Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Fidel Castro Turns 80 On Sunday (Aug. 13)

HAVANA (Wireless Flash - FlashNews) – Fidel Castro turns 80 this Sunday (Aug. 13) and while his deteriorating health has forced him to hand over power to his younger brother Raul, the dynamic dictator has given the world much to talk about throughout his 30-year reign.

  • As a young man Castro played baseball as right-handed pitcher. He was so good that a Caribbean scout recommended the future dictator to the New York Giants.

  • In 1960, he gave the longest speech in the history of the United Nations – a whopping four hours and 29 minutes.

  • The CIA tried to poison Castro in 1960 by treating a box of his favorite cigars with a deadly toxin. The poisoned cigars never reached Castro. Another stunt considered by the CIA was a special powder sprinkled in his boots that was supposed to make his beard fall out.

    Finally, in 1961, Castro offered to exchange most of the prisoners caught in America’s invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs for 500 American-made tractors.

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