In 1961, in a dramatic televised address from the Oval Office, President Kennedy announced that a new Cuban Prime Minister, Professor Jose Miro Cardona had established a provisional government in Havana.
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Fait AccompliExplaining why the United States had unilaterally intervened in Cuba, the President stated that "this is not the first time in either ancient or recent history that a small band of freedom fighters has engaged the armor of totalitarianism".
In reality the elite Special Activities Division of the CIA had equipped, trained and lead fourteen hundred Cuban exiles in an amphibious invasion of Cuba to overthrow the new Cuban government of Fidel Castro.
"We felt that when the chips were down, when the crisis arose in reality, any action required for success would be authorized rather than permit the enterprise to fail" ~ Allen DullesYet CIA Director Allen Dulles, CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell, and Deputy Director for Plans Richard Bissell had been refused overt conventional military support by the President, who feared a Cold War confrontation. Not understanding that the CIA had rated the chances of success at only 30%, the Agency took matters into their own hands. Bissell turned for assistance to the Mafia who were angry with Castro for closing down their profitable brothels and casinos in Cuba. The Mafia funded a diversionary force in the Escambray Mountains which succeeded in distracting Castro's army for long enough to prevent the initial invasion from turning into a catastrophe as the CIA had warned.
Enraged, and threatening to "smash the Agency into a thousand pieces", Kennedy fired Dulles, Cabell and Bissell. And to ensure executive oversight, Kennedy appointed his brother Robert as the new CIA Director.