Ron Ridenour

About Ron Ridenour
Short stories



RUSSIAN PEACE THREAT: Pentagon on Alert!
Chapter Two
Bay of Pigs Invasion: Retake Cuba

[November 7, 2017]

Vice-President Richard Nixon met with Fidel Castro three months after the popular guerrilla forces overthrew the U.S. government-Mafia backed repressive regime of Fulgencio Batista. Nixon’s April 19, 1959 assessment of the charismatic revolutionary leader led his government to attempt to murder him and to overthrow the people’s government.

Nixon said: “Castro is incredibly naive about communism, or is under communist discipline.” “It was this almost slavish subservience to prevail on majority opinion—the voice of the mob—rather than his naive attitude toward Communism…which concerned me most in evaluating what kind of a leader he might eventually turn out to be.”

(See Appendix 1. pages 242-3 and Appendix F of the CIA’s “Official History of the Bay of Pigs Operation”. This report is in four volumes, seven parts plus attachments. 1,751 pgs. . The report by the Inspector General Lyman Kirkpatrick was declassified in 1998. The CIA’s budget estimation for this covert operation was $13.1 million, but it would come to cost much more.)

A principle person involved in CIA efforts to be rid of Castro and retake Cuba was Air Force General and Deputy Director of the CIA (DDCI) Charles P. Cabell. He noted in November 1959 that while Castro was not a communist he allowed free opportunity to the Communist party in Cuba to grow and spread its message. By December plans were already being tossed around between high ranking officials that called for overthrowing the government, including assassinating Fidel and his brother Raul, and Che Guevara. Due to the United States' fear of repercussions from the United Nations, plans were kept at the highest level of secrecy. “Plausible deniability" was and is the key focal point in United States clandestine-covert practice.

The first known attempt on Fidel’s life occurred just one month after he led the victory. On February 2, U.S. citizen Allen Mayer was arrested for that effort. He may have not have been under U.S. control, which might have made its first murder attempt in July. One man who probably knew of the U.S.’s first attempt said it took place in a bit later. “The Central Intelligence Agency flew a two-man assassination team into Cuba in an unsuccessful attempt to kill Premier Fidel Castro, a retired Air Force colonel said today,” wrote April 30, 1975.

”The colonel, L.Fletcher Prouty, said that in ‘late 1959 or early 1960’, while he was serving in the Defense Department’s Office of Special Operations, he handled a C.I.A. request for a small specially equipped Air Force plane that was used to land two Cuban exiles on a road near Havana.”

“The two exiles were ‘equipped with a high-powered rifle and telescopic sights’ and ‘knew how to get to a building in Havana which overlooked a building where Castro passed daily,’ Colonel Prouty, now an official with Amtrak, said in telephone interview.

“The plane, an L-28 “heliocourier,” returned safely to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, he said, but the ‘Cuban exiles as far as I know were picked up between where they were left off and Havana.’” …Prouty said one of them was Oscar Spijo, and the plane was flown by CIA ‘mercenaries’”.

In 1975, the Church Committee (US Select Senate Committee to Study Government Operations with Respect to International Activities) substantiated eight attempts by the CIA to assassinate Fidel. Colonel Prouty was a Committee witnesses. He asserted that the CIA also stood behind a coup d’état to stop the President Kennedy from taking control of the agency after the Bay of Pigs.

No one in history comes close to surviving as many assassination attempts as did Fidel. The Cuban chief of counterintelligence General Fabián Escalante was responsible for protecting his president. Escalante estimated that between 1959 and 2000, the U.S. concocted 638 plots to murder Fidel. When Fidel died, England’s Channel 4 ran a documentary on these attempts 638 Ways to Kill Castro, and the “Daily News” (November 26, 2016) also used Escalante’s estimates, listing the number of pursuits under each U.S. president:

Eisenhower, 38; Kennedy, 42; Johnson, 72; Nixon, 184; Carter, 64; Reagan, 197; Bush Sr., 16; Clinton, 21.

