638 Ways to Kill Fidel Castro
London, Nov 29 (Prensa Latina) The man whom the CIA has tried to despatch with everything from a bacteria-infected hankie to an aerosol filled with LSD, is still around and should be blowing out the 80 candles on his cake on December 2, writes the Guardian newspaper.
Reviewing the film shown by British TV Channel Four Tuesday evening about the US government's 638 failed plots to kill Fidel Castro, the Guardian UK says it comes at a timely moment.
At a time when US government officials speculate about the Cuban leader´s health situation, this film deals on the attempts on the life of Fidel Castro, either directly organized by the CIA or their many proxies, registered by retired general Fabian Escalante in his book 638 Maneras de Matar a Castro (638 Ways to Kill Castro).
The film could hardly come at a better time as the world is being asked to take a stance against terrorism and western horror is expressed at the assassination of political leaders.
Dollan Cannell, the film's director, says that the plots seem to have failed through a mixture of incompetence, chance and bad timing. "The CIA had to do it without being blamed for it," says Cannell. "There had to be no smoking gun." No mention is made, however, of the efficient work of Cuban intelligence that foiled those attempts.
Castro has now seen off no fewer than eight American presidents, many of whom, Cannell believes, must have sanctioned the various attempted hits. "We can be 100 per cent sure that Eisenhower and Kennedy signed off on them," says Cannell.
"And I think you could say that probably also Johnson and Nixon agreed to them. Jimmy Carter told us when we met him during the making of the film that he did not," said Cannell.
Two of the chief anti-Castro plotters agreed to participate in the film: Orlando Bosch, weakened by a stroke, and Luis Posada, who is currently wanted in both Cuba and Venezuela in connection with the 1976 bombing of a Cuban airliner.
The film director and producer agree there is no shame about being involved in the plots amongst the exile community. They (the would-be assassins) are pretty much regarded as heroes. And there are still people who are only embarrassed that they didn't succeed."
Cannell says that the most striking aspect of the film for him is that a country, which is now so outspoken about its opposition to terrorism, should have been involved for so long in so many plans to kill a foreign head of state: "what shrieks at you is the double standard."
The film was shown just a few days before the planned celebrations in Havana for Castro's 80th birthday, which was postponed from this summer when he fell ill.
638 times! OK, that's 47 years. That's 13.57 attempts per year. One a month and two in December.
The film omits the one method that finally did the Tyrant in. They made him obsolete. They ignored him. Being a zero to the left , or zero of the left, was too much for his ego to bare. The stress caused by not being able to indulge in his obsession of being David to the Goliath to the North caused him to fall apart.