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Exiles Invade Cuba at Bay of Pigs, 1961

Fidel Castro declares the invasion of Cuba was organized by the United States to overthrow him, but the U.S. denies the claim.

  • Type
  • Source
    The Indianapolis News
  • Date
    April 1961
  • Section
    Front Page
  • Copyright

Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, took power in 1959. He reduced U.S. business and interests on the island and aligned himself with the Soviet Union, which created tensions with the United States.

On April 17, 1961, The Indianapolis News reports that anti-Castro Cuban exiles have begun an invasion of Cuba at its southern shore known as the Bay of Pigs. According to the lead story, Castro says the United States is behind the attack to topple his regime. The U.S. secretary of state denies Castro’s claim that the attack was launched from American soil, yet says the U.S. is “sympathetic” to the goals of the 1,400-member invasion force.

The event is still developing as the News goes to press and the story contains unconfirmed information and speculation, including that “a simultaneous uprising had begun in Cuba.”  The invasion, however, is a disaster. After a day of fighting, the poorly equipped exiles surrender. One hundred exiles are dead and 1,100 more are captured. Despite U.S. denials at the time, the CIA had trained the exiles and hoped to keep U.S. involvement in the invasion a secret.

Another story on the front page covers United States and Soviet Union negotiations of a cease-fire in Laos between the Western-backed government and pro-communist guerrillas.  The Laotian proxy war is a continuation of Cold War tensions without direct fighting by the United States and Soviet Union militaries.

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