What is the importance of Cuba

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International crises

  • The US attempt to overthrow the Cuban government fails. Cubans in exile are captured after the military action (source: dpa)

In March 1960, the US government ordered plans for an invasion of the Caribbean island to be initiated and the American secret service CIA was working feverishly on it. The new US President John F. Kennedy is also continuing this policy. Cubans in exile who fled to the United States during the revolution and want to fight Castro are receiving military training in the United States. On April 14, 1961, Kennedy approved the plans for "Operation Pluto". A few days later, around 1,200 Cubans in exile are invaded on the southern coast of Cuba, the "Bahia de los Cochinos", the Bay of Pigs. The brigade of exile forces arrives on five ships from the Nicaraguan port of Puerto Cabeza. It consists of five infantry battalions, paratroopers, a tank company, B-26 bombers and transport aircraft.

The Cuban militias that have just been set up on the ground are weak. With great sacrifices, one can prevent the intervention forces from forming in the swampy terrain. Militia units are being dispatched to the area from Havana and other parts of the country. Fidel Castro directly heads the defense. The popular uprising on the island hoped for by the Cubans in exile does not materialize; the landing forces are crushed. The US does not intervene, its ships remain sidelined. After 72 hours, on the evening of April 19, 1961, Castro announced the victory over the invaders. It is of great importance because for the first time an attempt at invasion by the USA has failed. The exile brigade counts around 80 dead; Over a thousand fighters in the brigade are captured, publicly questioned and sentenced. Opposition members are arrested and Catholic priests expelled across the country in Cuba. The situation is getting worse.