Poisoned diving suits, syringes made to look like pens, exploding seashells and cigars--these are but a few of the 612 known plots against Castro between the years of 1959-1993. Apologists for the CIA and the terrorists among the Cuban exile community cannot dismiss this book as Cuban disinformation because the records provided here are CIA declassified files. This book is the smoking gun.
To read this book is to learn how hatred makes people not only violent but ridiculous as well. Murdering Castro wasn't always the aim of each plot, although, no doubt, that was the would-be assassins ultimate aim. At times they sought to embarrass and discredit Castro in ways that ranged from the childish and prankish to the sinister.
There were plots to slip him LSD before one of his speeches so that he would laugh hysterically and discredit himself. One harebrained analyst believed the secret of Castro's charisma lay entirely in his beard. He proposed that thallium salts be placed in Castro's shoes so that his beard would fall out. Imagine the insult to the Cuban people suggested by this plot: the Cuban people loved Castro not for his ideas and ideals but because they were captivated by his facial hair. The contempt of the slur is only exceeded by the idiocy of the plot.
I used to believe that Castro and the revolution in Cuba survived forty-plus years of USA overt and covert onslaught because of the intelligence of Castro and the guardians of the revolution. Not any longer, although that was part of it. Another part--a huge part as this book demonstrates--is that the enemies of the revolution are imbeciles, made dumb by their hatred and unwillingness to accept that history in Cuba has moved past them.