After the fall of Fulgencio Batista, the ruler of Cuba
, Fidel Castro
took control. Initially snubbed by America
, he declared Cuba to be a Communist country, and allied with the Soviet Union
. Upset with this announcement, and with Castro's nationalization
of American assets in Cuba, America began formulating plans to overthrow this upstart dictator.
So in 1960, the CIA
began training Cuban refugees in bases established in Guatemala and Florida. In 1961 they were ready to invade.
Unfortunately the timing for this invasion was very poor. Originally formulated under President Dwight D. Eisenhower
, the actual plan wasn't executed until John F. Kennedy
was in office. Kennedy failed to understand the military complexities of the invasion, and this is one reason for it's failure. The CIA, however can be partially blamed for this lack in communication
, because they failed to accurately inform Kennedy of various needs the invasion force would have.
Before the invasion, several pilots under contract to the CIA flew bombing raids on Cuban air field
s, damaging aircraft, but failing to knock out Castro's air power. This meant that when the approaching invasion force, delayed because Kennedy changed its landing zone to the Bay of Pigs
rather than the city of Trinidad
, came into range, it was immediately attacked by Castro's air force, severely hampering the landing, and sinking ships in the invasion force. While American air forces were availible to support the invasion, Kennedy did not allow their participation, because he wanted to maintain "plausible deniability
." Unfortunately it was already plainly obvious that the invasion was an American creation, and this decision not only cost the invasion, but also caused America to lose face in light of the events.
The invasion force, to their tribute, continued on, but after 400 of the 1,400 invaders were killed in combat with Castro's army, they were forced to surrender. The entire operation was a fiasco
, poorly planned, and plainly obvious. Castro knew in advance that the invasion was coming, and without any secrecy, the plan had no hope of working.
The results were very difficult for America - the events directly led to the Cuban Missile Crisis
, where Kennedy faced the possibility of nuclear warhead
s placed 60 miles off the Florida coastline. In addition it created a rift
between America and Cuba that continues to this day, and showed the CIA as an unreliable source for overthrowing governments.