Fidel Castro survived an astonishing range of assassination attempts – including at least eight CIA plots – by spies, mobsters and political foes during his Communist rule.
USA Today reported Cuban officials put the number of attempted hits at more than 600 – and included plans using exploding cigars, a toxic wetsuit, and a poisoned chocolate milkshake.
The Senate Church Committee report on abuses of power issued in April 1976 found "concrete evidence of a least eight plots involving the CIA to assassinate" Castro from 1960 to 1954, USA Today reported.
"The proposed assassination devices ran the gamut from high-powered rifles to poison pills, poison pens, deadly bacterial powders and other devices which strain the imagination," the Church Committee found – revealing devices like an exploding sea shell, a wetsuit laced with a fungus that would infect Castro's skin, and a breathing mask dusted with botulism, the newspaper reported.
CIA records also showed how agents planned to poison Castro in early 1960s with a "gangster-type action" – capitalizing on the mob's anger over financial losses linked to Castro shutting down their casinos, USA Today reported.
"[He] suggested that they not resort to firearms, but if he could be furnished with some type of potent pill that could be placed in Castro's food or drink, it would be a much more effective operation," CIA documents showed, USA Today reported.
The operative apparently got cold feet, USA Today reported.
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