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.
The American president of the day, John F. Kennedy, was subjected to international condemnation, and ridicule from Soviet Russia. This failure helped to solidify Castro’s grip on power and increase tension in the region immeasurably...