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Gives An Overview Of The "Bay Of Pigs Invasion" Why It Failed And The Repercussions That Followed

1524 words - 6 pages

The Bay of Pigs attempted Invasion was a United States-planned and funded attempted invasion by armed Cuban exiles in southwest Cuba in an attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro in 1961 and marked the climax of anti-Cuban US actions. US-Cuban tensions had grown since Castro had overthrown the regime of General Fulgencio Batista on January 1, 1959. The Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations had made the judgment that Castro's shift toward the Communist Party could not be tolerated, and moved to overthrow him. This process of thought and action was characteristic of all presidents in the post-WWII, anti-communist era, up until the early 1990s. However, the invasion attempt failed miserably and proved to be a major international embarrassment for the Kennedy administration. The resulting fiasco has been studied as an ideal case of "groupthink" decision making. Others, especially Cuban Americans, view this matter as policy decision by the Kennedy administration to rid itself of bothersome Cuban exiles. However, this event had prolonged electoral consequences resulting in the election of a number of Cuban-Americans to the US Congress, and established electoral conditions that favor the Republican Party.During debates in the United Nations Security Council, a Cuban attempt to condemn the US invasion failed due to a US veto. Gunboat diplomacy or direct military intervention by the US to overthrow the Cuban government would cause international protests against "interference with interior matters of foreign states" common in the atmosphere of the Cold War. A failure to justify a direct US involvement on the basis of international law risked provoking a geopolitical retaliation by the Soviet Union, especially in the Third World.On February 17, 1961 Kennedy asked his advisors whether the toppling of Castro might be related to weapon shipments and if it was possible to claim the real target were modern air fighters and rockets which endangered America's security. However, at the time Cuba possessed Soviet tanks, artillery and infantry weapons; its airforce consisted of B-26 light bombers, Hawker Sea Furies, among the fastest and most effective propeller driven Fighter Bomber planes ever built, and T-33 jets left over from the Batista Air Force.The CIA had begun recruiting and training Cuban exiles during the Eisenhower administration, months before diplomatic relations were severed with Cuba in January 1961, as tensions between Washington and Havana were increasing. However, it was Vice President Richard Nixon, not Eisenhower, who pushed the plan forward. Nixon afterwards always feared that his involvement and responsibility for the failure would surface. The CIA was initially confident that it was capable of overthrowing Castro, having experience assisting in the removal of other foreign governments such as those of Iranian prime minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 and Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán in 1954. Richard Bissell,...

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