Everyone knows the adage, â€œA cat has nine lives!â€. But there arenâ€™t many in the world who have been able to survive assassination attempts perpetrated by clandestine establishment networks. Fidel Castro, the famous former Cuban President, succumbed to death last week. The CIA and the rebel insurgent Cuban groups tried for almost five decades to get rid of him but never succeeded. According to an estimate, as many as 634 assassination attempts were made but Fidel Castro was able to make good his escape through them all. Letâ€™s have a look at how some of the ludicrous and some more serious assassination attempts on Fidel Castro panned out.
1 – A Curious Case of an Exploding Cigar
Cigars and scuba diving were Fidel Castroâ€™s passion. The Americans tried to take advantage of his love for cigars by slipping into his supply of cigars a very real and lethal exploding cigar.
2 – Chocolate Milkshake as a Murder Weapon
CIAâ€™s closest bid to killing Castro was a poisoned drink in 1963. According to the plot, a poisoned pill was to be slipped into a chocolate milkshake. However, as luck would have it, the poisoned pill stuck to the freezer and ripped open when the waiter-cum-assassin tried to rip it off.
3 – La Belle Dame Sans Mercy
Similar to any Sci-Fi thriller or virtually every Bond movie, here comes a gorgeous senorita to use her beauty and eradicate a target. Marita Lorenz, one of Castro’s many mistresses, is alleged to have made a deal with the CIA to feed him poison capsules. She hid them in her face cream, but they dissolved.
4 – The Toxins-Dipped Hankie
The CIA considered giving Fidel Castro, a germ-covered handkerchief that would make him very ill. But, probably, the weapon of murder could not get delivered to the target.
5 – The Seashell of Doom
CIA planned to entice Fidel Castro to enter into a giant, brightly colored shell underwater that was laced with explosives. The plan, however, never came close to fruition!
6 – The Bacteria Infected Scuba Suit
Another of CIAâ€™s plots to topple Fidel Castro involved infecting one of Castro’s scuba diving suits with fungus and the accompanying breathing equipment with tubercle-bacilli. The fungus was meant to induce a flesh eating skin disease on the wearer while the bacteria would have infected Castro with tuberculosis. The diving suit was to be handed over to Castro by the American lawyer James Donovan, who had been involved in hostage negotiations with the Cuban leader.
7 – The Mafia-CIA Nexus
CIA joined hands with the mafia when a CIA agent met with mobster Sam Giancana in Miami in 1960. The mobster agreed to help the American government kill Castro by slipping cyanide filled capsules in his chocolate milkshake at the Hilton Hotel in Havana. You know the rest of the story!
8 – The Inebriation Cum Debearding Plot
The CIA made a plan to spray the radio broadcasting studio with a chemical like LSD in an attempt to hallucinate Castro on air during his address to the nation. Yet another plot involved placing a chemical in Castroâ€™s shoes to debeard him. In the end, Fidel grew up to be 90 years of age and died with a beard long enough!
9 – The Baldified Castro
In 1960, the CIA planned to put thallium salts into Fidel Castroâ€™s shoes to make him completely bald, unrecognizable and powerless when he arrived in New York to speak at the United Nations. It was basically an attempt to tarnish his image a revolutionary commander-in-chief of Cuba.
10 – The Pen that Was Mightier than the Sword
In the early 1960s, the CIA offered a Cuban official a ball-point pen rigged with a hypodermic needle “so fine that the victim would not notice its insertion.” But the device was not thought highly of by the Cuban official and he refused to carry out the murder attempt.