Vice-President Nixon opposed Castro from the beginning, and in April of 1959 it was becomingly patently obvious that he was an enemy of the U.S.
“If he’s not a Communist,” Nixon told the American Society of Newspaper Editors, “he certainly acts like one.” Castro visited the U.S. as a guest, and was feted by Hollywood and Broadway celebrities and showgirls, surrounding him in Manhattan nightclubs, catering to his every need in one of the most disgusting displays this side of all their other disgusting displays. Castro's visit to America marks the real end of the McCarthy era and the beginning of a liberal backlash against it that continues to this day.
On March 17, 1960, President Eisenhower approved a CIA plan titled “A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime.” Nine months later, official diplomatic relations were broken of.
The plan called for the creation of unified Cuban opposition to the regime; the development of a propaganda offensive for the Cuban people; the development of covert intelligence and action in country, in communication with the exile opposition; and a paramilitary of guerrilla fighters. The intent was to make all of it look like it was not part of a U.S. operation, which in retrospect seems to be the biggest mistake. Had the Eisenhower Administration identified him as a Communist, targeted him as an enemy, built support for an invasion, and gone in with a multi-national coalition, history would have been changed. Kennedy probably would not have been elected President, and there never would have been a Bay of Pigs or a Cuban Missile Crisis. But the CIA was golden in those days. "Covert Ops" was the new watchword. The feeling was that America could do whatever they wanted to in secret, without going through the process of creating Congressional or international support.
Eisenhower approved a $4,400,000 project; $950,000 for political action; $1,700,000 for propaganda; $1,500,000 for the paramilitary; and $250,000 for intelligence collection. The invasion would cost over $46 million.
On January 3, 1961, CIA Director of Plans Richard Bissell met with the President at the White House.
“The President seemed to be eager to take forceful action against Castro, and breaking off diplomatic relations appeared to be his best card," Bissell wrote in his memoirs. "He noted that he was prepared to ‘move against Castro’ before Kennedy’s inauguration on the 20th if a ‘really good excuse’ was provided by Castro. ‘Failing that,’ he said, ‘perhaps we could think of manufacturing something that would be generally acceptable.’ …This is but another example of his willingness to use covert action - specifically to fabricate events - to achieve his objectives in foreign policy.”
Although the plan was not carried out in the succeeding 17 days, by the time JFK took office on January 20, the plan was a fait accompli. Serious commitments were made to the Cuban exiles, and the issue promised to have major political repercussions. There is little doubt that the general consensus on both sides of the aisle was that Castro had to be removed.
Denials of any plans were made, even though on October 31, 1960, Cuban Foreign Minister Raúl Roa, in a session at the U.N. General Assembly, detailed the plan. The Communistas referred to the exiles as mercenaries and counterrevolutionaries because they were paid the princely sum of $400 a month to train, with $175 for their wives and children.
Trinidad, a city on the southern coast of Cuba near the Escambray Mountains, was the original landing point. Kennedy did not like the location, and also changed it from daytime to a nighttime operation in order to mask U.S. involvement. The Bay of Pig had an airstrip on the beach from which bombing raids could be conducted. The bay would be turned into a provisional command post by the exiles, followed by a new government. This new government would request military support from the U.S. immediately, which Kennedy wanted to justify lending U.S. troops to the fray.
“It is hard to believe in retrospect that the President and his advisers felt the plans for a large-scale, complicated military operation that had been ongoing for more than a year could be reworked in four days and still offer a high likelihood of success. It is equally amazing that we in the agency agreed so readily,” Bissell stated.
An amphibious nocturnal landing, as opposed to a widespread daytime operation, reduced the possibility of a mass uprising, which was counted on and is considered one of the big mistakes of the plan. The Bay of Pigs location made retreat into the Escambray Mountains difficult if not impossible.
“Castro’s fledgling air force was to be destroyed prior to the invasion,” Néstor T. Carbonell described in his book, "And the Russians Stayed: The Sovietization of Cuba". “Enemy troops, trucks, and tanks would not be able to reach the brigade; they would be blasted from the air. To allay any fears of a Castro counteroffensive, the CIA briefer asserted that ‘an umbrella’ above would at all times guard the entire operation against any Castro fighter planes that might remain operational.”
