"Sam suggested they not resort to firearms, but if he could be furnished with some type of potent pill, that could be placed in Castro's food or drink."
Escalante, who had guarded the socialist politician for years, said Orta in a mix of urgency and nervousness to poison Castro mistakenly broke the capsule after it got stuck in the freezer.
"They ordered a chocolate milkshake, and in the rush and nervousness brought on by the moment for which he had prepared himself for over a year, he broke the capsule of poison while trying to pick it up, as it had stuck to the shelf of the freezer in which it was hidden…that moment was the closest the CIA got to assassinating Fidel."
The CIA again tried to dole out death by the pill after recruiting Marita Lorenz, a mistress of Castro. Lorenz in a 1993 memoir, Marita: One Woman's Extraordinary Tale of Love and Espionage from Castro to Kennedy said she was recruited after visiting the United States and was sent back into her lover's arms with a batch of poison pills. The plan was for her to slip a poisoned pill inside his drink and leave immediately. Lorenz was nervous about the pills being discovered at Cuban customs and dropped them inside her cream.
She said when she returned to Havana, the pills had dissolved in the jar of face cream that she hid them. According to Marita, to make matters even worse, her lover was aware of the plot to kill him. Castro allegedly handed over a gun to Marita to kill him instead, closing his eyes and smoking a cigar. Lorenz said instead of killing him, they made love.