Staying alive – with Fidel Castro

MEXICO CITY INFORMEX IN SPANISH 2201 GMT 10 JUL 75 LF [TEXT] HAVANA, 10 JUL (INFORMEX)–Exonerating the late President John Kennedy and his brothers Robert and Ted, Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro today confirmed that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) made numerous attempts on his life.

Castro–speaking to correspondents of the Western press in Santiago de Cuba where he is accompanying Jamaican Prime Minster Michael Manley–said there have been some 60 attempts on his life. He stressed that one of the plots to which he was subjected was perpetuated when he visited Chilean President Dr Salvador Allende in 1971. He explained that at that time an attempt was made to kill both heads of state with arms hidden in movie cameras. He reported that an attempt to assassinate him was made in 1961 with a poisoned chocolate milkshake, but the poison had lost its potency when frozen.
Illustrations by Margarete Lindau

THE CIA’S SECRET WEAPONS SYSTEMS, by Andrew Stark. [..] "The New York Times" of September 26, 1975 revealed the existence of guns that shoot cobra-venom darts. Then there was the shoe polish compound intended to make Fidel Castro’s beard fall out, so that he would lose his "charisma." And CIA laboratories in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey developed the famous rifle that shoots around corners.

THE PLOTS TO KILL CASTRO IN THE JUNE 2000 ISSUE OF GEORGE, BY EDWARD JAY EPSTEIN [..]After it was established from Castro’s psychological profile that he was avid diver and sea shell collector, he had the division build a booby-trapped seashell that would explode if someone tried to remove it from the ocean floor. The idea was to place it where Castro frequently swam underwater in the hope that he would see it and attempt to bring it to the surface.

If so, he would be blown up, and it would appear he had been killed by a derelict mine. It would leave no witnesses, and unlike hitmen, no assassin that could be captured. And if he ignored it, nothing would be lost. The workshop, however, decided that the construction of a lethal sea-shell that would not explode accidentally or be lost was technically too difficult.

The CIA went back to the drawing board. The next idea out of the workshop was a killer gift for Castro: a wet suit whose breathing apparatus was impregnated with tubercle bacilli and other deadly germs. The concept was that the bacilli and other evidence would be destroyed by the seawater, and the Cubans would not be able to determine how Castro contracted tuberculosis.

Again, this device would leave no witnesses. The problem was to find a means of delivering it. At the time, James Donovan, an American lawyer, was negotiating the release of the Cuban exiles captured in the Bay of Pigs disaster. Castro had apparently let Donovan know that he would like a wet suit. The CIA’s idea was that somehow Donovan, who was not privy to its machinations, would give the contaminated suit to Castro. But before it could be delivered, Donovan, acting on his own, coincidentally gave Castro a pristine wet suit. The plan then had to be aborted.

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