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The Bay of Pigs Invasion

By late 1958 Castro was still fighting a guerilla war against the Fulgencio Batista. Before he came to power, there was an incident between his troops and some vacationing American troops from the nearby American naval base at Guantanamo Bay. During the incident some U. S. Marines were held captive by Castros forces but were later released after a ransom was secretly paid. Because of what happened the United States and the chief of U. S. Naval Operations, Admiral Burke, wanted to send in the Marines to destroy Castro’s forces but Secretary of State Foster Dulles didnt want any of that to happen.

Castro overthrew Batista in 1959. Originally Castro was not a communist. Fearful of Castro’s revolution, people with money, like doctors, lawyers, and the Mafia, left Cuba for the United States. To prevent the loss of more capital Castro’s solution was to nationalize some of the businesses in Cuba. In the process of nationalizing some business he came into conflict with American interests . U. S. businesses were taken over, and the process of socialization began with little if any talk of compromise.

There were also rumors of Cuban involvement in trying to invade Panama, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic and by this time Castro had been turn down by the United States for any aid. Being rejected by the Americans, he met with foreign minister Anasta Mikoyan to secure a $100 million loan from the Soviet Union. It was then that the American Intelligence and Foreign Relations communities decided that Castro was leaning towards communism and had to be dealt with.

In the spring of 1960, President Eisenhower approved a plan to send small groups of American trained, Cuban exiles, to work underground as guerrillas to overthrow Castro. By the fall, the plan was changed to a full invasion with air support by exile Cubans in American supplied planes. The group was to be trained in Panama, but with the growth of the operation and the quickening pace of events in Cuba, it was decided to move things to a base in Guatemala. The plan was rushed. The man in charge of the operation was CIAs Deputy Director Richard Bissell.

President Kennedy could have stopped the invasion or at least slowed it down if he wanted to, but he probably didn’t do so for his own reasons. For one, his campaign called for some form of action against Cuba , and to back out now would mean having groups of Cuban exiles going around talking about how the U. S. backed down from Cuba. If they backed out the competition with the Soviet Union would make the Americans look like wimps. The failure of the CIA led to Kennedy making poor choices which would affect the way Cuba and the Soviet Union felt about the U. S..

There were several reasons why the CIA had messed up. First the wrong people were handling the operation, second the agency in charge of the operation was also the one providing all the intelligence, and thirdly for an organization supposedly obsessed with security the operation had security problems. The ones in charge of the operation were the Director of Central Intelligence, Allan Dulles and main responsibility for the operation was left to one of their men, Richard Bissell. These two people in charge lacked experiance in dealing with things like the operation.

The situation in Cuba was much different than that in Guatemala. In Guatemala the situation was still chaotic and Arbenz never had the same control over the country that Castro had on Cuba. The CIA had the United States Ambassador, John Puerifoy, working on the inside of Guatemala coordinating the effort. After the overthrow of the government in Guatemala, Castro was fearful that at anytime there might be an invasion so he had to make sure he stayed on his toes. Another problem was with the CIA itself.

Since they were new they seemed to want to prove to everyone that they where the best so they started with Cuba. Wanting the invasion to be kept secret they left out some of their top advisors such as intelligence wing of CIA, and their Board of National Estimates. Also kept out of were the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff who could have provided military help. In the end, the CIA kept all the information for itself and passed on to the president only what it thought he should see. Most of the White House aides disagreed with the plan as well.

But Kennedy only listened to what the CIA told him. For an organization that dealt with security there had been some poor choices made. President Kennedy’s Secretary of State Dean Rusk said that The CIA told us all sorts of things about the situation in Cuba and what would happen once the brigade got ashore. President Kennedy received information which simply was wrong. After the invasion the B-26 planes flew back to Florida and landed there. When the planes arrived though a reporter took a pictures of one of the planes and put it in the newspaper.

At first no one noticed that the picture that had been taken showed that the tip of the B-26 was opaque but Cuban planes had a Plexiglas nose. All Castro would have to do is look in the paper and see that there was something strange about the so called Cuban planes that had bombed them. In the administration itself, the Bay of Pigs crisis lead to a few changes. First someone had to take the fall for the invasion so, as Director of Central Intelligence, Allen Dulles was forced to resign and left CIA in November of 1961. After Dulles left the CIA never seemed to be the same again.

Though the CIA still held operations against Castro they were never on the same scale. The CIA later became under the control of the Presidents brother. In the end, the lessons learned from the Bay of Pigs failure may have contributed to the successful handling of the Cuban missile crisis that followed. In the long run the Bay of Pigs invasion didnt seem to benefit anyone. We can see that Castro is still in power over Cuba and all we did to help that was to scare Castro into thinking everyone was going to turn on him so now people in Cuba suffer for what the U. S. had done.

This not only shows the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, but American policy towards Cuba in general. Since Castro is still around we go through wars, and even a cold one, in which people die becuase of the inept action of Americans. When Castro first came to power he tried to help the people and show them who they should trust and he even tried to end corruption. Now having no help from the Soviet Union things are beginning to change. He has used the economy to invest and taken things away in which people should have mainly in telecommunications, oil and exploration.

In an attempt to stay in power, he is trying to adjust his country to the new reality of the world. Rather than keeping the educated from public knowledge, he is giving them a place in controlling Cuba. What I want to know is the so called educated people just going to sit by and listen to Castro all their lives or are they going to try and over run him and fight for more power then they already have? When Castro came to power in 1959 the only opponents he had to worry about in both the U. S. d in Guatemala where in the business area such as marketing.

The pressure for the Americans to do something about Castro came, not only from the Cuban exiles in Florida, but from those businesses. Now since Americans did invade Cuba we are noticing large amounts of money being lost just for an invasion that didnt work. It is estimated that if we could trade with Cuba $1 billion of business would be generated for US companies that first year. Now 100 firms have gone to Cuba to talk about doing business with Cuba sometime in the near future.

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