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Chronology of events of the Bay of Pigs invasion from 1959
[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Times New Roman][Image: pigs.jpg]Chronology
JAN 1, 1959: The 26 of July Movement, led by Fidel Castro, succeeds in forcing General Fulgencio Batista into exile. Fidel Castro gives a victory speech from Santiago: this new revolution, he states, will not be like 1898, "when the North Americans came and made themselves masters of our country."
JAN 7, 1959: Washington officially recognizes the new government; in a memo to the President, John Foster Dulles states, "The Provisional Government appears free from Communist taint and there are indications that it intends to pursue friendly relations with the United States." Early the next day, Castro's victory caravan finally reaches Havana, and the new regime takes charge.
APR 19, 1959: During Fidel Castro's first post revolution trip to Washington, he meets with Vice President Richard Nixon for three and a half hours. "I spent as much time as I could trying to emphasize that he had the great gift of leadership, but that it was the responsibility of a leader not always to follow public opinion but to help to direct it in proper channels, not to give the people what they think they want at a time of emotional stress but to make them want what they ought to have," the Vice President reports in a four-page secret memo to Eisenhower, Secretary of State Christian A. Herter, and Allen Dulles. "It was apparent that while he paid lip service to such institutions as freedom of speech, press and religion that his primary concern was with developing programs for economic progress." Nixon concludes that Castro is "either incredibly naive about Communism or is under Communist discipline." But he also expresses his own "appraisal" of Castro as a man. "The one fact we can be sure of, is that he has those indefinable qualities which make him a leader of men. Whatever we may think of him, he is going to be a great factor in the development of Cuba and very possibly in the development of Latin American affairs generally." (Richard M. Nixon, Rough Draft of Summary of Conversation Between the Vice President and Fidel Castro, April 25, 1959)
JUL 8, 1959: A CIA briefing for the National Security Council reports on "preparations in Cuba for efforts against Dominican Republic, either directly or through Haiti." (CIA, Briefing, Carribean Situation, July 8, 1959)
SEP 4, 1959: Ambassador Bonsal meets with Fidel Castro in Cuba. The Ambassador expresses, "our serious concern at the treatment being given American private interests in Cuba both agriculture and utilities." Castro responds saying he "admires Americans, especially tourists, for whom he is planning great things." (Department of State Cable, [Ambassador Report on Meeting With Castro], September 4, 1959

LATE OCTOBER 1959: President Eisenhower approves a program proposed by the Department of State, in agreement with the CIA, to support elements in Cuba opposed to the Castro government. The operations are intended to make Castro's downfall seem to be the result of his own mistakes. As a part of this program, Cuban exiles mount sea borne raids against Cuba from U.S. territory. (Wyden, pp.28-29; Gleijeses, p.3; Taylor Report, pp.3-4)
FALL 1959: Manuel Artíme participates in a secret two-day meeting of the National Institute of Agrarian Reform in Havana. Numerous high officials of the revolution, including Fidel Castro and Che Guevara, attend the meeting. According to notes he takes on this "unforgettable reunion" - later published in his book Traicion - the discussion focuses on "the true goals of the revolution." He quotes Castro as defining Democracy as "this: a meeting of a group of men who know the road on which to take the people, that freely discuss the things they are going to do, having in their hands all the power of the State to do it." Castro also decides that the State will take possession of all land holdings, eliminating private property. At this point the campesinos will not be told of these plans, according to Artíme's notes. Artíme stresses that the leadership intends to deceive the Cuban public about the plans of the revolution.
The meeting of this "criollo Kremlin," according to Artíme, provides the catalyst for the "beginning of my rebellion." (Artíme, Traicion, pp. 3-16)
NOV 1959: Manuel Artíme travels undercover to Mexico and makes contact with other Cuban exiles from the LAR in Mexico. A bible is used for coding messages. Dr. Lino Fernandez is asked to begin stockpiling weapons gathered by LAR and to create a network of internal security and intelligence. (Chronology of Irregular Forces)
NOV 5, 1959: In a memorandum to President Eisenhower, Christian Herter describes the changing policy towards Cuba, "All actions of the United States Government should be designed to encourage within Cuba and elsewhere in Latin America opposition to the extremist, anti-American course of the Castro regime." Herter adds, "[However], in achieving this objective, the United States should avoid giving the impression of direct pressure or intervention against Castro, except where defense of legitimate United States interest is involved." (Department of State Memorandum, "Current Basic United States Policy Toward Cuba," [Herter to Eisenhower], November 5, 1959)
EARLY DEC, 1959: Rogelio Gonzalez Corso, Rafael Rivas Vazquez, Carlos Rodriguez Santana, Jorge Sotus and Sergio Sanjenis meet in Mexico and decide to create the Movimiento de Recuperación Revolutionaries (MRR), or Revolutionary Recovery Movement. They designate Angel Ros as secretary general of the new organization; he leaves for the United States to confer with Ricardo Lorie other Cuban exiles. (Chronology of Irregular Forces)
DEC 11, 1959: J.C. King, head of the CIA's Western Division, writes a memorandum for Richard Bissell, and CIA Director, Allen Dulles stating that Castro has now established a dictatorship of the far left. The intelligence community estimates an increase in Cuban support for other revolutionary movements in Latin America, and "rapid nationalization of the banks, industry and commerce" sectors. The memorandum states that "violent action" is the only means of breaking Castro's grip on power, listing as the U.S. objective "the overthrow of Castro within one year." King also recommends that "thorough consideration be given to the elimination of Fidel Castro," marking the first time that the idea of assassination is committed to paper. (Cuban Problems, 12/11 /59)
JAN 1960: The CIA sets up a Task Force WH-4, Branch 4 of the Western Hemisphere Division to implement President Eisenhower's request for an ambitious covert program to overthrow the Castro government. Jacob Esterline, Guatemala station chief between 1954-1957, is put in charge of WH-4. (Wyden, pp.2-?29; Gleijeses, p.3; Taylor Report, pp.3-4)
JAN 12, 1960: Throughout the month of January, sabotage and small bombing missions in Cuba increase in frequency. A plane drops incendiary bombs in the areas of Bainoa, Caraballo, and San Antonio de Rio Blanco. Another plane coming from the north, with U.S. markings, drops inflammable material on cane fields next to the Hershey factory. (Informe Especial. 1960)
JAN 18, 1960: A plane drops live phosphorous over the cane plantations of Quemados de Guines and Rancho Veloz, in Las Villas. Seven people are detained in Sagua la Grande for trying to derail the Sagua?Havana train. (Informe Especial: 1960)
JAN 21, 1960: A plane drops four one-hundred pound bombs on the urban district of Cojimar y Regla in Havana. (Informe Especial: 1960)
JAN 25, 1960: President Eisenhower holds a conference to discuss the situation in Cuba. "The President said that Castro begins to look like a madman." Ambassador Bonsal, also at the conference, adds, "[Castro] is a very conspiratorial individual who tries to create the impression that he and Cuba are beleaguered. He is an extreme Leftist and is strongly anti-American."
