Fidel Castro smoking a cigar in 1963. (Photo: Duke University Rubenstein Library / Gado / Getty)

CIA discussed assassination of Fidel Castro with UK officials

Fidel Castro’s secret service chief once estimated that 634 attempts were made against the Cuban leader’s life.  From exploding cigars to poisoned pills, Washington’s campaign to assassinate Castro remains an infamous case of Cold War covert action. The presence of a revolutionary government in Cuba, just 90 miles off the coast of Florida, was intolerable […]

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Fidel and Raúl Castro (Photo: Adalberto Roque / AFP via Getty)

How Britain plotted to spread homophobia in Cuba

After the US cut off diplomatic relations with Cuba in January 1961, the British embassy in Havana functioned as a proxy for US covert action and intelligence gathering against Castro’s government. British operations, undertaken by the Foreign Office’s Information Research Department (IRD), were designed to delegitimise Cuba’s promotion of wealth distribution and to support US […]

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