Various JFK-influenced memos and notes kept from meetings prior to the invasion warned of legal ramifications and subtly discouraged the plan. This would fall in line with the Kennedy M.O., which is to cover both ends of the argument. As President, such a policy can be disastrous. An op like the Bay of Pigs required full support in every way.
On January 28 the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that Castro’s forces were too strong. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara questioned whether the plan would result in “the agreed national goal of overthrowing Castro.”
On March 29 Senator Fulbright memoed JFK.
“To give this activity even covert support is of a piece with the hypocrisy and cynicism for which the United States is constantly denouncing the Soviet Union in the United Nations and elsewhere," he wrote. "This point will not be lost on the rest of the world - nor on our own consciences.”
Fulbright's "conscience" never bothered him when he voted against civil rights and influenced his protégé, the "conscientious objector" Bill Clinton.
Under Secretary of State Chester A. Bowles wrote to Secretary of State Dean Rusk on March 31 citing moral and legal grounds in opposition to the plan. Arthur Schlesinger in "A Thousand Days" wrote, “Fulbright, speaking in an emphatic and incredulous way, denounced the whole idea. The operation, he said, was wildly out of proportion to the threat. It would compromise our moral position in the world and make it impossible for us to protest treaty violations by the Communists. He gave a brave, old-fashioned American speech, honorable, sensible and strong; and he left everyone in the room, except me and perhaps the President, wholly unmoved."
On April 12, Kennedy held a press conference, and in response to a question on Cuba said, “First, I want to say that there will not be, under any conditions, an intervention in Cuba by the United States Armed Forces. This government will do everything it possibly can, I think it can meet its responsibilities, to make sure that there are no Americans involved in any actions inside Cuba…The basic issue in Cuba is not one between the United States and Cuba. It is between the Cubans themselves.”
“One further factor no doubt influenced him," wrote Schlesinger, “the enormous confidence in his own luck. Everything had broken right for him since 1956. He had won the nomination and the election against all the odds in the book. Everyone around him thought he had the Midas touch and could not lose. Despite himself, even this dispassionate and skeptical man may have been affected by the soaring euphoria of the new day.”
In retrospect, both Bush Presidencies seem to have learned from JFK's mistakes. By making plans for foreign invasions well known ahead of time, they avoided the kind of secrecy that was said to discredit America during the Bay of Pigs operation. Perhaps because their idol Kennedy was such a profound liar, modern Democrats feel the need to inaccurately portray George W. Bush as one.
The counterrevolutionaries were known as Brigade 2506, assembled at Retalhuleu, on the west coast of Guatemala, where U.S. engineers fashioned a training base out of an airport. On April 14 six ships sailed from Nicaragua’s Puerto Cabezas. They were given a cheering send-off by Nicaraguan president Luis Somoza. He reportedly asked for some hairs from Castro’s beard.
Given the fact that the brigade departed from Nicaragua in a manner similar to Confederate troops leaving Charleston, it is not surprising that Castro knew an invasion was coming. The key in the planners' minds was not that he knew about it. The Germans knew about D-Day. The time and location were the operative factors in question.
U.S. B-26 bombers attacked four Cuban airfields at the same time on Saturday, April 15. The Cuban Air Force was dispersed and camouflaged, with unusable planes left out to draw the bombs.
The B-26s were disguised to look as if they were Cuban planes flown by defecting Cuban pilots. An exile Cuban pilot named Mario Zúñiga was photographed next to his plane, and the picture was distributed to the press. The "cover story" quickly unraveled. Many reporters had inside information and the truth was revealed.
CIA operatives had been sent to Cuba to prep for the operation ahead of time. They were supposed to aid the invaders, blowing up bridges and performing terrorist acts meant to spur the populace into supporting the exiles.
