Castro Must Go, Go, Go!

When the CIA wanted to whack Fidel, the Mob’s price was crrrrazy — they’d do it for free! Here’s the original declassified CIA memo.

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Frisky Fidel Castro, that bewhiskered communist leader of Cuba, boasted in the 1970s that he’d survived two dozen assassination attempts. Any national leader has to contend with coup plotters, backstabbers, and other overzealous countrymen, but Castro’s story was unique: He had survived two dozen CIA assassination attempts. Twenty-four might be an embellishment — the CIA admitted to only eight — but Castro has some proof. The CIA recently declassified a good portion of its past, which has been catalogued in the State Department’s forthcoming Cuba, 1961-1962.

One revealing memo describes the CIA’s vision of assassinations: outsourcing! In August 1960, Langley’s finest contacted the Chicago Mafia and offered them $150,000 to mount a “sensitive operation against Fidel.” The Mob, itching to get back their Havana casinos, not only agreed to the Castro “project” — they agreed to knock him off for free.

The agency graciously accepted the family discount, then paid the Mob about $11,000 in expenses and equipment, only to withdraw the offer entirely after the Bay of Pigs snafu. Apparently, they had domestic problems to deal with — perhaps the CIA will someday declassify memos on the “Kennedy project.”

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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