Comparing the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Jameson Raid

Historian article

By Adam Burns and Robert Gallimore, published 9th February 2017

Duplicated Debacles?

Duplicated Debacles? A comparison of the 1895-96 Jameson Raid and the 1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion. Adam Burns and Robert Gallimore take us on two invasions, one by land and one by sea.

Following the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and the rise to power of the socialist regime of Fidel Castro, the United States – ever fearful of growing Communist influence across the world at the height of the Cold War – quickly moved to rid the western hemisphere of Castro’s embryonic regime. As well as plans to assassinate Castro, the CIA hatched a scheme that they felt might give the USA ‘plausible deniability’ and instead look like a homegrown counter-revolution. On 17 April 1961, ‘Operation Zapata’ saw a group of US-backed Cuban exiles journey to the Bay of Pigs  in southern Cuba. Within a few short days, the poorly planned and executed invasion, which the US hoped would spark an  anti-Castro uprising, had failed absolutely...

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