PIGS, MISSILES AND THE CIA VOLUME 2
Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro, the Unholy Trinity, 1962
Autore: Linda Rios Bromley
DISPONIBILE ESTATE 2022
The Bay of Pigs Invasion in April 1961 executed by Cuban patriots to overthrow Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro, ended in a catastrophic failure. Leaders in Washington and Cuban exiles in Florida expected the result to install a democratic government in place, but Castro remained in charge. Finger pointing among the Cuba Task Force in Washington, DC resulted in many fired from their government jobs. The pot continued to simmer and discovery of Soviet missiles by U-2 spy planes confirmed Washington’s worst fear, another showdown with the Soviet Union. At the time, no telephones between Washington and Moscow existed, no real-time communications or computers to accurately identify the location of undersea vessels. John F. Kennedy, the 43-year-old President of the US, and his administration had no experience dealing with or negotiating through a crisis involving nuclear weapons. However, they understood what the results could be for the US and even the world. Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev threatened to protect Cuba from attack by the imperialists of the US. Kennedy’s public persona displayed an attitude of a seasoned Cold War supporter, when in fact he was less confident of military solutions. With all US military agencies on high alert, the public feared escalation of the imminent crisis and citizens began preparations for an attack. The 4080th Strategic Recon Wing of the Strategic Air Command assigned the best of its U-2 pilots to dangerous missions over Cuba to confirm nuclear missiles delivered there by a Soviet flotilla of ships. One U-2 pilot died when his aircraft sustained a strike at 70,000-feet altitude. Aerial photographs from each U-2 flight went directly to Washington DC for interpretation and subsequently to the White House. In yet another area of the world, tensions reached fever pitch, when American and Soviet tanks faced off at the Berlin Wall. Communications between Kennedy and Khrushchev, sent through their ambassadors, achieved the desired result when each side withdrew their tanks. In the end, Khrushchev made demands unrelated to the current crisis and Kennedy reluctantly agreed to comply to protect the US and the world from nuclear disaster. The exact details of the resolution had not been leaked to the press until after both sides declared the crisis concluded.
21 x 30