U.N. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson rejected Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Raúl Roa’s report of the attack. He presented a copy of the newspaper photo, but in the photo, the plane shown had an opaque nose, whereas the model of the B-26 planes used by the Cubans had a Plexiglas nose. Stevenson, apparently not in the loop, was to be Kennedy's "official liar.”
Just before midnight on Sunday, April 16, a team of frogmen went ashore and set up landing lights to guide the operation. The force consisted of 1,500 men divided into six battalions, with Manuel Artime as the political chief.
Two battalions came ashore at Playa Girón and one at Playa Larga, but the razor-sharp coral reefs, identified by U2 spy photos as seaweed, delayed the landing. The air attacks the following morning were then exposed. Two ships sank 80 yards from shore. Heavy equipment was lost.
Cuban militia commander José Ramón González Suco was stationed in Playa Larga and he reported the invasion. On Monday, Secretary of State Rusk gave a press conference.
“The American people are entitled to know whether we are intervening in Cuba or intend to do so in the future,” he said. “The answer to that question is no. What happens in Cuba is for the Cuban people to decide.”
Operatives in country, some posing as students home on vacation, were unsure when the invasion would take place and were surprised to hear news reports of its beginning. Lacking coordination, they failed to blow bridges or carry out other assignments. Some of them drove to Guantánamo, jumping the fence to the U.S. Naval Base for sanctuary.
By Monday morning Castro had ordered successful air responses. Cuban pilot Captain Enrique Carreras Rojas sank the command vessel Maropa and the supply ship Houston.
Ambassador Stevenson was so outraged at being duped that he publicly urged the attack be stopped.
“Cuba is not alone today," Soviet Ambassador Zorin said. "Among her most sincere friends the Soviet Union is to be found.”
Khruschev contacted JFK with a mid-day letter that read, “It is a secret to no one that the armed bands invading this country were trained, equipped and armed in the United States of America. The planes which are bombing Cuban cities belong to the United States of America; the bombs they are dropping are being supplied by the American Government.
“…It is still not late to avoid the irreparable. The government of the U.S.A. still has the possibility of not allowing the flame of war ignited by interventions in Cuba to grow into an incomparable conflagration.
“As far as the Soviet Union is concerned, there should be no mistake about our position: We will render the Cuban people and their government all necessary help to repel an armed attack on Cuba.”
Expected U.S. air cover never came. Amid all the confusion and "fog of war," Kennedy was utterly defenseless. When Rusk advised that additional strikes would tilt international opinion against the U.S., Kennedy agreed.
“At about 9:30 P.M. on April 16,” wrote L. Fletcher Prouty in "Bay of Pigs: The Pivotal Operation of the JFK Era", “Mr. McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant to the President, telephoned the CIA’s General C.P. Cabell to inform him that the air strikes the following dawn should not be launched until they could be conducted from a strip within the beachhead.”
“From its inception the plan had been developed under the ground rule that it must retain a covert character, that is, it should include no action which, if revealed, could not be plausibly denied by the United States and should look to the world as an operation exclusively conducted by Cubans," wrote General Maxwell Taylor in his report. "This ground rule meant, among other things, that no U.S. military forces or individuals could take part in combat operations.”
JFK knew the hawks would have a field day judging his performance, so he decided to take some half measures. He authorized a limited air strike on April 19, but it resulted in the needless sacrifice of four American pilots. Most historians believe that the operation has been judged fairly, but it seems virtually impossible to believe that had Nixon been responsible for such a disaster, he would have avoided anything less than utter liberal piling-on. This is simply a fact of American life, identified and exposed to be what it is by those of us who have knowledge of it.
At 2:30 P.M., brigade commander “Pepe” Perez San Roman ordered radio operator Julio Monzon Santos to transmit a final message from brigade 2506.
“We have nothing left to fight with, “ San Roman said. He was heart-broken. “How can you people do this to us, our people, our country? Over and out.”
The survivors all felt the lack of air cover was the cause of their demise. 200 soldiers were killed and 1,197 were captured.
“There’s no question that the brigade members were competent, valiant, and committed in their efforts to salvage a rapidly deteriorating situation in a remote area,” wrote Bissell. “Most of them had no previous professional military training, yet they mounted an amphibious landing and conducted air operations in a manner that was a tribute to their bravery and dedication. They did not receive their due.”
