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Close, but no cigar. Chocolate milkshakes, wetsuits, seashells and cigars may seem to be relatively innocuous items, but according to the Cuban government, they are just four of the 637 ways in which the United States has tried to assassinate President Fidel Castro during the past 40 years. Yesterday, the plaintiffs leveled charges accusing America of using exploding seashells, bacteria-laden clothing and poisoned food and drink to try to kill the Cuban leader. In a $181 billion lawsuit filed in Havana in late May, Cuba also cited the Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 and a dengue epidemic that the United States allegedly initiated in 1981 as means of attempted assassination. The United States government hasn’t given a second thought to the charges � refraining even from sending a representative to contest them. That may change, though — if our southern neighbors conclude that Cal Ripken intentionally hit a foul ball in Castro’s direction during this spring’s exhibition baseball game against the Cuban national team.

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