Bay of Pigs Invasion (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: Invasion of Cuba by a CIA-trained guerrilla force results in a crushing defeat.
Summary of Event
In 1959, Fidel Castro and his revolutionary forces had overthrown Cuba’s government, establishing a revolutionary socialist regime in its place. Lands formerly owned by members of the upper classes and by U.S. companies were seized and redistributed, and many Cubans fled to the United States—primarily Florida—in exile.
In March, 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), headed by Allen Dulles, to train and equip a Cuban exile guerrilla force for the purpose of infiltrating Cuba and joining the anti-Castro underground. With the cooperation of the Guatemalan government, the CIA soon established training camps in that country, and the training of Cuban exile volunteers began. By November, 1960, the CIA operation, under the supervision of Richard Bissell, had changed from the training of guerrillas to the preparation of an invasion force. After that date, guerrilla training ceased, and a small army was trained in conventional assault landing tactics.
Meanwhile, in the Cuban exile community in Miami, Florida, the United Revolutionary Front was formed. Headed by Dr. José Miró Cardona, who would become provisional president of Cuba upon the exiles’ return, the group in Miami managed the recruitment of soldiers for the expeditionary...
(The entire section is 2103 words.)
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Bay of Pigs Invasion (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Type of action: Armed invasion of Cuba. Result: Defeat of the invading force and embarrassment for U.S. government.
After Fidel Castro’s victory in Cuba in 1959, many Cubans who opposed his rule fled to Florida. Two years later, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) took a group of these exiles to Guatemala to train them for an assault on Cuba. The plan was to land 1,500 men and establish a beachhead that would then attract Cuban dissidents, swelling the force until it could challenge Castro’s larger, better-equipped army. Overall security in Guatemala was lax, however, enabling Castro to learn of the approximate time and place of the invasion. Unaware that security had been breached, the exiles sailed for Cuba. The United States bombed Cuban airfields prior to the invasion to eliminate the threat of Castro’s air force, but several planes escaped. Washington also had promised air cover for the invasion, but at the last moment, this was removed for fear of involving the Soviet Union in a major war, leaving the exiles at the mercy of the remaining planes.
Without air cover and with the Cuban army dug in and waiting, the exiles were easily defeated on the beaches. This debacle cost President John F. Kennedy, Jr., support from other Latin American leaders who were incensed that he had not consulted with them before invading a Latin American country.
(The entire section is 292 words.)