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"The Bay Of Pigs Operation." Set During The Kennedy Administration, This Is An Overview Of The Events Leading Up To And During The Operation, As Well As A Short Personal Analysis Of The Situation.

1534 words - 6 pages

The Bay of Pigs.In the late 1950's, the threat of Communism was on the mind of every American (including the highest officials in Washington). One such issue being, especially in the minds of both President Eisenhower and President Kennedy, the communist buildup taking place in Cuba under Fidel Castro. This issue was to be solved by the Bay of Pigs operation, approved in the end by President Kennedy. This paper illustrates what happened in Cuba, why the Presidents took action against Cuba, how both Presidents faced steady opposition toward any intervention in Cuba at home and abroad, and finally its spectacular failure. But more important than knowing what happened, are the questions to consider that arise from this experience. Not so much as, why we did it, or if it was worth it. But more, did we learn from out mistakes (which is what I will mainly focus on)?It all started with when Castro's guerilla movement in Cuba began taking form in the 1950's. With Cuba being just 90 miles off the coast of Florida, the United States watched Castro closely. He overthrew the Batista government in 1959 (Britannica) and immediately began to show his distaste for America when he announced that Puerto Rico should be liberated (Higgins 42). In 1959, Castro came to the United States. He wanted to meet with President Eisenhower and hoped for the United States' help with aid and arms for Cuba. The President conveniently arranged to be away, so Castro met with Vice President Nixon. After the meeting, Nixon became an avid opponent of Castro and felt the United States should use any means necessary to overthrow him (Higgins 46).Eisenhower's decision not to meet with Castro created tension between the two countries. The State Department warned Eisenhower that the only way any new anti-Castro regime could be put into place would have to have the backing and support of a popular uprising in Cuba. However, "Such flagrant violations of U.S. Treaties would result in virtually no support for United States in either the OAS or United Nations" and would increase Castro's popularity in Cuba (Higgins 50).Nixon became the point man for a project proposed by the CIA for the overthrow of Castro. They planned to invade Cuba and have Castro's government replaced by one acceptable to the United States. Whomever they decided to be would run Cuba, but keep the United State's interests in mind. Secretary of State Christian Herter opposed the idea because of Castro's rising popularity in Cuba.One aspect of the project was to halt oil production. When American oil companies in Cuba refused to refine oil from Russia, it forced Castro to turn to Nikita Khrushchev in the USSR for help. Castro seized not only the refineries but also other American companies and Cuba had to rely on Russia for more economic support. With this direct attack on and acquisition of American property, Congress authorized Eisenhower to take action against Cuba. The main attack as it was planned in the beginning was to...

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