In 1952 Batista became dictator of cuba and in short time became president. Batista had
good relations with the United States and had their support, but the people of the island suffered
greatly the injustices that were going on. The inequality amongst the rich and poor was greater
everyday and anti-government groups emerged. A man named Fidel Castro became the leader of
anti-government group who carried out the revolution that would change history forever.
In 1959 Batista was overthrown and forced to leave Cuba, and a new regime took over.
At first, the United States had doubts whether or not continue relations with Cuba. When Fidel
ordered the seizure of United States refineries, sugar mills and electric utilities the U.S. began to
formulate for a covert plan to overthrow or maybe even assassinate Castro.
By 1960 president Eisenhower and members of his government had a plan to get rid of
Fidel, but Eisenhower left office and was replaced by Kennedy. Kennedy now president was
informed of the operation. Rumors began swarming around of the plan but Eisenhower, Kennedy
and other high banking officials denied all of it.
The CIA began to train Cuban exiles for the operation, they were being paid $400 dollars
a month along with additional funds for their wives and children. The original plan was to land
during during the day in the city of Trinidad but Kennedy thought the role of the U.S. would be
exposed and suggested night time landing (Sierra 7). The Bay of Pigs was chosen instead for the
landing because of the air-strip on the beach where bombing raids could be operated from. Once
the bay was secured the trained exiles would land and the U.S. would recognize them as the
islands legitimate government. This provisional government would then ask for military back-up
from the United States.
The Cuban exiles were told by the CIA that Castro’s air force would be destroyed prior to
the invasion along with troops, trucks and tanks, to secure their safety. They were also told air
support would be there at all times to blast off any of Castro’s counter offense (Sierra 10).
The Cuban government knew an attack was coming but they did not know when and how
the attack would take place, but they were ready. On April 15th, U.S. B- 26 bombers began
attacking Cuban airfields, the bombers were disguised as Cuban planes being flown by defecting
Cubans. The landing began on the 16th, a team went ashore to set up landing lights. The invading
force was made-up of 1,500 men divided into six battalions. Two of the battalions went ashore
Playa Giron and another one at Playa Larga, but they soon ran into problems. Because of the
sharp coral reefs the landing was delayed, exposing them to air attacks. By Monday morning the
vessels “Maropa” and “Houston” were sunk by the Cuban militia (15).
News of the invasion hit the media and suspicions of the U.S. being involved began to
circulate. Kennedy along with the rest of his officials steadily denied any involvement and
accused Castro of setting up the attack himself. Though Kennedy denied involvement, Soviet
leader Krushchev sent him a letter warning that Cuba was not alone and retrieval would be the
wisest move to make.
Since the initial development of the plan the rule was to maintain “covert character”
(Landau 7). No action would be taken that could involve the U.S. or that could not be denied by
the U.S. The operation was to look as if it were conducted by the Cubans alone.
The expected air cover by the United States Air Force never arrived. In a desperate last
Effort to help in the invasion, an air strike was approved. Four American pilots died. With no
supplies or air cover, the Brigade fell. 200 rebel soldiers were killed and 1,197 men were
captured and taken prisoners by the Cuban militia, to the Brigade they had been betrayed and
abandoned by the United States.
The failure of the invasion at Bay of Pigs gave Castro military victory. It also made Cuba
a symbol of resistance against northern aggression. Cuba’s diplomatic relation with the U.S. was
severed but became an ally to the Soviet Union, as for the U.S. and the Soviets they only
In the United States the attack against Cuba caused turmoil amongst the people, they
wanted answers from their government. The media kept pushing for answers constantly
questioning the president and his cabinet. Kennedy and his officials knew heads had to role but it
would not be the presidents. The CIA had made many mistakes, 200 men had died and more than
one thousand had been imprisoned. Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell were forced to resign(study
world 26). Even though the CIA continued to exist and carry out covert operations it was on a
lower scale and it came under the supervision of Bobby Kennedy.
Globally after the attack the United States lost their position to question others, and
ironically created a bigger enemy. The attack pushed Cuba into the arms of The Soviet Union for
help.Not only did the U.S. have to watch it’s back from the U.S.S.R but also from Cuba knowing
that Fidel would receive military support from Krushchev. The United States knew all
investments were lost in Cuba and there was no way of recuperating any of it as long as Fidel
was in control. The plan to get rid of Castro after the defeat became an obsession to the Kennedy
brothers. Out of this obsession came operation “Mongoose”. The plan was to have Castro
assassinated along with important Cuban leaders, and to sabotage the Islands economy (Landau
President Kennedy now had to worry of the close relationship Castro had formed with
Krushchev. Kennedy was informed that nuclear missiles had been brought into Cuba from the
Soviet Union, Castro denied the allegation but when satellite photos showed the missiles Castro
could no longer deny it. The missile in Cuba brought the” missile crisis” incident where the
United States and Cuba came very close to initiating war against each other.