JAN 28, 1960: At four in the afternoon in the town of Chambas on the north coast, a Catalina plane drops incendiary bombs that fail to go off. The bombs have the inscription "Bristo Marines." Another plane drops incendiary bombs on the cane fields in the refineries of Adelaida, Violeta, Patria, Punta Alegre, and Morón, in Camaguey; and Monati, Delicias, and Chapana, in Oriente. The incendiary devices dropped on the central Adelaide almost totally destroy 40 million "arrobas" ["arroba" = 25 pounds] of cane. (Informe Especial: 1960)
JAN 29-31, 1961: A plane drops incendiary phosphorous bombs on 10 districts in the area of the Chapana refinery. Other bombing attacks take place on cane plantations in San Isidro and on houses in the Central Toledo in Havana. More than one?hundred thousand "arrobas" of cane are burned in Alacranes and Jovellanos in the province of Matanzas. (Informe Especial: 1960)
FEB 1960: The Movimiento de Recuperación Revolucionaria - MRR - releases its "Ideario" of basic points. In the preamble, Manuel Artíme writes that MRR has been formed "not only to overthrow Fidel Castro, but to permanently fight for an ideology of Christ; and for a reality of liberating our nation treacherously sold to the Communist International." Luis Boza prepares the document. ("Ideario: Puntos Basicos.")
FEB 1-13, 1960: Planes drop bombs burning more than 17,000 arrobas of cane in Trinidad; and other bombing attacks take place in Punta Alegre, Camaguey province, against the Adelaide refinery, and in the central España. (Informe Especial: 1960)
FEB 17, 1960: A CIA briefing to the National Security Council reports on the visit of Soviet official Anastas Mikoyan to Cuba. "The USSR", it states, "has shifted from cautious attitude to one of active support." The briefing also indicates that opposition to Castro is growing but that "the anti-Castro groups both inside and outside the country lack organization and effective leadership." (CIA, Briefing, Cuba, February 17, 1960)
FEB 18, 1960: A plane trying to bomb the central España, Matanzas province, explodes in mid-air. The pilot is identified as Robert Ellis Frost, an American who carries a U.S. military identification card. (Informe Especial: 1960)
FEB 21, 1960: Police detain a group of internal resistance forces that try to throw hand grenades at the Havana carnival. (Informe Especial: 1960)
FEB 22-25, 1960: A bi-motor B-25 plane takes part in burning cane fields in Las Villas. Simultaneous incursions by planes occur in Las Villas and Matanzas provinces. Counterrevolutionary groups burn 243,000 arrobas of cane in areas of Camaguey and Matanzas; and destroy 166,000 arrobas of cane in the district of La Papilla in Las Villas. (Informe Especial: 1960)
MAR 1960: The CIA begins training 300 guerrillas, initially in the U.S. and the Canal Zone. Following an agreement with President Ydígoras in June, training shifts to Guatemala. The CIA begins work to install a powerful radio station on Greater Swan Island, ninety?seven miles off the coast of Honduras. (Gleijeses, p.6)
-Rafael Rivas-Vasquez sends a confidential memorandum to Artíme on "Propaganda and Psychological Warfare of the F.R.D. (Revolutionary Democratic Front) in Cuba." The goals, he writes is to make the F.R.D. known inside of Cuba, win over sectors of the country, and "break the red power through creating a mystique [to oppose Communism] based on Christian principles and the democratic traditions of our people." Propaganda will be n and by radio. Psy-ops should include a "campaign directed a demoralizing the military ...based in terror," a radio and flyer campaign to identify Castro's intelligence officials and Communist spies, promoting civic resistance, and spread the word about the resistance and its operations. Among the recommendations are to "blow up" Castro's radio station, the Voz del INRA, which is interfering with Radio Swans transmissions. "Actions and sabotage, coordinated with written and radio propaganda ...give life to the slogans and civic resistance," Rivas Vasquez writes. (Propaganda y Guerra Psicológica 3/60)
MAR 4-5, 1961: Sabotage of a French ship, La Coubre, in Havana harbor, carrying arms for Cuba, kills about 100 people and wounds some 300. The following day at funerals for the victims Fidel Castro accuses the United States of responsibility for the action. (Informe Especial: 1960)
MID MARCH, 1960: The MRR's Miami-based secretary of propaganda, Rafael Rivas-Vasquez sends a memorandum to Manuel Artíme regarding methods of organizing resistance forces outside of Cuba. His suggestions include creating a Political Bureau, student movements, "pro-democracy worker's fronts," drafting and distribution of a manifesto and pamphlet on MRR, and structuring various Executive Committees in Mexico, Venezuela and other countries in order to build an "International Organization of Friends of a Free Cuba." (Algunas Sugerencias para el mejor funcionamiento en el Exilio ca. 3/13/60)
MAR 17, 1960: At an Oval Office meeting with high-ranking national security officials, President Eisenhower approves a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) policy paper titled "A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime." The CIA plan involves four main courses of action: (i) form a moderate opposition group in exile whose slogan will be to restore the revolution which Castro has betrayed; (ii) create a medium wave radio station to broadcast into Cuba, probably on Swan Island, south of Cuba; (iii) create a covert intelligence and action organization within Cuba responsive to the orders and directions of the exile opposition; and (iv) begin training a para?military force outside Cuba and, in a second phase, train paramilitary cadres for immediate deployment into Cuba to organize, train and lead resistance forces recruited there.
During the meeting, Eisenhower states that he knows of "no better plan" for dealing with this situation but is concerned about leakage and breach of security. He argues that everyone must be prepared to deny its existence and only two or three people should have contact with the groups involved, agitating Cubans to do most of what must be done. The President tells Mr. Dulles that he thinks he should go ahead with the plan and the operations but that "our hand should not show in anything that is done." (Memorandum of Conference with the President, 3/18/60; CIA, A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime, 3/16/60)
MAR 20-21, 1960: Internal resistance forces destroy 400,000 arrobas of cane in the Cunagua central in Camaguey province. Planes cause 7 fires in the zones bordering Matanzas and Las Villas, affecting the refineries of Australia, Perseverencia, and Tinguaro. (Informe Especial: 1960)
MAR 25, 1960: Internal resistance forces set fire simultaneously to different cane plantations around Havana. (Informe Especial: 1960)
MAR 27, 1960: Following a tour of Latin America by Artíme to drum up support for MRR, Rafael Rivas-Vasquez writes him a letter on the status of the movement. "The problem is to get going," the letter states. He notes that the Americans have yet be fully supportive beyond saying, "ok to everything." "If we show signs of life in Cuba ...they will definitively give us help." (Handwritten letter, 3/27/60)
MAR 27-28, 1960: Fidel Castro speaks to a gathering of militia in Ciudad Libertad: "We also are organizing ourselves... In the first place so that they do not carry out aggression against us, and in second place, if they do, they will have to pay very dearly for their impudence and audacity in finding themselves on the soil of our country."
