THE BAY OF PIGS INVASION OF 1961:
EFFECTS ON THE WORLD
NTHATO VILAKAZI 11K
“The 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion and the subsequent defeat of U.S.-sponsored
insurgents by the Cuban government had a profound effect on the world.”
The Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 was a failed military invasion of Cuba undertaken
by the paramilitary group Brigade 2506, who were sponsored by the CIA (Central
Intelligence Agency). The purpose of the operation was to, as stated by the CIA
“[...] bring about the replacement of the Castro regime with one more devoted
to the true interests of the Cuban people and more acceptable to the
U.S.[…] to avoid any appearance of U.S. intervention.”
The invasion and the following unanimous defeat of the U.S.- sponsored insurgents
by Cuban military forces would have profound effects on the world.
For the U.S., the failure of the invasion served as a great embarrassment and served
to greatly undermine U.S. credibility (npr.org, 2011). Moreover, the world began to
see that the United States was defeatable. As a result of these factors, the Kennedy
administration began an aggressive campaign to overthrow the Castro regime
(Hudson, 2002), the start of a wider policy of containment (npr.org, 2011; Smith,
2013). Castro’s position of power was strengthened by the invasion, while he also
became an inspiration to other revolutionary leaders internationally (Chomsky,
2015). Furthermore, Cuban-American relations soured further, leading the Caribbean
nation to align itself to the Soviet Union by officially declaring itself Marxist (Hudson,
2002) , an action which would be a key factor in the development of the Cuban
Missile Crisis of 1962.
Part I - Background
In early 1959, the U.S.- supported dictator Fulgencio Batista was overthrown by the
revolutionary forces of Fidel Castro and his Twenty-Sixth of July movement. Castro’s
assumption of power began a period of left-wing radicalisation in Cuba (Hudson,
2002). A strong proponent of socialism and an anti-American sentiment, Castro
quickly cut Cuba’s once-close ties with the United States by expropriating U.S.
economic assets in Cuba (Office of the Historian, 2016; Khan, 2012), limiting the
amount of persons allowed to work at the American Embassy (Smith, 2013) and
developing political ties with the Soviet Union. For more than a century, Cuba had
been reliant on the United States and was a valuable source of agricultural produce
e.g. sugar to the latter as well as an investment haven for United States industrialists
(Hudson, 2001). For such a close - economically and geographically - ally to become
socialist was extremely disturbing to the U.S. This worry was exacerbated by general
anti-communist/socialist sentiment among U.S. politicians during the Cold War as
well as the Castro regime’s support of other revolutionary movements in Latin
America (npr.org, 2011; Hudson, 2002).
In response to this, a plan to overthrow Castro was devised and approved during the...