CIA had numerous plots against Castro

( dpa )- The United States had a long and at times colourful history with Fidel Castro that featured a missile crisis that brought the world to the brink of nuclear war and the Bay of Pigs fiasco.

In addition to those highly publicized events that underlined the deteriorating relations between Washington and President Fidel Castro, there were plenty of other acts that took place more quietly, including numerous CIA plots to kill or humiliate the Cuban leader.

Not long after Castro came to power in 1959 after ousting dictator Fulgencio Batista at the height of the Cold War, the CIA began planning for the demise of the communist leader with methods ranging from poisonous cigars to an appealing sea shell.

In the end, Castro's departure from power was peaceful. Castro announced Tuesday that he was resigning as president, formally ending his 49-year rule over the island, although he transferred power to his brother in July 2006 because of poor health.

The CIA's activities were mostly kept under wraps until exposed by a Senate committee in 1975 that became known as the Church Committee, named after Senator Frank Church of Idaho.

Church had set out to uncover the CIA's covert attempts around the world to assassinate opponents, but none of them took greater priority than Castro, whose communist agenda, alliance with the Soviet Union and location just 145 kilometres off the coast of Florida was viewed as a major threat.

The plots took place on the sidelines of two major confrontations with Cuba and the Soviet Union in the early 1960s.

In 1961, then president John Kennedy signed off on the Bay of Pigs invasion. The operation consisted of CIA-trained and -backed Cuban exiles landing on the beach to launch a rebellion against Castro. The effort failed after Kennedy called off air support, worried it would raise the profile of the US role. The armed exiles were easily defeated by Castro's forces, most of them ending up captured or killed.

Castro responded by asking the Soviet Union to install nuclear missiles in Cuba. When US U-2 spy planes captured images of the deployment of the missiles in 1962, it sparked a major showdown between Washington and Moscow that most historians believe was the closest the Cold War adversaries ever came to the brink of nuclear holocaust. The Cuban Missile Crisis ended when Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles.

The Church Committee documented at least eight plots by the CIA on Castro's life. Some of them were put into action, others never left the drawing board.

Other accounts have alleged there were dozens more. The former head of Castro's intelligence service wrote a book describing hundreds of plans to eliminate the Cuban leader, but they have not been confirmed by the US government.

One of the assassination plots involved the use of poisoned cigars. The Church Committee documented that 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, according to the committee. 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," according to the Church Committee.