The following day, Castro warns, "if there is an invasion, the war, they can be sure, will be to the death." (Informe Especial: 1960)
LATE MARCH 1960: David Atlee Phillips, a CIA contract employee who until recently had maintained a public-relations company in Havana, is selected by the CIA as chief of propaganda for the Cuba project. At operation headquarters in Washington, Phillips is told that the Cuba project will go by the Guatemala scenario. (Phillips had performed the same function in PBSUCCESS, the 1954 operation against Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz. During the coup by a CIA?directed exile force, Phillips had operated a clandestine station supporting them.) CIA operative E. Howard Hunt, also a veteran of the Guatemala operation, is assigned the position of chief of political action for the project. His primary responsibility is to form a government-in-exile to replace Castro's government following the invasion. (Wyden, pp.20-22; Hunt, p.23)
APR 14, 1960: At a National Security Council meeting, Eisenhower administration officials weigh options for broadcasting propaganda into Cuba. U.S. Information Agency Director George Allen reports that USIA is considering establishing a Cuba?directed station in Florida and buying time on commercial stations there. Also under study is a proposal to fly an aircraft over Key West for the purpose of beaming television programs into Cuba. Meanwhile, Allen says, USIA's short?wave broadcasts to Cuba have been augmented. CIA Director Allen Dulles reports that "some Cuban intellectuals [will] soon be broadcasting to Cuba from Boston at night, and that it is likely that a second radio station over which Cuban refugees might broadcast will be installed in five or six weeks." (NSC, Discussion of the 441st Meeting of the National Security Council, April 14, 1960.)
MID APRIL 1960: David Phillips meets with the CIA official in charge of the Cuba operation, Deputy Director for Plans Richard Bissell. When Bissell asks how long it will take to create the proper psychological climate, Phillips says it will take about six months. Bissell directs the propaganda chief to have Radio Swan up and running in one month.
On Swan Island, a tiny, contested territory located about 100 miles off Honduras; the CIA begins construction of a 50?kilowatt medium?wave radio station. The island had served as a base for CIA broadcasting during the agency's successful campaign to oust Guatemala's President Arbenz, and some radio equipment used in that operation is still on the island. Phillips obtains a transmitter from the U. S. Army in Germany, which was preparing to make it available to the Voice of America. A detachment of Navy Seabees constructs a pier at Swan Island to facilitate the unloading of the equipment. (Phillips, pp.112, 114; Wyden, pp.22? Gleijeses, p.6)
APR 19, 1960: A group of internal resistance forces plotting sabotage in Jovellanos are arrested. (Informe Especial: 1960).
APR 21?22, 1960: Pedro Martinez Fraga sends a letter to Ricardo Lorie and Manuel Artíme, regarding contacts with the CIA?referred to as "Group B," and "Mr. B"??on political, economic and military support preparing a political memorandum for MRR to present The letter states that the CIA has requested a meeting in New York the following week; Martinez Fraga recommends preparing a political manifesto to present to the Agency. (Strictly Confidential and Personal Memorandum, 4/21?22/60)
APR 23, 1960: Cuba's Foreign Minister Raúl Roa declares that "I can guarantee categorically that Guatemalan territory is being used at this very time with the complicity of President Ydígoras and the assistance of United Fruit, as a bridgehead for an invasion of our country." (Informe Especial: 1960)
APR 25, 1960: The MRR sends a memorandum to the CIA, summarizing the history, motivations, positions and goals of the organization. The document describes six major points of the MRR platform: respect for the dignity of the individual; firm devotion to representative democracy; unbreakable faith in the concept of private property and free markets; the development of capitalism; political pluralism; and the democratic credo against totalitarian communism. (MRR, Memorandum Personal y Confidencial, 4/25/60)
MAY 1960: CIA operative Howard Hunt spends several days in Cuba on an undercover visit, during which he observes Cuban attitudes toward the revolutionary government and visits areas around revolution?controlled radio stations. After returning to Washington, he reports on his findings to his supervisors at the CIA and offers several recommendations, including a suggestion that the Agency destroy the Cuban radio and television transmitters before or coincident with the invasion: Hunt's recommendation is based on his belief that without radio and television to inform the country, Castro's heirs would be unable to rally mass support. . (Hunt, pp.36, 38)
MAY 3, 1960: Fidel Castro proposes José Miró Cardona as new Cuban ambassador in the United States. Newspaper reports cite U.S. officials as seeing in the Cuban government's attitude a measure to improve relations between the two countries. (Informe Especial: 1960)
MAY 7, 1960: Two U.S. warplanes fly over Cuban territorial waters, close to the Cuban coast, and a U .S. destroyer enters Cuban waters. Two other U.S. warplanes fly over Cabo Cruz. (Informe Especial: 1960)
MAY 12, 1960: Cuban forces bring down a Piper Apache plane near Mariel killing the pilot, a U.S. citizen named Matthew Edward Duke. (Informe Especial: 1960)
MAY 13,1960: President Eisenhower meets with his advisers to discuss what to do about General Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. The conversation touches upon dealing with Castro. Eisenhower comments that he would like to see Castro and Trujillo "both sawed off." (Memorandum of Conference with the President, 5/13/60)
MAY 13, 1960: The organizing committee of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (FRD) meets in New York City. The participants approve statutes for the FRD, and authorize the drafting of a Manifesto to introduce the front to the United States and other countries. (Minutes of FRD meeting, 5/13/60)
MAY 14, 1960: The New York Times reports that a new commercial radio station will begin broadcasting soon from Swan Island. The station, the Times reports, plans to broadcast nothing of greater international import than waltzes, Latin American music, and commercials. (NYT, 5/14/60)
MAY 16, 1960: The U.S. receives José Miró Cardona as the new Cuban ambassador in the United States. (Informe Especial: 1960)
MAY 17,1960: Radio Swan goes on the air, on schedule. According to the CIA, the station's signal reaches not only its target area of Cuba, but the entire Caribbean as well. The station's programs are taped in studios in Miami, then routed through the Swan transmitter. (CIA, "Brief History of Radio Swan," Taylor Committee, Annex 2)
Bob Davis, the CIA station chief in Guatemala City, receives a message instructing him to build an airport. After getting Guatemalan permission, the agency contracts to have the airport built at Retalhuleu in thirty days for $1 million. The airport is built in ninety days and ultimately costs $1.8 million. (Wyden, p.37)
MAY 19, 1960: A small group from Brigade 2506, housed by the CIA in the motel Marie Antonet in Fort Lauderdale, are met by Manuel Artíme and two CIA officials, "Jimmy and Karl." Jimmy is identified as the chief of the operation, and later as chief of the infiltration team. The team is subsequently transported to Ussepa Island off the Florida coast for training of the Brigade 2506. Other members of the brigade arrive later and are assigned numbers, including José Basulta (2522), and Rafael Quintero (2527). The training is originally scheduled to last 15 days but extends into a month and a half. In early July, the Brigadistas are transferred by plane to camps in Guatemala. (Brigadista Diary p. 2?6)
MAY 24, 1960: CIA Director Allen Dulles updates the National Security Council on two semi?covert radio activities related to Cuba. He reports that "several well?known Cuban refugees [are] purchasing time for anti?Castro broadcasts from a short?wave station in Cuba." In addition, he announces that Radio Swan is now on the air for "test purposes. The station will go on the air quietly at first, will then attack [Dominican leader Rafael] Trujillo, and then later will begin to attack Castro." Radio Swan will be operated ostensibly by a commercial company. (NSC, "Discussion at the 445th Meeting of the National Security Council," May 24, 1960, 5/25/60)
MAY 31, 1960: Cuban security forces round up members of an internal resistance organization named the Western Anti?communist Organization. (Informe Especial: 1960)
SUMMER 1960: Howard Hunt visits operation headquarters in Coral Gables, Florida. There he meets an assistant to Phillips who is in charge of field propaganda work, and is dispensing CIA subsidies to several Cuban exile newspapers: Subscriptions to Latin Americans are sold at nominal cost to spread the anti?Castro word in countries where Fidel is regarded sympathetically.
