CASTRO AND THE CIA
The orders to the CIA were very clearly stated
Castro is our enemy, we want him terminated.
Well, they tried and tried again with methods far beyond convention
Yet he died when he was 90 quite without their intervention
My previous blog discussed “fake news” and the difficulty of distinguishing it from satire. The death of Fidel Castro has prompted an outpouring of comments illustrating this problem. In particular, article after article, and cartoon after cartoon from all around the world take off from these allegations:
-- that a succession of U.S. Presidents, from Eisenhower onward, had ordered the CIA to assassinate Castro;
-- that the CIA tried to accomplish this repeatedly through such devices as exploding cigars, poisoned mollusks and diving suits, a hit-woman with poison pills, a toxic fountain pen; a botulin-laced chocolate milk shake, high explosives placed under his podium, and a grenade attack at a baseball game.
Altogether there are reports of a total of 634 lethal plots by the CIA and Cuban expatriate groups. And all failed.
Surely, we may say, this is all too absurd to be real. This news has to be fake. The CIA couldn’t be so absurdly incompetent. They had successfully managed the highly complicated plot to oust Iranian President, Mohammad Mosaddegh, in 1953; and could they really be less competent than the sole gunmen who killed John Kennedy and almost killed Ronald Reagan?
It may well be that the much-cited figure of 634 attempts is considerably exaggerated. But there is ample, reliable evidence that the specific plots listed above were among many that were specifically planned; but were as unsuccessful as the abysmally botched Bay of Pigs invasion, and Fidel Castro died in his bed at the age of 90 without any assistance from the CIA.
So the topic is all too easy for a Ben Jennings cartoon in the London Guardian showing Castro smoking his cigar unperturbed by an arrow in his head and a dagger in his throat; or one in the Mexican La Tornado depicting a CIA operative saluting the graves of American Presidents with the proud but misplaced boast: “Mission accomplished.”; or the Canadian de Adder in the Halifax Herald drawing Che Guavera pushing Castro in a wheelchair saying: “Congratulations, Fidel. You outlived American democracy.”