Kyle Selensky Social 20-1 Dennis Johnston Did the United States Win the Bay of Pigs Invasion?



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Kyle Selensky Social 20-1 Dennis Johnston


Did the United States Win the Bay of Pigs Invasion?

The Bay of Pigs invasion was an attempt to have Cuba become a non-communist government which would be friendly to the United States. I believe that the United States lost the Bay of Pigs Invasion because Cuba is still communist and Fidel Castro made the United States government hand over $53 million dollars of baby food and medication (I don’t follow).

The original invasion plan called for two air strikes against Cuban air bases. A 1,400-man invasion force would advance under cover of darkness and launch a surprise attack. Paratroopers dropped in before the invasion would disrupt transportation and opposing Cuban forces. Simultaneously, a smaller force would land on the east coast of Cuba to create confusion for the Cuban forces. The main force would advance across the island to Matanzas and set up a defensive position. The United Revolutionary Front would send leaders from South Florida and establish a provisional government. The success of the plan was dependent on the Cuban population joining the invaders. So John F. Kennedy’s plan basically was to have two separate teams invading Cuba at the same time to surround and hopefully distract the forces to all go east so the main force can penetrate with less resistance.

The first problem had occurred on April 15, 1961, when eight bombers left Nicaragua to bomb Cuban airfields. The CIA, with out-dated World War II B-26 bombers, disguised the B-26 bombers to look like Cuban air force planes. The bombers missed many of their targets and left most of Castro's air force intact. As news broke of the attack, photos of the repainted U.S. planes became public and revealed American support for the invasion. President Kennedy cancelled his second air strike. On April 17, the Cuban-exile invasion force, known as Brigade 2506, landed at beaches along the Bay of Pigs and immediately came under heavy fire. Cuban planes strafed (attacked with low flying air support) the invaders, sank two escort ships, and destroyed half of the exile's air support. Bad weather had heavily affected the ground forces by having to work with soggy equipment and insufficient ammunition supplies



Over the next 24 hours, Castro ordered almost 20,000 troops to advance toward the beach, and the Cuban air force continued to control the skies. As the situation grew increasingly grim, President Kennedy authorized an "air-umbrella" at dawn on April 19—six unmarked American fighter planes took off to help defend the brigade's B-26 aircraft flying. But the B-26s arrived an hour late, most likely confused by the change in time zones between Nicaragua and Cuba. They American B-26s were shot down by the Cubans, and the invasion was crushed later that day. Some exiles escaped to the sea, while the rest were killed or rounded up and imprisoned by Castro's forces. Almost 1,200 members of Brigade 2056 surrendered, and more than 100 were killed.

The brigade prisoners remained in captivity for 20 months, as the United States negotiated a deal with Fidel Castro. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy made personal pleas for contributions from pharmaceutical companies and baby food manufacturers. Fidel Castro eventually settled on $53 million worth of baby food and medicine in exchange for the prisoners. In my opinion, the United States lost the Bay of Pigs invasion because President Kennedy had to pay $53 million dollars in baby food and medication to get his soldiers that were held hostage for 20 months and also, Cuba is still a communist government that is not friendly with the United States.


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