Chronology of Cuban Revolutionary Actions and U.S. pre-Invasion Subversion

On January 21, 1959, Fidel Castro speaks to over a million workers and peasants: “When the People Rule”. Castro explains that the U.S. has started "A campaign against the people of Cuba, because [we] want to be free not just politically, but economically as well—A campaign against the people of Cuba, because they have become a dangerous example for all America—A campaign against the people of Cuba because they know we are going to call for cancellation of the onerous concessions that have been made to foreign monopolies, because they know electric rates are going to be lowered here, because they know that all the onerous concessions made by the dictatorship are going to be reviewed and canceled." (1)

March 3, the Cuban government nationalizes the Cuban Telephone Company, an affiliate of ITT, and drastically reduces its enormous telephone rates. Two days later, former Cuban president Ramon Grau San Martin (1933–1934, 1944–1948) demands the U.S. military leave its illegal occupation of Guantanomo Naval Base (116 sq. km). The U.S. refuses, instead blithely writes Cuba a check to forcefully "lease" the land for $2,000 a year. The Cuban government has never cashed them. Throughout the rest of the month, the price of medicine in Cuba is drastically reduced, while the Urban Reform Law lowers all rents by 30-50 percent. (2)

May 2, Nixon’s negative assessment of Castro did not immediately change the great amount of positive encouragement for the Cuban revolution by a majority of citizens and liberal senators, so the government signs an agreement with Cuba offering technical cooperation in the development of agrarian reform—this was to be short lived.

May 17, Cuba enacts its Agrarian Reform Law: distributing all farmlands over 400 hectares to landless peasants and workers, and prohibiting foreign ownership of land, which was 75 percent of Cuba's most fertile land. The Cuban government begins nationalizing all foreign owned land with 20 year fixed-term bonds paying an annual interest rate of 4.5 percent (higher than most U.S. government bond rates then). Over 200,000 Cuban families own land for the first time in their lives as a result of the reform.

June 11, U.S. government officially protests the compensation terms offered U.S. companies for the Cuban land they had occupied. U.S. landowners object that compensation is being granted in accordance to tax assessment rates, which did not depict the current value. For decades this had been of tremendous advantage to the foreign landowners. Not having tax rates updated meant paying taxes in terms of values 30 or 40 years old, which meant increasingly lower tax rates each year. Despite this protest, the Cuban government negotiates with other foreign landowners and reaches agreements with those from Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Mexico, Spain and Sweden.

The U.S. had no reason to complain about this mild agrarian reform, Fidel told his biographer Ignacio Ramonet, My Life: Fidel Castro (Penguin, 2006):
“I should even say that our agrarian reform was, at the time, less radical than the reform General MacArthur has instituted in Japan…MacArthur did away with large land holdings and parceled out the land and distributed it among the peasantry and the poor. But in Japan the large tracts of land hadn’t belonged to big American companies, while in Cuba they had.”

October 11- 21, three raids by U.S. military aircraft bomb Cuban sugar mills in Pinar del Rio and Camaguey provinces. Cuba begins efforts to purchase airplanes for its defense, looking first to Britain, which agrees to enter negotiations for sales but quickly withdraws once the U.S. objects.

Oct. 21, an aircraft raid on Havana kills two people and wounds 45 in the streets. The next day, in Las Villas province, a U.S. military aircraft strafes a train full of passengers. In response, Cubans form a popular militia.

October 28, Camilo Cienfuegos, popular charismatic leader of the Cuban revolutionary army, is killed in a mysterious plane crash.
In January, 1960, Cuba expropriates 28,300 hectares held by U.S. sugar companies, which refuses to sell the land at any price. Cuba needed to make up for the lowered U.S. sugar quota that is damaging the nation's economy. This land includes 14,000 hectares held by United Fruit Co., which had attained more than 110,000 hectares of Cuban land over time.