“The reality,” wrote Schlesinger, “was that Fidel Castro turned out to be a far more formidable foe and in command of a far better organized regime than anyone had supposed. His patrols spotted the invasion at almost the first possible moment. His planes reacted with speed and vigor. His police eliminated any chance of sabotage or rebellion behind the lines. His soldiers stayed loyal and fought hard. He himself never panicked; and, if faults were chargeable to him, they were his overestimate of the strength of the invasion and undue caution in pressing the ground attack against the beachhead. His performance was impressive.”
On April 20 Castro went on Havana’s Union Radio and said, “the revolution has been victorious… destroying in less than 72 hours the army the U.S. imperialist government had organized for many months.”
“We have always been in danger of direct aggression,” said Castro in an April 23 speech, “we have been warning about this in the United Nations: That they would find a pretext, that they would organize some act of aggression so that they could intervene.
“The United States has no right to meddle in our domestic affairs. We do not speak English and we do not chew gum. We have a different tradition, a different culture, our own way of thinking. We have no borders with anybody. Our frontier is the sea, very clearly defined.
“How can the crooked politicians and the exploiters have more rights than the people? What right does a rich country have to impose its yoke on our people? Only because they have might and no scruples; they do not respect international rules. They should have been ashamed to be engaged in this battle of Goliath against David - and to lose it besides.”
The irony of the atheist Castro using a Biblical tale to describe his own story is just one of the humiliations that America suffered with this event. The Bay of Pigs operation goes to the very heart of America's role in the world. This book argues that throughout history, evil has run unchecked. Wars and struggles resulted in monumentally inhuman acts committed by man against man. The British Empire helped to modernize and Christianize indigenous populations, but one of the enduring questions is whether this is a good thing or not. This is the focus of questions that address America's Westward Expansion, Manifest Destiny, and eventually intervention in countries like Guatemala, Iran and Cuba.
Getting back to the British Empire and Kipling's "white man's burden," it breaks down, quite simply in the end, to whether there is greater benefit brought to the indigenous populations by whites than there is disadvantage. The disadvantages are well chronicled, and include disease, exploitation and racism. Only a fool would argue that these are not legitimate arguments. The benefits are Christianity, capitalism, trade, medicine, freedom, Democratic political structures as envisioned by Plato, roads, technology, communications, telephones, air travel, cars, irrigation, effective farming techniques, and about six million, five hundred thousand, sixty-three other things - too numerous to list here.
Some fools argue that these things are not benefits, but in so doing they identify their foolishness, therefore rendering their arguments nothing more than synapses in the air. The real question comes down to how these benefits could have been imparted on the native lands without the disadvantages (namely, the racism, exploitation and disease). This hypothetical was posed earlier in relation to America's Westward Expansion. The parameters were based on the "time travel" fantasy, which allows man to go back to other periods in history, knowing what we know now and able to apply it to what was happening then, so as to effect the better outcome. I put ex-President Clinton, the man who presided over the Politically Correct 1990s, in charge of this monumental venture. Remember, the group only has knowledge, not technology or later inventions, at their disposal. They have to make do with what is available at the time they venture to. My hypothesis is that even if Clinton entered the Indian Territories, or tried to resurrect some more peaceful resolution to the Mexican-American conflict than what actually happened, he would have found himself frustrated like modern politicians who cannot understand why they are unable to "talk sense" to Hamas, thus preventing their terrorism from disrupting the Palestinian peace process.
I could be wrong. Maybe Clinton is such a skilled negotiator that he could have established lasting frameworks of peace that would have prevented the U.S. from fighting a war with Mexico, brokering some kind of equitable deal over California, Arizona and Texas. Or he might have been able to prevent the Trail of Tears. Maybe he and Hillary could have created peace treaties that would have lasted. Perhaps the Americans and the tribes would have been able to co-exist without wars, battles like the Little Big Horn, and men like Chief George could have kept his Nez Pearce in his beloved Oregon instead of becoming a fugitive in Canada.
