This essay has a total of 2220 words and 15 pages.
Bay Of Pigs 10 pages
B A Y O F P I G S
The story of the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of
Pigs, which is located on the south coast of Cuba about 97
miles southeast of Havanna, was one of mismanagement, poor
judgment, and stupidity (“Bay of Pigs” 378). The blame
for the failed invasion falls directly on the CIA (Central
Intelligence Agency) and a young president by the name of
John F. Kennedy. The whole intention of the invasion was to
assault communist Cuba and put an end to Fidel Castro.
Ironically, thirty-nine years after the Bay of Pigs, Fidel
Castro is still in power. First, it is necessary to look at
why the invasion happened and then why it did not work.
From the end of World War II until the mid-eighties,
most Americans could agree that communism was the enemy.
Communism wanted to destroy our way of life and corrupt the
freest country in the world. Communism is an economic
system in which one person or a group of people are in
control. The main purpose of communism is to make the
social and economic status of all individuals the same. It
abolishes the inequalities in possession of property and
distributes wealth equally to all. The main problem with
this is that one person who is very wealthy can be stripped
of most of his wealth so that another person can have more
material goods and be his equal.
The main reason for the Bay of Pigs attack on Cuba was
the change to communism. On January 1, 1959, Cuban dictator
Fulgencio Batista fled the country for the safety of the
Dominican Republic (Goode, Stephen 75). Fidel Castro and
his guerrilla warriors overthrew the old government dictated
by Batista. During the next couple of weeks, Castro
established a new government and on February 16, he was
officially declared premier (Finkelstein, Norman H. 127).
The United States accepted this new regime as a relief from
the harsh, corrupt, and unpopular government of Batista.
Soon after everything settled down, Castro and his men made
a rapid move to change their political course. He announced
his transformation to Marxism-Leninism and avowed his
friendship with the Soviet Union (Goode, Stephen 75).
These events upset the United States and there were concerns
about Castro becoming too powerful. One reason was the
friendship with the Soviet Union because Cuba was receiving
armed forces to expand and improve its army. Cuba received
30,000 tons of arms a year, which included Soviet JS-2
51-ton tanks, SU-100 assault guns, T-34 35-ton tanks, 76-mm
field guns, 85-mm field guns, and 122-mm field guns (Goode,
Fidel Castro took great pride in the armed forces. He
expanded the ground forces from 250,000 to 400,000 troops.
These figures put one out of every thirty Cubans in the
armed forces, compared to one out of every sixty Americans
(Goode, Stephen 76). Castro and communist Cuba was
generating a military establishment ten times larger than
that of Batista’s. Castro put together the best army any
Latin American country had ever had (Goode, Stephen 76).
Analysts in Washington were frightened by this news. They
were getting scared that Cuba might try to attack the United
States with Soviet missiles and missile launchers. Also,
they were afraid that Castro might attack other Latin
American countries. Both scenarios were not welcome in the
United States, and the downfall of Castro and the Cuban
government became the top priority of the CIA (Goode,
There were many Cubans that did not like Castro. They
flocked to the United States in order to escape communism.
These people were known as Cuban exiles (Goode, Stephen
76). On March 17, 1960, the CIA and President Eisenhower
got together and discussed the situation going on in Cuba.
They decided to arm and train these Cuban exiles for
guerrilla warfare against Cuba (Goode, Stephen 76&77). In
November 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected president. Upon
his election, he was informed of the Cuban crisis and after
being presented with the facts, he approved the invasion.
Many plans for the invasion were recognized, but the
best one came from Richard Bissel. He describes his plan in
a book entitled, CIA.
“The plan that was finally accepted was
a more complex and larger version of the
operation seven years earlier in
Guatemala. A force of Cuban exiles was
to secure a beachhead on Cuba’s
coastline while a fleet of B-26’s, the
most powerful war fighting plane, was to
put Castro’s air force out of commission
and disrupt transportation and
communication lines (Fursenko,
Aleksandr, and Timothy Naftali 95).
Once the beachhead had been secured and
a portion of Cuban territory liberated,
a group of Cuban exile leaders would be
flown to Cuba to form a provisional
government. The United States would then
officially recognize the provisional
government as the one true government of
Cuba” (Goode, Stephen 77).
The invasion started on April 16, 1961. It lasted for
about three days. At the beginning, the CIA purchased
several farms in Florida where the Cuban exiles could begin
training (Goode, Stephen 77&78). Guatemala, Honduras, and
Nicaragua helped the invasion because they gave their
approval for CIA camps to be located in these regions
(Goode, Stephen 78). The Nicaraguan’s dictator, Anastasio
Somoca, disliked Castro tremendously. He said, “Bring me
back a couple of hairs from Castro’s beard” (Robinson, Linda
The invasion, which was code-named Operation Zapata,
consisted of around 1,400 to 1,500 exiles (Bay of Pigs
Revisited, The 3). The CIA chose Manuel Artime Buesa as
the leader of the troops (Goode, Stephen 79). He was a
former Castro soldier and his leadership abilities were said
to be excellent. His first move as leader was to get rid of
all he suspected disloyal or unqualified. Next, he replaced
many of the officials that had been training with the
soldiers in Latin American countries with officers who had
served in Fulgencio Batista’s army. These officers were
said to be “thugs” who had been part of the former
dictator’s brutal government (Goode, Stephen 79).
President Kennedy ordered that there be none of Batista’s
men in the Liberation Army, which was the army making the
invasion, but these orders seemed to be ignored. About 200
of the exiles did not like Artime’s move to appoint
Batista’s men as heads of the Army. These men were given a
choice either to accept the officials or not accept it and
be flown to Guatemala to stay there until the invasion was
completed (Goode, Stephen 79).
Six months before the invasion, the United States did a
foolish thing. Raúl Roa, the Cuban foreign minister, stated
in an interview at the United Nations, “I have accurate
knowledge of the invasion”. He told them that he knew about
the exiles and their training in Guatemala, and he knew that
the CIA was in charge of the attack. Roa claimed that he
got the information from LIFE magazine, the New York Daily
News, and CBS (Goode, Stephen 79 & 80). Besides Roa,
Castro also acquired accurate and useful information. He
was very prepared for the invasion. Castro camouflaged the
small Cuban air force, and he constantly patrolled possible
invasion sites he heard were going to be targeted, including
the Bay of Pigs. The morning befor
Read essay without registering
Donate an essay now and get the full essay emailed you