Kennedy placed trade restrictions on Cuba causing a lot of problems for the island but the
United States felt the ramifications also. Product from the U.S. stopped selling causing the flow
Of foreign money to stop, it is estimated that up to this day $1billion dollars is the amount that
has been lost.
Hostile feelings were brought about because of the attack, the United States president
was ridiculed and seen as a liar. Kennedy was forced to publicly apologize and admit the
involvement of the U.S. in Cuba, after steadily denying it for so long. He was also ridiculed for
being a president who could not control his cabinets doings.
Anti-U.S. demonstrations in Latin America and all over Europe took place. This
incident has been used for anti-U.S. sentiments all over the world to this very day, signaling the
U.S. as a “bully” who wants to impose its views and policies on other countries by any means
they find necessary.
The United States president had many to respond to there were many people who were
very upset because of all the investment they had lost in the island and were pressuring him to
take any steps necessary to recuperate some of their losses but Kennedy now knew Cuba had the
support of Krushchev which could cause a major war.
Ironically after the attack and many of the consequences that came about the United
States later had to deal with Cuban exiles who had not died or been imprisoned, turned to
illegitimate jobs. Some of them turned to organized crime and freelance terrorism, the U.S. had
trained and organized future crime syndicates that would later come to run some of the most
sought after and important drug cartels in the U.S. (warandgame13).
After the island was attacked Cuba was left with many casualties a number was not
given. It is estimated to have been between 2,000 and 5’000 most of them being civilian deaths.
A lot of the city was in ruins and there were many losses in artillery, planes and tanks. Though
there were many losses Cuba’s victory surpassed that. They now saw Fidel as a great leader who
had beaten the intruder. The island gained respect and fear because of their valor.
Fidel began a negotiation for the return of the prisoners he had. Private companies and
independent people would pay for the return of them to the states. The amount of $53 million
dollars in food and medicine was agreed to (study world 5) this was seen as another victory for
Cuba had lost all diplomatic ties with the U.S. but had gained better ones with the Soviet
Union. The Soviets gave him “preferential” trade in response to Kennedy’s embargo (Landau
11) making up for the shortages the island would suffer. Fidel was aware of all the help he was
receiving from the Soviets which left him in a position where he felt he could not say ¨no¨ to
them but he also knew he needed them. The “missile crisis” is an example of the price he had to
pay for the help and Cuba was almost attacked by the U.S.
Castro was left with a country that had many needs and with help cut off from the U.S. it
now had more needs. He had to provide and in order to do that he had to organize his people and
the system. The attack gave Fidel a much harder time to set a productive country, he was going
to have to work harder and find those who would be willing to help him at a very high cost:
being an enemy of the United States. The victory he achieved at the Bay of Pigs made Castro
many enemies more than those he already had and he knew this. Today the island still lives with
the consequences, the intense military presence, the restrictions to leave or come into the country
and the severe punishments to those who are caught or suspected of betraying the government.
Fidel’s choice to become a communist leader is considered to be the most notable consequence
of the invasion.
The invasion of Cuba had many people involved for various reasons. No one participated
to get nothing out of it , the United States was loosing a country where they had a lot
invested which meant loss of money. Trade had stopped and they knew they would be loosing
an ally who could do favors and produce money. Those in the White House were being pressured
and promised compensation if they got rid of Castro by the investors who had been kicked out of Cuba.
Fidel’s regime already had control but they wanted respect and fear to make sure another
incident like that one would not repeat itself. Castro got to the heart of the people through his
words and actions but he also used logic and common sense to challenge the accusations that
were being made against him. He used pictures and documents to support his claims and defense.
The United States tried to get to the people also through their hearts by stating false information
that the majority of the Cubans wanted to get rid of Castro. They instilled fear into the hearts of
people with the threat of wide spread communism as an excuse for their actions.
The fact is both countries suffered from the attack maybe one more than the other. Some
would say they are still suffering and others would deny that, it all depends who you ask. Maybe
one day the United States will have a president who is willing to reconcile the past and leave it in
the past, but meanwhile the hostility between many Cubans and Americans exists. In my opinion
this is the most significant consequence left from the attack on the Bay of Pigs.