Fidel Castro isn’t exactly the poster child of political excellence, but the man sure did have luck on his side. Hundreds of attempts to assassinate him failed, and it’ll be hard to wrap your head around the strange, wacky, and just plain weird attempts on his life that he somehow survived.

So, Fidel’s not a fan favorite

Okay, let’s face it: Fidel Castro, the former Cuban leader, wasn’t exactly everyone’s favorite communist. He made plenty of enemies along his path of rebellion, and he had a love-hate relationship with his people. However, Castro somehow survived the majority of his enemies…and due to many recent scandals surfacing, that feat  is pretty dang impressive.

Alamy

Back in 2008, Castro ditched his powerful position to deal with some serious medical issues and ailing health. His death in 2016 was met with mixed reactions of both mourning and celebration. But while natural causes are what ended Castro’s life, they’re hardly the first thing that tried to kill him.

We could all use Castro’s insane luck

Now, it’s no surprise that a headstrong government official will earn a few assassination threats during their time in office. At this point, it’s practically a political tradition. For most, these threats are snuffed out before they can become anything more serious. But Castro made more than enough enemies capable of wiping him out throughout his time in office, so he was definitely near the brink of death at all times…right?

Paul Hosefros/The New York Times

As it turns out, Castro was one lucky SOB — he survived 600 whole assassination attempts, and the majority of which (alledgedly) came straight from the pissed-off US government. “How?” you may ask. Honestly, it sounds like nothing more than destiny (and apparently, the US government’s inability to find a sneaky enough assassin). But what makes these attempts notable isn’t the number…it’s the various ways that the US tried to wipe the poor dude out.

Some attempts were just plain weird

The CIA tried all sorts of bizarre methods to rid the world of the disagreeable dictator. Would you consider partnering with the mafia, stuffing a cigarette with explosives, or sending Castro’s former lover to poison him in bed? Well, the CIA tried all this and more…and none of it quite panned out.

Corbis

After the poisonous syringe ballpoint pens and trying to fill his favorite diving suit with toxic material, the government tried a new approach: simply dethroning the master through embarrassment. But while they tried to destroy his image through drugs that made him loopy and by wrecking his beard, no plan came through. In the end, Castro died on his own terms, and left his badass survival tales behind.