Phillips decides that "a single station [is] not sufficient for the task" of transmitting adequate propaganda. He later writes that "We soon created a second capability independent of Radio Swan and the exile political groups by having CIA agents buy space on existing radio stations around the perimeter of
the Caribbean. These broadcasts were low?key and not recognizable as anti-Castro. Only after D?Day would they become activist voices, to influence Cubans when they faced the decision of who would win and who would lose. "Several stations with CIA ties, including Radio Cuba Independiente, La Voz de Cuba Libre, and a Massachusetts?based station begin broadcasting anti?Castro messages. (Hunt, pp.46?47; Phillips, p.122; Soley and Nichols, pp.180?181)
JUN 21, 1960: Over Radio Mambi, a Cuban government station, Castro government officials charge that a counterrevolutionary radio station, supported by U.S. dollars, is now broadcasting on Swan island. (Wise and Ross, p.353)
JUN 8, 1960: MRR issues a communiqué denouncing the Castro Government for betraying the revolution. Artíme, Nino Diaz, Ricardo Lorie, and Michel Yabor sign it. (Chronology of Irregular Forces)
JUN 22, 1960: The Revolutionary Democratic Front (FRD) releases a "Constitutional Manifesto" in Mexico City. Artíme, Manuel Antonio de Verona, José Ignacio Rasco, Arueliano Sanchez Arango, and Justo Carrillo sign the document. (FRD Declaration, 6/22/60)
EARLY JULY 1960: Exile forces being trained on Ussepa Island are transferred to bases in Guatemala. They are taken to the Finca Helevetia owned by the Alejos brothers. There, "Mr. Karl," the CIA official in charge of the training, meets this group of exiles. Three Americans, Bill, Bob and Nick, are in charge of training exile members in radio communications.
The diary of an unidentified brigadista on a radio team describes a daily routine that beings at 6:45am with calisthenics and running. At 8:45, classes in radio and telegram communications are conducted; at noon lunch is held; classes resume at 2pm and end at 6pm; dinner at 7pm and then a free evening to listen to the Voice of America or WRUL in New York, and to sneak a drink since alcohol is prohibited at the camp. (Brigadista Diary p. 8)
JUL 6, 1960: The National Office of the MRR in Havana designates Rogelio Gonzalez Corso (Francisco Gutierrez) to be its national coordinator. (Minutes of MRR meeting, 7/6/60)
JUL 12, 1960: The National Office of the MRR in Havana decides to send Gutierrez to the U.S. to address internal divisions in the U.S.?based section of the organization at plenary meeting in Miami. (Minutes of MRR meeting, 6/12/60)
JUL 18, 1960: The MRR meets in Miami for a special plenary session. The gathering addresses a move by a number of members to set up a "parallel movement" to the MRR "with the purpose of sabotaging the existing organization." Several prominent members of the leadership are dismissed from the organization. Manuel Artíme is designated to be Secretary General and MRR representative to the Democratic Revolutionary Front. (Minutes of MRR Meeting, July 18, 1960)
JUL 21, 1960: CIA headquarters sends a cable to Havana regarding an upcoming meeting between a Cuban volunteer agent and Raul Castro. The cable states that "Possible removal top three leaders is receiving serious consideration at HQS," enquiring whether the Cuban agent is sufficiently motivated to risk arranging an accident for Raul Castro, and offering $10,000 after successful completion. After the agent agrees to carry out the task, the CIA cancels the assignment. (Wyden, p.39)
JUL 23, 1960: CIA Director Dulles briefs Senator John F. Kennedy, who is running for president, at Hyannis Port on Cape Cod. The meeting on intelligence matters lasts two and a half hours and includes a description of the training of Cuban exiles for operations against the Castro government. (CIA Director Allen Dulles, Memorandum for the President, August 3, 1960)
AUG 1960: Richard Bissell meets with Colonel Sheffield Edwards, director of the CIA's Office of Security, and discusses with him ways to eliminate or assassinate Fidel Castro. Edwards proposes that the job be done by assassins hand?picked by the American underworld, specifically syndicate interests who have been driven out of their Havana gambling casinos by the Castro regime. Bissell gives Edwards the go?ahead to proceed. Between August 1960, and April 1961, the CIA with the help of the Mafia pursues a series of plots to poison or shot Castro. The CIA's own internal report on these efforts states that these plots "were viewed by at least some of the participants as being merely one aspect of the over?all active effort to overthrow the regime that culminated in the Bay of Pigs." (CIA, Inspector General's Report on Efforts to Assassinate Fidel Castro, p. 3, 14)
?The Miami Herald considers publishing a story by David Kraslow about CIA training of Cuban exiles near Homestead, Florida. The story reports that the Justice and State departments are unhappy about this violation of the Neutrality Act and are pressuring President Eisenhower to move all such CIA training operations; and that the exiles are to be sent into Cuba to wage guerrilla war against Castro. After meeting with Allen Dulles and being informed that publication would be most harmful to the national interest, the paper's editors decide not to print the story. (Wyden, pp.45?46)
?The CIA hires a small New York public relations firm, Lem Jones Associates, Inc., to handle official announcements by the exile groups involved in the Cuba project. (Wyden, p.117)
?Members of the exile Brigade begin to move from the Finca to TRAX base, another installation in Guatemala. (Brigade Diary, p. 15)
AUG 1, 1960: The Cuban representative at the OAS presents a memorandum detailing U.S. acts of aggression against the people and government of Cuba. (Informe Especial: 1960)
?A high official of the U.S. armed forces declares that Russia could easily destroy cities in the southeast of the U.S. with nuclear weapons launched from Cuba. The military official adds that if the Russians take such steps in Cuba, the chiefs of staff, the National Security Council, and the President would have to make a big decision.
AUG 5, 1960: Cuban militias capture a total of 112 contra forces, including a U.S. citizen, operating in Escambray. (Informe Especial: 1960)
The Cuban government passes a law to nationalize U.S. businesses: the Cuban Electricity Company, the telephone company, petrol refineries, and 36 sugar refineries with an approximate value of 800 million pesos. (Informe Especial: 1960)
AUG 7, 1960: In various churches in the capital a pastoral letter from the country's bishops is read, condemning the nationalization and other revolutionary measures as communist. (Informe Especial: 1960)
AUG 13, 1960: Cuban security forces arrest 16 resistance members accusing them of acts of sabotage. (Informe Especial: 1960)
AUG 18, 1960: President Eisenhower approves a budget of $13 million for the covert anti?Castro operation, as well as the use of the Department of Defense personnel and equipment. However, it is specified at this time that no United States military personnel are to be used in a combat status. (Gleijeses, p.10; Wyden, p.30)
AUG 28, 1960: Cuba withdraws from the Seventh Consultative Meeting of the Ministers of the OAS after 19 governments vote against a Cuban proposal concerning the aggression by one American state against another. (Informe Especial: 1960)
LATE SUMMER 1960: The concept of the covert operation begins to shift from infiltrating teams to wage guerrilla warfare to an amphibious operation involving at least 1,500 men who would seize and defend an area by sea and air assault and establish a base for further operations. Minutes of the Special Group meetings in the fall of 1960 indicate a declining confidence in the effectiveness of guerrilla efforts alone to overthrow Castro. (Gleijeses, p.10; Aguilar, p.5)
SEP 1960: An unidentified member of the resistance passes intelligence on the San Antonio de los Banos base. In addition, a typed memorandum, presumably sent to the MRR in Miami asks for action materials and propaganda that other groups inside Cuba already have. The report also offers data on the number of men and arms in the Hoguin region who are willing to use arms against the government. (Untitled memorandum, ca 9160)
SEP 2, 1960: At a demonstration in the Plaza Civica to respond to the OAS vote, Fidel Castro declares: "If they continue the economic aggression against our country, we will continue nationalizing U.S. businesses." (Informe Especial: 1960)
SEP 8, 1960: Carlos Rodriguez Santana, a member of the Brigade, dies in a training accident in Guatemala. He becomes the first casualty of the exile force. In his honor, the brigade assumes his assigned number?2506?as the name of the exile force.
