Friday, February 22, 2008

Yet Castro Still Lives

Castro once said: "If surviving assassination were an Olympic event, I'd win the gold medal."
His bodyguard Fabian Escalante went back through his records and counted 638 attempts to kill the Cuban leader.

Many of them were confirmed in CIA files which were declassified last year.

here are some from The Daily Mail

  • The exploding cigar - a scheme to pack one of his favourite Cohiba Esplendidos with enough explosive to blow his head off after a couple of puffs.
  • The poisoned cigar - another Cohiba laced with botulinum toxin, one of the deadliest natural substances in the world.
  • The infected diving suit - Castro was a keen undersea explorer and CIA agents arranged for Cuban exiles to dust the inside of his suit with powder containing a deadly fungus.
  • Death by pie

  • The exploding sea shells - packed with booby traps and plastic explosives, they were placed in one of Castro's favourite dive areas.
  • The femme fatale - Marita Lorenz, one of Castro's many mistresses, was persuaded by the CIA to try to smuggle a jar of cold cream containing poison pills into his room. Castro rumbled the plot, thrust a pistol in her hand and told her to kill him face to face. Her nerve failed.
  • The poison pen - a ballpoint containing a tiny, spring-loaded hypodermic syringe filled with poison. It was supposed to prick Castro and kill him when he picked up the pen to write.
  • The Wile E Coyote Technique

  • The mind-bending radio studio - not so much an assassination as an attempt to humiliate Castro by pumping an LSD-type gas into a studio during a live broadcast so that he would make a fool of himself on air. (and was parodied in Woody Allen's Bananas)
  • Exploding toilet

  • The beard-wilter - Castro was always proud of his bushy facial hair so the CIA planned to make his beard fall out, again causing him to be ridiculed. Bizarrely, the plot involved putting hair removal powder in his shoes.

And in his memoirs, and I think this is awesome- out of 600 pages there is not a single regret
"I have not one iota of regret about what we've done in our country and the way we've organized our society," Castro told co-author Ignacio Ramonet.

That’s a life

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