United Fruit is known as “El Pulpo” (The Octopus) in Central America and the Caribbean for its monopoly of land in sugar and bananas (Chiquita). The disparaging term “Banana Republic” originates from the company, which owned 1.4 million hectares of land in those countries (1930s figures). The company’s chief lawyer was Eisenhower’s Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, who also owned stocks. His brother, CIA director Allen was once president of United Fruit.

January 12, Revenging El Pulpo Eisenhower-Dulles government drops napalm on oil refineries and sugar cane fields, burning 10 tons. On the 21st, four 40-kilo bombs are dropped on Havana, causing extensive damage. On the 28th and 29th, U.S. military aircraft bombs wreck five sugar cane fields. These were U.S. military aircraft camouflaged as counterrevolutionary Cuban planes.

February 7, air attack by covert U.S. military aircraft burns 30 tons of sugar cane and several mills in the countryside, as sabotage operations of sugar production and terrorism in urban areas continue.

February 13, the Cuban and Soviet governments sign a trade agreement in which the Soviet Union agrees to purchase five million tons of sugar over a five-year period. In exchange, the S.U. agrees to export crude oil and petroleum products, as well as wheat, iron, fertilizers, and machinery. They also loan Cuba $100 million at a low 2.5 percent interest.

February 18, U.S. pilot Robert Ellis Frost is killed when his aircraft is shot down while attacking a sugar mill in Matanzas province. On the 23rd, several more air attacks bomb sugar mills in Las Villas and Matanzas provinces.

February 29, the Cuban government reaches out to the U.S. for peace negotiations on the condition that it stops bombing. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles refuses to negotiate for peace.

March 4, Sabotage of a French ship, La Coubre, in Havana harbor. It is carrying arms for Cuba from Belgium. One hundred people are killed and 300 wounded. The following day at funerals for the victims Fidel Castro accuses the United States of responsibility for the action. (Informe Especial: 1960 National Security Archives, George Washington University.)

The same month, Western European banks cancelled a planned $100 million loan to Cuba in response to U.S. threats.

March 17, President Eisenhower approves a covert action plan to overthrow the Cuban Republic, guided by CIA chief Allen Dulles, who is to report to Vice-President Nixon. The plan is a National Security Directive entitled, “A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime.”

This “Cuba Project” laid the basis for the Bay of Pigs invasion. It grew out of a confidential memorandum Colonel J. C. King, chief of CIA’s western hemisphere division, sent to Dulles, on December 11, 1959. King claimed that Cuba was now a "far-left dictatorship, which if allowed to remain will encourage similar actions against U.S. holdings in other Latin American countries." As a result of this memorandum, Dulles established a ZR/RIFLE unit named Operation 40, which was the National Security Council “Group of 40” (Operation 40) that followed Cuba.

ZR Rifle was an executive action codename for assassination of foreign leaders, which involved assessing the problems and requirements of assassination and developing a stand-by assassination capability. More specifically, it involved "spotting" potential agents and researching assassination techniques that might be used.

When Helms testified before congress in 1975 he denied the program was ever implemented. But Helms lied. Two years later, he actually pleaded no contest in a federal court to misdemeanor charges for failing to testify fully before Congress about CIA subversive operations in Chile.

Among the first 40 members of Operation 40 were key CIA figures and Cuban exiles, many of whom later figured in the murder of President Kennedy (see chapter six), and some in the Watergate break-in. From the CIA were: Tracy Barnes, operating officer of the Cuban Task Force; David Atlee Phillips, E. Howard Hunt, Frank Bender, Jacob Jake Esterline, David Sanchez Morales, Frank Sturgis, and Felix Rodriquez (CIA officer in Bolivia involved in the summary execution of Che Guevara).

