How The CIA Plotted To Kill Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro, the Communist dictator of Cuba, has survived numerous assassination attempts and plots during his 49 years in power. Now he is stepping down, presumably a few weeks or months before his death, you can expect more light to be thrown on the ways the CIA plotted to kill Castro as more warehouses of paper are declassified.
The CIA has killed a slew of elected leaders and dictators around the world, since the end of World War II. The CIA already knew plenty about Latin American revolutionary Fidel Castro before he took control of Cuba in 1959, and they tracked him relentlessly during the next five decades, fermenting dozens, if not hundreds, of assassination plots, while Castro refused to bow to the demands of nine American presidents.
Here's a few of the ways the CIA planned to take out Castro :
One of the assassination plots involved the use of poisoned cigars...in August 1960, the CIA instructed an official to lace a box of Castro's favourite cigars with a toxin so potent it could kill simply by being placed in the mouth. CIA records showed they were passed on to an unidentified person, but it was unclear if they ever made their way to Castro.
The CIA also tried to use the criminal underworld to assassinate Castro....The CIA made contact through intermediaries to underworld figures in the United States hoping they could make arrangements with gambling syndicates in Cuba.
Before the Bay of Pigs invasion, poisonous pills were passed via the shadowy figures on several occasions to individuals in Cuba who supposedly had access to Castro. Those plots never panned out and eventually agents tapered off their communications with Cuban operatives.
A post-Bay-of-Pigs plot was later launched that again involved the use of the mafia, this time using pills and small arms. But when it appeared the operation would not succeed, it was called off.
The CIA later explored the possibility of using an "exotic seashell" laden with explosives that could be placed in waters where Castro was known to go diving. The shell's illuminating appearance, according to the plan, would lure Castro to it, then blow him up. The plan was later dismissed as "impractical"....
The CIA also explored giving Castro a diving suit contaminated with a fungus that would cause a infectious skin disease. That suit, however, never left the laboratory.
In another of the plots that went on until 1965, the CIA devised and passed on poison-tipped pens to agents in Cuba.
The CIA also weighed methods of humiliating Castro, including a poison that would cause his legendary beard to fall out, and a chemical agent similar to LSD that would make him look foolish during public speaking events.