On January 1, 1959 in Cuba, after a long civil war, the communist partisans led by Fidel Castro overthrew the government of President Batista. The United States was worried by the prospect of having a communist state at its side. In early 1960, the Eisenhower administration commissioned the CIA to create, arm, and secretly prepare in Central America a brigade of 1,400 Cuban exiles to invade Cuba and overthrow the Castro regime. The Kennedy administration, having inherited this plan, continued to prepare for the invasion.
The brigade landed at Cochinos Bay, on the southwestern coast of Cuba, on April 17, 1961, but was crushed on the same day: agents of the Cuban intelligence succeeded in infiltrating the ranks of the brigade, so the plan for the operation was known in advance to the government of Cuba and made it possible for them to draw a considerable number of troops into the landing area. The Cuban people, contrary to the CIA’s forecasts, did not support the rebels. The “way of salvation” in the event of a failure of the operation turned into 80 miles of impassable swamps, where the remnants of the landed militants were killed. Washington’s hand in the operation was immediately identified, triggering a wave of indignation throughout the world.
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