The gusanos (“worms” a Cuban term for those who betrayed their own people by sabotaging and murdering them) were: Luis Posada Carriles (also on CIA payroll), Orlando Bosch (founder of Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations, which organized the explosion of a civilian Cuban aircraft killing all 73 passengers and the murder of Chile’s minister Orlando Letelier—both in 1976), Rafael ‘Chi Chi’ Quintero, Virgilio Paz Romero, Pedro Luis Diaz Lanz, Bernard Barker and Porter Goss. By 1961, Operation 40 had 86 employees, of which 37 were trained as case officers. Members took part in the Bay of Pigs invasion. It was officially disbanded in 1970 yet in reality continued.

Operation 40 concentrated on economic warfare: termination of all sugar trade with Cuba; the end of all oil deliveries; instructing all U.S. companies in Cuba to refuse to cooperate with the Cuban Government; and conducting a campaign of terrorism against Cuban citizens and state institutions.
Also in March, Western European banks cancelled a planned $100 million loan to Cuba in response to U.S. threats. And the CIA began training 300 guerrillas, initially in the U.S. and the Canal Zone. Following an agreement with President Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes, in June, training shifted to Guatemala. The CIA began work to install a powerful radio station on Greater Swan Island.

The reactionary Guatemalan government had been put in power by the CIA, in June 1954, after Guatemalan right-wing militarists under CIA control overthrew the elected government of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. He was a social democrat, who sought to nationalize much of the nation's land, including vast tracks owned by the United Fruit Company.

Ydígoras later claimed that he had been introduced, in 1953, to two CIA agents by Walter Turnbull, an official of United Fruit Company. They offered him support to overthrow Árbenz. Ydígoras claimed to have refused their terms (3)

“New York Times” obituary of General Ydigoras, October 8, 1982, asserted that landowning military politicians “said he had allowed the C.I.A. to train the Cubans because the Eisenhower Administration had pledged to take a more friendly attitude toward his Government and to increase the United States import quota on Guatemalan sugar…[Ydigoras] expressed warm admiration for the United States and especially for its efforts to rid the hemisphere of Communism. But he was bitter over the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion and blamed it for his downfall.

April 4, Cuba readies a plan to expropriate all Cuban land held by the United Fruit Company, while on the same day a military aircraft flying from the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo drops napalm bombs in the Oriente province.

May 7, The Cuban government establishes diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, only after the Eisenhower administration had already ordered Fidel’s murder and an invasion.

August 6, Cuba enacts its nationalization law number 851, which again offers compensation at the value stated by U.S. foreign companies for purposes of paying taxes. Among the properties nationalized for collective use were those with controlling interests by U.S. stockholders: Exxon, Texaco, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Cuban Electric Company, North American Sugar Industries. (2)

Nationalization of U.S. property was a key reason the U.S. claimed for invading Cuba. The Secretary of State in office at the time of the invasion was Dean Rusk. Ironically, he said, in a press release October 19, 1962, regarding a dispute between Brazil and Ceylon over property rights:

“Any sovereign national has the right to expropriate property, whether owned by foreigners or nationals. In the United States we refer to this as the power of eminent domain. However, the owner should receive adequate and prompt compensation for this property.”

In September, Cuban civilian militia mobilizes cleanup operations, in the Escambray region of Las Villas Providence, against CIA-funded counterrevolutionary groups operating there. The CIA groups are crushed.

September 17, Cuba nationalizes all U.S. banks in Cuba (The First National Bank of Boston, First National City Bank of New York and Chase Manhattan).

October 7, United Nations is again informed by Foreign Minister Raul Roa Garcia that the CIA is training counterrevolutionaries in Guatemala for an invasion of his country. The United States vehemently denies this so the UN again dismisses the assertion.

October 8-10, weapons caches dropped from a U.S. military aircraft are seized in Escambray and over 100 counter-revolutionaries are arrested.

October 15, Cuba enacts a program of urban reform, guaranteeing every worker home ownership.

October 19, U.S. imposes a trade and economic embargo on Cuba excepting food and medicine.

