The CIA concocted a series of outlandish schemes to kill Cuban leader Fidel Castro, the newly released JFK files has revealed.
Some of the more bizarre ideas involved giving diving enthusiast Castro a contaminated wetsuit or loading a ‘spectacular’ seashell with explosives and hiding in at the bottom of a bay in the Caribbean.
The trove of files were published on the National Archives website Thursday night, but President Donald Trump has kept some back so federal agencies can black out portions.
Assassination plans: Some of the CIA’s more bizarre ideas involved giving Fidel Castro, pictured diving at an unknown date, a contaminated wetsuit or loading a seashell with explosives and hiding in the Caribbean
As well as detailing the assassination of president John F. Kennedy, the files also reveals a number of plans by American officials to kill Fidel Castro.
The 1975 report, released along with 2,800 previously classified documents, contains details of covert efforts to kill the Cuban then-Prime Minister.
One scheme involved discussions inside the CIA about ‘trying to have General Donovan, who was negotiating with Fidel Castro for the release of the Bay of Pigs prisoners, give Fidel Castro a contaminated skindiving suit’, the document reads.
Skindiving is also known as freediving, or breath-hold underwater diving, an activity that Castro was known to enjoy.
The 1975 report, released along with 2,800 previously classified documents, contains details of covert efforts to kill the Cuban then-Prime Minister
‘The CIA plan was 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.’
In another elaborate plot to kill Castro, the CIA discussed the preparation of a ‘booby-trap spectacular seashell which would be submerged in an area where Castro often skindived’.
‘The sea-shell would be loaded with explosives to blow apart when the shell was lifted,’ according to the files.
However, the idea was dropped after investigation found 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.’
Castro told American lawmakers that Cuba was not involved in the plot to kill Kennedy, when House investigators visited the island in 1978.
But in 1963, the Cuban ambassador to the US reacted with ‘happy delight’ to the murder, according to one CIA document.
The document noted that the Cuban ambassador to the United Nations indicated in a speech that the Cuban ambassador to the US and his staff ‘might be expected to adopt [a] more somber attitude in public’, following Kennedy’s assassination.
Not long after the Cuban ambassador’s initial reaction, he was sent a cable which ordered him and his staff ‘to cease looking happy in public’.
The 46-year-old was shot in the back and head while riding in an open motorcade through Dallas, Texas, with his wife First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy by his side
Jennedy and Jackie Kennedy wave to the crowds in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963
Bystanders looked on as Jacqueline Kennedy reached over to help her husband who lay on the rear of a car after being struck by an assassin’s bullet as his motorcade traveled through Dealey Plaza
President John F. Kennedy signing quarantine ruling during Cuban missile crisis at the White House
Fidel Castro waves to the people in Havana in January 1959 (left). The files also revealed the CIA’s concocted schemes to kill Castro. One of the bizarre ideas was to give Castro a contaminated ‘skindiving’ suit
The collection includes more than 3,100 documents – comprising hundreds of thousands of pages – that have never been seen by the public
The Dallas Police Department mug shots of Lee Harvey Oswald following his arrest for possible involvement in the John F. Kennedy assassination and the murder of Officer J.D. Tippit, who he killed after shooting the president
Lyndon Johnson was sworn in on Air Force One alongside JFK’s widow just hours after the President was shot. Jackie Kennedy refused to change out of her blood-soaked Chanel suit
View of people as they cry and wait for news outside Parkland Hospital, where President John F Kennedy had been taken following his assassination
U.S. Secret Service agents and local police examine the presidential limousine as it sits parked at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas under a sign reading ‘Ambulances Only’ after JFK was shot. Doctors later said his injuries were far too great for him to survive
JFK was buried on November 25, 1963 as America watched on. Jackie Kennedy stood solemnly with her children Caroline Kennedy and John Jr
Led by members of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, and the US Marine Corps band the funeral procession of slain President John F. Kennedy approaches the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery after passing the Lincoln Memorial and crossing over the Potomac River on Memorial Bridge