Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

America plans to the bomb. The Soviet

America had just stepped out of World War II, with devastating results. 416,800 people had died for one of the most grueling wars to ever come their way.  Europe was slowly rebuilding, with 400 thousand people, including civilians, killed in the United Kingdom. With the dropping of the atomic bomb over Hiroshima, it marked a new era in destruction. With the birth of this weapon, there would be theft and reproduction of the plans to the bomb. The Soviet Union decided to capitalize (Even though they were Communist) upon this bomb, and built about 55,000 nuclear warheads. These would be the backing for their expansion of Communist ideals. The argument between the U.S. and the Soviet union started about 2 years after the end of WWII. This faceoff between Communism and Capitalism would eventually reach a small island off the coast of Florida…Fidel Castro was a man (a lawyer, ironically, see anything after this sentence to understand) with a desire for power, and a likable voice to aid it. He lived in Cuba, a medium-sized U.S. island territory, only 300 miles away from the mainland. He had large ambitions, specifically control of the Cuban government. The current leader, Fulgencio Batista, was unliked by some of Cuba for he seemed to be aiming for a one-man dictatorship. Batista himself had overthrown the previous leader, Carlos Prio Socarras, and proclaimed himself as President. Castro amassed a guerilla army, and walked right up to Batista’s door and kicked him out. Well, tried for about 3 years. There were actually three movements against Batista, with Castro’s 26th of July movement being the most popular. He had established a clandestine cell system, with 10 cells of 10 people. None of the cells knew the whereabouts or activities of the other 9 unless it was made public. His main slogan was “Cuba Si, Yankees No.” Fidel Castro and his movement eventually built up enough power to rid the country of Batista. Batista ran away with 300,000,000 U.S. Dollars, and Castro got away with a country’s government. Batista’s supporters were exiled from Cuba, and most fled to the U.S. Fidel did not become Prime Minister (the actual name for the leader of Cuba is always changed) of Cuba, though. He might have been insane, but his reasoning was, at best, mildly logical. To make Cuba like him more, he appointed the lawyer (another one) Manuel Urrutia Lléo. Castro eventually took over as the Prime Minister, and then dictator of Cuba later on. When he rose to the power of dictator, he still retained the title of PM. One of the first things Castro did when he seized power was to nationalize all oil companies operating within Cuba. The U.S. told the oil companies which had been seized to withdraw from their operation in Cuba. The U.S. retaliated by ceasing to purchase Cuban sugar, crippling the Cuban economy. Since 80% of revenue in Cuba comes from exporting cane sugar, the U.S. seemed to have the ultimatum. Then, the Soviet Union made a deal to buy sugar from the hurt country. It was unclear to the government as to why they were doing this, but it was well suspected that they were trying to annex the Communist world. With Cuba’s distance to the United States, this was a dreaded occurrence. The war between Capitalist and Communist was raging, and the next battlefield would be a small island off the coast of the U.S.The Central Intelligence Agency was the leading front in the fight against the Soviet Union, whether or not anyone else knew it. They had U2 airplanes hovering over every major area of concern, and the news of the new neighbors moving into Cuba was a major shock to every executive in the building. The C.I.A. developed many different plans, including slipping a radioactive element into Castro’s food. That would promote hair loss, and would rid Castro of his mystical beard. This would make the public like him less, as his beard was a selling point.  Obviously, that plan was scrapped for its ridiculous base and unknown result. They finally decided on a plan that was sure to work: To invade Cuba, but make it look like it was Cuban exiles that were actually attacking. President Dwight Eisenhower approved of the task, one of his acts near the end of his second term. The C.I.A. actually hired Cuban exiles to work for their plan, but the training was inadequate for some. Meanwhile, the tensions were rising between the 2 countries. The U.S. prohibited the majority of exports to the island, and Cuba retaliated by taking control of over 300 businesses. Castro was growing more Communist by the minute, and this did not sit well with Eisenhower. However, the plan to invade Cuba was actually never enacted in Eisenhower’s last term. When John Fitzgerald Kennedy was inaugurated, the plan was presented to him. The plan was to have 1,000 men brought in by plane to Trinidad, Cuba. Kennedy disapproved of landings in Trinidad because the airfield was too small to support B-26 bombers, and landing there would destroy the facade of American involvement. The C.I.A. started to recruit Cubans from Frente Revolucionario Democratico, an active group of exiles from when Castro came to power. They were ideal in the C.I.A.’s mind, and they were hired. They had a 13 million dollar budget, so mistakes were not tolerated. They took this brigade to Useppa Island, an island off the coast of Florida that was secretly leased by the C.I.A. They trained them in infantry tactics, land navigation, amphibious assault tactics, among other things. Many of the instructors teaching at the small island were from the Army Special Forces, National Guard, and C.I.A. What the trainers didn’t know, though suspected, was that some of the exiles were double agents working for Castro, who then passed this information to Cuban Intelligence. There were three main phases in the plan to overthrow Castro. Phase One was to eradicate as many Cuban aircraft as possible, so that there would be no air opposition. There was a fairly simple cover story involved for this. They would be part of the Fuerza Aérea Revolucionaria, Castro’s air force. They would be disgruntled and bomb their own bases, and defect to the U.S. This airstrike was supposed to take place about 2 days before the actual invasion, which would be Phase Three.Phase Two would be to destroy any remaining combat aircraft that weren’t destroyed already. Brigade 2506 would bomb the bases, destroying anything that could be used against him. Phase Three would be the actual invasion, beginning at Trinidad, and some would be dropped by plane further inland. If an escape was needed, they could escape to the Escambray Mountains. Kennedy did not like this location, as Trinidad had many Anti-Castro groups, and anyone could point out that the U.S. liked anything against Castro.. Kennedy gave the C.I.A. 4 days to plan a better site for the invasion. The C.I.A. decided on Bahía de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs), which presented an array of problems. One would be that it was Castro’s favorite fishing hole, so he knew the beach very well. Another would be that there was a swamp between it and the mainland. The only reason this was a problem was that if any Cuban would decide to rebel, they would have about 20 miles of swamp land between them and the fighting. The Escambray Mountains were about 50 miles away, so escape would be challenging. The C.I.A. began their attack, with six Cuban exiles in B-26 bombers beginning Phase One of the invasion. They managed to destroy about 80% of the opposing aircraft, from most counts. 