Bay of Pigs Invasion Documents

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A Program of Covert Action

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This once-secret CIA plan, "A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime," details the measures President Eisenhower authorized in March, 1960, to undermine the Revolutionary government. The plan calls for the creation of exile political and paramilitary groups and anti-Castro radio broadcasts. Just over a year later, in April, 1961, the plan culminated in the Kennedy administration's worst foreign policy disaster, the Bay of Pigs invasion.

History of Radio Swan

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This document, prepared by the CIA just following the Bay of Pigs, details the operations of one of the Agency's most famous clandestine radio efforts -- the anti-Castro Radio Swan. The CIA says that the station "was used in tactical support of the strike force" during the invasion, and reports that "Radio Swan was monitored by hemisphere radio stations and by world press services, and was an important factor in presenting the desired picture of the fighting in Cuba to world opinion."

Schlesinger Memorandum

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This memo from Kennedy aide Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., written just a week before the Bay of Pigs invasion, gives an indication of the anxiety felt in the White House over deniability and the CIA's Cuba program. Schlesinger urged the President to consider the damage control measures that might be necessary to repair Kennedy's credibility in the event the U.S. role in the operation was revealed. Schlesinger's memo offers a near-perfect case study in the dilemmas of covert actions for those who authorize them.

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