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'Can't Last Over Two Months': JFK Files Reveal CIA Efforts to Kill Castro

November 1st, 2017
Categories: Past News

Link: https://sputniknews.com/us/201710271058597397-jfk-cia-castro-assassination/https://sputniknews.com/us/201710271058597397-jfk-cia-castro-assassination/

Among the more interesting releases are files relating to the US Central Intelligence Agency's long-running campaign to assassinate Fidel Castro.

Fabian Escalante, retired chief of Cuban counterintelligence, estimates the agency targeted him on no fewer than 638 separate occasions: 38 times under President Dwight Eisenhower, 42 under John F. Kennedy, 72 under Lyndon B. Johnson, 184 under Richard Nixon, 64 under Jimmy Carter, 197 under Ronald Reagan, 16 under George H. W. Bush and 21 under Bill Clinton. Document summarizes the CIA's plan to use James B. Donovan — the US lawyer and negotiator to give Castro a contaminated diving suit as a gift, while the two negotiated the release of Bay of Pigs prisoners.

"It is known Castro likes to skindive. The plan is to dust the inside of the suit with a fungus producing madera foot, a disabling and chronic skin disease, and also contaminating the suit with tuberculosis bacilli in the breathing apparatus," the paper said.

Donovan didn't go through it, giving an uncontaminated suit as a genuine gesture of friendship instead.

Another plot documented in the files involved a "booby-trap seashell" that would be submerged in an area Castro liked to dive in — the eye-catching shell was to be loaded with explosives, and detonate once lifted. After investigation, it was determined "there was no shell in the Caribbean area large enough to hold a sufficient amount of explosive, which would be spectacular enough to attract the attention of Castro."

Another scheme involved a CIA agent in Cuba recruiting a high-ranking Cuban government official in 1963. The agent offered the would-be recruit a ballpoint pen equipped with a hypodermic needle — when the pen's lever was pushed, "[a] needle came out and poison could be injected into someone."

The offer was turned down, because it would have required the killer to get too close to Castro, removing all chances of escape.

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