17 April 1961

Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of Cuban exiles financed and trained by the CIA lands at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.

The Bay of Pigs Invasion was a failed attempt by the United States to overthrow the government of Cuban leader Fidel Castro in April 1961. The operation was carried out by a CIA-trained force of Cuban exiles who had fled to the United States after Castro’s communist government took power in Cuba in 1959.

The plan was to land the exiles on the beaches of the Bay of Pigs in southern Cuba, where they would establish a beachhead and then spark an uprising against Castro’s government. However, the invasion was a disaster from the start. The exiles landed on the beaches and were immediately met with heavy resistance from Cuban forces.

The United States had hoped that the invasion would spark a popular uprising against Castro, but the Cuban people did not rise up as expected. The United States did not provide the promised air support to the exiles, which left them vulnerable to attack. Ultimately, after just three days of fighting, the exiles surrendered to Cuban forces.

The Bay of Pigs Invasion was a major embarrassment for the United States and a major victory for Castro’s government. It was seen as evidence of the United States’ aggressive foreign policy and it damaged relations between the United States and Cuba for decades.