The Invasion Fiasco
THIS BOOK, translated from the Spanish, was ready to go to press on April 17, 1961. On that day the ill-fated invasion of Cuba's Bay of Cochinos and the Zapata swamps was launched, with its painful loss of so many fighting for freedom and democracy.
Many contradictory opinions have been given regarding this operation. Only one thing is certain--the troops fought courageously.
When the vigorous "call to arms" was issued to all Cubans "without exception" by Dr. José Miró Cardona, Chairman of the Board of the Revolutionary Council, supported by the so-called Democratic Revolutionary Front, it was taken for granted that he was in full control of the situation. Judging by his warlike communiqués issued the day after the invasion, to the effect that the landing was only the initial phase and that decisive action was yet to start, it was presumed that he was fully aware of all developments. But when news of the defeat began filtering through and he asserted that most of the invaders were on their way to the Escambray mountains, those who knew the nature and location of the beachhead--surrounded by impassable swampland and jungle--began to have doubts. And in accordance with the statements of survivors and of U.S. officials, the only conclusion to be drawn was that the leader did not know whether the operation was by guerrillas tying to support the fighters in the mountains, or by a strong military group powerful enough to invade Cuba.