From the Archive: In a Caribbean Storm

Alex von Tunzelmann reassesses a two-part article on the troubled relationship between the United States and Cuba, published in History Today 50 years ago in the wake of the Bay of Pigs invasion.

In May and June 1961, just two years into Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution, Arnold Whitridge wrote a two-part retrospective of Cuban relations with the United States for History Today. It was an apt moment. In mid-April 1961 an anti-Castro brigade landed at the Bay of Pigs, a swampy inlet near the Cuban town of Cienfuegos. The brigade was Cuban but had been trained and directed by the United States. The operation was supposed to be a secret. In fact US plans had been revealed on the front page of the New York Times on January 10th. Led into battle by CIA agents, the brigade was quickly defeated by Castro’s forces, who captured almost all the 1,200 invaders.

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