Cascon Case BOP: Bay of Pigs 1961

Status Quo Side: Cuba

Non-Status Quo Side: USA

Region: Western Hemisphere

Conflict Type: Interstate

Issues in Dispute: Governance, Strategic

Cuba map (21869 bytes)

Phase 1: 1/1/1959

After Fidel Castro's assumption of power in Cuba, US relations deteriorated. Resentment of US economic pressure, bombing raids by exiled followers of former Cuban President Fulgencio Batista from Florida, and fear of US invasion were matched by US outrage at property expropriations and political executions, plus anger at Castro's pro-Soviet Communist leanings.

Phase 2: 3/1960

CIA arming and training of exiles, approved by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was begun in contact with opposition groups within Cuba. Failure to consolidate indigenous guerrilla groups led to an expanded invasion force. Official relations worsened as Soviet arms arrived in Cuba. Washington complained to the OAS, Castro denounced the US to the UNGA, the US imposed an export embargo, and in January 196l broke relations. With President John F. Kennedy's approval, subject to the non-use of US forces, the invaders left their Guatemalan training camp on April 14.

Phase 3: 4/15/1961

Exile pilots bombed Cuban planes on the ground but failed to destroy Cuban air power. Exile forces landed on April 17 but Cuban planes prevented supply ships from landing. US naval forces and aircraft remained offshore and inactive. The invasion force was captured when its supplies were exhausted and President Kennedy refused to commit US forces.

Phase 4: 4/19/1961

Diplomatic efforts ultimately led to the prisoners' release. The USSR announced an agreement to supply arms and technical help to Cuba. US-Cuban relations remained in the deep-freeze, particularly after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1963.

Cascon Home Copyright 1999 Lincoln P. Bloomfield and Allen Moulton