A hypothesis is a hypothethis; that is, an "educated guess." The "time machine" hypothesis can be applied to the British Empire just as easily. No doubt the Labor party could find some bleeding heart who could go back and broker English interaction in 19th Century India, the Orient and Africa, all done in such a way as to prevent violence, promoting understanding, and preventing the spread of disease.
The conclusion that the 19th Century Clinton, or his English counterpart, fails to successfully carry out these missions of understanding and inclusiveness, in the end becomes something that is some form of racism or bigotry. The hope here is that the realization that it would be called racism, and the desire for it not to be that, somehow fulfills that desire. That is as hopeless as Don Quixote's jousting at windmills. All that is left is an honest appraisal of history.
One cannot have the modern benefits brought by the white man without the problems brought by the white man. The expansion of empire and colonialism was an inevitable clash of cultures. The real question is whether the natives would be better off not having come in contact with whites. If Hawaiians, for instance, had never seen whites, would that island be better off today? Would native Africans, with no access to whites, ever have developed medicines, planes, cars and the like? Would they be in better shape without these things? This is a question that to many seem utterly stupid to even ask. I include myself among those who think there is not a question that the answer is "no!" However, there are those who think otherwise. They are free to think that, and we are free to identify the stupidity of that thinking.
Is it possible that delegations of whites could have been brought in to teach natives how to read, then left them books on curing cancer, building bridges, constructing phone lines, and then expected that if they came back 30 years later these things would have been accomplished? Again, there are some who might like to think that. The actual answer is, No, it is not possible. Not even Shakespeare's Horatio could have dreamt of such things in his philosophy. One story out of Africa concerns English engineers who constructed a dam and an irrigation channel to help the natives conserve drinking water and create fertile farmlands. They left, and years later came back. The Africans had torn down the wood planks, sharpened them, and used them as spears to kill each other.
Call it white arrogance and bigotry, but strip away all these notions and it becomes that with which is, as opposed to that with which some people hope would be. This by no means is to say that whites have the corner on morality. The more legitimate argument available to the Left is that the natives do less damage to themselves as simpletons than the whites do with all their technology. The Civil War, the Great War and the Holocaust seem to bear this out.
In the 20th Century, natives have gained access to "white" technology and done some terrible damage. The invention of gunpowder no doubt became a tool that allowed Orientals to kill lots of Orientals, Africans to kill lots of Africans, and so forth. The Left might say that left to their own devices, not introduced to machine guns, land mines and other weapons of (mass) destruction, native peoples never would have found their "inner killers," and simply existed as happy peaceniks.
The problem with that is several thousand years of evidence to the contrary. The Incas and Aztecs, for instance, are often cited as examples of enlightened native cultures. They created pyramids of great architectural achievement, and made breakthroughs in irrigation and water usage. They also enjoyed taking virgin girls and cutting their hearts out while the girl was still alive, as an offering to their "gods." The morally relativistic argument that breaking things and killing each other is okay because it is part of their "culture" is that with which is herein identified as a lie.
American Indians fought horrendous wars with each other for centuries before they heard of George Armstrong Custer. Ethnic, tribal and religious strife among native populations in Africa, the Middle East, the Orient and throughout the globe resulted in horrendous violence and cruelty. Many, many cases no doubt abound whereby nuclear weapons would have been used if available.
These are the facts. The Left likes to say that this is just their "culture." Fine, but if ones' culture includes breaking things and killing people, it deserves to be identified for what it is, and not excused under the guise of moral relativism. So, dear reader, by this time you must be wondering about the author, no doubt run amok still again. Off on a rant. A tangent. Not so fast. There is a point, and it goes back to the Bay of Pigs, which is as good a place to use the example as any. I am getting to it.
It all comes down to the idea that God sanctions America. If you are among those who believe that the natives would have been better off without those nasty white explorers, settlers and traders, then the argument will carry no weight. It survives only if the cost-benefit analysis of white intervention is weighed and modernity given the nod. Once this is established (and their really is no "question" about it), then the idea of America's place in this brave new world comes into view.