By this time, the Cuban government has converted former army barracks into 10,000 new schools in cities and rural areas, a 200% increase in the number of Cuban schools over the past 20 years.

November 8, the soon-to-be President Kennedy is briefed on the Cuba invasion plans.

November 13, nearly half of the entire Guatemalan army, led by over 120 officers, rebels against the government of Miguel Ydígoras Fuentes. The soldiers, partly in solidarity with Cuba's revolution, object to the U.S. government using their country for an invasion of Cuba. The Guatemalan government is not able to crush the rebellion, and appeals to the United States for assistance. The U.S. thoroughly bombs the soldiers with B-26 bombers piloted by Cuban exiles it trained. To cover this action up, President Eisenhower orders the U.S. Navy to Nicaragua and Guatemala to protect these countries from "Cuban aggression".

January 1, 1961: Cuba launches a National Literacy Campaign. Within a year the rate of illiteracy in Cuba was reduced from 25 to 3.9 percent, setting an unprecedented standard throughout the underdeveloped world.

January 2, Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev tells a gathering at the Cuban embassy in Moscow: "Alarming news is coming from Cuba at present, news that the most aggressive American monopolists are preparing a direct attack on Cuba."

January 3, United States severs diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba. Castro banishes all but 11 of the U.S. Embassy’s 300 employees—many CIA—from the country.

January 17, President Eisenhower delivers his farewell, double-speak “military-industrial complex speech” on television.

…“America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how to use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.”

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

“Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war—as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years—I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.”

January 20, John F. Kennedy is inaugurated as president. He had defeated Richard Nixon, in part, by claiming that Nixon had not been tough enough on worldwide communism.

During the Eisenhower-Nixon regime (1953-61), they encouraged the Red Scare, purging hundreds of people from the government and imprisoning thousands suspected of being affiliated with the Communist Party. Eisenhower used the CIA to attack and overthrow the truly democratic Iranian government led by Mohammad Mosaddegh, August 19, 1953. Britain’s MI6 was in partnership with the CIA, which admitted to its role, in 2013.

Operation Ajax was the coup’s nomenclature and was deemed necessary because Mosaddegh had the audacity to start progressive social and political reforms for his people, and to nationalize the country’s oil, which Britain mainly controlled at that time. The Yanks-Brits brought back the Shah, Mohammad Rez Pahlavi, until he was overthrown in 1979. Mosaddegh was imprisoned or held in house arrest until his death, March 5, 1967.

The next year, the “soft-on-communism” Eisenhower-Nixon government took over Guatemala in a coup, and created the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization to ensure capitalism’s stability in Southeast Asia.

In February-March, just after the new hawk took office, the CIA made another attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Castro. The plan was to poison his Cuban cigars with botulism, a toxin so potent that its fumes are strong enough to kill. Various accounts maintain that either CIA’s ZR/Rifle chief William Harvey or its Col. Sheffield Edwards delivered capsules containing the toxin to CIA’s Mafia contact Johnny Roselli, and $10,000.
March 11, terrorists destroy electrical plants in Havana, leaving much of the city without electricity. Two days later, an oil refinery at the Santiago de Cuba port is attacked by terrorists.

April 3, U.S. State Department issues a White Paper on Cuba, explaining that Cuba is a Soviet satellite. It dictated that if Cuba breaks off ties with the Soviet Union the United States be generous and aide such a "free" government. If Cuba refuses, the U.S. will view it as "a clear and present danger to the authentic and autonomous revolution of the Americas."
April 12, Soviet Union ushers the world into a new era when Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human being in space. The next day, the U.S. begins its invasion of Cuba.


The invasion plan called for aerial attacks to destroy roads and bridges to prevent the Cuban army from reaching the Bay of Pigs before the counterrevolutionary soldiers got a foothold. These raids would be extended by CIA operatives who had already penetrated Cuba. Once victory was achieved, a group of CIA favorite Cubans, which it was forcefully holding in a secret base at Florida’s Opalocka airport, would be flown in to govern.

