Bay of the Pigs Invasion Anniversary in Cuba Date in the current year: April 19, 2024

Bay of the Pigs Invasion Anniversary in Cuba On April 19, Cubans celebrate the anniversary of the Bay of the Pigs Invasion. It commemorates a failed landing operation by the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front backed by the United States government, which solidified Fidel Castro’s role as the new leader of the country.

Fidel Castro became the leader of Cuba following the victory of the Cuban Revolution and the fall of Fulgencio Batista’s regime on January 1, 1959. The relations between the United States and Cuba quickly deteriorated, and the U. S. government began to look for ways to remove Castro from power.

In March 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower allocated over $13 million to the CIA to put forward their plan to overthrow Castro’s administration. The plan didn’t include open confrontation; it focused on the support of the Cuban opposition, guerrilla infiltration, and psychological warfare. Although these measures weren’t very effective, Eisenhower insisted that the involvement of the US military should be kept to a minimum.

In January 1961, the CIA presented another plan that called for the capture of a small foothold in Cuban territory by a landing force of 750 people. The CIA expected a general uprising against Castro’s regime to begin within a few weeks after the landing.

Following the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, the CIA made him aware of the plan, and the new president brought the Department of Defense into discussion. The Bay of Pigs plan, also known as Operation Zapata, was finally approved on April 4, 1961.

On April 15, eight Douglas A-26 Invader bombers with the false flag markings of the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces simultaneously attacked three Cuban airfields. However, the Cuban military command had camouflaged or relocated most of its aircraft. As a result, the Americans destroyed mostly mock-ups and non-operational aircraft, but they were confident that they had completely destroyed the Cuban Air Force.

After several failed diversionary landings, Brigade 2506 (a group of about 1,400 Cuban exiles sponsored and trained by the CIA) entered the Bay of Pigs (Bahía de Cochinos). The main landing force landed at Playa Girón on the east bank of the bay.

The Cuban armed forces were quickly informed about the landing by the militias in the area. Having learned about the situation, Castro put all militia units on the highest state of alert and ordered airstrikes on the unloading troops. The advancement of Brigade 2506 was stopped by the afternoon of April 17. By the evening of April 19, the invaders had stopped resisting.

Overall, 118 men from Brigade 2506 were killed and 1,202 captured. A year later, the Cuban government exchanged most of the prisoners for $53 million in medicine and food. The defeat of the invasion solidified Castro’s leadership and drove an even wider wedge between the United States and Cuba.

The anniversary of the Bay of the Pigs Invasion is observed every year. The 60th anniversary of the victory at the Bay of the Pigs was marked by a wreath laying ceremony at the obelisk dedicated to pro-government Cubans who died during the invasion, political speeches, and other ceremonial events and activities.

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Bay of the Pigs Invasion Anniversary in Cuba, observances in Cuba, Fidel Castro, Operation Zapata, Brigade 2506