War and Conflict

Cold War

What was the Bay of Pigs?

Bay of Pigs is the name of an unsuccessful 1961 invasion of Cuba, which was backed by the U.S. government. About 1,500 Cuban expatriates living in the United States had been supplied with arms and trained by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). On April 17, 1961, the group of men who opposed the regime of Cuba’s Fidel Castro (1926-) landed at the Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) in west-central Cuba. Most of the rebels were captured by the Cuban forces; others were killed. In order to secure the release of the more than 1,100 men who had been captured during the invasion, private donors in the United States accumulated $53 million in food and medicine, which was given to Castro’s government in exchange for the rebels’ release. The failed invasion came as a terrible embarrassment to the Kennedy administration, and many believe the Bay of Pigs incident directly led to the Cuban Missile Crisis.


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