April 13, CIA-chartered freighters Atlántico, Caríbe, Houston and Rió Escondido load 1,334 Cuban mercenaries along with tanks and other war vehicles. They sail from Guatemala, and Nicaragua followed by USS Essex carrier and five destroyers. Operation Zapata is launched.

April 14, a squadron of U.S. B-26 bombers, camouflaged with Cuban insignias, begins bombarding airports in Cuba. These raids would last for two days, destroying a large portion of the Cuban Air Force. Kennedy’s ambassador to the U.N., Adlai Stevenson, claims the raids are flown by Cuban dissident pilots in Cuban planes. On the 15th, Fidel declares to a huge cheering crowd that Cuba was now on a socialist path.
April 16, shortly before midnight, six U.S. frogmen, led by CIA’s Grayston Lynch, land on Cuba's targeted beaches in Landing Craft Infantry boat and set up lights to guide the invasion.

April 17, Brigade 2506 lands in Cuba. The men—now 1297, some drowned—are led by Lynch and his operative William Robertson. They split into six battalions. Two land at Playa Girón and one at Playa Larga, 35 kilometers away. Coral reefs delay the landing several hours until boats could navigate around the coral. An additional 177 Cuban paratroopers land.

What the CIA failed to consider caused a rapid backfire. The vast majority of Cubans were happy with their revolutionary government, and they were prepared for a Yankee invasion.

Shortly before 3 a.m. on the day of attack, a civilian member of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution spots the U.S. warships, just off the Cuban shores. Less than 20 minutes later, the entire Cuban government is informed about the invasion, and their response is immediate.

Fidel Castro coordinates the defense from the field. First the population is alerted. For months the Cuban government had been giving weapons to the entire population and training them in basic military defensive tactics. Militia men and women now confront the invaders. The remainder of the Cuban Air Force launches attacks and gains superiority over U.S. aircraft. Cuba’s T33 jets shoot five of the brigade’s 12 remaining aircraft out of the air, including the B-26 flown by Americans Pete Ray and Leo Francis Baker. They were killed on the ground when they tried to escape their crashed bomber. The Cuban Air Force then flies over the U.S. invasion fleet, bombarding and sinking the fleet command vessel “Maropa” and “Houston.” The crews were rescued but artillery and heavy war munitions were lost. Cuban police hunt down and arrest CIA operatives before they can blow up any of their intended targets.

By midnight, Fidel and 20,000 soldiers trapped the invaders against the beaches, squeezing them into tight perimeters. Castro’s tanks and infantry battered the brigade with artillery fire for 48 straight hours.

Diplomatic matters for the United States went poorly very quickly. U.S. involvement in the invasion of Cuba was a direct violation of Article 2 and Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as Articles 18 and 25 of the Charter of the Organization of American States, and Article 1 of the Rio Treaty. (4)

On the day of the invasion, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk lies at a press conference. “The American people are entitled to know whether we are intervening in Cuba or intend to do so in the future,” he said. “The answer to that question is no.” U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Stevenson, now aware of U.S. involvement in the invasion, which he had been instructed to deny days earlier, publicly urges the United States to stop the attack.

Soviet ambassador to the UN Valerian Alexandrovich Zorin responds by making it clear that, “Cuba is not alone today. Among her most sincere friends the Soviet Union is to be found.”

April 18, Kennedy receives a letter from Chairman Nikita Khrushchev: “It is a secret to no one that the armed bands invading this country were trained, equipped and armed in the United States of America. The planes which are bombing Cuban cities belong to the United States of America; the bombs they are dropping are being supplied by the American Government....
“All of this evokes here in the Soviet Union an understandable feeling of indignation on the part of the Soviet Government and the Soviet people.
“Only recently, in exchanging opinions through our respective representatives, we talked with you about the mutual desire of both sides to put forward joint efforts directed toward improving relations between our countries and eliminating the danger of war.

