51 years ago today, the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba was launched under the unofficial authority of President Kennedy.

From the outset of his presidency, Kennedy yearned for Castro to be removed from power. JFK subscribed to the Domino Theory, which argued that if a country fell to communism, its neighbors would follow. And, Castro capitulated to the whims of his communist ally, Nikita Khrushchev, Premier of Russia.

Fidel Castro

John F. Kennedy

Kennedy began sparring with Castro in April of 1961 by executing the Bay of Pigs Invasion. CIA-backed Cuban exiles were sent in to overthrow Castro’s regime. However, he reneged on promised US Air Force support, and the operation failed.

Today, the Central Intelligence Agency is still fighting the release of the final volume of its official history of the ill-fated mission.

Castro enacted a form of retaliation a year and a half later, when he allowed the Soviet Union to build nuclear launch pads on his country’s soil, within range of the continental US. When American Air Force reconnaissance planes discovered the sites, The Cuban Missile Crisis brought the adversaries to the brink of an all-out nuclear conflict. Kennedy ordered a Naval blockade, preventing weapons and supplies from being shipped to Cuba from Russia. He successfully avoided disaster by a narrow margin.

Who was responsible for Kennedy’s assassination in 1963? Were Castro or Khrushchev involved? Read DESTINATION DEALEY: Countdown to the Kennedy Conspiracy for a thrilling fictional account of the assassination.

Castro and Khrushchev

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