The CIA had 638 different plans to kill Fidel Castro, including: poisonous cigars, and killing him with exploding mollusks when he was scuba diving.

In “638 Ways to Kill Castro” a book and Channel 4 documentary, a Cuban security officer named Fabian Escalante outlines a large number of the CIA’s assassination attempts on the Cuban dictator. Naturally none of them have succeeded. Some of them never made it passed the drawing-board, but were eventually released to the public. Some of our favorites: 

Knowing Castro’s penchant for Cuban cigars, the CIA was hard at work in the 1960s making deadly cigars. Not only did they try to poison his cigars (by sending him cigars laced with botulinum toxin) they also manufactured explosive cigars that would blow up in his face! The CIA also recruited people to poison his handkerchief, slip poison pills into his tea, and put 200 lbs of explosives under his podium. 

The weirdest assassination plots, the ones that took advantage of Castro’s scuba-diving hobby, were sadly never attempted. The CIA planned to design a giant mollusk shell filled with explosives to plant off the coast of Cuba. They hoped that by painting it with bright colors it would attract Castro’s attention. They also planned on lacing his diving suit with a toxic fungus to give him a debilitating skin disease. 

Read more about the plots to kill Castro here.


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