SEP 10, 1960: The New York Times publishes a front?page story on Radio Swan. The station is described as being owned and operated by the Gibraltar Steamship Company, with headquarters in New York. (NYT, 9/10160)
SEP 14, 1960: A Cuban government radio commentary charges that the United States is pirating long?wave frequencies belonging to Cuba and calls Radio Swan's broadcasts a new aggression of imperialistic North America. (NYT, 9/15/60).
SEP 15: 1960: The Mexican government pressures the FRD to leave Mexico City and relocate to Miami. (Chronology of Irregular Forces)
SEP 15, 1960: Cuban security forces arrest a group of North Americans, among them two officials of the U.S. Embassy. (Informe Especial: 1960)
SEP 18, 1960: Fidel Castro arrives at Idlewild airport for a visit to the United Nations. (Informe Especial: 1960)
SEP 19, 1960: CIA Director Dulles briefs John F. Kennedy again on intelligence matters.
SEP 21, 1960: Soviet premier Khrushchev visits Castro at the Hotel Theresa. (Informe Especial: 1960)
SEP 26, 1960: During an address before the United Nations General Assembly, Fidel Castro charges that the U.S. has taken over Swan Island and has set up a very powerful broadcasting station there, which it has placed at the disposal of war criminals. (NYT, 10/15/60)
SEP 28, 1960: The CIA attempts its first drop of weapons and supplies to the Cuban resistance. The aircrew tries to drop an arms pack for a hundred men to an agent waiting on the ground. They miss the drop zone by seven miles and land the weapons on top of a dam where they are picked up by Castro's forces. The agent is caught and shot. The plane gets lost on the way to Guatemala and lands in Mexico. (Thomas, p.241)
SEP 29, 1960: A plane coming from the U.S. drops a heavy load of arms by parachute in Escambray. (Informe Especial: 1960)
OCT 5?6, 1960: Armed exiles land in Bahía de Navas and Baracoa and engage Cuban Army and peasant militia forces. (Informe Especial. 1960)
OCT 7, 1960: Raúl Roa, Cuba's Foreign Minister, denounces U.S. plans to invade Cuba, based on intelligence information obtained by Cuba's security services: "In the Finca Helvetia, located in the municipality of El Palmer, adjoining the departments of Retalhuleu and Quetzaltenango, acquired recently by Roberto Alejos, brother of the Guatemalan ambassador in the U.S. . . numerous exiles and adventurers are receiving training under the command of r North American military men. In August and September, more than a hundred airmen and American technical military personnel entered Guatemala. In the La Aurora airport bomber aircraft have been seen. The public rumor is that they serve a double mission to attack Cuba or to simulate a Cuban attack against Guatemala." (Molina, "Diario de Girón," p. 1?2)
?Senator John Kennedy, running for president, attacks the Eisenhower Administration for "permitting a communist menace ... to arise only ninety miles from the shores of the United States." (Gleijeses, p.24)
OCT 12, 1960: Five convicted internal resistance force members captured in Escambray are executed by firing squad. Eight others, including an American, Anthony Salvard, who landed in Bahía de Navas are also executed.
?The Cuban government nationalizes 382 big businesses including manufacturers of sugar, liquor, beer, perfume, soap, textiles, milk products, as well as banks. (Informe Especial.1960)
OCT 14, 1960: The United States issues a false fact sheet at the United Nations in response to Castro's accusations before the General Assembly. The paper addresses the issue of Radio Swan: "
There is a private commercial broadcasting station on the [Swan] islands, operated by the Gibraltar Steamship Company. The United States Government understands that this station carries programs in Spanish that are heard in Cuba, and Cuban political refugees have purchased that some of its broadcast time. (NYT, 10/15/60)
OCT 16 and 21, 1960: Kennedy again attacks Eisenhower's Cuba policy: "If you can't stand up to Castro, how can you be expected to stand up to Khrushchev?" And five days later: "We must attempt to strengthen the non-Batista democratic anti?Castro forces in exile, and in Cuba itself, who offer eventual hope of overthrowing Castro. Thus far these fighters for freedom have had virtually no support from our government."
Richard Nixon, running for president and fully aware of the anti?Castro activities taking place and being planned, attacks Kennedy's position on Cuba as irresponsible and reckless. Nixon argues that if the United States were to back the Cuban exiles, it would be condemned in the United Nations and would not accomplish our objective. "It would be an open invitation for Mr. Khrushchev ... to come into Latin America and to engage us m what would be a civil war and possibly even worse than that." Nixon proposes a quarantine of Cuba. (Gleijeses, pp.24?25; Wyden, pp.67?68)
OCT 17, 1960: A Honduran deputy denounces the fact that 30 transport planes coming from the U.S. and bringing equipment to counterrevolutionary Cubans landed at various Guatemalan bases to be used in an attack against Cuba. (Informe Especial: 1960)
OCT 17?18, 1960: Cuban?based members of the FRD meet with Manuel de Verona to complain about the lack of support from the United States. Verona offers $200,000 to support the political and other resistance operations on the island. He also tells them that two shipments of arms, presumably from the CIA, have entered CUBA. (Report to Manuel Artíme, 10/17/60)
OCT 20, 1960: A State Department spokesman announces that U.S. Ambassador Philip Bonsal will be recalled for a prolonged period and that there are no plans to replace him. (Informe Especial, 1960)
OCT 24, 1960: The Cuban Council of Ministers decrees the nationalization of another 166 U.S. businesses as a response to the aggressive measures of the U.S. against Cuba. (Informe Especial: 1960)
OCT 25, 1960: in its Havana headquarters, the FRD drafts an operational blueprint for overthrowing Castro. The document suggests that some arms have arrived and others are expected. It lists the first resistance goal as liberating Pinar del Río; "commando actions" in Havana are also planned "producing unrest and weakening control to make sure the government cannot accumulate troops and send them to Pinar del Rio." The plan also refers to "armed expeditions from outside Cuba" which will coincide with the beginning of operations in the province. (Plan of Operation No. 1, 10/25/60)