The premise is that after thousands of years, the world essentially consisted of Europe (with England being the dominant country), while the rest of the world was more or less a mess. Even England had so much baggage, after fighting various wars and dealing with tyrannical Kings, that they were not in the moral position to take the next big step.
In the humble opinion of Yours Truly, God in his wisdom decided that He needed a country that would be so big, so powerful, so good and so successful that it could help Him win the fight against evil. Call it a cartoon if you like, but events of the past 228 years make it difficult to totally dispute the premise. That country is America.
Such an undertaking is not something that happens smoothly. There are bumps in the road. The first was slavery. When America was finished fighting and writing laws, they banished that peculiar institution into oblivion, seen no more outside of some Russian whorehouses, Chinese massage parlors and a few Arab sheikdoms. The sex trade, however, is a heck of a lot different than blacks picking plantation cotton.
Then America, almost by force of divine will (or perhaps actually by force of divine will), rose from a few agrarian states into a transcontinental power, with a military that stopped the Kaiser. The first time had to be luck, or so it was thought in the Reichstag. After sending Hitler and Tojo to the Infernal Regions, the luck question was answered.
By 1950, something was driving U.S. foreign policy, and it was not mere diplomacy, "peace through strength," or containment. The emergence of atomic, hydrogen and eventually nuclear bombs changed the dynamic. Why, for instance, had America been the first country to successfully develop the A-bomb? Hitler had brilliant scientists working around the clock with the "heavy water" project at Pennemunde, Finland. If Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union or China had developed the weapon first, the world would be one big concentration camp. But America built it, and as a result, freedom reigned. But why? Is God not involved? Is it all just breaks? Believe that at your peril.
With all the responsibility of protecting the world during a time when Communism and hydrogen bombs hung over our Cold War heads, U.S. policymakers began to feel that they were ordained by a greater power. MacArthur had said he was called to "save the world for Christendom." The CIA adopted a Puritan stance, creating a church-like reverence for the work they were doing. Not everybody saw the seriousness of it all. The "useful idiots" who were proved wrong by history would have you believe that the Communism they wanted to "get along with" was not so bad anyway.
20 million dead in the Soviet Union. 65 million in China. Millions more in Eastern Europe, Vietnam, Cuba and Cambodia. Communism was no mystery to the policy-planners of the 1950s. McCarthyism had rent great destruction to its support base, but there were enough vigilant Americans around to open their eyes to this international atrocity.
Now, with Communism in our backyard, spreading through Latin America, the American government decided that Castro had to go. Adlai Stevenson and his ilk could not see the nobility in this. He only worried about the diplomatic ramifications, and made the morally relativistic argument that if we invaded Cuba, it made us no different than the Soviets taking over Eastern Europe. It would render future U.S. treaties invalid.
In reality, the Bay of Pigs was a part of America's ongoing Manifest Destiny. I use it to make this point not because it was a shining example of American success, but for precisely the opposite reason. The world was and is a dangerous place, and each step to the road of worldwide freedom forged by America is earned by blood and sacrifice.
Cuba remains a sore spot, but America survived it just as we survived and overcame Vietnam. It is beautiful irony, in fact, that the two countries that thought they got the better of America ended up impoverished because the ideology they put their money on died an ugly death. In so doing, not only was Communism defeated but the "victory" of the Left was denied them, as well. Satan is still out there, though, but like Middle Eastern terrorists, we have him on the run. He has dodged from Europe and Japan to the Soviet Union and China, but the U.S. has not allowed him to get a toehold. He put up a stand in the Middle East, but we have decided that enough is enough and are working on rooting him out of there, too. Now he roams freely in Africa, where AIDS and tribal wars have wrought the continent with some of the most awful horrors seen heretofore. When it is all said and done, it will be America who smokes him out of the Dark Continent. It was in this spirit that America was right to try to free Cuba, and for all the liberals who think Castro is a radically chic Robin Hood, put that in your pipes and smoke it.
