For more than half a century the Central Intelligence Agency has led the United States government’s attempts to overthrow Fidel Castro, the long-time president of Cuba. There have been several attempts to “take him out” during that time, all of which were unique, creative, and as it happens, unsuccessful. In their attempts at unseating the embattled leader, CIA operatives have tried everything from getting him to smoke poisonous cigars to the infamous “exploding seashell” plan that, for all intents and purposes, was exactly what the name implied.
The US government by way of the CIA has been interested in restoring relations with Cuba for decades but Castro has been unwilling to change his policies. Several pages of documents were released this week which disclosed detailed plans from years past involving the CIA and the suggestions that they had brought to the various acting American presidents through the years on ways in which they could eliminate the Cuban leader. The agency considered the aforementioned exploding seashell plot which would have had operatives carrying out a mission in which they blew up a seashell while Castro was scuba diving, one of his former beloved pastimes. That scheme, however, was ultimately rendered impractical.
It was also revealed that more recently, just in the last few years, CIA officials approved a plan to smuggle secretive communications equipment into Cuba in an effort to construct an “uncensored Internet network” that would act as a spy network specifically for Castro and other Cuban leaders. The plan was thwarted by Cuban customs officials who found the equipment and sent the operative back to the United States.
There has been some debate about whether or not these operations were entirely covert or if Congress was ever made privy to them. CIA officials maintain that Congress was indeed aware of them but as far as other details about various attempts to unseat Castro and the disclosure thereof, the agency falls back on the tried and true CIA response that they “can neither confirm nor deny” such allegations.