Francisco Gutierrez provides an MRR status/intelligence report on resistance strength in various provinces. Among the opposition forces in various zones are 450 men in the district of Guanajay?including some ex?military personnel from Batista's army?approximately 200 ex military and civilians from Santa Cruz, and 14 men in the zone known as Consolacion del Sur. The report also notes that some resistance leaders have recently been detained, and provides intelligence on placements of Castro's regiments and weaponry. (Gutierrez report, 10/25/60)
OCT 26, 1960: The press officer for the Guatemalan president admits that there are military personnel in more than twenty fincas in the country but denies they are related to any invasion of Cuba. Their purpose is to "respond to any eventual attack by Fidelista guerrillas." (Informe Especial: 1960)
OCT 27, 1960: The FRD distributes its first Combat Order. In general terms, the order describes the logistics of an attack on the San Julian air base. That plan calls for seizing the airfield and using it as an operational base for "our air and land force." The order also describes how supplies will be obtained and communications handled during the operations. (Combat Order, 10/27/60)
OCT 30, 1960: A Guatemalan newspaper La Hora publishes a story disclosing that the CIA has built a heavily guarded $1 million base near Retalhuleu to train Cuban counterrevolutionaries for landing in Cuba. (Wyden, p.46)
OCT 31, 1960: Cable from CIA Headquarters to senior agency officer in Guatemala outlines plan for amphibious invasion of Cuba by assault force of at least 1,500 men who will receive conventional military training. (CIA, Classified Message, October 31, 1960)
NOV 1960: President Eisenhower presses CIA director Dulles about the missing Cuban government in exile. Dulles and Bissell assure him that the CIA is making progress. Eisenhower is skeptical. The President is quoted as remarking: "I'm going along with you boys, but I want to be sure the damned thing works." (Wyden, p.68)
NOV 4, 1960: A CIA cable from Washington to the project officer in Guatemala directs a reduction in the guerrilla teams in training to 60 men and the introduction of conventional training for the remainder as an amphibious and airborne assault force. From this time on, the men become deeply imbued with the importance of the landing operation and its superiority over any form of guerrilla action to the point that it would have been difficult to persuade them to return to a guerrilla?type mission. (Aguilar, p.6)
NOV 8?9, 1960: The CIA informs the Special Group of its plans, including a change in the conception of the operation from guerrilla infiltration to amphibious invasion and there is no approval or disapproval. (Gleijeses, p.11)
NOV 13, 1960: Young officers revolt in Guatemala. A major grievance is the presence of the CIA?directed Cuban Expeditionary Force in Guatemala. President Ydígoras calls for U.S. aid in putting down the rebellion, and Brigade planes strafe the rebels, helping to put down the rebellion. (Gleijeses, p.16)
NOV 13,1960: Guatemalan "friends" of the Cuban revolution supply intelligence to the Castro government on the activities of Cuban exiles in Guatemala. A six-page intelligence report records the build?up of exile forces over the previous summer and fall, the type of aircraft being used, and location of the training bases. (Informacion sobre la contrarrevolucion Cubana en Guatemala, 2/24/61)
NOV 18, 1960: CIA Director Dulles and Deputy Director for Plans Bissell visit President?elect Kennedy in Palm Beach and brief him on the plan to overthrow Castro. (Allen W. Dulles, Memorandum for General Maxwell Taylor, 6/1/61)
NOV 19, 1960: The Nation magazine prints an editorial entitled "Are We Training Cuban Guerrillas?" Following a query from a reader, the New York Times instructs its Central America correspondent, Paul P. Kennedy to look into the story of CIA training of Cuban exiles in Guatemala. (Wyden, p.46)
NOV 29, 1960: President Eisenhower meets with key aides from the State, Treasury, and Defense departments, CIA, and the White House. He expresses his unhappiness about the general situation: "Are we being sufficiently imaginative and bold, subject to not letting our hand appear; and ...are we doing the things we are doing, effectively?" State Department Acting Secretary Dillon voices the department's concern that the operation is no longer secret but is known all over Latin America and has been discussed in U.N. circles. President Eisenhower states he thinks, "we should be prepared to take more chances and be more aggressive." (Memorandum of Meeting with the President, Tuesday, November 29, 1960, 12/5/60)
NOV 30, 1960: Manuel Artíme sends a letter to "Jimmy"?a CIA contact?stating that Roberto Verona will replace Gonzalez Mora as the MRR liaison to the CIA (Artíme letter, 11/30/60)
DEC 2, 1960: Acting Secretary of State Dillon informs President Eisenhower that the 5412 Group has decided that a senior official in the State Department and a senior officer in CIA should work full time to better organize the government's "total program with respect to Cuba." Whiting Whitauer and Tracy Barnes are suggested to fill the roles and the 5412 Group (Messrs. Dulles, Gray, Douglas, and Merchant) recommends that it "intensify its general supervision of the covert operation." (Douglas Dillon, Memorandum for the President, Subject: Cuba, December 2, 1960)
DEC 6, 1960: President Eisenhower meets with President?elect Kennedy to discuss the anti?Castro Cuban operation currently being planned. (Gleijeses, p.26)
DEC 7, 1960: President Eisenhower responds to Doug Dillon's December 2, memo. He grants approval for reorganization of the Cuba program, but wants to clarify that; "Mr. Willauer should have a position directly subordinate to the Secretary of State for so long as Cuba remains a critical problem in our foreign relations. There should be no doubt as to the authority of the Special Assistant in the State department (Willauer) to coordinate [deleted] activities." (President Eisenhower, Memorandum for the Secretary of State, December 7, 1960).