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.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard has disrupted airplane hijacking attempt
Iran's Revolutionary Guard has disrupted airplane hijacking attempt
Macron to hold phone talk with Iranian counterpart over JCPOA
Macron to hold phone talk with Iranian counterpart over JCPOA
Statement in support of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity adopted at conference in Iran (PHOTO)
Statement in support of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity adopted at conference in Iran (PHOTO)
Loading Bars
Latest
Iran's Revolutionary Guard has disrupted airplane hijacking attempt
Diplomats accredited in Azerbaijan start visits to liberated lands (PHOTO)
Iranian currency rates for March 6
Azerbaijani Nakhchivan's Separate Combined Arms Army holding live-fire training classes (PHOTO/VİDEO)
Azerbaijani Agency for Development of SMEs continues to support self-employment program
COVAX delivers over 20 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines to 20 countries - WHO
Interest-free funding regulation may boost Turkey's home sales
Iran records 0.8% economic growth under sanctions, pandemic
2021 Index of Economic Freedom: Georgia 12th in world and 7th in Europe
Electricity consumption in February amounted to 1.6 bln kWh in Kyrgyzstan
Chinese investors have major potential for attracting cargoes to Georgian Anaklia seaport
Belgium announces phased plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions
More than 20,000 U.S. organizations compromised through Microsoft flaw
U.S. detained nearly 100,000 migrants at Mexico border in February
Number of German enterprises in Uzbekistan increases in last four years
Spike in Canada exports to U.S. leads to surprise January trade surplus
Brazil working with Biden on climate, Amazon deforestation - foreign minister
Luxembourg ratifies protocol on tax agreement with Russia
U.S., Britain announce 4-month tariff suspension in aircraft subsidy dispute
Aeroflot to make flights to Seychelles from April 2
Kazakh MFA talks great importance of developing relations with Turkic-speaking countries
Georgia expands list of countries from which tourists can travel to country
Iran to hold talks with EAEU soon
Pfizer vaccine to arrive in Georgia in the week of March 22 - seputy health minister
Turkey registers more than 11 302 new coronavirus cases
Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan ink agreement to step up cooperation in healthcare
Wind energy replaces coal as Germany's biggest energy source in 2020
National Bank of Kazakhstan adopts several anti-crisis measures during COVID-19 pandemic
Azerbaijani FM, head of Baku office of CE exchange views on development of new action plan for cooperation (PHOTO)
Norwegian company discloses amount of investments made in Azerbaijan
BSEC countries discuss impact of pandemic on tourism sector
Azerbaijan’s AzerGold, Chem Trade company sign contract
Georgia-Ireland Council to be important chain for strengthening bilateral economic relations
Uzbekneftegaz, Uzbek-Chinese JV talk prospects for co-op in oil, gas industry
Russia's Rosselkhoznadzor discloses volumes of agricultural products supplied to Georgia
World Bank may support Azerbaijan in fight against COVID-19
Azerbaijan names volume of compulsory non-life insurance market in Jan.2021
Swiss plan free coronavirus tests for population
Liberated Azerbaijani lands have great potential in winemaking
Azerbaijan may apply quarantine measures if COVID-19 infections continue to increase
UK watchdog looks to 'open banking' apps to help boost competition
Georgian mobile operators see decrease in total revenues for 2020
Georgia plans to build hanger in Telavi airport for private jets
Chevron to buy out Noble Midstream in all-stock $1.32 billion deal
Azerbaijani State Security Service shares grief of death of Turkish servicemen
Azerbaijan eyes to start employment promotion activities in liberated areas
Armenia once again demonstrates that it is far from sound thinking - Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry
Initiated by Mehriban Aliyeva, Heydar Aliyev Foundation makes new contribution to protection of world and religious heritage in Vatican (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan's MoD shares footage from Aghdam's Taghybayli village (VIDEO)
Kazakhstan offers Uzbekistan to consider launching production of Kazakh COVID-19 vaccine
Mehriban Aliyeva appointed as first deputy chairperson of New Azerbaijan Party
First website of sign language dictionary to be developed in Azerbaijan
Trans-Caspian Fiber Optic Cable Project discussed at “Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan: New Opportunities for Cooperation” event (PHOTO)
Turkey’s activity on Turkmenistan’s state commodity exchange in Feb. 2021
Iranian parliament approves increase of salaries
Baku International Sea Trade Port expanding co-op with in Netherlands
Azerbaijan's internet provider eyes to expand coverage of communication services
Trade takes up largest share in total turnover of Georgia's business sector
Volume of Azerbaijani Depository Center's Feb. 2021 bond payments revealed
Volume of business sector turnover up in Georgia
Italian companies eye returning to Iranian energy market
Azercell reveals the “Victory Year”s results
Main share of industrial production volume in Baku accounts for extractive sector
Azerbaijan records decrease in Jan. 2021 population's bank deposits
Five impressive facts about OPEC+ meeting
Total amount of transactions on Turkmen state commodity exchange for Feb. 2021
Kazakhstan to hold auctions for selection of flexible generation projects
Azerbaijan's police officers find munitions in liberated Shusha (PHOTO)
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for March 5
Reliability of Azerbaijani data center confirmed by int’l certification institute
Iran receives third batch of Sputnik V vaccine
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on March 6
Azerbaijan confirms 175 more COVID-19 recoveries
Kazakh Kazatomprom to hold additional auction on its solar energy assets
Turkmenistan considers promoting expansion of partnership opportunities within ECO
Hungary eyes increasing medicines supply to Uzbekistan
Azerbaijani PM expresses condolences to Turkish VP over helicopter crash
Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy highlights country's progress in terms of economic freedom
Australia resumes postal communication with Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan holds auction for public property facilities
Volkswagen core brand to accelerate electric vehicle shift
Kazakh airlines launch new flight to Uzbekistan
Uzbekneftegaz, Gazprombank co-op to increase hydrocarbon production
Investment in development of Chabahar Port continues
Britain starts formal countdown in 'final chapter' of Libor
Volume of food products sold in trade network of Azerbaijan’s Baku city increases
Maritime India Summit-2021 celebrates ‘Chabahar Day’
Egyptair to replace Sinai Air on Tel Aviv - Cairo route
US experts visit war-torn areas of Azerbaijan's Tartar (PHOTOS)
Three possible scenarios on economic dev't regarding COVID-19 crisis in Georgia
Kazakhstan reports increase in overall 2020 trade with Greece
Precious metal prices in Azerbaijan down
Small solar photovoltaic station launched in Uzbekistan’s Tashkent region
Kazakh National Bank shares data on money transfers via payment systems for 2020
Azerbaijan's Internet provider increases contribution to country's educational sphere
PASHA Bank talks possible development of 'neo-banks', information security in Azerbaijan
SOCAR becomes main supplier of Lithuanian gasoline to Ukraine
Azerbaijan to study underground water resources through satellite images
Kazakhstan discloses target volume of electricity generation for 2021
Fidelity Investments Inc acquires shares of Bank of Georgia
All news