Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro, who died at the age of 90 on Friday remains one of most iconic figures in the history of world politics for openly defying the United States for nearly five decades.
The United States always viewed him as their potential enemy since he came to power in Cuba after dethroning U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista. Being a hardcore communist, Castro's harsh stand against imperialism and his proximity with the Soviet Union was enough for the US to always consider him one their biggest threats.
There were more reportedly more than 600 assassination plots against him many of which were allegedly backed by US intelligence agency CIA. Many of them were a part of CIA's Operation Mongoose, a covert operation which was initiated during President John F Kennedy's regime. However, he survived all of them as all the plots were foiled.
In 2005, a documentary named 638 Ways to Kill Castro was also released in the United Kingdom which highlighted the many who wanted to kill the revolutionary.
Here is a look at some of the best known theories
Since Castro loved his Havana cigar, there was an attempt to murder him by providing him a cigar which was loaded with explosives.
Castro later gave cigars up in 1985. Years later while mentioning the ill-effects of smoking tobacco, he said, "The best thing you can do with this box of cigars is to give them to your enemy."
There was an attempt to put chemicals in shoes which would weaken his hair and would thus make his beard fall. His thick beard was a distinct part of his strong identity.
Poisoned chocolate milkshake
Cuba's retired state security general Fabian Escalante said that this was one such attempt which came the closest to killing Castro. The plan was to spike Castro's milkshake with a poison pill which was delivered by US-based mobsters.
A woman named Marita Lorenz was allegedly sent to spike Castro's drink with poison. However, she fell in love with him and later became pregnant, claims a book titled JFK: Assassination Rehearsal
There was also an attempt to kill Castro by giving him a wetsuit filled with deadly spores and bacteria. It took place during the Bay of Pigs invasion, a failed military operation by the CIA in which Cuban exiles were trained to overthrow the Cuban government.
An explosive device was put in an attractive conch shell near the sea since Castro loved scuba diving, it was expected that he would go near the shell and touch it.
A deadly pen filled with a hypodermic needle was also created in such a way that he could be pricked and killed without it coming to anyone's notice.
LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide)
A plan was hatched to drug him during a TV interview by spraying LSD in the studio. It was expected that the drug would make him lose his mental balance and would appear strange in front of the audience.
(Feature image source: Reuters)
(With inputs from Reuters, AFP)