DEC 8, 1960: The CIA Task Force presents the new paramilitary concept to the Special Group. The Special Group authorizes use of Special Forces to train the Strike Force, the use of an airstrip at Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and supply missions. (Taylor Board, First Meeting, 4/22/61; Gleijeses, p.12)
A seven?week training program begins in Guatemala with approximately 575 to 600 troops. (Aguilar, p.170)
In a meeting of the Special Group, Colonel Edward G. Lansdale, an expert in guerrilla warfare, shares his doubts that the Cuban people will rise up in the face of the landings. He quizzes Dulles about the political base and popularity of the operation. (Wyden, pp.72?73)
DEC 12, 1960: Unidentified planes from the U.S. fly over a number of Cuban cities dropping anti?Castro propaganda. (Informe Especial: 1960)
DEC 16, 1960: The White House press secretary reads President Eisenhower's decision to prohibit the import of Cuban sugar that will affect 800,000 tons of Cuban sugar. (Informe Especial: 1960)
DEC 20, 1960: Admiral Robert Dennison, the Commander in Chief Atlantic (CINCLANT), sends the CIA 119 questions about the CIA operation. His questions imply that planning has been wholly inadequate for the invasion. Only twelve are answered. (Wyden, p.79)
DEC 31, 1960: In a speech, Fidel Castro denounces the "imperialist plan" to invade Cuba. He attempts to focus world attention on the "danger our country is running," and declares that Cuba will "mobilize the people and adopt such measures as can persuade the imperialists that it will not be a military cakewalk." Castro warns the United States "if they want to invade us and destroy the resistance they will not succeed ...because as long as a single man or woman with honor remains there will be resistance." Castro predicts that a few thousand paratroops with some boats will not take the capital or any major cities and that they will need many more troops and that they will pay a heavier price than in the landings in Normandy and Okinawa. ("Playa Girón," Primer Tomo, 8?11)
LATE 1960: The CIA purchases two LCls (landing craft, infantry) in Miami that are modified for landing troops. The agency recruits Cuban crews, but the ships do not get to sea until January 1961. Since these two ships can only carry 150 men, the CIA charters two small (1,500?2,000 ton) freighters from a Cuban ship owner named Garca who asks only that operating expenses be covered. The LCls are armed and kept as command ships and also used for other operations such as the raid on the Santiago refinery. (Aguilar, p.70)
?José San Román, who had served in the Batista military and in Castro's, and who had been imprisoned under both regimes, becomes Brigade commander of the forces in training. Four battalions are formed under Alejandro del Valle (First), Hugo Sueiro Second, Infantry), Erneido Oliva (Armored), and Roberto San Román (Heavy Gun Battalion). The force takes the name 2506 Brigade, from the serial number of its first casualty, Carlos Rodriguez Santana, who fell two thousand feet off a cliff on a training hike. (Johnson, p.57; Wyden, p.51)
The CIA later reports that during this period, the effectiveness of Radio Swan begins to diminish: Although great numbers of Cubans still listen to the station, its credibility and reputation suffers because programming only represents the narrow interests of the Cuban groups producing the various broadcasts. The program producers are using exaggeration in order to sensationalize their broadcasts. An example: One of the announcers stated that there were 3,000 Russians in a park in Santiago de Cuba; the residents had only to walk to the park to see that this was untrue. (Taylor Report, Annex 2: CIA, Brief History of Radio Swan)
JAN 1, 1961: Recruitment of Cuban exiles for training in Guatemala is significantly increased. (Taylor Board, First Meeting, 4/22161)
JAN 3, 1961: At 1:20 a.m., the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations in Havana sends a telegram to the Charge d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy informing him that the total number of personnel at the U.S. Embassy and Consulate should not exceed eleven persons. Further, U.S. government personnel "must abandon the national territory" of Cuba within 48 hours of receipt of the telegram. (Cuban Ministry of Foreign Relations, "Embassy Telegram 2667," January 3, 1961)
President Eisenhower meets with advisers at 9:30 a.m. to discuss steps to take on Cuba, including the breaking of diplomatic relations in response to Cuba's demand that U.S. official representation in Cuba be cut to 11 people. Turning to discussion of planned covert action against Cuba, Gordon Gray quotes [deleted] as describing the Cuban exiles in training as the best Army in Latin America and General Lemnitzer [chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] agrees. Regarding the trend of public opinion in Cuba, Assistant Secretary of State Mann argues that support for Castro has gone down from approximately 95% to about 25 to 33%.
During the meeting, President Eisenhower offers that he would move against Castro before the 20th (of January) if the Cubans provided him a really good excuse. Failing that, he says, perhaps the U.S. "could think of manufacturing something that would be generally acceptable." (Memorandum of Meeting with the President, January 3, 1961, 1/9/61)
At 8:30 p.m. the U.S. Department of State sends a note to the Cuban Charge d'Affaires advising of the decision to break diplomatic relations between the two countries and requests that the Government of Cuba withdraw all Cuban nationals employed in the Cuban Embassy in Washington as soon as possible.
(Department of State, Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Cuba, Text of Note Delivered 8:30 p.m. January 3 to Cuban Charge, 1/3/61)
?Later in the day, Fidel Castro announces that Cuba will go to the U.N. and "declare that if the United States believes it has the right to promote counterrevolution in Cuba, and believes it has the right to promote
counterrevolution and reaction in Latin America, then Cuba has the right to encourage revolution in Latin America" (lnforme Especial. 1961)
?On this day, Manuel Artíme meets in Miami with Marcos Valdes Castilla, the exile representative of the Union Revolucionaria Anticomunista. The two sign a "unity pact" and the URA offers recognition of the FRD's civilian leadership of the resistance forces, and agrees that Artíme will represent them on the FRD
Executive Committee. (Communiqué, 1/3/61)
JAN 4, 1961: Senior CIA officials prepare a memorandum "to outline the status of preparations for the conduct of amphibious/airborne and tactical air operations against the Government of Cuba and to set forth certain requirements for policy decisions which must be reached and implemented if these operations
are to be carried out." The concept of the plan is as follows: "the initial mission of the invasion force will be to seize and defend a small area .... There will be no early attempt to break out of the lodgment for further offensive operations unless and until there is a general uprising against the Castro regime or overt military
intervention by United States forces has taken place.
It is expected that these operations will precipitate a general uprising throughout Cuba and cause the revolt of large segments of the Cuban Army and. Militia.... If matters do not eventuate as predicted above, the lodgment ....can be used as the site for establishment of a ?, provisional government that can be recognized by the United States .... The way will then be paved for United States military intervention aimed at pacification of Cuba, and this will result in the prompt overthrow of the Castro Government.
Air strikes are seen as a crucial component of the invasion: "It is considered crucial that the Cuban air force and naval vessels capable of opposing the landing be knocked out or neutralized before amphibious shipping makes its final run into the beach." (CIA, Memorandum For. Chief WH/4, Policy Decisions Required for Conduct of Strike Operations Against Government of Cuba, 1 /4/61)
JAN 5, 1961: In preparation for a January 5 meeting of the Special Group, Tracy Barnes drafts a memorandum for the Director of Central Intelligence in which he outlines problems that need to be addressed. Most importantly, he argues that, contrary to views expressed at a January 3 meeting, the operation is unable to house or train more than 750 strike force members. Further, he argues that the operation "should" have a U.S. base for resupply following the strike landing. (CIA, Material for the 5 January Special Group Meeting, Memorandum for Director of Central Intelligence, 1/5/60)
?The Fair Play for Cuba Committee asks Congress to investigate reports that the CIA is establishing secret bases for an invasion of Cuba. (Johnson, p.58)
?The Cuban Council of Ministers approves the sentence of capital punishment for those who carry out terrorist acts such as sabotage, arson, and assassinations. At the United Nations, Cuban Minister Roa denounces the U.S for sending arms and equipment to rebel groups in the Escambray, sending pirate planes based in Florida with powerful explosives to bomb economic targets in Cuba, and training mercenaries in the U.S., Guatemala, and Nicaragua, to attack Cuba. (Molina, "Diario de Girón", pp. 9?10)
JAN 6, 1961: The State Department says it doubts newspaper reports that Castro is planning to let the Soviet Union establish missile bases in Cuba. (Johnson, p.58)
JAN 10, 1961: The New York Times publishes a front page story entitled "U.S. Helps Train an Anti?Castro Force at Secret Guatemalan Air?Ground Base." Written by Paul Kennedy, the article reports that "Commando?like forces are being drilled in guerrilla warfare tactics by foreign personnel, mostly from the United States." (Wyden, p.46)
JAN 11, 1961: Ambassador Willauer representing the State Department and Tracy Barnes of CIA discuss with representatives of the Joint Staff the overall problem of effecting the overthrow of Castro. This is the first time the JCS at the working level is informed of the plan being developed in the CIA for an invasion by a Cuban exile force. As a result, a working committee including representatives of CIA, State, Defense, and the JCS is formed to coordinate future actions in pursuit of this objective. (JCS, Chronology of JCS Participation in Bumpy Road)
JAN 12, 1961: The Cuban government arrests a group of internal resistance forces, including their commander, Ramon Carvajal, for conspiring against the state. (Informe Especial: 1961)
JAN 16, 1961: URA representative Marcos Valdes Castilla sends a message to the MRR stating that a message has been received from Cuba stating that Castro's forces will start an offensive against the resistance forces in the Escambray. "Help is urgently needed; if it is possible, the attackers should be bombed." Urgent assistance is requested in order to "unleash an offensive of terror and sabotage in the capital." The source of the intelligence on Castro's offensive apparently comes from an agent working in the government palace. (Memo, 1/16/61)
?The Interdepartmental Working Group on Cuba meets to discuss a Defense Department memorandum entitled "Evaluation of Possible Military Courses of Action in Cuba." The memo outlines military actions to be used "in the event currently planned political and paramilitary operations are determined to be inadequate."
