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1961 an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles supported by the US government On Apr 17 1961 an armed force of about 1500 Cuban exiles landed in the Baha de Cochinos Bay of Pigs on the south coast of Cuba Central Intelligence Agency CIA with the approval of the Eisenhower administration and supplied with arms by the US government the rebels intended to foment an insurrection in Cuba and overthrow the Communist regime of Fidel Castro The Cuban army easily defeated the rebels most were either killed or captured The invasion provoked anti-US demonstrations in Latin America and Europe and further embittered US-Cuban relations Poorly planned and executed the invasion subjected President Kennedy to severe criticism at home Cuban exile leader Jos Mir Cardona president of the US-based National Revolutionary Council blamed the failure on the CIA and the refusal of Kennedy to authorize air support for the invasion In Dec 1962 Castro released 1113 captured rebels in exchange for 53 million in food and medicine raised by private donations in the United States When rebel forces under the command of Fidel Castro completed the overthrow of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista on New Years Day 1959 the future of US-Cuban relations became uncertain at best As the year progressed Castro solidified control over the revolutionary government and initiated an ambitious program of reforms replacing American companies control of key industries with economic measures focused on national development The CIA set about the task zealously eager to attempt a rerun of their successful 1954 operation to overthrow Guatemalas leftist leader President Jacobo Arbenz Much of the Agencys planning for the Cuba program was modeled on the Guatemala campaign which was conducted to appear as an independent invasion of the country by forces under the command of an exiled military officer Carlos Castillo Armas Cubas revolutionary army and militia had thwarted the invaders before they were able to establish a solid foothold on the island
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