Fidel Castro first took power in Cuba when he overthrew Fulgencio Batista on January 8, 1959. He took the stage and stood under the lights to deliver a speech that lasted for hours! At dawn, as his speech was winding down, white doves were released as a symbol of peace. One of the doves landed on his shoulder and sat there as the crowd celebrated because they took it as a sign that Fidel Castro was the answer Cuba needed.

Well, his leadership didn't turn out the way the Cuban population had hoped.

He was a dictator to his people in every sense, taking care of minor details, as well as the big decisions. His word was final.

Castro's list of enemies grew!

When he first took over Cuba, the American mob was kicked out. They had been running brothels and casinos in Cuba, a mere 90 miles from Florida but out of US jurisdiction. Of course, the mob was unhappy and Castro had made an enemy. Nearly pushing the world into a nuclear war with the Bay of Pigs, growing his list of enemies even more. Put all of that with the poor relations he had with 11 American presidents over a 50+ year period.

One thing he was not short of was enemies. The kind that wanted him dead.

In 2006 a British made documentary, "638 Ways To Kill Castro" showed the details of some of the ill-fated plots. Cuban officials are unable to confirm the attempts but do say there were more than 600 attempts on Fidel Castro's life.

Unlikely allies in assassination plots

Reports say the mob worked with the US government to execute Castro but failed.

Cyanide was to be used in Fidel Castro's favorite drink -- a chocolate milkshake. According to CIA documents, the pills were provided to the mob who got them to the hotel he was staying in. When he ordered the milkshake, the pill was ruined because it had frozen to the shelf in the freezer.

Again poisoned pills were tried when Marita Lorenz, Castro's lover, was visiting the US. The government officials recruited her help but when she returned to Cuba the pills had dissolved in her night cream where she had hidden them.

The stories go on and on. They even considered a toxic dive suit to infect him with disease. In the end, Fidel Castro handed the reigns of power to his younger brother and lived to be 90 years old.

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