Two days after June Cobb left Cuba for the last time, on 19 September 1960, the Associated Press (AP) ran a story about her arrival in New York City from Havana. Strangely, unlike any of her previous trips from Havana to New York, this time a group of AP reporters was on hand to interview her. Their presence itself is odd, and suggests that an arrangement had been made to tip them off to be on deck for a story. We don’t know where in New York the interview took place; most likely it was at the airport.
It appears to me that the story released by the AP might have been part of an intelligence operation. It was a short story of a half dozen small paragraphs about her past history and her translation work for Castro. There is a 100 percent certainty that intelligence officers in many Cuban missions at the UN and around the world would have clipped and filed the story. This is the operative part of the AP release:
Miss Cobb said she had no title with the revolutionary Cuban regime. She defined her job in this way: “I translate English literature for the prime minister.” The former Oklahoma woman has been working in Havana for the Castro Regime since the Batista government was overthrown. She insisted to newsmen that she was not a member of the communist party. Her New York trip, she emphasized, was being made at this time “only
for a rest.”
Obviously, Cobb’s press statement that she had been working in Havana for the Castro Regime since the Batista government was overthrown cannot be reconciled with the classified CIA record indicating she did not begin her work in Cuba until September 1959. Her statement also raises the possibility that she was in Cuba before Castro’s April 1959 trip to the U.S. Her visit to Minister Paez could fall under the description of doing some work “for the Castro regime.” She might also have been doing more on that trip. In any case, the AP story corroborates her continuing presence in Cuba after Castro’s U.S. trip.
The point is that the intended audience for this news story was not American readers. They would not care one way or the other about when her work for Castro began. This story was meant to be read by Cuban intelligence. They would have looked very closely at any information about an American woman who was working in Castro’s inner circle. And they knew exactly when her work began.