What is left in Cuba is actually a parody, a joke. Free speech is a beautiful thing, but it works in odd ways. As Forrest Gump said, "Stupid is as stupid does." In this regard, America has reached the point where there is enough truthful information available. No longer do the biases of Walter Cronkite and Dan Blather influence the United States. Now, when liberals say unpatriotic or ignorant things, a large percentage of Americans have enough knowledge available to them to identify what they say as unpatriotic or ignorant. This beats heck out of being influenced by it.
The same thing applies to Castro. Whereby the Communist rulers of Vietnam and even China tend to keep their mouths shut on the international stage, knowing their Marxist slogans are the remnants of a defeated past, Castro has too much ego to go into his little corner. He and Kim Jong-Il do more to remind people of the stupidity of Communism by talking about it than by shutting it down. Both men are egomaniacs who are addicted to themselves
“Humble, honest blood was shed in the struggle against the mercenaries of imperialism," blurted Castro, still trying to identify a country that broke from imperialism in order to form themselves, as imperialists. "But what blood, what men did imperialism send here to establish that beachhead, to bleed our revolution dry, to destroy our achievements, to burn our cane? [In the account of the invasion published by Castro, it was estimated that the invaders and their families between them once owned a million acres of land, 10,000 houses, 70 factories, 10 sugar mills, five mines, and two banks.]
“We can tell the people right here that at the same instant that three of our airports were being bombed, the Yankee agencies were telling the world that our airports had been attacked by planes from our own air force. They cold-bloodedly bombed our nation and told the world that the bombing was done by Cuban pilots with Cuban planes. This was done with planes on which they painted our insignia.
“If nothing else, this deed should be enough to demonstrate how miserable are the actions of imperialism.
“No state or group of states has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatsoever, in the internal or external affairs of any other state. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the state or against its political, economic and cultural elements.
“No state may use or encourage the use of coercive measures of an economic or political character in order to force the sovereign will of another state and obtain from it advantages of any kind.
“The territory of a state is inviolable; it may not be the object, even temporarily, of military occupation or of other measures of force taken by another state, directly or indirectly, on any grounds whatsoever…”
Castro apparently forgot his own words when he sent Guevara to other Latin American countries to foment revolutions. He did the same thing in Africa in the 1970s, and in Grenada in the 1980s.
As for the Americans, the CIA and the Brigade, they were honorable men, not mercenaries. Interviews with former Brigade members indicate a very strong Christian identification. They knew first hand that Castro was performing vile acts on their country, and their decision to fight him was one that came from deep down.
The Americans who trained with them came to respect them immensely.
“We had lived with the Cubans for three months, and we were so close to them that their cause became our cause,” recalled Joe Shannon, a colonel in the Alabama Air National Guard, and a colleague of the four dead U.S. pilots.
On April 20, 1961, President Kennedy went before the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
“…This was a struggle of Cuban patriots against a Cuban dictator," Kennedy lied. "While we could not be expected to hide our sympathies, we made it repeatedly clear that the armed forces of this country would not intervene in any way.
“But let the record show that our restraint is not inexhaustible…if the nations of this hemisphere should fail to meet their commitments against outside Communist penetration - then I want it clearly understood that this government will not hesitate in meeting its primary obligations which are to the security of our nation.”
In "Cold War and Counter-Revolution: The Foreign Policy of John F. Kennedy", Richard J. Walton wrote, “Kennedy did not apologize; rather he issued threats. And he reiterated his amendment to the Monroe Doctrine; that Latin American nations were free to choose their own governments, but only as long as they were not Communist."
Castro ordered show trials for the 1,189 prisoners, sentencing all of them to 30 years in prison. "Negotiations" ensued. Ransom was more like it. In exchange for $53 million in food and medicine they were let go, another ironic fact, since if Castro had simply chosen not be a Marxist he easily would have gotten $53 million in food and medicine from a generous America. Two men, Ramon Conte and Ricardo Montenero Duque, were actually held for 25 years.
