On 17 March 1960, President Dwight Eisenhower approved a plan to overthrow Castro. This plan was put together by the CIA and Eisenhower’s approval let the CIA begin to turn their plan into reality. The plan was simple. The anti-Castro-exile army’s objective was to overthrow Fidel Castro’s dictatorship in Cuba. The army that was being trained for this mission were men that had left Cuba when Castro came into power.
Fidel Castro had come into power only a year earlier. Castro and his men overthrew the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista through an armed revolt. With Castro in power in Cuba, the United States felt that something had to be done because they distrusted him. Castro had a close relationship with Nikita Khrushchev who was the leader of the Soviet Union at the time which made the United States government nervous.
Although the plan to overthrow Castro was approved by President Eisenhower, he was not in office when the revolt against Castro took place. John F Kennedy became President in February 1961 and was briefed on the mission by the CIA. Kennedy approved of the invasion plan which became known as the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Through many mishaps by the United States the Bay of Pigs Invasion was an absolute disaster leaving over a hundred soldiers dead, and over a thousand imprisoned.
The failed mission had a lasting impact on the Kennedy administration. The United States spent over a year negotiating with Castro to release the imprisoned soldiers. They settled on a deal that sent 53 million dollars’ worth of supplies to Cuba. Kennedy was criticized for how the whole invasion plan went down. Kennedy was facing this criticism when in reality he was not the original supporter of the plan. Eisenhower passed this plan down to Kennedy and when it went bad it all blew up in Kennedy’s face.
Photo Credit: President Eisenhower and President-elect Kennedy.
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