when he was denied a visa at the Cuban embassy in Mexico City, where he had traveled shortly before President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, according to government documents released Wednesday.

During interviews with investigators for the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1978, relatives of Silvia Duran, a young Mexican woman who worked at the embassy, painted a portrait of a highly distraught Oswald who was desperate to get to Cuba.

The Cuban consul in Mexico City, Eusebio Azcue, became suspicious because Oswald had some type of ``pro-Castro″ credential that looked fake, according to Lydia Duran, Silvia Duran’s sister-in-law. Silvia Duran was Azcue’s secretary.

``And he had some other papers as if the CIA had made them the night before,″ Lydia Duran said in the transcripts. She said Azcue thought Oswald was presenting fake documents and could be an American intelligence agent.

Transcripts of the Mexico City interviews were included in 36 boxes of documents released by the National Archives and Records Administration.

The transcripts revealed what Duran told her relatives about Oswald immediately after the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination. Hearing news reports, she recalled dealing with Oswald when he came to the embassy seeking a transit visa so he could stop in Cuba on his way to the Soviet Union.

Azcue would not issue the visa until he checked with Cuba, greatly upsetting Oswald, according to accounts from Silvia Duran’s relatives.

Oswald began crying when the consul threw him out, said Horacio Duran, Silvia’s husband.

``She said that she felt sorry for him, but she didn’t understand exactly why feel sorry _ somebody that’s, that’s very down, very low, very sad, very _ and that he even started crying. She couldn’t help it _ tried to be nice to him,″ he said.

Because Silvia Duran had given Oswald her telephone number to follow up on his visa application, she and other family members were taken into custody and interrogated by Mexican authorities immediately after the assassination, in some cases for 11 or 12 hours, the transcripts showed.

Lydia Duran also recalled how her sister-in-law described Oswald as looking ``bad.″

``That he was not in his _ not _ maybe not in his right mind,″ she told investigators. ``Or maybe hysterical or maybe a person of extreme _ like you would _ as if you were facing a drug addict without the drug. A person in distress and nervous.″

The assassinations committee conducted most of its work in private, publishing a final report in June 1979. Hundreds of boxes of its internal documents have become available since Congress passed a 1992 law mandating the release of assassination-related documents.

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