10

This article (along with this article and many others) mentions some plots by CIA to overthrow the Cuban leader Fidel Castro:

  • Staging the Second Coming so that religious people would abandon their anti-clerical leader

  • Poison him with tallium salts so that he would lose his beard (and political power majorly based on his charisma as well)

  • Giving him LSD before a live broadcast to the nation so that nonsense speech he would produce make people lose trust in him

The other plots (like femme fatale or poisoned handkerchief) don't sound that implausible but the three above really got me.

Were any of the plots above real?

  • 1
    Where do you see Second Coming in the article you linked to? – Franck Dernoncourt Jan 20 '14 at 20:42
  • @Franck: updated the link to the Second Coming plot – Quassnoi Jan 21 '14 at 2:33
  • That was one mighty beard, apparently. – PoloHoleSet Nov 28 '16 at 17:41
14

Yes for LSD and thallium. I don't see any reliable source regarding the second coming, that sounds implausible to me.


LSD:

Assassination attempts on Fidel Castro (Wikipedia) mention the LSD attempt:

Lacing Castro's radio studio with LSD to cause his disorientation during the broadcast and damage his public image.

Alleged Plots Involving Foreign Leaders, U.S. Senate, Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, S. Rep. No. 755, 94th Cong., 2d sess. PDF

According to the 1967 Report of the CIA's Inspector General, an official in the Technical Services Division (TSD) recalled discussing a scheme to spray Castro's broadcasting studio with a chemical which produced effects similar to LSD


Thallium:

The thallium is mentioned in Conspiracy Encyclopedia (required reading in a 2008 course on conspiracy at Harvard University):

Another was to dust Castro with the depilatory, thallium, so as to destroy his image by causing his beard to fall out.

Alleged Plots Involving Foreign Leaders, U.S. Senate, Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, S. Rep. No. 755, 94th Cong., 2d sess. PDF

The Inspector General also reported a plan to destroy Castro's image as "The Beard" by dusting his shoes with thallium salts, a strong depilatory that would cause his beard to fall out. The depilatory was to be administered during a trip outside Cuba, when it was anticipated Castro would leave his shoes outside the door of his hotel room to be shined. TSD procured the chemical and tested it on animals, but apparently abandoned the scheme because Castro cancelled his trip. (I.G. Report, pp. 10-13)


Other interesting links:

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .