Fidel Castro, one of the world’s best-known and most controversial leaders who ruled with an iron fist, has died aged 90.
Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother and current president of Cuba, announced his death on the state television in Havana early on Saturday.
However, prior to his death, Cuban intelligence claimed that Castro was the subject of over 600 assassination attempts by the US’ Central Intelligence Agency.
He once famously said: “If surviving assassination attempts were an Olympic event, I would win the gold medal.”
The former boss of Cuba’s counterintelligence, Fabian Escalante, wrote a book about the attempts titled 638 Ways To Kill Castro.
From poisoned chocolate milkshake to exploding cigar and exploding seashells along with mafia-style execution, CIA attempted to assassinate Castro on 638 occasions.
One of the most famous and closest assassination attempts was when his ex-mistress Marita Lorenz was approached by the CIA to feed him capsules filled with poison.
Marita Lorenz lived in Cuba until she became pregnant and suddenly fell ill so she had to return to the USA. CIA agents told her that Castro had secretly arranged her to have a late-term abortion and convinced her to return to Cuba to assassinate Castro.
However, Castro somehow found out about the plan and handed her a pistol, daring her to shoot him but she just dropped the gun and fell into his arms.
The Americans also tried to kill Fidel Castro with a poisoned chocolate milkshake in 1963. But the capsule, hidden in a freezer in the kitchen of the then-Hilton Hotel (now Havana Libre), stuck to the internal apparatus and disintegrated when it was being retrieved.
It was never proven but it was widely reported that the CIA also tried to kill Fidel Castro with an exploding cigar. Fabian Escalante claimed the CIA did attempt of using a poisoned cigar and another spiked with LSD, so that he would burst into fits of laughter during a television interview.
Fabian Escalante claimed the CIA did attempt to use a poisoned cigar and another one spiked with LSD so that he would burst into fits of laughter during a television interview.
CIA knew that Castro liked scuba diving and tried to take advantage of it. Since they knew his favorite diving spots, their plan was to place explosive seashells to kill him on one of his expeditions.
This plan failed but the CIA was not yet out of ideas how to kill Castro. Their next plan was also diving-related and included infected diving suit filled with highly toxic fungi, intended for Castro.
However, James B. Donovan, the man who was supposed to give this infected diving suit to Fidel Castro, refused to do it.
Another plan was to rig a pen with a hypodermic needle so fine that the victim would not notice its insertion.
The CIA failed to kill Fidel Castro. He survived more than 600 assassination attempts and died peacefully on November 25th, 2016, at the age of 90.