The Failed Attempt To Assassinate Fidel Castro With A Milkshake

Who doesn't love a good milkshake? They're refreshing, fattening, unhealthy, and utterly delicious. They also conjure up images of a bygone era of American life. One with enormous cars, "Leave it to Beaver," and communists 90 miles off the coast of Florida. 

Where is this going? Well, apparently the late communist dictator of Cuba, one Fidel Castro, was a great lover of ice cream-related products. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, novelist and friend of Castro, recalled in his book "A Personal Portrait of Fidel" that "El Comandante" loved ice cream so much that he once devoured 18 scoops of the stuff after an already sizable lunch (via The Atlantic).

It makes sense, then, that the Central Intelligence Agency would attempt to use this knowledge to its advantage. As the primary ingredient of any good milkshake is its ice cream, the CIA decided, after so many previous failed attempts, to try and off Castro by poisoning his favorite treat. That's right, our government once authorized the assassination of a communist dictator via milkshake.

Close, but no milkshake

According to a report from Reuters, the CIA had been gunning for Fidel Castro ever since he first took power in 1959, launching numerous failed assassination attempts against the Cuban dictator. These included, but were not limited to, poisoned cigars, a tainted scuba diving suit, and chemical-laced boots that would cause his beard to fall out. None of these were successful, so the CIA took a suggestion from some disgruntled mobsters who'd lost out on their profitable, Havana-based casinos when Castro rose to power. If this all sounds too similar to "The Godfather Part 2" for you, just wait ... It gets even better. 

Declassified documents from the CIA reveal that the operation was called "Family Jewels." As a part of the plan, two mobsters, Salvatore Giancana and Santos Trafficante Jr., were contacted by a CIA go-between to deliver pills laced with botulinum toxin. Essentially, they planned to give Castro botulism. The closest they came to succeeding was in March of 1963 at the Havana Libre Hotel. A poisoned pill had been hidden in the freezer of the hotel cafeteria. Everything was in place and the plan would be successful if they could just get the pill in the milkshake and the milkshake to Castro.

However, when it came time to taint El Comandante's chocolate milkshake, the pill — which had become frozen in place — tore open and spilled all over the floor. And that was the end of that. More attempts were made over the years, until 1976 when the Ford Administration banned assassination attempts on foreign leaders. As the BBC reported, Castro lived to the ripe old age of 90, dying on November 25, 2016, which, ironically enough, was Black Friday (via YouTube).