“Your statement a few days ago that the USA would not participate in military activities against Cuba created the impression that the top leaders of the United States were taking into account the consequences for general peace and for the USA itself which aggression against Cuba could have. How can what is being done by the United States in reality be understood when an attack on Cuba has now become a fact? ...”

“As far as the Soviet Union is concerned, there should be no mistake about our position: We will render the Cuban people and their government all necessary help to repel armed attack on Cuba. We are sincerely interested in a relaxation of international tension, but if others proceed toward sharpening, we will answer them in full measure... I hope that the Government of the USA will consider our views as dictated by the sole concern not to allow steps which could lead the world to military catastrophe.

Kennedy blinks!

All support by the U.S. Air Force is called off. The battle was going poorly for the U.S. invaders, not able to gain an inch on the beach. In face of utter defeat, Kennedy continues to maintain that the U.S. is not involved in the invasion. Nevertheless, Kennedy momentarily reverses his previous decision, and orders the U.S. Air Force to assist the brigade in what way it can, but it was too late. At dawn on April 19, six unmarked U.S. fighter planes took off from Nicaragua (5) to help defend the last of brigade's aircraft. They were shot down by the Cubans, and the invasion was crushed later that day.

On the same day, April 19, at 2:30 p.m., Brigade 2506 commander Perez San Roman transmits a final radio message: “We have nothing left to fight with.”

One hundred and eighteen mercenaries were killed, 360 wounded in battle. Ten Cuban mercenary aircrew and four U.S. airmen were also killed. Some exiles escaped to the sea. Between 1,183 and 1,202, figures vary, were captured.

The Cuban people suffered greater losses. One hundred and seventy six soldiers were killed, while an estimated 2000 civilian militiamen and women were killed or wounded, and hundreds went unaccounted for.

The United States government had lied unconvincingly about the invasion. Its UN Ambassador Stevenson read President Kennedy's reply to Soviet Premier Khrushchev denying that the U.S. was intervening militarily in Cuba yet claimed “the right” to protect the hemisphere from “external aggression”. Stevenson went on to claim that there is no evidence against the United States and that it is “not true that the guerrillas have been brought by planes from the U.S. piloted by Americans.”

(Khrushchev made one error. Most invaders were brought to Cuba by U.S. sea vessels.)

Within 72 hours, Cuba had beat the Yankees. The Cuban people had effectively protected their sovereignty and billions of folk the world over applauded.

The mercenary prisoners remained in captivity for 20 months as the United States negotiated a deal with Fidel Castro. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy made personal pleas for contributions from pharmaceutical companies and baby food manufacturers. The Cuban government eventually settled on $53 million worth of baby food, other food and medicines in exchange for the prisoners.

So, the Cuban “Soviet puppets” took food and medicines from the aggressor war-makers—who should have been imprisoned under international law—so that Cuban children could be healthier and live longer than children still under the domination of U.S.-imposed Latin American dictators. Strange twist considering that Yankees tell us “Communists eat babies”! (6)


1. “Cuban History: U.S. Bay of Pigs Invasion” from the Marxist Internet Archive See also:

2. Several court cases were filed in the U.S. by wealthy Cuban owners of property nationalized and by U.S. corporation property owners.
Some cases got tried, some in favor of Cuba, such as the Compania Azucarera Vertientes-Camaguey do Cuba, judged by N.Y. Supreme Court judge Baker. Most cases, however, came under the U.S. Supreme Court Act of State Doctrine determination: “the courts of one country will not sit in judgment on the acts of the government of another done within its own territory.”

Furthermore, the United Nations General Assembly resolved, on December 14, 1962, the Permanent Sovereignty Over Natural Resources, which permitted: “nationalization, expropriation or requisitioning shall be based on grounds or reasons of public utility, security or the national interests which are recognized as overriding purely individual or private interests, both domestic and foreign. In such cases the owner shall be paid appropriate compensations, in accordance with the rules in force in the State taking such measures in the exercise of its sovereignty and in accordance with international law.”

