Botulism & an Exploding Seashell: How the CIA Planned to Kill Castro

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Top Tier Gear USA


The CIA devised a series of increasingly bizarre plots to assassinate Cuban President Fidel Castro, including poisoning him with botulism pills, shooting him, contaminating his diving suit, rigging a seashell with explosives, and offering a two-cent bounty for him, according to newly released intelligence files.

An 84-page document from 1975 included among the National Archives’ release of John F. Kennedy assassination records reveals that the CIA had planned to kill Castro on Cuban soil.

Botulism pills

A plan referred to as ‘Phase I’ involved the “preparation of poison botulism pills by the CIA [and] the delivery of those pills to organized crime figures, who… were to get the pills delivered to contacts they had in Cuba, who in turn were to get the pills into the hands of someone who could place them in a beverage to be drunk by the Premier Castro.”

The document shows that there may have been two deliveries of pills to Cuba, the first of which would have gone to a Cuban “who supposedly had a position in the Cuban Prime Minister’s office where he had access to Fidel Castro.” However, the Cuban asset “got scared” and did not try to pass the pill to Castro.

The second delivery would have gone to another Cuban asset who worked at a restaurant frequented by Castro, and could have slipped the pills into his drink. However, Castro stopped attending the restaurant at approximately the same time that the pills arrived.

Lone gunman 

When the plan to poison Castro didn’t go as planned, the CIA turned to ‘Phase II,’ which involved two possibilities – revisiting the method of poison pills or using a lone gunman.

According to a case officer cited in the document, the “delivery of funds for the acquisition of rifles and handguns plus some additional drugs and antibiotics took place in the summer of 1962.” The sum involved was “somewhat less than $5,000.”

However, the case officer later determined that the plan had little chance of success and decided to gradually “wind down” the plans.

Contaminated diving suit & explosive seashell 

According to a 1967 report by the Inspector General, a number of “miscellaneous schemes” were developed in 1963. One of the ‘Phase-III’ plans included targeting the bodysuit of Castro, who was known to enjoy diving.

“The CIA plan was to dust the inside of the suit with a fungus producing madera foot, a disabling chronic disease, and to contaminate the suit with tuberculosis bacilli in the breathing apparatus,” the document states.

However, that plan was not carried out because lawyer James Donovan – who conducted secret negotiations with Castro after the Cuban missile crisis – was tipped off that CIA officials had planned to make him the “unwitting purveyor of a [poisoned] diving suit…as a gift for Castro,” as both men liked to dive.

Donovan instead opted to gift Castro a non-contaminated suit.

‘Phase III’ also included discussions on “preparing a booby trap spectacular seashell which would be submerged in an area where Castro often skindived. The seashell would be loaded with explosives to blow apart when the shell was lifted.”

However, it was later determined that “there was no shell in the Caribbean area large enough to hold a sufficient amount of explosive which was spectacular enough to attract the attention of Castro.” In addition, the midget submarine that was going to be tasked with placing the seashell in the correct location did not have a long enough operating range.

Two-cent bounty

A separate file outlines a plan to offer a bounty to “provide inducement to Cuban citizens to overthrow the Cuban Communist Regime; to put pressure on Cuban Communists by creating distrust and disunity.”

A table included in the document places Castro’s value at just two cents. Others within the “Communist hierarchy of Cuba” were worth more, with some rewards amounting to $1 million.

Leaflets for ‘Operation BOUNTY’ were to be delivered to Cuba by air, but the operation was never put into effect.

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  • darkhorse

    CIA — pretty dumb, huh…I see nothing has changed…duh

  • NonYo Business

    Nothing but murdering criminals.

  • Cynical Old Bastard

    Right. I call Sheeple Shit.

    Had the CIA wanted the man dead he would have been dead… simple as that. The fact is, our government created Castro. They wanted him in power… not dead. They wanted that communist “threat” right on America’s doorstep. That way they could keep their raison d’être alive.

    The fact of the matter is that governments manufacture threats just so they can “save” us from them. They did it then, and are doing it now.

    • Phil_Ossifer

      Absolutely. I have always maintained that the ridiculous botched assassination attempts were intended as repeated warnings to Castro “toe the line,” not as real efforts to take him out, and Castro knew it. The big military buildup of the Cold War era depended on having visible, credible Communist threats and what better than one about ninety miles off of Miami? The Bay of Pigs was designed to fail from the get-go. Hell, the U.S. military could have taken Cuba in about twenty minutes if they had been ordered to but, if they had, Cuba would no longer be a threat. Sometimes nefarious intent and incompetence look a lot alike.

      • Cynical Old Bastard


        And these “Alternative” news sites are just as bad as the MSM about providing disinformation. They never really provide anything other than regurgitated hash which has been reprocessed so many times not even a starving buzzard would think about swallowing it. Hell, they don’t even depart very far from the “legitimate” news services.

        Look at how they still bring up that shit about how Donald said he grabbed women by the twat when he said no such thing. Look at how they claim the US is a Democracy when it was clearly founded as a Republic. Look at how they tout how the US is supposed to be a “free” country when that is simply not true. Fine, but very distinct lines, I know, but the point is, these Alt news sites have become almost indistinguishable from the MSM.

        All they are out to do is sell Ad space. Hell, most of the writing is deplorable… if they even write at all. I see more reposts than anything. And we KNOW about those clickbait headlines.

        • Billy Sharpshooter

          I only come here for entertainment reasons my friend.

          • Cynical Old Bastard

            Me too. Most of this stuff is hilarious, and the comments are even better.

            Sometimes I find myself becoming too serious though and have to take a sabbatical.

  • John C Carleton

    Was this before or after they planned to remotely blow up a fake US airliner over Cuba, and blame it on Cuba?

  • SP_88

    Those are some genius plans. It’s nice to know that the CIA only hires the best and brightest minds to their ranks.
    A 2¢ bounty and exploding seashells says it all.