Three possible courses of action are outlined: unilateral action by the U.S. armed forces under. a contingency plan already approved by the JCS; invasion by an overtly U.S. trained and supported Volunteer Army; and invasion by a combination of possible courses of action a and b. The memo concludes that "courses of action a and c are the only courses of action which assure success." (Department of Defense, Evaluation of Possible Military Courses of Action in Cuba (S), Staff Study Prepared in the Department of Defense, 1/16/96)
JAN 16?18, 1961: The U.S. prohibits its citizens from traveling to Cuba unless specifically authorized by the State Department. In Cuba, an American citizen, John Gentile, is sentenced to 30 years in prison for being part of a group that carried out sabotage and assassination attempts against Cuban leaders. (Molina, "Diario de Girón", pp. 20?21)
JAN 18, 1961: Ambassador Willauer reports to Under Secretary of State Merchant that "the Group, DOD, CIA, and ARA (to a limited extent)" have updated DOD on "current thinking on the program for Cuba," and "after concluding this [they] assumed that the December 6 plan (updated in light of developments since that time) might not succeed in the objective of overthrowing the Castro regime." Willauer concurs with DOD's "Evaluation of Possible Military Courses of Action in Cuba" (January 16, 1961) that any chance of success hinges on several "very important policy decisions that many of [them] feel must be taken immediately."
Willauer also states his own view that the plan "will probably get support from many Latin American countries of democratic inclination in direct proportion to the degree [the U.S. is] felt to be siding in the overthrow of Trujillo (of the Dominican Republic) and generally are 'on the side of the angels' in the entire problem of dictatorships vs. free governments in the hemisphere." Finally, Willauer informs Merchant that his committee "weighed without coming to a conclusion the advantages of rapid, effective action by direct war in terms of getting matters over with without a long buildup of world opinion, vs. the inevitability of such a buildup under any seven?month program." (Ambassador Willauer, Memorandum to Under Secretary Merchant, The Suggested Program for Cuba Contained in the Memorandum to You Dated December 6, 9960. 1 /18/61)
JAN 19, 1961: President Eisenhower meets again with President?elect Kennedy and endorses the covert Cuban operation. Eisenhower makes it clear that the project is going very well and that it is the new administration's responsibility to do whatever is necessary to bring it to a successful conclusion. According to notes taken during the meeting, "Senator Kennedy asked the President's judgment as to the United States supporting the guerrilla operation in Cuba, even if this support involves the United States publicly. The President replied Yes as we cannot let the present government there go on." (The White House, Meeting in the Cabinet Room, 9:45 a.m., January 19, 1961)
JAN 19?20, 1961: Six American military men aboard the yacht "Aries" dock in Havana and claim that they have come to defend the Cuban revolution. On interrogation, they admit to coming to fight against the government but because of bad weather and running out of fuel they were obliged to enter Havana. The six are sent before a Revolutionary Tribunal. (Molina, "Diario de Girón", pp. 2223)
JAN 22, 1961: Several members of the incoming Kennedy Administration including Dean Rusk, Robert McNamara, Chester Bowles, and Robert Kennedy receive a briefing on the Cuba operation at the State Department. (CIA Deputy Director for Plans Tracy Barnes, Memorandum for the Record, Conclusions of Dean Rusk's 22 January Meeting on Cuba, 1/23/61)
JAN 24, 1961: Alberto Muller Quintana, secretary general of the Cuban Student's Directorate (DRE) sends a letter to President Kennedy denouncing Castro's political, and economic programs. The letter reviews the regime's "calculated" takeover of all sectors of the society?politics, religion, unions, repression etc. The DRE requests U.S. support in what they call a "transcendent fight" against Communism in Cuba. 'The role of the US is to prevent communism, disguised as Fidelism, from becoming the expression of the present revolutionary feeling in Latin America," the letter states. "Finally, Mr. President, we want to state [that] our hope lies with someone like you..." (DRE letter to Kennedy, 1/24/61)
Clark Clifford, special counsel to President Harry S. Truman and later Secretary of Defense under Lyndon Johnson, reminds President Kennedy in a memorandum that Eisenhower said it was the policy of this government to help the exiles to the utmost and that this effort should be continued and accelerated. (Wyden, p.88)
JAN 25, 1961: President Kennedy meets with the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the White House. According to a memorandum on the meeting, Gen. Lemnitzer tells the President that in light of the "shipment of heavy new military equipment from Czechoslovakia?30,000 tons or more?clandestine forces are not strong enough. [The U.S.] must increase the size of this force and this creates very difficult problems. What is required is a basic expansion of plans." (Gen. Goodpaster, Memorandum of Conference with President Kennedy, Washington, January 23, 1961, 10:15a.m., 1/27/61)
JAN 27, 1961: The Joint Chiefs of Staff send a memo to the Secretary of Defense expressing their increasing concern that Cuba will become permanently established as a part of the Communist Bloc?with disastrous consequences to the security of the Western Hemisphere. They also state their belief that the primary objective of the United States in Cuba should be the speedy overthrow of the Castro Government.
The Joint Chiefs argue that the current Political?Para?Military Plan does not assure the accomplishment of the above objective and recommend that an overall U.S. Plan of Action for the overthrow of the Castro Government be developed by an Inter?Departmental Planning Group. (Joint Chiefs of Staff, Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense, U. S. Plan of Action in Cuba, 1 /27/61)?Sherman Kent, chairman of the CIA's Board of National Estimates, sends Allen Dulles a secret memorandum entitled "Is Time on Our Side in Cuba?," concluding that Castro's position in Cuba is likely to grow stronger rather than weaker as time goes on. The board, which does not know of the invasion plans, argues against the view that the Cuban population is eager to stage an uprising against Castro: While Castro will probably continue to lose popular support, this loss is likely to be more than counter?balanced by the regime's effective controls over daily life in Cuba and by the increasing effectiveness of its security forces for maintaining control. (Wyden, p.93)
?An attempt to infiltrate five members of Brigade 2506 into Matanzas Province, Cuba, fails. (Johnson, p.59)
?Eloy Gutierrez Menoyo and a group of members of the Second Front of Escambray during the revolution arrive in Key West, Florida, having left Cuba in a fleet of three fishing boats. (Molina, "Diario de Giron pp. 45?46)
LATE JAN, 1961: Lino Fernandez, a.k.a. Ojeda, leads an MRR ...
"The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it." Karl Marx

"He would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies. When asked in court whether she knew that Lord Astor had denied having sex with her.

“I think it would be a good idea” Ghandi, when asked about Western Civilisation.

1959 and a year forward.
This was when I started to understand politics and maybe even DEEP politics.
I used to read appreciating articles in the local version of Reader's Digest about Castro and the men fighting with him to get rid of Batista; then suddenly (from one month to the next) these men were evil and not to be trusted...

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