President Kennedy fired long-time CIA Director Allen W. Dulles, Deputy Director Charles P. Cabell, and Deputy Director Bissell. He then assumed full responsibility, but made sure his press handlers leaked his "secret" blame of the CIA. He ordered a full inquiry, which was written by CIA inspector general Lyman Kirkpatrick. Dulles' successor, a conservative Republican from San Francisco (how about that!) named John McCone, thought it was despicable. He ordered all but one of the 20 copies produced to be trashed. The report was classified until 1998.
According to Kirkpatrick, ignorance, incompetence, and arrogance were the hallmarks of the operation. While it was a flawed plan, the report seems intent on making The Company look bad and cleansing JFK's image. It paints a picture of a misinformed Kennedy and administration officials, poor planning, unverified intelligence and agency overreach.
“The agency reduced the exile leaders to the status of puppets,” it read.
Whatever it was, it set the table for the next great Cold War confrontation, which would take place one and a half years later.
Recent Kennedy historians have "revealed" that JFK was willing to discuss a form of détente with Castro. Whether this is part of the Leftist attempt to paint Castro as less evil than he is, is not really known. What is known is that JFK and Bobby Kennedy engaged in plans that looked like anything but détente.
Code-named “Operation Mongoose,” spurred by Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, it was an attempt to eliminate Castro with "extreme prejudice." On the other hand, getting back to the Kennedy style of playing both ends, perhaps they were planning a "niceness" campaign in case the poisoned cigars and cyanide-laced liquor did not do the trick. It is also instructive to remember what and who the Kennedys were. The sons of Joseph P. Kennedy played to win. All the "moralism" that Bobby is credited with in advocating that the U.S. not invade Cuba to get the "missiles of October"; in helping Mexican farmworkers in California in 1968; or in giving peace a chance in Vietnam - all of this is strictly cold political calculation. The fact that they are is not a criticism of RFK. The fact is, being embarrassed by Fidel Castro made Castro an enemy of the first order, and in the Kennedy scheme of things they were going to see to it that the Cuban SOB got his. Castro knew this, and because he knows this, the argument that he was behind JFK's assassination is strengthened. Had Bobby been elected in 1968, the whole "get Castro" business would have started up again. Fidel blew a huge sigh of relief when Sirhan Sirhan killed Bobby, and he no doubt considers Mary Jo Kopechne to be a "hero of the Revolution." Politics works in strange ways.
“To understand the Kennedy Administration’s obsession with Cuba, it is important to understand the Kennedys, especially Robert," Dick Bissell wrote. "From their perspective, Castro won the first round at the Bay of Pigs. He had defeated the Kennedy team; they were bitter and they could not tolerate his getting away with it. The President and his brother were ready to avenge their personal embarrassment by overthrowing their enemy at any cost. I don’t believe there was any significant policy debate in the executive branch on the desirability of getting rid of Castro. Robert Kennedy’s involvement in organizing and directing Mongoose became so intense that he might as well have been deputy director for plans for the operation.”
An Army memorandum from March 1, 1962 titled, “Possible Actions to Provoke, Harass or Disrupt Cuba,” outlined Operation Bingo, a plan to fake an attack on the U.S. base at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba, provide cover for a military strike on Havana. Operation Dirty Trick was to blame Castro if the 1962 Mercury manned space flight carrying John Glenn crashed. Operation Good Times included faking photos of “an obese Castro” with two voluptuous women in a lavishly furnished room “and a table brimming over with the most delectable Cuban food.” The caption would read, “My ration is different.”
According to U.S. News & World Report (October 26, 1998), an estimated 10,000 pages of previously secret documents were quietly declassified. Other CIA plots included hiring Mafia hit men to present a poisoned scuba suit to Castro. “Remember the Maine incident” was an effort to stir up a military attack, blame it on Cuba, and use it as an excuse for military intervention. Maybe that plan was kept around for the Gulf of Tonkin incident.
Brigadier General Edward G. Lansdale, who asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff for their opinion on top-secret plans to eliminate Castro and concoct a military pretext, headed operation Mongoose. Records show that the Joint Chiefs of Staff endorsed the ideas as “suitable for planning purposes.” None of them were ever carried out.
Causes Steven Travers Supports
Conservative, Christian, USC, American patriotism