Cuba's infamous leader Fidel Castro had many enemies during his time in charge of the country – but the amount of failed attempts on his life is truly staggering.
Fidel Castro spent almost 50 years dodging all kinds of crazy assassination attempts as he ruled from 1959 to 2008, allegedly by the CIA and Cuban exiles.
His former head of Cuban secret service, Fabian Escalante, revealed the number of foiled attempts was around 638 during his time in charge.
From exploding cigars and poisoned ice cream to a flesh-eating wetsuit, these crazy schemes seem even far-fetched for those seen in movies such as James Bond and perhaps more fitting to those who are fans of the hit game franchise Hitman.
Escalante, who retired from his role in 1996, revealed the crazy and dangerous plots on Castro’s life in his book, Executive Action: 634 Ways to Kill Castro.
Attempts on Castro’s life began as soon as his revolution helped him to take charge of Cuba, which occurred 60 years ago.
The first failed attempt on his life came when the revolution had just taken over with the plan to kill Castro along with Raúl Castro and Che Guevara.
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From that day, the CIA appeared to be obsessed over trying to assassinate Castro using a variety of tools, including a pen-syringe.
According to Escalante, the Kennedy administration had tried to kill Castro 42 times, reports ABC.
In 1966, the CIA allegedly told a New York police officer to slip Castro a cigar packet that contained an exploding cigar.
Although this was never proven, documents later showed the CIA did lace a box of Castro’s favourite cigars with poison but it never reached the Cuban leader.
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As well as cigars being a known favourite of his, other attempts were made on his other passions which included scuba diving and ice cream.
In the capital of Havana, an ice cream worker almost helped the CIA get their man through help from a local casino mafia.
The plan was to poison Castro’s ice cream but luck was on his side that day and the poison ended up getting stuck frozen to the freezer.
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Probably one of the craziest plots in all the attempts came when the CIA tried to create a flesh-eating wetsuit by covering the insides in fungus.
The fungus would have caused a chronic skin disease, and to make sure of his death, they allegedly put tuberculosis in the breathing apparatus.
However, the plot failed when the lawyer who was going to be handing Castro the suit was tipped off over the CIA plot.
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Even at sporting events, Castro was not safe with foiled plots including a sniper and grenade attack at a baseball game, according to the Guardian.
With attempts to kill him being foiled, there was even action taken to try to humiliate him instead by using an LSD aerosol spray to cause him to hallucinate during a public broadcast.
One of the more recent attempts came in 2000 when Castro visited Panama to speak at an event.
His security team foiled a plot which saw the podium rigid with explosives.
Castro and his team managed to avoid assassinations until he passed away at the age of 90 in November 2016.
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