Bay of Pigs Was an Unsuccessful Effort Essay

  • Length: 5 pages
  • Sources: 5
  • Subject: Literature - Latin-American
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #70689140

Excerpt from Essay :

Bay of Pigs was an unsuccessful effort by the United States of America to bring Castro's dictatorship in Cuba to an end and Kennedy was mainly responsible for the failure.

The 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion is renowned worldwide as a failed attempt of United States government to invade Cuba with the help of Cuban exiles. It was on April 17th of the stated year that an armed force of Cuban exiles (more or less 1500 in number) entered in the territory of Bay of Pigs (Bahia de Cochinos) located on Cuba's southern coast. Those Cuban exiles had been given training by CIA members under the consent of the Eisenhower government. The main reason behind this plan was to stir up a rebellion and civil disobedience in Cuban land so that the Communist government of Fidel Castro could be brought to an end. However, the intentions and attempts of the United States government turned out as failures as the trained rebels were easily defeated by the Cuban army. The attacks aggravated protests against United States in the European continent and Latin America and encouraged embitterment in U.S.-Cuban relations ("Bay of Pigs Invasion," 2013).

The Cuban invasion put President Kennedy to a difficult position as he was strongly criticized for the poor planning and execution of the entire situation. While a number of critics put direct blame on Kennedy for the mentioned failure, others including Jose Miro Cardona, Cuban exile leader put blame on the CIA. If truth be told, the exiles had hoped a dramatic uprising in Cuba but their hopes shattered with the Kennedy's refusal to approve air cover for them. Afterwards, revelations made it clear that predictions had been made by the involved CIA task force that it was not possible to achieve the desired goals without the involvement of U.S. military. However it is still not clear whether this assessment was in the knowledge of Kennedy or CIA officials ("Bay of Pigs Invasion," 2013).

There are a number of reasons why the paramilitary attack of USA on the Bay of Pigs is considered as one of the most terrible U.S. foreign policy debacles. Firstly, America failed to tear down the Cuban planes in the incursion that proved as a major hindrance for the exiles to acquire their goals. Kennedy wanted to hide the fact that the invasion was planned by United States and thus refused to allow any air raid. However, the resentment of USA for Fidel Castro was not a secret to the world and it was highly unlikely to consider that the Cubans would not know who was behind the invasion. This unrealistic approach by Kennedy later proved to be disastrous for USA. The Kennedy administration could be blamed on the ground that it did not make itself aware of the Cuban force and competence to defend it under Castro's leadership. The wrong overestimation of exiles' strength and underestimation of Cuban forces caused a great setback to Kennedy administration. The misjudgment of Cuba's strengths caused dejection to the U.S.A. As its attempt to throwback Castro's regime failed.

Another wrong assumption of the U.S.A. was that they predicted that the exiles would be helped by the Cuban civilians to remove Castro from power Castro. There were no intelligence reports that could verify the civilians' involvement in the scenario. No group of people openly opposed Castro's power in Cuba. Thus, it was again a mistake on the part of American government to assume that the citizens or officials in Cuba would help the exiles to get rid of Castro. Instead, Castro's forces defeated the CIA-trained exiles in less than 72 hours. This defeat not only exposed C.I.A. undercover and stealthy operations but also made Kennedy to accept the blame openly. The whole world expressed its disapproval of Washington's policy of imposing imperial aggression on Cuba. This is the reason why Bay of Pigs Invasion is regarded by historians as a perfect failure owing to the fact that the whole plan could be avoided if top C.I.A. officials had kept the President up-to-date regarding Cuban capabilities and the fact that that the desired invasion couldn't be regarded as a feasible clandestine operation (Kornbluh, 1998).

A majority of people believe (including the Bay of Pigs invasion survivors) that it was not CIA but John F. Kennedy who is to be blamed for the invasion's failure. He was unable to make up his mind at the right time and this indecisiveness caused the plan to fail. His dilemma regarding allowing the air strike became the turning point and the trained exiles were left to the mercy of Cuban armed forces. Kennedy and his administration were not agreed in their ideas about the success levels of the invasion. Nevertheless, the President didn't listen to his administration and continued with what he thought to be alright in any case. He insisted that he won't allow the use of American planes and other required military hardware. This denial was an attempt to make the world believe that the United States of America was not involved in the assault. However, this decision granted America with an impossible success.

As mentioned above, CIA was also considered to be the responsible one for the failed miserable endeavor to cause the downfall of Fidel Castro. A good number of people emphasize that the preparation, scheduling, organization, enrollment, and supervision of the CIA was so poor that it ultimately led America to the failure within seventy-two hours. The agency was not entirely certain that the invasion would motivate Cuban civilians to rebel and involve in the mutiny. This uncertainty and misjudgment on the part of CIA turned out to be the major reason of the failure of invasion. The officials had regarded the involvement of Cuban citizens indispensable to achieve the operation goals. In addition, CIA refused to agree to Kennedy's declaration that did not allow them to use American force and this refusal made this agency the responsible party (Dallek, 2011).

However, survivors were confident that the American people were lied to by their President as "it was not the CIA who changed the invasion plans at the last minute; it was not the CIA who cancelled the air attacks vital to the success of the invasion; it was not the CIA who insisted on a 'quiet' landing 'preferably at night' and who cut down the strength of the initial attacks against Castro's air bases. It was not the CIA who sent the Cuban freedom fighters ashore on Monday morning without air cover, and it was not the CIA who deceived the American people" (Skelly, 1999). Thus, Kennedy's stubbornness in keeping the option open for America that it was not involved in the assault left those who went on the invasion mission without any equipment and additional help resulting in failure.

The historians across the world agree upon the idea that the Bay of Pigs Invasion was a failed attempt of USA and also "the first in a series of ill-conceived, counterproductive and tragic U.S. acts of aggression" (Kornbluh, 1998). On the other hand, it is still confusing for them to agree on the party responsible for the major setback that made it an unsuccessful endeavor. As mentioned already, a number of hollow decisions and plans and misjudgments made their contribution in inviting failure. One of them was the inability to get rid of all the airplanes Cuba attacked with. This made it easy for Cuba to use the remaining planes afterwards against the exiles in resistance. The American government acknowledged that it was one of the major mistakes it made. Also, the hope that Cuban people will help the exiles to fight against Castro's forces proved wrong. To cut a long story short, the Kennedy administration was not, in the first place, even sure…

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