45 Years Ago This Week
Four years after Mathews conjured Fidel out of thin air, NY Times journalist Tad Szulc, later a Castro biographer (as was Matthews), made an agreement with Kennedy to delay news items that might “alert the Cuban government ” about the imminent attack.
The CIA developed an elaborate cover story blaming the aerial bombings of April 15 1961 on defecting Cuban pilots. The invading force two days later was to form a temporary government (the designated would-be Cuban president was kept on a U.S. Navy ship nearby) and this temp government would ask for U.S. military assistance, which would be provided immediately. You couldn’t just say WMD in those days.
The news media, then prone to investigating such things, uncovered the lie immediately.
1,300 Cubans, recruited, paid and armed by the U.S. government, took the beach at Playa Girón and Playa Larga. Two days later, as members of brigade 2506 were running out of ammunition, President Kennedy decided it would not be prudent to back them up. Most of the invading forces were taken prisoner, the others killed in battle.
The invasion at Bay of Pigs is an ugly and disturbing incident on many levels, and clearly shows the lack of true compassion and respect that empires have had over the years for the Cuban people.
Eventually Kennedy realized that it was foolish to alienate the Cubans, and was in the process of arranging private talks with the Cuban government when he was assassinated.