The vote for was 87, oddly including the U.S. France and South Africa voted against. Most ironically, the Communist block and Cuba abstained.

A “Havana Times” article, “Seized US Properties in Cuba: Another Pending Issue for the Thaw”—June 18, 2015 by DPA journalist Beatriz Juez—described this history in contemporary politics.

“The nationalization of US companies following the Cuban revolution, one of the measures that detonated the diplomatic break between Washington and Havana in 1961, is…[again] on the table…after the historic rapprochement between the two countries announced in December of last year.

“These demands could well be one of the thorniest issues to address in the long-term ‘normalization’ process the two countries aspire to, a process that also includes matters such as the return of the Guantanamo Naval Base territory to Cuba and the compensation the island’s government demands for the damage caused by the embargo.

“According to the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC), an independent agency of the US Department of Justice, “it is not yet clear what effect such changes will have on the status of the claims previously adjudicated by the Commission.”

“The Commission has certified a total of 5,913 claims made by US citizens or companies in connection with properties nationalized following Fidel Castro’s arrival in power in 1959.

“According to the FCSC, tasked with arbitrating claims by US citizens against foreign governments, at the time of their nationalization, these US properties were valued at some 1.9 billion dollars. Today, this is equivalent to 7 billion dollars,” so estimated “The New York Times”.

3. Gordon, Max "A Case History of U. S. Subversion: Guatemala, 1954". Science and Society, Summer 1971.

4. UN Charter Article 2
Here are three of the seven points: 1. The Organization is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members. 3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered. 4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. 7. Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.
Article 51
Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

5. On July 19, 1979, the popular Sandinista guerrillas won their fight against the repressive Nicaraguan government. In 1980, with cowboy Ronald Reagan at the seat of power, a vicious counter-revolutionary force was financed, armed and trained to crush the people’s government. The International Court of Justice ruled, on June 27, 1986, that U.S. support to the contras in Nicaragua is illegal, and mining the Managua harbor a war crime. It demanded that the US pay reparations to the Sandinistas. In a 16-point ruling on a complaint lodged by Nicaragua, the judges rejected U.S. claims of collective self-defense—the U.S. rejected the judgment because it said the Sandinista government was a “Soviet puppet”—and found it guilty of breaches of international law and the 1956 treaty of friendship between the two countries.

The U.S. refused to participate and rejected the court as incompetent. Nevertheless, the invaders accepted its jurisdiction in other cases, such as the 1984 ruling on the Bay of Maine dispute with Canada.

The United States warred against the Sandinistas, whose progressive social and political reforms were learned from the Cuban revolution, yet it had helped put in office and supported the three Somoza family dictators for nearly half-a-century. The first Somoza “president” was the wealthy coffee plantation owner, Anastasio Somoza Garcia (1937-47; 1956-63). President Franklin D. Roosevelt said of him: “Somoza may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he’s our son-of-a-bitch.” However, Somoza was merely one of many Latin American dictators that this was said of. Anastasio’s son, Luis, was in office when the U.S. invaded Cuba with aircraft flown from Nicaragua.

6. See William Blum’s “Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II” (Common Courage, 1987 edition)

“Literally no story about the Bolsheviks was too contrived, too bizarre, too grotesque, or too perverted to be printed and widely believed – from women being nationalized to babies being eaten (as the early pagans believed the Christians guilty of devouring their children; the same was believed of the Jews in the Middle Ages). The story about women with all the lurid connotations of state property, compulsory marriage, ‘free love’, etc. ‘was broadcasted over the country through a thousand channels,’ wrote Schuman, ‘and perhaps did more than anything else to stamp the Russian Communists in the minds of most American citizens as criminal perverts’”. (See: Frederick L. Schuman, American Policy Toward Russia Since 1917 (N.Y. 1928, p. 154)

Copyright © 2006-2012