Bay of Pigs (Playa Girón), Cuba

In the dark tropical night of April 17, 1962, 1,400 Cuban Americans landed at the Bay of Pigs (Playa Girón), Cuba, in a disastrously unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro (another example of the US “meddling” in foreign elections).  The Cuban Americans were political exiles trained and armed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  These enemy noncombatants were accompanied by CIA agents and a US Underwater Demolition Team. The invaders were defeated after three days of fighting.  Life Magazine wrote that the Cuban government “gleefully reported” on the background of the invaders against the Communist regime, who included plantation owners, businessmen, and factory owners. Although President Dwight Eisenhower had approved and financed the invasion, it was launched during President John F. Kennedy’s first three months as president.  Che Guevera, one of the leaders of the Cuban Revolution, later sent a note to Kennedy that read, “Thanks for Playa Girón. Before the invasion, the revolution was weak. Now it’s stronger than ever.”

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