Staff Favorites: The Brilliant Disaster

The Brilliant Disaster: JFK, Castro, and America’s Doomed Invasion of Cuba’s Bay of Pigs, Jim Rasenberger

The author examines the history of the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion. Shortly after Castro came to power in Cuba, the Eisenhower administration started working with the CIA on ways to get rid of him. Kennedy ran on a strong anti-communist platform during his 1960 campaign for the Presidency. After defeating Nixon, Kennedy inherited the Castro problem and the CIA’s proposed solutions. Finally agreeing on a U.S. backed invasion force of anti-Castro Cuban exiles, the CIA moved forward with the plan. The result was a defeat for the anti-Castro brigade and a humiliation for the Kennedy Administration. Who was responsible? Although the CIA, the military, and others should share some of the blame, the author lays most of the blame on President Kennedy and his New Frontier cabinet. By canceling a second set of air strikes on Castro’s Air Force, he doomed the anti-Castro brigade to certain defeat. – Art Nifong, Reference

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