Q: Did he try to defect to Russia?
A: Yes. He obtained an early discharge from the Marines, and in 1959 he traveled to Finland and boarded a train to Moscow. Soon after arrival, he told his guide he wanted to defect. Russian authorities initially rebuffed him (he slit his wrist in response) but eventually allowed him to stay and sent him to the city of Minsk to work at an electronics factory. In March 1961, Oswald met Marina Prusakova, a 19-year-old pharmacology student. They married within six weeks and had a child in February 1962. That May, after expressing weariness with life in Russia, Oswald and his wife applied at the American Embassy in Moscow for documents enabling her to immigrate to the U.S. They settled in Dallas that fall.
Q: Wasn’t Oswald linked to another assassination plot?
A: On April 10, 1963, a gunman fired a rifle through a window of the Dallas home of Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker, a fervent anti-communist and segregationist who resigned from the Army after being reprimanded for giving troops right-wing propaganda. Walker, working at a desk in his home, was slightly injured by fragments. The Warren Commission later concluded Oswald was the gunman.
Q: What’s the Cuban connection in Oswald’s life?
A: In late April 1963, just days after the attack on Walker, Oswald went to New Orleans and spent the summer there. He printed and distributed leaflets in support of Cuba’s Communist leader, Fidel Castro, and got into a street fight with anti-Castro demonstrators. Yet the leaflets bore an address of a local anti-Castro operation connected to a former FBI agent. That September, Oswald took a bus to Mexico City and visited the Cuban and Soviet embassies in an unsuccessful effort to get clearance to travel to Russia via Cuba.