The Bay of Pigs
The Cuban Revolution of 1952 to 1959 had seen President Fulgencio Batista, a right-wing ally of the U.S., ousted. He was replaced by a new left-wing administration dominated by Castro, which had severed the country's formerly strong links with the U.S. by expropriating their economic assets and developing links with the Soviet Union, with whom the U.S. was then embro-iled in the Cold War. The U.S. government of President Dwight D. Eisenhower was concerned at the direction which Castro's government was taking, and in March 1960, Eisenhower allocated $13.1 million to the CIA in order to plan Castro's overthrow.
The CIA proceeded to organize the operation with the aid of various Cuban counter-revolutionary forces, training Brigade 2506 in Mexico. Following his election in 1960, president John F. Kennedy was informed of the invasion plan and gave his consent. Over 1,400 paramilitaries, divided into five infantry battalions and one paratrooper battalion, assembled in Guatemala before setting out for Cuba by boat on 13 April. On 15 April, eight CIA-supplied B-26 bombers attacked Cuban air fields and returned to the U.S. On the night of 16 April, the main invasion landed at a beach named Playa Girón in the Bay of Pigs. It initially overwhelmed a local revolutionary militia.
The Cuban Army's counter-offensive was led by Captain José Ramón Fernández, before Castro decided to take personal control of the operation. On 20 April, the invaders finally surrendered, with the majority of troops being publicly interrogated and then sent back to the U.S. The failed invasion strengthened the position of Castro's administration, who proceeded to openly proclaim their intention to adopt socialism and strengthen ties with the Soviet Union. This led eventually to the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The Cuban American Veterans Association(CAVA) was formed by those who served in the US armed forces, click here to learn more.
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