Invasion

Word Count: 1976 |

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

worsened.

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

8).

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.

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.

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