Caribian Crisis

.. to direct opposition activities, and to provide cover for Agency operations. b. A propaganda offensive in the name of the opposition. c.

Creation inside Cuba of a clandestine intelligence collection and action apparatus to be responsive to the direction of the exile organization. d. Development outside Cuba of a small paramilitary force to be introduced into Cuba to organize, train, and lead resistance groups.5 Eisenhower also approved the budget for the operation, which totaled $4, 400,000. This included Political action, $950,000; propaganda, $1,700,000; paramilitary, $1,500,000; intelligence collection, $250,000.6 The plan was to train Cuban exiles, which would serve as a cover for action by the Central Intelligence Agency, which became known by the public. All Central Intelligence Agency personnel that had any contact with the Cuban public would have a separate identity as an American businessman.

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This would hide all United States Government involvement. In August 1959, the Chief of the Paramilitary Group attended a meeting to discuss the creation of a paramilitary group, to be used in Latin American crisis situations. He setup a small, proprietary airline for future use. At this time, Cuba was only one of may possible targets. During the Bay of Pigs Invasion, there were many problems with the actual plan, and this is what caused the failure. Frankly, I feel that this plan was very good, and don’t know where the fatal mistake was if I hadn’t read about it, because it wasn’t very obvious.

The Inspector General suggested these conclusions on page 143 of the Inspector General’s Survey of the Cuban Operation: 1.The Central Intelligence Agency, after starting to build up the resistance and guerrilla forces inside Cuba, drastically concerted the project into what rapidly became an overt military operation. The Agency failed to recognize that when the project advanced beyond the stage of plausible denial it was going beyond the area of Agency responsibility as well as Agency capability. 2.The Agency became so wrapped up in the military operation that it failed to appraise the [blurred] of [blurred] realistically. Furthermore, it failed to keep the national policy-makers adequately and realistically informed of the conditions considered essential for success, and it did not [burred] sufficiently for prompt policy decisions in a fast moving situation. 3.As the project grew, the Agency reduced the exiled leaders to the status of puppets, hereby losing the advantages of their active participation. 4.The Agency failed to build up and supply a resistance organization under rather favorable conditions.

Air and boat operations showed up poorly. 5. The Agency failed to collect adequate information on the strengths of the Castro regime and the extent of the opposition to it; and it failed to evaluate the available information correctly. 6.The project was badly organized. Command lines and [blurred] controls were ineffective and useless.

Senior Staffs if the Agency were not utilized; air support stayed independent of the project; the role of the large forward [blurred] was not clear. 7.The project was not staffed with top-quality people, and a number of people were not used to the best advantage. 8. The Agency entered the project without adequate [blurred] in the way of [blurred], bases, training facilities, [blurred][blurred], Spanish-speakers, and similar essential ingredients of a successful operation. [Blurred] these been already in being, such time and effort would have been saved.7 In the weeks before the actual invasion, the Western Hemisphere Division Branch Four hastened their pace in the preparations. On March 12th, 1961 the LCI Barbara J launched and recovered a sabotage team against the Texaco refinery in Santiago, Cuba. Beginning on March 13th, and ending on March 15th, the project chiefs worked on a revised plan that they presented to the President on March 15th.

Although the planning was going along smoothly, it was taking to long for the Cuban exiles to wait, and several went AWOL. In late March the [blacked out] ostensible owner of the Swan Island radio station, thanked all the sponsored of political programs and advised them that no more tapes would be required; purpose of this action was to clear the way for a unity program during the action phase of the operation.8 Although the mission was being prepared and almost ready, the Guatemala Camp was accepting trainees as late as the week of April 4th. Flights over Cuba were suspended on March 28th. The Government gave two reasons for the suspension. (a) That the aircraft were needed to move the strike force from Guatemala to Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, for embarkation on the invasion ships; (b) that the Agency wished to avoid any incident, such as a plane being downed over Cuba, which might upset the course of events during the critical pre-invasion period.9 Three Cuban airfields were raided by eight B-26s on April 15th, and resulted in destroying about half of Castro’s air force, which was estimated by post-strike photography.

Attacks were not the only aspect of the invasion that was increasing. Propaganda efforts were increased. Before D-Day, Radio Swan as well as other propaganda outlets were broadcasting eighteen hours a day on medium wave, and sixteen hours a day on short wave. Immediately after D-Day, these totals were increased to 55 hours and 26 hours, receptively. Fourteen frequencies were used. By the time of the invasion a total of 12,000,000 pounds of leaflets had been dropped on Cuba. 10 Late on April 16th, the eve of D-Day, the air strikes planned to destroy the rest of Castro’s air force were called off. The invasion fleet which had assembled off the south coast of Cuba on the night of 16 April included two LCIs owned by the Agency, a U.S.