90 minutes later, a pilot “defected” from the air force at Cuba, and made for Miami International Airport. He reported a “may day” over the radio, and informed U.S. authorities that he was defecting. He was taken in by Customs and Immigration. Castro obviously accused the U.S. of plotting the attack, but there was “no evidence” to suggest that his claim was true. They still ordered an emergency meeting of the United Nations Political and Security Committee in New York. The US ambassador to the UN, Adlai Stevenson, attended this meeting. Stevenson showed the UN the pictures of the aircraft, and tried to prove that the U.S. had nothing to do with it. The only problem with his counter-evidence was the pictures. The aircraft in the pictures had a metal nose, not the plastic noses that the Cuban Air Force used. The ambassador for the United States was furious when he found out that the U.S. went behind his back. This was bad news for Kennedy, as he was imperative that secrecy remained. The evening of April 16, he decided last minute to cancel the second series of strikes. Literally. He called it off so abruptly that the pilots were sitting on the runway, getting ready to take off. He however, still allowed the scheduled air support for the Brigade 2506 to proceed. Leadership was forced to revise plans for D-Day, the fated Bay of Pigs invasion. April 17, 1961. The third phase of the invasion began with an odd start. Some of the aircraft were held back at the last minute, so there would be lapses with no air support for Brigade 2506. A year’s worth of training was put into the Cuban exiles, and they would do their best not to squander the large sum of money. Sadly, it was an ocean tide that turned the… tides of the battle. There were many weapons lost to the blue vacuum. Once they finally covered enough ground to land upon the shore, an unknown amount of Cuban troops were there to greet them. If a nice greeting is being outplayed and outnumbered by a group of people that despise the very fact that you exist, and work for a group that also hates your existence. Castro’s first priority was to sink all U.S. ships that would deliver the last thing they needed, more U.S. soldiers. He threw several rockets at the U.S.S. Houston,and the captain of the ship intentionally beached it. The USS Rio Escondido was hit as well, but its fate was far worse than the Houston. It was loaded with aviation fuel, which cause a terrific explosion. It then sank like concrete. The Brigade had some minor successes, however. They managed to block roads for about 2 days, and the air support hit many advancing tanks and prevented Cuban militia from advancing. Though there were successes, neither side made notable changes to the ongoing battle.The final day. Six fighter jets from the USS Essex were authorized to provide air control for one hour. They were not allowed to instigate combat with air or ground targets. They proved ineffective, as the jets they were meant to protect flew over them 1 hour ahead of when they expected. Brigade 2506 were practically begging for assistance, but everyone with a seat of power refused. With no help, the brigade was forced to surrender to Castro’s army. A few tried to flee to the ocean, but the support from the two destroyers was prevented by the onslaught of fire from Castro’s forces. In the next few days, only a handful who fled into the waters were rescued by patrolling U.S. ships. Some of the lost 2506 members went into hiding, but succumbed from a lack of food or water.With more than 75% of the Brigade members jailed, the C.I.A. needed someone with outstanding negotiating powers. That person would turn out to be James Donovan, who was educated to be a… lawyer. He had managed a POW deal with the Soviet Union, with 2 Americans for one Russian spy. He returned from his trip for some well-needed rest and relaxation from his heated negotiation with the Communist empire. Instead he got 1,000 Cuban exiles in prison needing to be freed. So Donovan was assigned with one of the harshest jobs that any government worker could endure: Become friends with Fidel Castro. Donovan was not afraid of the Dictator of Cuba, but neither was he condescending of him. Donovan began to make trips to see the infamous leader. Castro, instead of not liking him, actually seemed eager to impress him. They both respected each other, and not just because one had POWs and the other had nukes. And it all came crashing down during the Cuban Missile Crisis. The Soviets were making a move again. They installed nuclear missiles on the small island, and this was a problem, to say the least. The U.S. responded by creating a naval blockade around the small island. The crisis lasted for 13 days, until a deal was made to end the blockade and remove the missiles. Following this dark hour, Donovan continued to improve relations with Castro. He even brought his 18 year old son to the island to prove that he had full faith in the dictator. Castro was happy with this, and took them fishing to one of his favorite spots: the Bay of Pigs. On a day in Brooklyn, Donovan was playing a game of gin rummy with the president of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. They casually chatted with each other, and the subject of Cuban negotiations came up. They thought about what would benefit Cuba, and it struck them. The island was at a lack of food and pharmaceuticals, so what would be a good trade idea? Food and pharmaceuticals, of course. December 21, 1962. Castro signed an agreement to release the exiles in exchange for over 53 million dollars worth of food and drugs. The prisoners were given freedom for their Christmas. By July 1963, he had negotiated over 10,000 Cuban prisoners from behind bars. The C.I.A. had made a big mess out of the invasion, but Donovan was there to help clean it up. He even managed to polish the relations between Cuba and the United States.


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