The CIA has been trying to assassinate Fidel Castro since the 1959 revolution.

So far there have been 638 attempts, the most spectacular of which are detailed in a documentary by Peter Moore, to be screened shortly by Channel 4 in the UK, and in a book by former head of the Cuban secret service Fabian Escalente, whose job it was to foil the plots.

At one time the CIA recruited one of his ex-lovers, who was supplied with poison capsules, which she hid in a jar of cold cream.

The pills melted and she decided not to go through with it (feeding the great dictator with cold cream as he slept didn’t seem like a viable idea, I guess) but Fidel had already sussed her out and coolly offered her his own pistol.

“I can’t do it Fidel,” she said.

638 ways to kill Castro