Navy LSD carrying three LCUs and four LCVPs, all of them pre-loaded with supplies, and even charted commercial freighters. All these craft participated in the assault phase, except for three freighters which were loaded with follow-up supplies for ground and air-forces. These vessels were armed with 50-caliber machine guns. In addition, each LCI mounted two 75-mm. Recoilless rifles.

In addition to the personal weapons of the Cuban exile soldiers, the armament provided for combat included sufficient numbers of Browning automatic rifles, machine guns, mortars, recoilless rifles, rocket launchers, and flame-throwers. There were also five M-41 tanks, 12 heavy trucks, an aviation fuel tank truck, a tractor crane, a bulldozer, two large water trailers, and numerous small trucks and tractors. 11 A total of 1,511 men fought in the invasion, all of them were on the invasion ships, except for one airborne infantry company comprised of 177 men. The entire brigade included five infantry companies, one heavy weapons company, on intelligence-reconnaissance company, and one tank platoon. These troops had been moved by air on three successive nights from the Guatemala training camp to the staging area in Nicaragua where they embarked in the ships which had been pre-loaded at New Orleans. The ships had moved on separate courses from Nicaragua, under unobtrusive Navy escort, to the rendezvous 40 miles offshore in order to avoid the appearance of a convoy.

From there they had moved in a column under cover of darkness to a point 5,000 yards to the landing area, where they met the Navy LSD. These complicated movements were apparently accomplished in a secure manner and without alerting the enemy. 12 Three follow-up ships were scheduled to arrive in Cuba, one from Nicaragua was supposed to come In conclusion, I think that the Inspector General Lymon Kirkpatrick was right when he said that the Central Intelligence Agency should have done more research on the Cubans’ weaknesses and strengths before invading, so that the Central Intelligence Agency Western Hemisphere Division Branch Four could have possibly defeated the Fidel Castro regime of the Republic of Cuba. I think the United States should have also done more to help relations with the United Soviet Socialist Republic, because they may have helped out, since the Republic of Cuba was an ally, rather than fight the United States of America. That was not the end of tense moments between Cuba and the United Soviet Socialist Republic and the United States of America. For exactly two weeks beginning on October 15, the Cuban Missile Crisis existed. On October 15, a U-2 spy plane piloted by Richard Heyser revealed SS-4 nuclear missiles in Cuba all aimed at various points in the United States.

The missile silos were disguised as trees, or at least the communists tried to disguise them as trees. On October 16, the next day, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was informed of this sighting during breakfast. He called a meeting of EX-COMM, his twelve most important advisors. According to EX-COMM, Khruschev would retaliate no matter what action they took. Still, Kennedy called a blockade to begin at 10 am Eastern Daylight Time on October 24th 1962.

President John F. Kennedy was able to talk Khruschev into disabling the missiles on October 26th , but on October 27th, Khruschev demanded to renegotiate terms. On October 28th, 1962, Khruschev had agreed to remove all missiles from the Republic of Cuba. If the invasion at the Bay of Pigs had not happened Castro would not of let the USSR put the missiles in Cuba. Castro feared another invasion and that is why he did what he did.

In the next several years, the CIA still had a tense time with the USSR, and the Republic of Cuba. In the internal memo Views of a Cuban Official on the future of Cuban-United States Relations, it says that the United States would be able to intervene without any consequences if the Vietnam War escalated and all the other powers concentrated on Vietnam, not Cuba. The United States Policy was to isolate Cuba from the rest of the free world on December 12th, 1963. The United States’ plan was to replace the Castro regime and replace it with an administration that would be fully compatible with the United States of America. In the last analysis, however, there are only two courses which would eliminate the Castro regime at an early date: an invasion or a complete blockade. Both of these actions would result in a major crisis between the US and the USSR (in Cuba and/or Berlin) and would produce substantial strains in the fabric of US relations with other countries-allied as well as neutral.

To a greater extent than in any of the courses discussed above, OAS support would be important, if not critical, in reducing the risks and in increasing the practical and political effect of an invasion or a blockade.13 This is described in Document 24, Cuba-A Status Report. Despite the embarrassment and danger of the Cuban Missile Crisis, I personally think that the United States Government should of stopped threatening Cuba and either declare war or shut-up. Instead, they almost caused a nuclear war by not backing up their word to help the exiles. I personally think Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick said it best in The Inspector General’s Survey of the Cuban Operation when he wrote, Furthermore, it is essential to keep in mind that the possibility of an invasion was doomed in advance, that an initially successful landing by 1,500 men would eventually have been crushed by Castro’s combined military.